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MSU professors receive nearly $70K in grants

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Two Missouri State University professors in the biology and communication sciences and disorders departments have received separate grants totaling nearly $70,000.

New Jersey-based health products company Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. awarded a $60,000 grant to Paul Durham, MSU professor of biology and director of the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences, one of the three Jordan Valley Innovation Center operating centers.

The grant will help fund Durham's project "An Investigation of MK-4305: Role in Blocking Development of Chronic Pain Facilitated by REM Sleep Deprivation," according to an MSU news release.

The grant money will be used to purchase supplies and hire student researchers, the release said.

MK-4305 is a Merck product designed to increase overall sleep efficiency, according to Merck's Web site.

Durham, however, is attempting to determine if it can be used to block the transition from acute pain to chronic pain.

"If MK-4305 can block the development of chronic pain caused by REM sleep deprivation following an injury, it would provide a novel therapy for the treatment of pain," Durham said in the release.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awarded a $9,297 grant to Neil DiSarno, MSU professor and department head of the communication sciences and disorders department, according to a news release.

The grant will fund the Parent-Infant Program, a teaching and support initiative for infants and toddlers with hearing loss and their families. The grant will help to assist the program in the development of language, speech, and auditory perceptual, social and cognitive skills for the children involved.

“This funding will allow the opportunity for our students to learn from an experienced certified teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, and to provide some direct services to these children and their families,” DiSarno said in the release. “These experiences are crucial for students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become certified teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing.”

The Parent-Infant Program is a joint effort by the MSU communication sciences and disorders department and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.[[In-content Ad]]

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