Cardiovascular Division Faculty Among Recipients of McDonnell Academy Seed Grants

Drs. Victor Davila-Roman and Mark Huffman were announced among the recipients of The McDonnel Academy Seed Grants. Their abstract ENHANCING INTERGENERATIONAL HEALTH IN NIGERIA: PERIPARTUM AS CRITICAL LIFE STAGE FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH (ENHANCE-CVH), was funded as part of the Public Health category.

They will be working with partner institution University of Abuja, Nigeria. The abstract reads, “Nigeria has among the highest burdens of maternal morbidity and mortality in the world, which is coupled with a rising burden of noncommunicable, chronic diseases due to unhealthy changes in dietary patterns and physical activity, especially during critical life stages. This seed grant will support formative research to adapt a home-based intervention called HEALTH (Healthy Eating Active Living Taught at Home) on intergenerational cardiovascular health among women recruited during the antenatal period and their children in Nigerian primary healthcare centers in collaboration with University of Abuja and Parents as Teachers National Center in St. Louis. Improving maternal health behaviors and subsequent maternal cardiovascular health is a central strategy toward improving family cardiovascular health to blunt and eventually reverse the rising burden of noncommunicable chronic diseases in Nigeria.”

The McDonnell Academy’s seed grant initiative was first launched two years ago, thanks to a gift by the Millard family. The key objective is to facilitate collaborative research that yields substantial outcomes, including next-stage funding, publications, clinical interventions, policy impact, and deeper ties between WashU and our partners around the globe. The program has so far resulted in a six-fold return on the initial investment, as previous recipients have been successful in securing external funding in excess of $4 million.