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The Catalyst

Research Impact

Colleen A Hanlon, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was awarded a R01 grant to conduct a study titled, “A Longitudinal Study of Functional Connectivity Among Cocaine Users in Treatment.”

The NIH–funded grant will determine the relationship between functional connectivity in executive control regions (namely the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and both proximal and extended outcomes in treatment seeking cocaine users. This longitudinal neuroimaging study will assess the integrity of executive and limbic circuits after a cognitive behavioral treatment program. The fundamental neuroscience knowledge gained from this study will be used to develop new evidence–based brain stimulation treatment strategies to enhance the integrity of these circuits and subsequent outcomes in traditional treatment programs.

This $333,914 grant project runs from July 2014 to May 19, 2019.

Kara Prakash, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Neurosciences, was awarded a R21 to study the “Spatial Scale and Cellular Mechanisms of Neurovascular Coupling In Vivo.”  

The overall goal of this project is to determine the contributions from spiking, synaptic and astrocytic activity in shaping the feature selectivity of blood vessels in the sensory neocortex.

This work is important to advance our understanding of brain function because vascular signals are now widely used to infer neural function in health and disease. NIH provided $224,250 in this two-year funding study beginning June 2014 to May 2016.

Annie Simpson, Ph.D., College of Health Professions researcher, was awarded a R21 from the NIH for $261,625 to study the “Age–Related Hearing Loss: Health Services Utilization and Outcomes.” Simpson, assistant professor in the Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management, began to study patients with age–related hearing loss. These patients may be at higher risk for undesirable health outcomes because hearing loss may tend to isolate individuals and reduce necessary communications about health problems to health care providers and family members, or lead to an understanding of medication use. This study, and the growing population of older adults, may call attention to hearing loss as a public health problem and emphasize the need for evidence of the impact of hearing loss on utilization of the health care system and health outcomes.  

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders funded this study from June to May 2016.

The Catalyst’s MUSC Research Impact column replaces the former Research Grants column and showcases the campus’ research community’s grant activities.
For information about other awards, visit or to email your MUSC research impact stories to

October 23, 2014



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