On Veterans Day, we recognize the sacrifice that our military men and women have made, including to their health. Fortunately, biomedical researchers across New York State are doing essential work to improve the health of our veterans.
Improving Diagnoses for Serious Lung Conditions
One Long Island researcher is responsible for coining the term Iraq Afghanistan War Lung Injury (IAW-LI) to describe the medley of respiratory symptoms affecting veterans returning from the wars in the Middle East. Dr. Anthony Szema, a professor at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and Stony Brook Medicine, has worked to improve diagnoses and treatment for serious lung conditions caused by open-air burn pits used to eliminate trash, as well as other environmental hazards encountered in combat zones.
Reducing Chronic Infections in Orthopedic Implants
A multidisciplinary team at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is developing a novel way to treat infections of orthopedic implants. These implants have a high risk of infection, and currently chronic infections require surgical replacement followed by intensive antibiotic treatment, which takes a toll on the patient’s health and has heavy price tag. But a novel decontamination strategy in development at UB uses electrical stimulation combined with antibiotics to control infection. Led by Mark Ehrensberger, PhD, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Kenneth A. Krackow, MD, Orthopaedic Research Lab, and Anthony Campagnari, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research and professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Medicine, the team was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to further develop the treatment.
Developing New Treatment for PTSD
And with PTSD affecting an estimated 20-35% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a significant number of combat veterans from other conflicts, one researcher in New York City is working to develop a new, more effective drug treatment that could make a real difference for veterans and their families, in addition to the general public. Dr. JoAnn Difede, Director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies and the Military Family Wellness Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, is currently recruiting patients for clinical trial of a new therapy for all types of PTSD.
Other research with real implications for veterans’ health care continues to happen at medical schools across the state. Supporting biomedical research is one way to support our veterans.