Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 4R44AA013367-02
Agency Tracking Number: AA013367
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (919) 960-8118
Business Contact
Phone: (919) 960-8118
Research Institution
The expanding field of molecular genetics has quickly outpaced the knowledge of medical providers, due in part to the Human Genome Project. The genetics of brain illnesses are only beginning to be understood, nevertheless, providers treating patients with mental health, substance abuse and neurological disorders need to understand clearly what is and is not known about genetics and brain illnesses. It is likely that genetic aspects of schizophrenia, autism, mental retardation, bipolar disorder, among others, will be further identified in the near future, creating confusion and difficult choices for patients and families. Current and future providers must be prepared to explain and understand genetic susceptibility as it applies to a full range of illnesses. In Phase I, we will develop and evaluate an Internet-based CE program focusing on genetic issues related to alcoholism. We will also use the course the discuss upcoming technologies as well as issues related to discussing genetic risk with a patient. Phase II will produce 7 additional course on a variety of topic related to illnesses of the brain including Mixed Substance Abuse, Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia, Affective Disorders, Attention Deficit, Huntington's Disease, and Mental Retardation. For each course we will highlight: 1) how genetic knowledge may affect patients and be used in clinical practice; 2) communication of genetic knowledge with patients and families: preparing for patients' questions; 3) where relevant, ethical, legal and psychosocial issues related to genetic testing, and 4) understanding emerging technologies and findings in genetics. A multidisciplinary team including representatives from psychiatry, genetics, genetic counseling, and primary care will create the content. We will evaluate the courses' effect on knowledge, clinical skills and self-efficacy using simple randomized studies comparing subjects using the genetics course to subjects using an online CE course on another topic. If successful, the training will expand the capabilities of the existing pool of providers and improve the training of future providers regarding the role of genetics in illnesses of the brain. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Physicians are required to obtain CME credit to maintain licensure and privileges. Managed care organizations (MCOs), such as large HMOs, may be interested in purchasing access to CE that can be offered to participant professionals. Pharmaceutical companies may also want to support development of courses based on the model described in this application.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government