Skip to main content

Mayo Clinic-ASU seed grant program funds new research projects

ASU Mayo seed grants
December 01, 2016

From seeking answers to heart failure in the gut to digital storytelling for caregivers, pushing the frontiers of medical research can have a profound impact on treatment and prevention. But getting funding for novel research ideas can be challenging. Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic are addressing this challenge.

For 13 years the Mayo-ASU seed grant program has funded — or seeded — promising new research collaborations between ASU and Mayo Clinic researchers aimed at improving patient care. A seed grant is like startup funding for research — the intent is to launch novel research on a small scale to attract the funding needed for a larger study.

“Research drives everything we do for patients. We are pleased to be able to continue the long-standing tradition of these seed grant awards so Mayo Clinic and ASU researchers and physician-scientists can work side by side to transform scientific discoveries into breakthrough therapies and critical advances in patient care,” said Hugo Vargas, MD, medical director of Mayo Clinic’s Office of Clinical Research in Arizona.

Two years ago, Visar Berisha was a seed grant recipient for his work related to speech changes and migraine onset. The grant enabled Berisha, an assistant professor in ASU’s School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, to lay the foundation for his research and apply for additional funding. This year he and collaborator Todd Schwedt, MD, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, are recipients of a $100,000 competitive research acceleration grant from the Mayo Clinic’s Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery to develop a mobile application to predict migraine onset using speech patterns.

This year, eight research teams have been selected for funding in the 2017 Mayo-ASU seed grant program. The projects will draw on the strengths of each institution.

“This year’s Mayo-ASU Seed awardees represent some of the strongest collaborative work being done by the most promising teams across the two institutions,” said Cheryl Conrad, assistant vice president of research development at ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development. “We are pleased to support their efforts as they work to mature their ideas and expand the depth and breadth of research activities in Arizona.”

ASU and Mayo Clinic have recently announced a new partnership building on more than a decade of collaboration, which includes the seed grant program. The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University Alliance for Health Care creates a comprehensive new model for health care education and research with the goal to innovate health care delivery to improve patient care, accelerate cutting-edge research discoveries, and transform medical education. As part of the alliance, ASU’s new Health Solutions Innovation Center will break ground next year and will be located next to Mayo Clinic in northeast Phoenix

The 2017 seed grant projects and lead investigators are as follows:

  • “Coping with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and psychosocial distress: development of digital storytelling intervention for caregivers.” Wonsun (Sunny) Kim, PhD, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, ASU; Nandita Khera, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Diet, vascular health and the gut microbiome in heart failure.” Glenn Gaesser, PhD, College of Health Solutions, ASU; Farouk Mookadam, MD, Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Evolution of X-inactivation in breast cancers.” Melissa Wilson Sayres, PhD, School of Life Sciences, ASU; Michael Barrett, PhD, Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Functional characterization of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors on T cell function.” Douglas Lake, PhD, School of Life Sciences, ASU; Thai Ho, MD, PhD, Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Imaging of functional distinct eosinophil subtypes within lung biopsies.” Jia Guo, PhD, School of Molecular Sciences, ASU; Nancy Lee, PhD, Biochemistry, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Rotator cuff tears in older adults: assessment of upper limb function and the underlying movement strategies.” Meghan Vidt, PhD, College of Health Solutions, ASU; Bryan Ganter, MD, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Sex-specific profiles of white matter repair following concussion: A longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study in young athletes.” Jing Li, PhD, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, ASU; Catherine Chong, PhD, Neurology, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Subclonal composition: prognostic role in acute myeloid leukemia patients with minimal residual disease.” Li Liu, MD, College of Health Solutions, ASU; Yan Asmann, PhD, Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic.

Learn more about past seed grant recipients and about the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University  Alliance for Health Care. If you are an ASU researcher, sign up to receive notifications about funding opportunities.

More Health and medicine


Woman wearing a maroon cap and gown in an audience of similarly dressed people, smiling next to another woman.

Faculty mentor guides 3-time ASU alum to career in health law

Though she began her academic career at Arizona State University with designs of becoming a doctor, the relationship Mary Saxon…

June 07, 2024
Students in a classroom building air filters.

New research: DIY air filters work better than commercial HEPA filters for fraction of cost

We spend about 90% of our time indoors, breathing in air that can contain particulate matter like dust, wildfire smoke, volatile…

June 07, 2024
Doctor listening to a woman's heartbeat with a stethoscope.

$5M grant to allow ASU to help train medical professionals in areas of critical need

The College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University has been awarded a $5 million grant from the Department of Health and…

May 31, 2024