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Ted Wagener Receives 2017 Provost’s Research Award for Junior Faculty Member

Ted Wagener, PhD received the 2017 Provost’s Research Award for a Junior Faculty Member at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Spring Faculty Meeting. Wagener serves as the associate director of training at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center and holds an appointment as an assistant professor of pediatrics in the OU College of Medicine.

The Provost’s Research Award recognizes research of outstanding merit, and only two awards are given each year at the OU Health Sciences Center, respectively to a senior and junior faculty member. A significant personal achievement of original research is the key criteria for award consideration.

This past year, Wagener received a 5-year, $3 million R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the impact of e-cigarette usage on smoking rates. His research assesses the efficacy of different types of e-cigarettes in helping smokers switch from cigarettes to vaping products and the impact switching has on smokers’ exposure to harmful carcinogens and cancer risk. Wagener also received a 2-year, $200,000 R03 grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Federal Drug Administration examining how flavors and sweeteners in hookah tobacco influence use and hookah smoker’s exposure to addictive nicotine and carbon monoxide.

Historically, the e-cigarette and hookah tobacco market has been unregulated, and Wagener’s research will provide improved understanding to better inform the Food and Drug Administration as it considers any product-specific regulations.

Wagener is an Oklahoma TSET Research Scholar, and a grant from TSET has funded Wagener’s research into the evolving field of e-cigarettes and hookah. These pilot studies ultimately allowed Wagener to gather the necessary data to apply for both grants.