All posts by cmlehman

Associate Vice Presidents Selected for the Research Area

by Vice President for Research Office

Vice President for Research David Reed announced the selection of two associate vice presidents—Jason Carter, associate VP for Research Development and James Baker, associate VP for Research Administration. Both will begin serving in their new roles on July 1.

Carter will provide strategic leadership with a focus on the coordination and promotion of excellence in research. This includes the facilitation of developmental opportunities, the oversight of academic/virtual centers and core facilities, and activities related to the translation of research discoveries into application.

Baker will also provide strategic leadership and direction, however, he will focus on the planning, implementing, improving and evaluating of the VPR administrative sponsored programs and sponsored accounting, industry contracting and the technology commercialization units while promoting operational improvements.

According to Reed, these two positions will help the overall unit strategize the best ways to efficiently handle the administrative needs of a growing research institution. The realignment in services will help to improve the coordination of activities across divisions and serve the researchers in a stronger capacity as the campus community works to achieve future institutional research goals.


2018 Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship Recipients

 Twelve students have been awarded the Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship.  The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health education. This year’s recipients have an average GPA of 3.87 and represent the breadth of health-related research happening on Michigan Tech’s campus.

The $8,000 scholarships went to:

  •    Bailey Poyhonen, Dollar Bay, medical laboratory science
  •    Brennah Wasie, Hancock, biochemistry and molecular biology
  •    Laura Lyons, Lake Linden, biomedical engineering
  •    Sarah Dix, L’Anse, exercise science

Receiving $1,000 scholarships were:

  •    Kierstyn Codere, Lake Linden, biological sciences
  •    Grace Liu, Houghton mechanical engineering
  •    Mara Hackman, Houghton, medical laboratory science.
  •    Jaden Janke, Dollar Bay, biological sciences
  •    Ally Fenton, Hancock, biomedical engineering
  •    Jada Markham, Houghton, exercise science
  •    Kellan Heikkila, Chassell, biomedical engineering
  •    Dawson Kero, Hancock, biological sciences

“The merit-based awards reflect the high caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional teachers, HOSA high school advisers, and Michigan Tech faculty and students who do outreach in the schools,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech.

At a dinner for finalists, the scholarship recipients had a chance to talk one-on-one with Michigan Tech researchers. Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics faculty Ye Sarah Sun shared with students how she develops new interfaces for heart monitoring that are reliable and won’t disturb a patient’s life at home, while driving or at work.

Biomedical engineer and health care entrepreneur, Megan Frost, shared  how she is working to improve wound care with a product designed to prevent infection and reduce the need for some post-acute care.

Scholarship recipients also heard from current students, Adison Cook, a 2016 Making a Difference scholar; Stephanie Bean and Maddie Morley, both PHF Undergraduate Research Interns; and Kelsey Saladin, a Portage Health Foundation and Randy Owsley Memorial Athletic trainer scholar.

“The Portage Health Foundation has also been very generous in granting need-based scholarships to students enrolling at Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, Gogebic College, Northern Michigan University, and Michigan State University in health-related degree programs,” says Joe Cooper, Director of Financial Aid at Michigan Tech, “These scholarships make a significant financial impact for students in our own local communities.  Thanks to the Portage Health Foundation, students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties have extra support so they can attend college and focus on health related careers.”

Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship applications will open in the fall for incoming high school seniors and transfer students applying to Michigan Tech for fall 2019.  Questions about the scholarshipcan be directed to Rachel Connors, assistant director of admissions, 7-1880.


KIP Students and Faculty Receive Michigan Space Grant Consortium Awards

Ian GreenlundGraduate students Ian Greenlund (Bio Sci/KIP) and Kevin Phillips (KIP) along with KIP faculty member Steven Elmer were among the 2018-19 recipients of the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Awards.  Greenlund and Phillips each received $5,000 research fellowships while Elmer received a $5,000 pre-college education grant.

Ian will work with Jason Carter on his project entitled, “Sleep in Space: Sleep Restriction, Neurovascular Control, and Orthostatic Intolerance.”  This project aims to compare nervous and cardiovascular responses between chronically sleep restricted individuals (most college students) and normal sleep individuals.  This will provide potential insight to how proper sleep may impact orthostatic challenges like standing, which is a problem for astronauts post-spaceflight.

Phillips
Kevin’s project entitled, “Cold Water Therapy as a Recovery Intervention during Spaceflight Operations” will focus on how cold water immersion may improve performance and its effect on the brain. Specifically, Kevin is examining how the prefrontal cortex responds to fatiguing exercise following cold water immersion.  He will work with Steven Elmer and Tejin Yoon on this project.
In addition to the two students, Assistant Professor, Steven Elmer was awarded $5,000 for pre-college education with his project entitled, “Introducing Space Medicine to High School Students in the Upper Peninsula”.  Elmer’s abstract states, “Our objective is to implement space medicine activities as part of existing regional, national, and international educational outreach events to highlight the integration of Health Science and STEM (H-STEM).  Through the construction of 3-D physical models, calculations/graphing, exercise, demonstrations, and teamwork, high school students will learn how astronauts live, move, and work in space.”  KIP Academic Advisor, Kathy Carter, and Portage Health Foundation Endowed Professor, William Cooke, will assist Elmer with this project.
MSGC provides funding opportunities each year for undergraduate and graduate fellowships, research seed grants, pre-college education, teacher training, and public outreach pertaining to space-related science and technology in an effort to support their vision and mission to “foster awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan.”

KIP Lab Featured in 2018 Michigan Tech Research Magazine

Steve Elmer Research Magazine 201712200128In Steve Elmer’s lab, researchers explore the limits of the human body in a quest to make people move—and feel—better. Elmer’s team designs cutting edge equipment and training regimes to help every body reach its highest potential, regardless of age, profession, or ability.

The benefits of strength training are many and well known: Strength training helps you maintain a healthy weight. It protects your bones and preserves your muscle mass. It helps develop better body mechanics, boosts your energy, and improves your mood. It even plays a role in disease prevention and pain management.

In fact, strength training is so beneficial that the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends adults engage in a strength-training program a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week. And their recommendations don’t stop there—ACSM outlines specific types of strength-building exercises and target numbers for repetition.

So everyone should be strength training, right?

While it’s easy to say everyone should, not everyone can, at least not in a “traditional” manner.

Take, for instance, someone who uses a wheelchair or someone who has recently undergone knee surgery. Finding effective lower-body strength-training exercises that don’t overtax the heart, lungs, and joints can be a challenge. And many with old injuries run into the same problem.

Michigan Tech researchers have found a solution. Steve Elmer is an assistant professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology, an affiliated assistant professor of biological sciences, and an affiliated assistant professor of mechanical engineering. His lab is interdisciplinary, where students, participants, and researchers explore the edges of physiology.

For more on Elmer’s research, read the full story “Exercise for Every Body” published in the 2018 Michigan Tech Research Magazine.

 


Bye Receives the Horwitz/Horowitz Abstract Award

aps_masthead_logoCongrats to exercise science major, Thomas Bye, on his recent award from the American Physiological Society (APS).  Bye was one of 30 recipients of the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Undergraduate Research Abstract Award for his abstract entitled “Effects of Respiratory Muscle Fatigue on Upper-Body Exercise Tolerance.”

Recipients receive $100, a 2-year membership to APS, and will present their research at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in April with an opportunity to compete for the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award.


Fonkoue Recognized as 2018 Young Investigator

Congratulations to recent Michigan Tech doctoral graduate, Ida Fonkoue on her latest award.   Ida was awarded the 2018 Southern Society Clinical Investigation (SSCI) Young Investigator Award at the Southern Regional Meeting in February.  This award recognizes and encourages excellence in investigation by physicians and medical students during research training.

Ida finished her doctoral degree in May 2017 working under the advisement of Dr. Jason Carter and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in the Division of Renal Medicine.

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Ida accepting the 2018 Young Investigator Award at the SSCI Southern Regional Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jason Carter Selected for CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program

Jason Carter2017The inaugural fellowship, a highly competitive program through the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), builds up researchers in academic leadership.

APLU’s Council on Research (CoR) brings together senior research officers working at public research universities from across the country and they have named eight individuals to its inaugural class of CoR Research Leader Fellows. One of them is Jason Carter, the chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

As CoR puts it, the fellowship enables individuals who aspire to become vice presidents, vice provosts or vice chancellors of research to develop critical new knowledge and skills essential to research support and competitiveness.

“Shifting from thinking as an individual researcher to thinking about groups of researchers, and thinking about the institution as a whole, forces you to have a broader perspective,” Carter says. “It’s a shift to how can I help others as opposed to how can I help myself.”

Likewise, as a researcher learns to step back from the bench and see the university as a whole, they need to have a practical understanding of the processes that run research administration, development, compliance, communication and more.  Few researchers have the chance to learn about these processes within their own institution.

Carter says serving as a department chair has set him up well for the fellowship, and so far, has found the CoR program a great way to integrate that knowledge. In particular, he thinks it builds on the decision-making skills researchers develop to clarify research objectives and prioritize projects.

“As scientists, we do that all the time in our grants,” he says. “As a research administrator, you have to make those same kinds of decisions at a higher level, which requires more patience and the resolve to work with other people.”

Read the full article, published in Michigan Tech News and written by Allison Mills.


Bye featured in Life Science Teaching Research Community Blog

What is it like to be an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology?  Thomas Bye, an exercise science major and student-athlete, shares his experience working under the mentorship of KIP Assistant Professor, Steven Elmer, in a recent blog featured on Life Science Teaching Research Community’s website.   In the post, Bye not only describes his current research project and the technology he’s able to utilize but also discusses the lab environment and advantages of working alongside other undergraduates, graduate, and doctoral students.

You’ll want to make sure you read this one!  It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Breathe! ~Maroon 5

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Robert Larson Receives Best Basic Science Autonomoic Research Award

A little over a year into his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa, recent Michigan Tech doctoral graduate, Robert Larson, continues to excel.  Larson was recently awarded the Best Basic Science Autonomic Research Award by the American Autonomic Society.

Larson earned his masters and doctoral degrees in Biological Sciences from Michigan Tech.  Jason Carter and Qinghui Chen from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology served as his advisors.

AAS 2017 Rob Larson with mentor Mark
Larson with current mentor Mark Chapleau.

Students Participate in Cancer Rehabilitation Workshop

A total of 14 stCancer Rehab Workshop. croppedudents (seven exercise science, one biomedical, six physical therapy) and 15 clinicians from across the Upper Peninsula recently participated in a weekend-long cancer rehabilitation workshop.  UP Health System-Portage and the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology hosted the event in an effort to inspire future cancer rehabilitation research.

Lead by Nicole Stout DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA, a renowned healthcare researcher, consultant, educator, and advocate, the workshop created an excellent opportunity for students to work side-by-side with physical therapists.

Joel Kangas, a third-year graduate physical therapy student, describes the event in detail below.

UP Health System-Portage (Physical Therapy) and Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology hosted a two-day Cancer Rehabilitation Continuing Education Course. The course was led by Dr. Nicole Stout.  Stout is nationally recognized as an expert and leader in cancer rehabilitation, has given over 200 lectures, and published more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. There were over 30 individuals that participated including experienced physical therapists, graduate physical therapy students from Central Michigan University’s satellite physical therapy program, and undergraduate exercise science and biomedical engineering students from Michigan Tech. The course primarily consisted of lectures and case study breakout sessions. Additionally, student participants had the opportunity to network with physical therapists and talk with Dr. Stout. 

Dr. Stout did an incredible job of offering an exciting and interactive experience for everyone. The course has made it quite clear that physical therapy plays a crucial role in cancer rehabilitation for many forms and stages of cancer. Regardless of whether you are a physical therapist with 15+ years of experience, a graduate physical therapy student, or an undergraduate pre-physical therapy student there was much to learn from this experience.

Following the conclusion of the course, several individuals were asked to reflect on how they felt about the experience.

Colleen Toorongian, an exercise science undergraduate student commented that the course opened up her thoughts on cancer rehabilitation and “The need for rehab providers and doctors to come together and approach treatment options differently”.

Alyssa Vinckier, a second year graduate physical therapy student stated, “The course allowed me to expand on my knowledge from school and helped me realize how beneficial physical therapy can be for individuals who have cancer or have a history of cancer”.

From a patient care standpoint, Katie Temple, a physical therapist with UP Health System-Portage, had a few words to say. She emphasized how highly regarded Dr. Stout is in the physical therapy profession, “We are so lucky to have someone of her expertise and experience come up here. Dr. Stout has made some great accomplishments having received service awards from the National Institute of Health Clinical Center, the Navy Surgeon General, and the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association”. Katie expanded on the course saying “there is much more we should be doing as a physical therapy profession in cancer rehabilitation beyond addressing just lymphedema, fatigue, and soft tissue stretching”. Katie also adds, “Dr. Stout talks about the much greater risk of falls in patients who have undergone cancer treatment, and the role that we as physical therapists have in appropriate screening and prehabilitation options to reduce that risk”. 

A special thanks goes out to Dr. Stout for her time, to Physical Therapist Mark Randell from UP Health Systems-Portage, and Professor Steve Elmer from the Department of Kinsiology and Integrative Physiology for sponsoring the event. The two institutions hope this course sparks an initiative to perform future research pertaining to cancer rehabilitation.