ASU, Mayo Clinic collaborate to advance medicine through joint research

By

Penny Walker

Arizona State University, in partnership with Mayo Clinic in Arizona, has announced the recipients of the 2016 ASU-Mayo Seed Grant Program. The program funds critical joint research projects in the health field led by scientists from both ASU and Mayo Clinic. The awardees this year are making innovative strides in the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart failure and infectious diseases, as well as advancing nanobody technology and health-care practices.

Sethuraman Panchanathan, ASU’s senior vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development said, “These grants are awarded to interdisciplinary researchers collaborating in a partnership of the utmost importance; they are making important and groundbreaking strides in the medical field which will benefit our community both locally and globally.”  

The intent of the seed-grant program is to give new research projects a kick-start and allow them to attract additional funding from external sources. The program has resulted in 71 successful collaborations since 2004, supporting interdisciplinary and translational joint research projects between Mayo Clinic Arizona and ASU. Teams receive $50,000 for a one-year project that must achieve clear milestones to be considered successful.

The collaborations draw from the major strengths of each organization — ASU's recognized leadership in research and its advanced programs in engineering, health-care delivery, and biotechnology, and Mayo's extensive clinical experience, medical education programs and its vertical integration of research spanning basic science, laboratory-based clinical investigation, clinical trials and population sciences.

2016 ASU-Mayo Seed Grant projects and principal investigators

Understanding the mechanisms that cause Alzheimer’s disease:
David Brafman, assistant professor, ASU School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering; Richard Caselli, Mayo Clinic professor of neurology, Consultant Department of Neurology

Improving rehabilitative medicine for heart failure patients:
Jared Dickinson, assistant professor, ASU School of Nutrition and Health Promotion's Exercise and Health Program; Farouk Mookadam, Mayo Clinic professor of medicine, Consultant Department of Cardiovascular Diseases

Developing monitoring methods to assess risk of infection using duodenoscopes:
Joshua LaBaer, director, Center for Personalized Diagnostics, ASU professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Biodesign Institute; Rahul Pannala, Mayo Clinic assistant professor, Consultant Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Improving the accuracy of breast cancer screening:
Teresa Wu, professor of industrial engineering, ASU School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems; Bhavika K. Patel, Mayo Clinic assistant professor of radiology, Division of Breast Imaging, Department of Radiology

Understanding synaptic dysfunction’s role in Parkinson’s disease:
Lih-Fen Lue, research professor, ASU Biodesign NDRC; John Caviness, Mayo Clinic professor of neurology, Consultant Department of Neurology

Developing a diamond junction device to improve monitoring of cancer therapy:
Robert Nemanich, professor, ASU Department of Physics; Martin Bues, Mayo Clinic assistant professor of radiation oncology, SAC – Radiation Oncology

Generating selective nanobodies that effect human A2A adenosine receptor (A2AAR) structure and function:
Wei Liu, assistant professor, ASU chemistry and biochemistry; James R. Thompson, Mayo Clinic assistant professor of biophysics, Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering

Transform US health-care delivery using behavioral economics:
Ellen Green, assistant professor, ASU College of Health Solutions; David Etzioni, Mayo Clinic associate professor of surgery, Department of Colon Rectal Surgery

Learn more about past seed grant recipients.

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