Regents Innovation Grant supports projects to improve health monitoring, weight-management program

South Dakota Board of Regents’ Research and Development Innovation Grant Program is supporting five new South Dakota State University projects with a grant of $189,546. The SDSU projects support a collaboration with Sanford Health to address key objectives of the health system’s Profile by Sanford weight-management program.

The Board of Regents funding will be combined with $250,000 from the Sanford Health-SDSU Collaborative Seed Grant Program. This is the second year that SDSU and Sanford Health have funded projects that link SDSU researchers with Sanford scientists.

Associate professor Qi Hua Fan, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and professor Xiuqing Wang, Department of Biology and Microbiology, will use photonic crystal biosensors, a new technology, to give diabetics a tool to more accurately measure blood glucose levels.

Associate professor Xijin Ge, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will do statistical modeling of the weight-loss process aimed at individualized interventions. He will work with Sanford Research senior scientist Paul A. Thompson and SDSU assistant professors Yunpeng Pan and Gary Hatfield and professor and department head Kurt Cogswell.

Three projects will focus specifically on improving facets of the Profile program.

Professor Omathanu Perumal, head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, will examine using polyphenols, antioxidants found in tea and other plants and fruit, to fortify the Profile meal-plan formulation. As a nutritional supplement, polyphenols have poor stability and absorption, according to Perumal. Through this project, he will determine whether he can overcome these limitations by encapsulating the antioxidant using natural-food grade material and testing the efficacy in mice. Professor Igor Sergeev,  Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, will also work on the project.

Assistant professor Joy Scaria, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, will examine fortifying the Profile system with healthy bacteria or yeast known as probiotics to improve gut health. Scaria will collaborate with Sanford Research associate scientist Alexei Savinov, an immunologist and cellular biologist.

Professor Emeritus David Francis,  Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, and professor Radhey Kaushik, assistant head of the Department of Biology and Microbiology, will also work on the project.

Associate professor Qiquan Qiao, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will work with professor Huitian Lu, Department of Construction and Operations Management, to develop wearable devices that will track parameters such as activity levels, heart rate and blood pressure, as part of the Profile program.

Leave a Reply