Qing-Hui Chen (KIP/HRI) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $459,000 research and development grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health. The project is titled “Neural Mechanism of Sympathetic Activation in Heart Failure.” Zhiying Shan (KIP) is Co-PI of this potential three-year project.
Small populations in rural areas of the Upper Peninsula mean big gaps in state health care data. Kelly Kamm’s research on infant feeding seeks to bridge those gaps.
What do Beyonce, Gisele Bündchen, Mila Kunis and Blake Lively have in common? Fame and fortune, check. Breastfeeding their babies, check.
Considering these celebrities’ public endorsement of breastfeeding, it might seem like breastfeeding is popular in the United States. But that’s not the case. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that has been trying to raise the national rate of women breastfeeding, race and socioeconomics heavily influence if a woman ever breastfeeds. The numbers are even lower for women who breastfeed for six months and longer.
Kelly Kamm, research assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology is unsatisfied by the CDC’s statistics. She hopes to better understand how families feed infants in the UP.
“The question ‘have you ever breastfed’ means, to some extent, did somebody try in the hospital, but it’s not really a good metric of what’s going on in the UP. We’re such a small percentage of the population, any state or national data doesn’t actually survey anybody up here, so there’s really not much known about what’s going on.”
The full article, “How Do Upper Michigan Mothers Get Breastfeeding Support?” was featured in Unscripted.
Graduate 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.
Three KIP faculty members were awarded internal Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards this week. There are four internal REF categories for researchers to select from and new for 2017 were three health-oriented Portage Health Foundation REF (PHF-REF) categories. All three KIP faculty were awarded grants from the PHF-REF categories.
Four students who are entering Michigan Tech this fall to pursue health-related careers have received $8,000 Making a Difference scholarships from the Portage Health Foundation. Another 10 entering first-year students received $1,000 awards.
The $8,000 scholarships went to:
- Peter Alger, Houghton, computer engineering
- Alexa Destrampe, Lake Linden, exercise science
- Hannah Kariniemi, Calumet, biological sciences
- Karmyn Polakowski, Houghton, biological sciences
Receiving $1,000 scholarships were:
- Blake Dupuis, Lake Linden, exercise science
- Lauren Gabe, L’Anse, biological sciences
- Austin Goudge, Houghton, medical laboratory science
- Bella Nutini, Hancock, exercise science
- Celia Peterson, Calumet, biomedical engineering
- Anna Pietila, L’Anse, biological sciences
- Lindsay Sandell, Houghton, biomedical engineering
- Brooke Tienhaara, Calumet, biological sciences
- Nicholas Walli, Finlandia University, biological sciences
- Sloane Zenner, Houghton, mechanical engineering
The students are from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties.
The 14 recipients of the 2017 awards have an average GPA of 3.81. Their interests reflect a broad spectrum of majors including biological sciences, exercise science, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, medical laboratory science and mechanical engineering. The scholarship winners flip Michigan Tech’s male to female ratio of 3:1, with 10 female and 4 male recipients.
The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health-related research and education, jobs and community health. The scholarships were first awarded in 2016.
“The awards reflect the high-caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional schools, outreach programming and parent support,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech. “We know that student talent is key in supporting the success of college peers and inspiring K-12 students to pursue health science and engineering pathways.
The Portage Health Foundation and Michigan Tech share the long-term goal of retaining or recruiting back local workforce talent — whether that be orthodontists, doctors, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, biomedical engineers or professionals in the field of medical informatics. Scholarships ultimately play a critical role in helping to grow our local economy while fostering healthy communities.”
At a dinner for finalists, the scholarship recipients heard from current students also supported by the Portage Health Foundation through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP). Both speakers shared their internship experiences and career goals.
Read the full story.
Please join me in congratulating doctoral students Matthew Kilgas and Kevin Phillips as both received $3,000 awards for their research through the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation (BCBSM) Student Award Program. Briefly, this foundation is dedicated to improving the health of Michigan residents and supports student research projects across a wide range of human health topics. We wish Matt and Kevin the best of luck with their respective projects and strongly encourage other graduate students to apply in the future.
Matthew Kilgas (Dr. Elmer’s Lab)
“Restoring Quadriceps Function Following ACL Reconstruction with Blood Flow Restriction Exercise”
Kevin Phillips (Dr. Yoon’s Lab)
“Muscle Architecture and Muscle Neuromuscular Fatigue in Middle-Aged Obese Adults”
Dr. Steven Elmer and his team were recently awarded a $50,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project entitled “I-Corps: A New Assistive Device for Wheelchair Users”.
As part of the grant, Elmer along with doctoral student Matt Kilgas (KIP) and Mike Morley (Assistant Director of Technology Commercialization, Innovation and Industry Engagement) will participate in the rigorous I-Corps curriculum. This curriculum consists of a 7 week program to help train scientists and engineers to develop entrepreneurship skills that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research. The team will travel to San Francisco for a three day “Kick Off” workshop and return for the final “Lessons Learned” workshop at the end of the program.
This new grant is a result of Dr. Elmer’s continued efforts to provide wheelchair users a means to strengthen upper-extremity muscles and improve their mobility without overtaxing their heart and lungs. Elmer’s team engineered a rehabilitation device called RENEW-U to provide wheelchair users this opportunity.
* This is the first NSF award for the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.
Dr. Elmer was selected as a recipient of a $10,000 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Research Endowment Grant. His project is entitled “RENEW-U! A New Exercise for Individuals with Spinal cord Injury”. Dr. Elmer’s team of mechanical engineering, kinesiology and physical therapy students are collaborating to develop and implement a new exercise modality for manual wheelchair users. This project will help serve as an important stepping stone for a larger study aimed at restoring function and improving health in individuals with spinal cord injury.
The full RENEW-U article can be found here.