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OU/OSU Research Collaboration Awarded $9.5M NIH Grant for ACE’s Research

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November 10, 2022

OU/OSU Research Collaboration Awarded $9.5M NIH Grant for ACE’s Research

Two men present at a lectern

The OSU Center for Health Sciences Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Adversity (CIRCA), served by the OU-TU School of Community Medicine Integrative Immunology Center as a core support center, was awarded $9.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to research Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The study is entering its second phase of research for which this grant will be used.

“The work of this research team and the support of this grant are a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together,” says Dr. Jim Sluss, OU-Tulsa Interim President. “I have found it rewarding to serve on the grants internal advisory committee as we sought funding for this project as well as strengthened the ties between the institutions.”

ACEs include child abuse and neglect, parental mental illness, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse and divorce, and affect more than 60 percent of Americans. It is estimated that ACEs cost North America more than $750 billion a year in preventable health care costs, as they are a leading cause of poor mental and physical health, substance use and other health-harming behaviors.

“This study into the effects and treatments of ACEs is valuable work that requires and deserves this important attention and support,” says Dr. Kent Teague, associate vice president for research at OU-Tulsa. “This study is also a template for how our two institutions can leverage their respective strengths to garner large federal grants that benefit the whole community.” Dr. Teague has worked closely with the study’s Principal Investigator and CIRCA Director Dr. Jennifer Hays-Grudo as the entire team strives to make a difference in the lives of Oklahomans.

The first phase of the CIRCA study took place over five years and involved building the research infrastructure in northeast Oklahoma to support ACEs research. Phase one was awarded $11.3 million by NIH. This second phase will build on the infrastructure of the first by developing a center that supports researchers with mentoring and research core support in the study of the effects of ACEs and identifying more effective ways to prevent and treat them.