ASU faculty chosen for prestigious Mayo Clinic summer residency

April 19, 2017

Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University Alliance for Health Care has chosen eight Alliance Fellows to be part of the inaugural Faculty in Residence program.

The six-week program is designed to facilitate long-term collaborations between faculty members and research teams at Mayo Clinic and ASU. This includes fellows involved in science, engineering, biomedical informatics, economics, information systems and biomechanics. Fellows will spend time working as part of a Mayo Clinic team at Mayo Clinic sites in Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; or Arizona. Mayo Clinic fellows The Alliance Fellows are (top row, from left) Visar Berisha, Wayne Frasch, Adela Grando; (middle row, from left) Ellen Green and Jing Li; (bottom row, from left) Jianming Liang, Asim Roy and Meghan Vidt. Download Full Image

“The Alliance Fellows represent a diverse array of research expertise,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and ASU university provost. “By representing multiple disciplines across the university in combination with Mayo Clinic, we will develop innovative new ways to improve health and more effectively treat patients.”  

The Alliance Fellows are:

• Visar Berisha, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, College of Health Solutions; School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
• Wayne Frasch, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
• Adela Grando, Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Health Solutions
• Ellen Green, School for the Science of Health Care Delivery, College of Health Solutions
• Jing Li, School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
• Jianming Liang, Department of Biomedical Informatics, College of Health Solutions
• Asim Roy, Department of Information Systems, W. P. Carey School of Business
• Meghan Vidt, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, College of Health Solutions

The eight Alliance Fellows were chosen based on the proposal they submitted, outlining a specific project and Mayo Clinic investigator or team they’d like to focus on.

“This program builds upon our education mission within the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery,” said Dr. Lois Krahn, deputy director for education in the center and Mayo Clinic’s medical director for the alliance with ASU. “We are continually seeking innovative ways to train the next generation of health care delivery researchers, while building the evidence base for improved health and care delivery.”

Assistant Professor Visar Berisha’s project will focus on speech analytics for early detection of migraine attacks, and characterizing speech and language changes resulting from repeated concussions.

“I'm honored to have been selected as an inaugural Alliance Fellow,” Berisha said. “I look forward to strengthening the collaboration between ASU and Mayo Clinic and extending our work on speech analytics to new clinical populations by working with my collaborators over the summer."

Professor Wayne Frasch will focus on the clinical application of telomere length calculations for early detection of premature colon lesions and colorectal cancer.

Assistant Professor Adela Grando will be using a C2S platform to deploy and evaluate a patient centered tool, MyChoice, to better educate patients on consent, and give choices on select information to share with providers.

“Through this collaboration, we can expand the boundaries of research and develop innovative solutions using medical technology to improve health care delivery," Grando said.

Professor Ellen Green’s project will use behavioral economics to increase comprehension and knowledge of the risks and benefits of living organ donation.

“By improving our understanding of behavioral economics’ role in living organ donation we can create new policy tools that leverage the nuances of human behavior to improve donation while ensuring ethical integrity,” said Green. 

With plans to use multi-contrast MRI based tumor density maps to guide surgical resection of glioblastoma and improve patient outcomes, Associate Professor Jing Li said, “I am looking forward to strengthening the collaboration and establish a program between ASU and Mayo with leading-edge research and education enrichment on the interface between data science, mathematical oncology, and quantitative imaging.”

Associate Professor Jianming Liang will work towards a comprehensive decision support environment in biomedical imaging for value-based health care delivery.

“I have established collaborations with Mayo Clinic across several departments, and I have always wished to spend a summer there for research collaboration. I am excited that the Faculty in Residence program makes it possible,” Liang said.

Professor Asim Roy’s project will use machine learning to personalize remote patient monitoring systems.

“We will be using machine learning to create individual patient profiles using sensor data from remote patient monitoring devices including wearable jackets,” Roy said. “As far as we know, this kind of work has not been done before. This would be a major step towards personalization of medicine in a different way.”

Assistant Professor Meghan Vidt will focus on the clinical assessment of rotator cuff tears in older adults.

“I am looking forward to working closely with my collaborators, Dr. Bryan Ganter and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic, on a research project that has the potential to make an impact on patients with musculoskeletal injury,” Vidt said. “This fellowship is an important first step in developing a strong and fruitful collaboration, and I am looking forward to this opportunity.”

In the fall, an event will be held to share findings and discuss future plans. 

FURI Symposium showcases ASU undergraduate researchers

April 19, 2017

One thing that people think of when they think about a university is research. Research is integral to the campus community at colleges, but is often thought of as being done by faculty members and their graduate students. The Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative, better known as FURI, is helping to add undergraduate students to that mental picture.

FURI provides undergraduate students in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University the unique opportunity to get hands-on experience with a research project under the mentorship under a faculty mentor for one to two semesters. Photo of female student talking with a man in front of a poster with a caption of "Sharing your research and ideas at the FURI Symposium are part of the experience for undergraduate researchers like Emily Ford (right). Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU Sharing research and ideas at the FURI Symposium are part of the experience for undergraduate researchers like Emily Ford (right). Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU. Download Full Image

“In the semesters that students are a part of FURI they grow and flourish beyond their research,” said Cortney Loui, coordinator of student engagement for the Fulton Schools. “Students develop their verbal and written communication skills by writing short summaries of their research, designing a research poster and presenting their research to faculty, staff, industry, family and friends.”

“Many alumni have reported that FURI helped them better shape their career path, pursue graduate school, obtain internships and jobs, build technical and soft skills, and helped them foster meaningful relationships with faculty,” Loui said. “It’s a great opportunity for go-getters to learn more about themselves all while trying to make the world a better place.”

Cultivating the next generation of research

The prospect of becoming a researcher doesn’t always occur to undergraduate students, making programs like FURI all the more important in cultivating a new generation of researchers.

“I didn't know that research was something I wanted to pursue, and I don't think many researchers knew that before they started,” said Adam Pak, a chemical engineering student participating in FURI this semester. “What I did know is that I wanted to make a positive impact on this world by discovering something that nobody knew before.”

“Students who receive FURI grants conduct some amazing research,” Pak said. "If employers are looking for the best of the best then they should visit our symposium."

Celebrate FURIous research at the Symposium

FURI’s benefits extend beyond just the students that participate; the semi-annual FURI Symposium is a great way to get a taste for research. Attendees are able to interact with the students and learn about their research experiences. They can also meet faculty members who mentored the students and learn about current ongoing research in the Fulton Schools. The Spring 2017 FURI Symposium will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 21 at the Sun Devil Fitness Center on ASU’s Tempe campus.

“By attending the FURI Symposium, you can learn about the vast array of research going on within the Fulton Schools,” Loui said.

If you attend the FURI Symposium, Loui has a few tips for you.

“Introduce yourself to others and talk with the student researchers,” Loui said. “Ask the student researchers for an introduction to their faculty mentors and take a FURI abstract book home with you so you can look over the research highlights on your own afterward.”

Conducting research as an undergraduate is a great way for students to get hands on experience in their fields and the FURI Symposium provides an excellent opportunity for students, faculty, staff, parents and members of the community to meet and actively engage with those students while learning about their research.

Erik Wirtanen

Web content comm administrator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering