Current Lab Projects

Current Lab Projects

Evaluation of military medical leadership performed in Field Training Exercises

The Bushmaster Simulation Field Exercise is an important part of the education and training of USU medical students. MS-IV students participate in Bushmaster during their fourth year to apply medical and military medical training (including leadership) in a realistic five-day field setting. Bushmaster also provides an opportunity for USU faculty and adjunct faculty to teach "in the field." The Bushmaster Research Activities Group (BRAG) was recently formed as a collaboration among members of the Military & Emergency Medicine Department and the Grunberg Laboratory group to conduct systematic program evaluation of the Bushmaster exercise, to examine student performance in this field setting, and to determine whether field setting performance relates to past experiences, individual demographics, and academic performance.

Objectives: To compare student performance in military medical leadership roles during the Bushmaster field exercise with: individual demographics (including prior service experience; branch of service; time in service); pre-clinical academic performance; and clinical academic performance. The goal of this work is to provide information that may help to enhance military medical leadership training at USU.

Collaborations

Below is a partial list of on-going collaborations. 

Leadership

Collaboration with Long-term Career Outcome Study (LTCOS) Group

Funding Source: USU

The purpose of this project is to conduct a systematic program evaluation of the Bushmaster exercise, to examine student performance in this field setting, and to determine whether field setting performance relates to past and future experiences, individual demographics, and academic performance.

Examination of the Gateway Hypothesis in Rats

Collaboration with Dr. Kwang Choi (PSY)

Funding Source: USU

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Gateway Hypothesis (i.e., the use of a “lower or softer” drug [e.g., cigarettes] increases the likelihood of subsequent use of a “higher or harder” drug [e.g., opiates]) in adult male and female rats using behavioral and biological outcomes.

Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors to Rescue Cognitive Impairment in Blast-Induced mTBI in rats

Collaboration with Dr. Harvey Pollard (APG)

Funding Source:  Military Clinical Neuroscience Center of Excellence

The purpose of this study is to (1) measure behaviors and brain chemicals at several time points after blast injury or no injury (in control subjects) to determine how closely related the changes are, and (2) determine whether two medications (two different HDAC inhibitors) will decrease the behavioral and biological effects of blast injury. 

Serotonin Targeted Biomarker and Therapeutic Approach in the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (blast) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (rats)

Collaboration with Dr. Pushpa Sharma (ANE)

Funding Source:  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

The purpose of this study is to a) understand the relationship of serum serotonin levels, psychological, and biological effects of pre-existing stress on the severity of blast injury, and b) examine the potential intervention of sodium pyruvate that help to prevent, attenuate, and treat the effects of bTBI and PTSD.

Studies Being Planned

We currently are planning experiments on the effects of nicotine use on subsequent morphine self-administration in adolescent rats. The Grunberg lab is also highly involved in leadership research. More information on these projects can be found on the USU Leadership and Education Development (LEAD) webpage.