ASU faculty chosen for prestigious Mayo Clinic summer residency

By

Penny Walker

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.

“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.