UB professors granted over $1 million to train next generation of researchers

Department of Health grants two awards through Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program

The New York State Department of Health granted two $575,000 research awards to UB’s Liise Kayler and Ekaterina Noyes through the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program.

DOH grants the awards to teaching hospitals to help fund residents’ research training. This is the second time DOH has granted ECRIP awards in Buffalo –– the first to Kaleida Health and ECMC in 2013. Kayler and Noyes will now select residents to train who will join their teams and receive hands-on experience as researchers. Those working with Kayler will research postoperative kidney transplant recipients and those working with Noyes will analyze connections between obesity and cancer.

Liise Kayler, MD
Liise Kayler, MD

Kayler’s project attempts to better the experience of kidney transplant recipients by providing a health animation to postoperative patients. This will provide patients with easy-to- follow, repeatable directions to help their new kidney last “as long as possible.”

“There’s so much to learn [after transplantation]. When people are fresh out of transplant, they’ve just had a surgery, they’re trying to recover. It’s not that easy to start this regimen,” Kayler said. “And there are other self-care behaviors that they have to do too. So it’s a lot and they are often overwhelmed.”

Noyes’ project includes postoperative patients as well, analyzing whether bariatric patients have a lower risk of cancer post weight loss.

Ekaterina Noyes, PhD, MPH
Ekaterina Noyes, PhD, MPH

Noyes said the ECRIP award is beneficial as it helps hospitals teach residents to find solutions which they can implement into patient care.

“That’s probably the most useful [aspect], that not only are we doing great research, we’re also training a new generation of researchers,” Noyes said. “This is a kind of research that directly benefits patients because everything we learn, we implement back into patient care. It’s not that some research is going to get published and nobody’s going to ever look at it. This is all very much applied work.”

Kayler said research training will also teach residents how to excel in their chosen field, whether it involves research or not.

“This provides [doctors] with the opportunity to spend dedicated time doing research. What I’ve seen of people who spend that much time [researching is that] it is transformative, it does change their careers,” Kayler said. “It gives them the fundamental skills to be able to follow their passion. … At the end of the day, it’s applying yourself step by step in the process of conducting research that is going to empower you to be able –– in the future –– to answer whatever questions you have.”

JACKLYN WALTERS – Health Journalist