UNC Investigators receive 3.5 million dollar NIH grant to perform first ever prospective study of chronic pain development in African Americans

A multidisciplinary team of UNC investigators has received a 5-year grant to examine genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors contributing to chronic pain development in 1000 African Americans who present to the emergency department for care after motor vehicle collision. Dr. McLean, PI, is currently looking for graduate students, fellows, or faculty interested in developing an application to be funded via a two-year NIH Diversity Supplement to assist with the research work of this grant.

UNC Investigators receive 3.5 million dollar NIH grant to perform first ever prospective study of chronic pain development in African Americans
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Dr. Sam McLean

Car accidents are one of the most common forms of life-threatening trauma experienced by Americans. Evidence suggests that African Americans may experience increased rates of chronic pain development after traumatic events such as motor vehicle collision. However, the mechanisms responsible for this apparent increase in risk are not known. A multidisciplinary team of UNC investigators has received a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to examine genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors contributing to chronic pain development in 1000 African Americans who present to the emergency department for care after motor vehicle collision. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Samuel McLean, Vice Chair, Research, Department of Anesthesiology and Attending Physician, UNC Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. McLean's current ongoing NIH grant, R01 AR056328, examines genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing chronic pain development in European Americans experiencing motor vehicle collision, and will allow additional analyses examining ethnic differences in chronic pain development.

In addition to Dr. McLean, UNC investigators on the collaborative study team include Dr. Kenneth Bollen, Henry Rudolph Immerwahr Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, Dr. Luda Diatchenko, Associate Professor, UNC School of Dentistry, and Dr. Gary Slade, John W. Stamm Distinguished Professor of Dentistry, UNC School of Dentistry

NOTE: Dr. McLean is currently looking for graduate students, fellows, or faculty (see descriptions below) interested in developing an application to be funded via a 2 year NIH Diversity Supplement to assist with the research work of this grant. A minimum of 75% of the individual's time must be spent on research. A description of funding for this position is listed below. Interested individuals should email April Soward, Research Program Manager, UNC Department of Anesthesiology, at asoward@aims.unc.edu.

Post-Baccalaureate And Post-Master's Degree Students: The salary for students at the post-baccalaureate and post-master's degree levels should be reasonable and consistent with the institutional salary policies and cannot exceed the amount allowed for graduate students. Additional funds up to $3,000 per year may be requested for supplies and travel. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment.

Graduate Research Assistants: The NIH will provide salary support in addition to other necessary expenses, such as supplies and travel, to enable the individual to participate as a graduate research assistant in funded research project. The NIH will provide compensation that (1) conforms to the established, consistently applied salary and wage policies of the institution and (2) reflects the percentage of time devoted to the PHS-funded project. For graduate students this compensation may include tuition remission paid as, or in lieu of, wages provided that the student is in a bona fide employer-employee relationship with the institution for the work performed, and payment is made explicitly for performance of necessary work. The total amount requested for salary, tuition and fringe benefits can not exceed the amount allowable for a first year postdoctoral fellow at the same institution performing comparable work. Additional funds up to $4,000 per year may be requested for supplies and travel. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment.

Individuals In Postdoctoral Training: The NIH will provide support for salary in addition to other necessary expenses, such as travel and supplies, to enable the candidate to participate as a postdoctoral research assistant or associate on the funded research project. The requested salary and fringe benefits must be in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution, consistent with the level of effort, and may not exceed $50,000 per year. However, exceptions to this rule may be made. Applicants must check with their program administrators at the NIH before submitting an application. The supplement budget may include up to $6,000 for supplies and travel for the candidate. These funds may not be used to purchase equipment.

Investigators Developing Independent Research Careers: The requested salary and fringe benefits for an investigator should be consistent with the level of support provided by NIH Career Development Awards. When that is not appropriate, the requested salary and fringe benefits can be up to $85,000 total direct cost. This includes the candidate's salary of up to $75,000 per year plus fringe benefits, in accordance with the salary structure of the grantee institution, and must be consistent with the level of effort. Additional funds of up to $10,000 may be requested for supplies and travel. Equipment may not be purchased except in unusual circumstances and not without prior approval of the NIH awarding component. The maximum period of support for any investigator is usually two years. Applicants must contact the NIH staff listed under Inquiries prior to submission to obtain specific information about preparing and submitting an application.

Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2007, p. 262). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US Pacific Islands.

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