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Recent Submissions

  • Time Cost of Standard Nursing Screens

    Migdal, Victoria; Harper, Katie; Haqqani, Nazish; Janiak, Bruce; Department of Emergency Medicine
    Purpose: To determine the time to obtain answers to five-preselected ED nursing triage/assessment questions and convert this time to the monetary cost to the emergency department. Methods: A prospective observational study of ED Registered Nurses performing triage assessments on 200 adults presenting to the ED for medical care. During the triage assessment, the nurse was timed by one of the study authors while the RN asked five pre-selected questions included in their current triage protocol. The time cost of each question was determined by multiplying the time spent asking the question each year by the average hourly wage of our ED RNs. (T x V x S)/3600; where T= average time per question (in seconds), V=annual patient volume, S=average hourly RN wage Results: A total of 200 triage assessments were observed. During these assessments, 130 patients were asked about pneumococcal vaccine status, 161 asked about tetanus vaccine status, 184 asked about medication allergies, 172 about influenza vaccine, and 73 about recent travel. The average time spent per question ranged from 4.4-6.3 seconds. The estimated annual time used to ask these 5 questions in the AUMC ED is 633.98 hrs, which equates to $22189.3 in nursing costs per year. Conclusions: This is a cursory look at the potential monetary and time costs of standardized screening questions in the ED. These values directly affect time and cost efficiency in the ED process and could potentially be redirected to more pertinent patient care. The required screening questions are often unrelated to the patient’s chief complaint and have no impact on the medical management in the ED. Further studies are needed to determine cost effectiveness of required ED screenings.
  • Data Storage, Access, & Security

    Smith, James; School of Computer and Cyber Sciences
  • Opioid Crisis Trends in Georgia: Using Data Management Systems to Better Inform Public Policy

    Sheikh, Nafiz; Tauhidul, Liniya; Medical College of Georgia
    Introduction: The nationwide opioid epidemic is arguably the most consequential public health crisis of the new millennium. Unfortunately, a dearth of medical literature exists analyzing the scope of the epidemic in Georgia. This presentation will investigate trends in fatal opioid overdoses in Georgia using a robust healthcare data management system: Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) WONDER. Methods: Using CDC WONDER, a cohort of all fatal opioid overdoses in Georgia from 1999 – 2017 was obtained (N=10,070). The group was then stratified by race, sex, age group, and overdosed opioid type. Time series analyses were used to determine trends, two-sided Chi-square tests with statistical significance set to p<0.05 used to compare opioid mortality proportions from different years and mortalities between age groups. Lastly findings were correlated to geography to ascertain if urbanization correlated to opioid mortality. Results: Approximately 1056 fatal opioid overdoses occurred in 2017, up 192% from 550 deaths in 2010. Fatal overdoses from heroin and synthetic accounted for only 2% and 17% of total deaths in 2010 but magnified to 20% and 32% by 2017 (p<0.05). Beginning 2013, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl together drove Georgia opioid mortality sharply higher. Among different age groups, Georgians aged 25-34yrs experienced the highest mortalities compared to other females within the same age group (p<0.05) and to males and female in the 35-44yrs and 45-54yrs groups (p<0.05). Correlating fatalities to geography found urban areas in Atlanta, Augusta, and Columbus to have the highest mortality rates. Conclusion: Georgians have experienced an unprecedented surge in mortality from opioid-related overdoses in recent years. With robust healthcare data management systems, however, new research endeavors are poised to generate more thorough epidemiological reports that will better inform local and state health policy.
  • Georgia Cancer Center Integrated Genomics Resource & HPC Server

    Chang, Chang-Shen (Sam); Georgia Cancer Center
    Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University is home to a High Performance Computing (HPC) Server. One goal of the HPC server is to host the new Biorepository software, LabVantage. This software is a web-based laboratory information management system, which tracks samples throughout their lifespan. All specimens that the Georgia Cancer Center Biorepository receives is entered into LabVantage, which generates a unique barcode number for each sample. Chain of custody is recorded throughout the sample’s lifespan, from inception to eventual withdrawal. LabVantage organizes data such as patient demographics, diagnosis, organ site, and linked pathology reports. 
LabVantage is compliant with all regulations relevant to patient privacy and satisfies all regulations set forth by The College of American Pathologists (CAP). All Biorepository personnel are trained to maintain confidentiality of patient information according to HIPAA regulations. The HPC Server is also used for the analysis of complex data including Next-Generation Sequencing data (NGS). It is currently used to perform data analysis on datasets such as those obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The analyses that used to take several weeks can now be performed in a matter of days. Georgia Cancer Center HPC Server is composed of 544 total compute cores and an aggregated memory of 2.9TB. The system is composed of (15) PowerEdge R430 1U systems (128 GB RAM each), (1) PowerEdge R830 (1024 GB RAM) and a high-speed 10GbE interconnect for intra-node communication. The HPCC also houses 633 TB RAW storage capacity. We will also be integrating existing Cancer Center servers including our Illumina Compute system that collects data directly from the Sequencer housed in the Georgia Cancer Center Integrated Genomics Shared Resource and the existing Bioinformatics HPC (see configuration diagram below). Access to the server is available to all Augusta University employees. There is a nominal fee associated with usage and users are required to undergo training.
  • Organizing, Describing, and Sharing Research Data: A Handout

    Marshall, Brianna; UCR Library, University of California, Riverside
  • Organizing, Describing, and Sharing Research Data

    Marshall, Brianna; UCR Library, University of California, Riverside
  • Data Repositories for Research Reproducibility: A Handout

    Davies, Kathy; Putnam Davis, Jennifer; University Libraries
  • Data Repositories For Research Reproducibility

    Davies, Kathy; Putnam Davis, Jennifer; University Libraries
  • Non-invasive Biomarkers to Detect Acute Kidney Injury in Premature Infants

    Marin, Terri; Williams, Bryan; Bhatia, Jatinda; Sharma, Ashok; Mundy, Cynthia; Cockfield, Christy; College of Nursing; Department of Pediatrics: Neonatology; Department of Population Health Science; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; et al.
  • SF12v2 Health Scores for African Americans in a Cluster-randomized Community Trial

    Joshua, Thomas V.; Gavin, Jane T.; Marion, Lucy; Williams, Lovoria B.; College of Nursing

    Goodson Rubio, Holly; Institutional Effectiveness
  • Trends in Research Data Management

    Nurnberger, Amy; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • AU IT Data Management Services and Challenges

    Buenger, Anthony; Information Technology at Augusta University
  • Effects of Withholding Cell Phones on Students' Autonomic Arousal, State Anxiety, and Test Scores

    Recinos, Manderley; Streets, Hannah; Gaffney, Jasmine; Department of Psychological Sciences; Johnson, Michelle; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Approximately 85% of Americans aged 18-29 have smartphones. Many people report that they get agitated when their phones are not immediately accessible.1,2Researchers studying the links between phone use and academic performance have focused on their disruptive nature (e.g., texting). No research has examined the effects of withholding phones during testing on test performance. The objective of this study was to assess whether withholding phones during testing affected students state anxiety, skin conductance (SC), and test scores. State anxiety is situationally determined, transitory, and associated with autonomic nervous system activation. SC (sweat gland secretions) is an index of sympathetic nervous system activation. We expected higher levels of self-reported state anxiety, higher levels of SC, and lower test performance among students who had their phones withheld compared with students who kept their phones. Eighty-six students participated. There were three conditions: phones withheld but kept in the same room as testing condition (n= 31), phones withheld but sequestered in a different room (n= 28), and control where students were not separated from their phones (n= 27). One-way MANOVA revealed no differences between the groups in state anxiety, SC or test scores. Data did reveal interesting trends we would like to discuss.

    Sood, Nitish; Mehra, Mehul; Department of Biological Sciences; University of California Berkeley; Bates, Christopher; Mittal, Anav; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Phylogenetic tree construction can be a particularly challenging and time-intensive process. This study employs a novel computational approach to phylogenetic tree construction, using the Alu repeating element, a SINE. Repetitive elements including Short and Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (SINEs/LINEs) have successfully been applied as accurate tools for phylogenetic analysis, as they are predominately unidirectional and homoplasy-free. However, previous analysis of phylogenetic relationships using these repeating elements has been limited to a small number of isolated repeats among relatively few organisms. As a highly repetitive sequence, the Alu element and its associated subfamilies can provide detailed analysis on evolutionary divergence among species in the Order Primates. This study identified shared sequences as Alu repeating elements that were conserved in both location and base-pair sequence between the primate genomes of interest. These shared sequences, derived from the Genome Library at the University of California San Diego, were analyzed to construct individual phylogenetic trees for each of the 49 Alu subfamilies. As this method solely requires the sequence analysis of available primate genomes, this serves as a cheaper and more time-efficient approach to phylogenetic tree construction for the Order Primates relative to biochemical and anatomical analysis.

    Hassan, Nazeera; Zarzour, Abdalrahman; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Medicine; College of Allied Health Sciences; Kim, Ha Won; Weintraub, Neal; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Our group has previously identified histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) as a regulator of adipocyte differentiation, and its expression levels were elevated in diet induced obese (DIO) mice.� We also reported that global HDAC9 deletion protected mice against DIO through promoting beige adipogenesis. Here, we hypothesized that adipose HDAC9 correlate with human obesity similar to murine models, and its deletion is sufficient to protect against DIO. To test this hypothesis we crossed HDAC9 floxed mice with adiponectin-cre mice to generate adipose-specific HDAC9 knockout mice (AdipCre-HDAC9), which exhibited 30% less weight gain when fed high fat diet compared to control despite increased food intake, in association with increased energy combustion & O2 consumption, improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. However, unlike global HDAC9 deletion, this was not associated with increased beige adipogenesis nor increase in brown adipose tissue function. Interestingly, AdipoCre-HDAC9 mice fed normal chow diet didn�t exhibit altered energy expenditure nor weight differences when compared to littermate controls. These finding suggest that adipose HDAC9 regulate energy expenditure in response to high fat diet and can be a promising therapeutic target to combat obesity.

    Thakkar, Parth; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Oral Biology; Teng, Yong; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    More than 90% of head and neck cancer is head and neck squamous cell carcinoma1 (HNSCC). Currently, the treatment involves modern surgery, conventional chemotherapy, and radiation. However, targeting, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been shown to prove advantageous for patient survival. EGFR activation leads to cell cycle progression. Blocking the EGFR by an antibody results in the inhibition of the receptor, therefore inhibition of cell proliferation. This makes EGFR a prime target for anticancer therapy, specifically with tyrosine kinase inhibitors being looked at as a possible form of inhibition. The goal of this project was to hopefully use small molecule inhibitor EXO2 and an EGFR specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor, Erlotinib, in a synergistic manner to fight against HNSCC. This study was done using cell cultures, MTT assay�s and western blot techniques, with cell cultures being done using the H6 cell line. The results from this study were found to be a preliminary success and will pave the way for future experiments in this area.

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