Health Scholar Showcase

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The Health Scholar Showcase is an annual event hosted by Texas State University’s Translational Health Research Center, which seeks to improve health by connecting faculty and community partners to engage in innovative research. Health Scholar Showcase highlights some of the best health research happening on campus.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 51
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    A Model-based Test for Treatment Comparison based on Left-truncated and Interval-censored Survival Data
    (2023-04) Zhao, Qiang; Wang, Yi
    In this research, we develop a new model-based test to compare treatments based on left-truncated and interval-censored (LTIC) data.
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    Connecting Outdoor Air Pollution to Healthy Financial Cognitive Skills
    (2023-04) Zhai, Muxin; Charles, Joni S. J.; Su, Sunny
    We investigate the impact of air pollution on human financial cognition using highly granular data on consumer financial reports from 2012 to 2019. Our results offer important policy implications in the design of just-in-time behavioral interventions such as mortgage payment reminders to reduce suboptimal decisions arising from a lower financial cognitive ability on a heavily polluted day.
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    Future Doctors at the Present Crossroad: Nudging College Major Choices toward Health Sciences
    (2023-04) Zhai, Muxin; Feng, Li; Ye, Xiaoyang
    Healthcare labor markets across the globe face a long-lasting and persistent labor shortage. According to the WHO, the gap between labor supply and demand in the healthcare industry is expected to reach 18 million by 2030. We test if information nudges can motivate college students to major in health/medical sciences during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    Multi-Faceted Regulation of the Sumoylation of the Sgs1 DNA Helicase in Genome Maintenance
    (2023-04) Xue, Xiaoyu; Li, Shibai; Mutchler, Ashley S.; Zhu, Xinji; So, Stephen; Epps, John; Guan, Danying; Zhao, Xiaolan
    To minimize DNA damage-induced genome instability and cancer formation, the DNA repair system requires proper regulation to adjust its efficiency and actions. Sumoylation is emerging as an important regulatory means for many forms DNA repair pathways, including homologous recombination (HR) repair. However, how HR proteins are dynamically sumoylated to modulate their functions remains poorly understood. The Sgs1-Top3-Rmi1 (STR) complex in budding yeast and its human counterpart BLM-Topo IIIa-RMI1-RMI2 (BTRR) play pivotal roles in genome maintenance. They affect multiple steps during HR. We recently reported that all three STR subunits are sumoylated and this requires the SUMO E3 ligase, Nse2 (aka Mms21), a subunit of the Smc5/6 complex. Further, STR sumoylation positively influence HJ removal as sumoylation promotes subunit interaction and recruitment to DNA repair foci. Our recent effort addresses the factors that directly promote STR sumoylation using a combination of in vitro sumoylation systems and cellular assays. We demonstrated that DNA binding per se enhances Sgs1 sumoylation in vitro, providing one mechanism for the observed HJ requirement in STR sumoylation in cells. In addition, we show that a scaffold protein Esc2 stimulates Mms21-mediated STR sumoylation in vivo and in vitro. Esc2’s action requires two distinct domains. Esc2 stimulates STR sumoylation through its C-terminal SLD2 domain binding to the backside of SUMO E2. A separate effect is mediated by the Esc2 mid-region (MR). Interestingly, though Esc2-MR binds HJ DNA, its stimulation of Sgs1 sumoylation is separable from this DNA binding activity, suggesting a dual role of the Esc2-MR domain. Consistent with the in vitro data, cellular results provided evidence that Sgs1 function and sumoylation are positively affected by the two Esc2 domains. In summary, our finding defined multiple stimulatory elements that render efficient Sgs1 sumoylation in promoting its functions, thus advancing our understanding of how sumoylation regulates DNA repair and genome maintenance.
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    Motivators for Nurse Educators to Persist in their Profession: A Phenomenological Study
    (2023-04) Tufano, Virginia; Summers, Emily; Summers, Emily
    The nurse faculty shortage has impacted the nursing workforce that is available to fulfill societal healthcare needs. Studies reveal that many qualified nursing school candidates are turned away each year due to faculty shortages. Nursing academia has an increasing challenge of recruiting and retaining nurse educators. Reasons for leaving academia are well-documented. Understanding which factors motivate nurse educators to remain in the teaching profession can improve strategies for retention. The aim of this phenomenological qualitative study was to explore nurse educators’ motivating factors that influence their decision to remain in academia. Understanding nurse educators’ motivators to remain in academia may assist in promoting nursing education climates and practices that are shown to retain these educators within the field.
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    L3CatTXST: NIH Long COVID Computational Challenge (L3C) Results
    (2023-04) Tesic, Jelena; Musal, Rasim
    National COVID Cohort Collaborative L3C challenge: Determine if the patient who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in an outpatient hospital setting (ICU or non-ICU) developing PASC/Long COVID. The N3C's data consists of existing patient records at 94 participating institutions. The data itself can only be accessed through a secure cloud portal hosted by NCATS known as the Enclave With collaborative efforts it consists of: 20 billion rows, 1,757.1 million clinical observations, 16.4 million patients, and 6,438,192 SARS-CoV cases. Under the university's DUR we have access to Level 2 data.
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    Intergenerational Befriending: An Antidote to Social Isolation of Older Adults
    (2023-04) Sen, Keya; Laheji, Nida; Ramamonjiarivelo, Zo; Osborne, Randall E.; Renick, Oren
    Older adults account for 16.9% of the population, by 2060, nearly 1 in every 4 U.S. residents will be over 65 years. The surge of aging population has increased the problem of social isolation leading to enhanced feelings of boredom and loneliness. The research aims to explore the effectiveness of the friendly visitations/befriending approach on older adults through undergraduate service-learning classes at TXST.
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    How to Develop a Network of Enthusiastic Research Participants: The Great Resilience in Texas (GRIT) Awards
    (2023-04) Schneider, Jessica; Daspit, Joshua J.
    Background: In 2022-2023, the Translational Health Research Center (THRC) launched the Great Resilience in Texas (GRIT) Awards in partnership with TXST’s SCALEUP and Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The awards were conceived as a mechanism to identify research participants for THRC Faculty Fellow and SCALEUP Director, Dr. Josh Daspit, to use when surveying small businesses across the state as part of the SCALEUP program. Purpose: THRC is a research center focused on community health and economic resilience. The GRIT Awards have 3 primary objectives. 1. Build a network of small businesses that can be accessed for research purposes. All nominees were given the option to opt in for future studies and dissemination efforts. 2. Position TXST as a “hub” for resilience and related resources to support small businesses and foster economic resilience. 3. Highlight the great work being done by small businesses throughout Texas and learn from their experiences.
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    Type of Medication Therapy for ADHD and Stimulant Misuse during Adolescence
    (2023-04) Schepis, Ty S.; Werner, Kennedy; Figueroa, Olivia; McCabe, Vita V.; Schulenberg, John; Veliz, Philip T.; Wilens, Timothy E.; McCabe, Sean Esteban
    Adolescent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis rates increased from 18% to 33% in the USA from 1999 to 2016. Fairman et al. found a 15.6% increase in stimulant prescribing to youth from 2008/09 to 2012/13, and nonstimulant prescribing is 10-15% of all therapy. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with higher substance use rates, including prescription stimulant misuse (PSM), cocaine use, and methamphetamine use. Stimulant and non-stimulant pharmacotherapy improve adolescent ADHD, but their associations with PSM, cocaine, and methamphetamine use are unclear. Using 2005–2020 US Monitoring the Future (MTF) data, we investigated relationships between ADHD pharmacotherapy history and PSM, cocaine, or methamphetamine use.
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    Access to Radiation Therapy in Costa Rica
    (2023-04) Sawyer, Katherine
    No abstract prepared.
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    Disentangling Prompt-, Day-, and Participant-Level Risk for Suicidal Behaviors Using Ecological Momentary Assessment
    (2023-04) Rogers, Megan
    Intensive longitudinal designs—like ecological momentary assessment (EMA)—have been increasingly leveraged to examine and understand short-term risk factors for suicidal ideation and intent. Less understood are the underlying factors and temporal patterns that may increase short-term risk for suicidal behaviors (i.e., suicide plans, preparations, and attempts) Risk factors for suicidal behaviors differ from risk factors for suicidal ideation,2 necessitating examination of factors that facilitate a transition from suicidal thoughts to actions,3 especially over the course of hours to days. The aim of the present study was to examine commonly cited transdiagnostic risk factors and warning signs as predictors of momentary engagement in suicidal behaviors.
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    The Gamification of Effective Patient Communication
    (2023-04) Rodrigues, Nathan A.; Dallas, Chelsea; Henry, Nicholas R.; Hudgins, Abbey; Ari, Arzu
    No abstract prepared.
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    Assessing the Effectiveness of a Virtual Intergenerational Service-Learning Project on Students' Ageism Attitude Towards Seniors and on Seniors' Social Competence
    (2023-04) Ramamonjiarivelo, Zo; Osborne, Randall E.; Renick, Oren; Sen, Keya; Pacheco, Gerardo J.; Lee, Kimberly
    No abstract prepared.
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    Political Party Collective Norms, Perceived Norms, and Mask Wearing Behavior: A Test of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior
    (2023-04) Pokharel, Manusheela; Lillie, Helen; Jensen, Jakob D.; King, Andy J.; King, Andy J.; Ratcliff, Chelsea; Barbour, Joshua B.
    The theory of normative social behavior (TNSB; Rimal, 2008) postulates that people are influenced by others’ behaviors, which they glean from messages and experience. Recently, the TNSB was expanded to include collective norms, which represent what people actually do, rather than just behavioral perceptions (Rimal & Yilma, 2021). Testing this expanded theoretical model, the current study examines two types of collective norms—collective political norms and collective regional norms—as moderators of the relationship between descriptive norms and expectation related to pandemic mask wearing behavior among U.S. adults.
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    Characterization of Supra-Concentrate of Human Bone Marrow Stem Cells for the Treatment of Spine and Musculoskeletal Disorders
    (2023-04) Pedrozo, Hugo; Dumitrescu, Mihnea
    The use of autogenous stem cells is one of the pillars of regenerative medicine. The past one and a half decades have witnessed the discovery and characterization of a new type of adult stem cells named Very Small Embryonic-like stem (VSEL) cells. These cells exhibit pluripotency, they are localized in many tissues, including bone marrow and mobilized peripheral blood, which makes them easily accessible to the clinician. However, there are two major impediments to implementing their use in a clinical setting. First, current protocols that use blood or marrow as the source of therapeutic concentrates, such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) or bone marrow concentrate (BMAC), respectively, have not been characterized in terms of human VSEL (hVSEL) cell content. And second, there are no protocols to produce a concentrate of autologous hVSEL cells that can be implemented and in a clinical setting. STUDY OBJECTIVES 1. To characterize the current centrifugation method used in most clinics for nucleated cell concentration in terms of hVSEL cells yield, and 2. To develop a method for the enrichment of hVSEL cells derived from human bone marrow that is amenable to full implementation in a clinical setting.
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    Learn, Do, Teach: Developing Nursing Students’ Population Health Core Competencies Through Interprofessional Health Education
    (2023-04) Patel, Stephanie; Tufano, Virginia; Hughes, Monica
    The purpose of the study was to determine if nursing students develop and improve competencies in population health principles through preparing, conduction and evaluating health teaching for community health workers (CHW).
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    Chagas Disease as a Disease of Operational Military Significance: Lack of Essential Policies Present a Clear and Present Danger to Service Members
    (2023-04) Pacheco, Gerardo J.; Betancourt, Jose; Eoff, Abby; Stigler Granados, Paula
    No abstract prepared.
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    International Service-Learning Experiences Improve Student Physical Therapists’ Cultural Competence: A Three-Year Study
    (2023-04) Okere, Suzanna; Spivey, Steve; Rodriguez, Damian; Stickley, Lois
    One of the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) strategies to decrease health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities is to improve physical therapists’ cultural competence. The current literature does not clearly demonstrate that international service-learning experiences improve student physical therapists’ cultural competence. The purpose of this study was to document the effects of a ten-day international didactic/clinical service-learning experience in Costa Rica on physical therapist (PT) students’ cultural competence.
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    Student Physical Therapists' Self-Efficacy Increases Over a Three-Year Entry Level Program
    (2023-04) Okere, Suzanna; Stickley, Lois; Branum, Haley; Jones, Amanda; Martini, Elisabeth; Stack, Kayley
    Self-efficacy is a person’s belief about their capability to perform at a certain level for a specific task within a given context. Self-efficacy uses an internal reference of belief about capability rather than an external criterion such as a grade on an exam. The purpose of this study was to document the changes in self-efficacy of student physical therapists over the course of a three-year professional physical therapy program.