Pilot Grants

In the spring of 2019, the Memory Keeper’s Medical Discovery Team (MKMDT) announced a call for pilot projects to advance research and facilitate collaboration between the MKMDT, Faculty colleagues and students at the Medical School Duluth campus. Faculty members in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health were eligible to apply. Pilot studies concerning chronic disease or aging through the life course as related to diabetes and/or dementia in American Indian and/or rural communities were sought, including applications related to medical education; illness prevention and health promotion; behavioral studies; health services research or epidemiologic studies.

One of the goals of the pilot program is to encourage teams of two or more investigators to pursue research concerning Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), diabetes, and health disparities, especially with rural and American Indian communities with one or more MKMDT investigators.

February 2023, the following pilot projects were funded:

1. “Geriatric Primary Care Workforce Outcome from a Rurally Focused Regional Medical School Campus: Characteristics of a Cohort of Duluth Graduates between 2015 and 2019."

Investigators: Emily Onello, M.D. and Kendra Nordgren, Ph.D.

2. "Reprogramming of neurodegeneration-associated gene networks in a mouse model of social stress."

Investigators: Matthew Slattery, Ph.D.

In the late summer of 2019, the following pilot projects were funded:

1. “Analysis, Revision and Improvement of Medical Education on Aging In Rural Communities: A Proposal For Pilot Project Funding from the MKMDT.”

Investigators: James G. Boulger, Ph.D., Emily Onello, M.D., Wayne Warry, Ph.D. and Sandra Stover, M.D. 

2. “Dementia, Diabetes, and Brain Endothelium."

Investigators: Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D. and Neil Henderson, Ph.D. 

3. “Solving the dietary dilemma: Analysis of documented Indigenous diets using nutritional geometry.”

Investigators: Richard G. Melvin, Ph.D., Glenn E. Simmons, Jr. Ph.D., Benjamin Clarke, Ph.D.; Emily Onello, M.D., Seth Moore, Ph.D., Dept of Natural Resources, Grand Portage Band of Chippewa, Kristen Jacklin, Ph.D., Wayne Warry, Ph.D., and Neil Henderson, Ph.D.