American Society of Radiologic Technologists Foundation Awards $10,000 for Research Grant

Jan. 31, 2024
Jacob A. Manning

The ASRT Foundation has awarded a $10,000 research grant to Jacob A. Manning, R.T.(R)(T), of the University of South Alabama. Manning and his team of co-investigators will use the funds to evaluate patient immobilization masks for bacteria that cause health care-associated infections.

According to Manning, patients receiving radiation therapy for treatment for head and neck cancers have weakened immune systems. This condition makes them vulnerable to infections resulting from the use of contaminated medical devices, including immobilization masks worn by patients receiving radiation therapy. Each patient wears their form-fitted thermoplastic mask repeatedly during a treatment period of four to six weeks.

Little information exists about infectious pathogens associated with thermoplastic materials used to construct masks. Manning’s investigation has three main objectives. The team will determine if patient masks are contaminated with Clostridioides difficile; they will also identify types of bacteria recovered from patient masks and how the types of bacteria change over time. The team will sample patient masks during nine, four-week sampling periods.

Manning is the radiation therapy program director in the department of radiologic sciences at the University of South Alabama. He has been an educator for more than a decade and holds a master’s degree in radiologic sciences from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Before he became an instructor, Manning was a staff therapist at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, Florida. His professional interests include textbook review and language learning. In August 2022, while completing postgraduate coursework in Spanish for health care professionals, he volunteered at a clinic in the City of Cusco, Peru.

The ASRT Foundation’s Research Grant provides up to $25,000 to support experienced researchers with projects related to improving the quality and safety of patient care.

“This grant from the ASRT Foundation is a key element that will allow us access to the equipment and expertise needed to conduct our research. Our team is excited to begin, and we are grateful for the opportunity that the grant provides to us,” said Manning.