Events

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PHT180 Research Vitals

Networking events showcasing healthcare technology research topics from internal and external researchers looking for collaborators for new research initiatives.  To register in advance for an upcoming Research Vitals talk, click on the date you are interested in below.  A video recording will be available after the talk. 

Spring 2021 PHT180 Events

Presentation Materials & Links
2-02-2021 Presentation PowerPoint

PHT180 grant writing resources
2020 NIH Virtual Seminar Presentation Materials
NIH Matchmaker
NIH Find Funding Tool
Grant Forward
Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant 
(R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant
(R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
(Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Speakers: 
Terry Koo, PhD
Research Development Specialist, PHT180
Hans Schmitthenner, PhD
Research Faculty, Chemistry and Materials Science, COS

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm  Virtual Event

Lessons learned from 2020 NIH Virtual Seminar

Abstract:  NIH recently held a first-ever virtual seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration on Oct 27- 30, 2020. This presentation will cover selected topics discussed in the virtual seminar such as diversity supplement award, loan repayment program, and early-stage investigator policy that may be of interest to PHT180 faculty. Dr. Hans Schmitthenner from the School of Chemistry and Materials Science will share his experience in successfully applying for diversity supplement awards. The presentation will also introduce PHT180’s newly-launched Grant Writing Resources on the PHT180 website.   

Click here for a recorded video of the talk

PHT180 Distinguished Speaker Event
Temiloluwa Prioleau, PhD
Assistant Professor,  Computer Science 
Dartmouth College


Bio: Dr. Prioleau is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on the application of data science to human sensing and health; this includes developing and using mobile, wearable, and digital solutions to understand, monitor, and affect bio-behavioral factors that influence health. At Dartmouth, Dr. Prioleau co-directs the Augmented Health Lab with a mission to improve health with pervasive technology. In addition, she is an affiliate of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) – an NIH-funded center comprised of interdisciplinary leaders in behavioral science and technology. She has received several awards including an NSF grant to develop a multimodal sensing system for improving diabetes management and an NSF RAPID grant focused on learning from the experiences of COVID-19 survivors. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed her postdoctoral training at Rice University.

Opportunities for using mobile technology and data science to transform healthcare

Abstract: Mobile technology such as wearable devices and smartphones provide unique opportunities for continuous sensing of physiological signals, activities, behaviors, and context that influence health outcomes. However, full realization of the potential of mobile technology in various health domains is still a work-in-progress. In this talk, I will present ongoing project directions that seek to: 1) understand technology-relevant gaps in healthcare, 2) leverage data from mobile technology to quantify behavioral and contextual factors that affect health outcomes, and 3) develop data-driven solutions that increase the utility of mobile health data to support and inform clinical decision-making. Our interdisciplinary team combines knowledge and tools from human-centered design, mobile computing, and data science/machine learning to address grand challenges in healthcare. Current efforts have focused on diabetes management as a test-bed for developing and evaluating digital solutions applicable to other domains.

 

Click here for a recorded video of the talk

Speaker: 
Ifeoma Nwogu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Computer Science, GCCIS

Bio: Dr. Nwogu’s research focuses on recognizing, modeling, and predicting human nonverbal behaviors and their interactions with other human participants. At RIT, she co-directs the Computer Graphics and Applied Perception Lab, which performs funded research in the areas of multimodal sensing, machine learning, and virtual reality. She is also an affiliate of the RIT Center for Human-aware AI (CHAI), composed of a transdisciplinary team of AI researchers, interested in solving AI’s grand challenges.​She has received several awards including the NSF CAREER award focused on analyzing the social interactions that occur in cross-cultural face-to-face social engagements. This multi-disciplinary research area lies at the intersection of social psychology, machine learning, computer vision, and speech and language processing. Its application areas include mental health analysis, education, and virtual reality.

Computational Models of Human Nonverbal Behaviors and Interactions

Abstract: While large-scale social media data about human interaction has been invaluable in elucidating many general patterns about people’s behaviors, it is mostly devoid of nonverbal human communication information. We only learn about the kinds of people who use social media rather than about humans in general. However, face-to-face communication is a highly interactive, synchronous process where participants mutually exchange and interpret messages in real-time, through speech, prosody, gesture, gaze, posture, and facial expressions. In this talk, I will present ongoing project work that examines (i) empirical findings on emotional regulation methods (positive and negative) in individuals (a joint project with the Department of Psychology); (ii) a multimodal machine learning model for analyzing behaviors; and (iii) a set of models for analyzing interactive behavior between dyads in an interaction. I will also briefly discuss some foundational machine learning research that has the potential to be useful for interpreting the models we develop. Much of this integrative work involves expertise and tools from Psychology, Communication, Human-Computer Interaction, and Computing.

Click here for a recorded video of the talk

Speaker: 
Nishant Malik, PhD
Assistant Professor, Mathematical Sciences, COS

Complex Systems Analysis and Modeling in Health Sciences 

Abstract: The complex systems framework provides a wide variety of mathematical and computational techniques to analyze and model systems of many interacting dynamical units and their collective behavior. This framework had a far-reaching influence on epidemics modeling, and I will present a highly pragmatic model for the spread of SIS-type diseases on coevolving networks. I will show that social clustering can lead to a decrease in infection levels in some specific settings. In the second part of this talk, I will discuss connections between complex systems and data science, and then present a method to classify graphs with application in cancer classification. Furthermore, I will briefly touch upon some of my recent work on time series analysis and its possible health sciences applications.  

Click here for a recorded video of the talk

Speaker: 
Marcos Esterman, PhD
Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Ensuring Safety while Fostering Innovation in the 510(k) Regulatory Pathway: The Role of Product Modularity

Abstract:  One of the primary ways the FDA has supported more rapid approval of medical devices is through alternative regulatory pathways that rely on similarity in product modules to ensure the safety of new devices, such as the 510(k) pathway.  The 510(k)’s ability to consistently ensure safety and foster innovation has been questioned.  We posit that the 510(k) relies implicitly on the benefits afforded by modularity as a basis for establishing substantial equivalence. However, inadequate attention to the definition of modules, module boundaries, and the interfaces between modules and their role in assuring safety and fostering innovation can lead to failures of the 510(k) process. There has not been a rigorous scientific approach to understanding when and where product modularity can both promote innovation and ensure product safety. We propose that an explicit examination of the link between modularity and innovation will reveal the mechanisms that can lead to failures of the regulatory process. In this talk, we will motivate why the product modularity of predicates can impact the innovativeness and safety of subsequent devices that rely on that predicate, either directly or indirectly. We will discuss our research that seeks to identify the conditions under which the goals of the 510(k) regulatory pathway can be best fulfilled. By focusing on product architecture and its impact on new product development, the project will focus on a little explored area in regulatory science.

Fall 2020

Click here for a recorded video of the talk 
Speaker: 

Jonathan Tory Toole, Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow
College of Health Sciences & Technology, RIT
Time: 
3:30-4:30 PM

Abstract: The brain and body consist of complex networks of interconnected feedback and feed forward loops. Because these networks are capable of supporting multiple homeostatic states, a stressor or combination of stressors may cause the network to become “stuck” in a persistent maladaptive state, for example, chronic pain and the potentiation of opioid dependency. The current research uses automated text mining of over 14,000 publications to assemble a regulatory circuit consisting of 44 immune and neurotransmission mediators linked by 188 documented regulatory interactions. Decisional logic parameters dictating the regulatory dynamics available to each network model were estimated such that predicted behavior would adhere to observed pathologies. Analysis of this psycho-neuroimmune network confirmed that a broad family of behavioral kinetics may be equally capable of supporting dynamically stable conditions of chronic pain, persistent depression and addiction behaviors. Despite differences in the predicted course of onset, these models typically point to characteristic patterns of increased inflammatory activity in the brain for each of these pathologies, specifically increased expression of the protein complex NF-kB and inflammatory signaling proteins IL1-B, IL6, and TNF. Potential treatments targeting both addiction and chronic pain may therefore benefit from the use of anti-inflammatory drugs as pharmacological potentiators of current behavioral interventions.

Click here for a recorded video of the talk 

Speaker: 
Gurnek Singh, Senior Director, Business Development
Kognito
Time: 
3:30-4:30 PM

Abstract: Learn how virtual human simulations are being used to deliver on-demand communication skills training in a variety of settings.  We will review case examples and published data from a variety of simulation projects that have led to improvements in preparedness, confidence, and self-efficacy of healthcare providers to engage patients; of teachers to open a dialogue about mental health with students; and of patients and caregivers to engage in behavior changes that improve health outcomes. The presentation will include a demo of a publicly available simulation

Click here for a recorded video of the talk 

Speaker: 
Jennifer O'Neil, Assistant Professor
College of Engineering Technology
Time: 
3:30-4:30 PM

Abstract: Lower respiratory tract infections, such as RSV, are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years, yet very few pediatric pulmonary research centers exist. Jet nebulization delivers respiratory drugs directly to the lower lungs, and remains a popular method to administer aerosol medications to infants and young children. Despite the many advantages of jet nebulizers, their most significant disadvantage is the inefficiencies in aerosolized drug delivery to pediatric patients. This ineffectiveness results from children having smaller respiratory tracts, which can naturally contain less tidal volume and respiratory rate. This is compounded by the diversity of pediatric populations, from premature neonates through young children. Additionally, current devices were developed for adults, so the optimal aerosol particle size for lower airway deposition in young children is unknown. Compounding these issues is the fact that aerosol deposition may also be affected by disease state. To surmount these obstacles, a multi-disciplinary, multi-university team is developing a novel, interchangeable nebulizer device for pediatrics from bench-top testing through simulated animal studies to hopefully one-day clinical trials. The implications of these findings can inform other disease treatments and even immunizations, transforming the face of global healthcare.

Click here for a recorded video of the talk 

Speaker: 
Cassandra Berbary, Visiting Assistant Professor
College of Health Sciences & Technology, RIT
Time: 
3:30-4:30 PM

Abstract: Research suggests strong associations between substance use and aggression, especially among substance using juveniles. Furthermore, adolescents with substance use difficulties have comorbid addiction and aggressive behaviors. For example, adolescents with substance use difficulties and comorbid behavior problems experience poorer treatment outcomes compared to adolescents with only substance use, highlighting the need for evidence-based interventions targeting both substance use and aggression. Although research has not yet focused on avatar-assisted treatment for adolescents with substance use and aggression difficulties, avatar-assisted therapy is likely to involve many benefits (e.g., ease of use; technological platform relevant/relatable to teens, delivery of standardized content in between therapy sessions; adaptation to individual client characteristics; self-monitoring and practice exercise/homework reminders; immediate feedback) as well as reduce barriers that prevent patients from receiving the quality of care. Particularly among adolescents, the use of a technological platform for role plays is a familiar platform to model and practice their healthy skill sets; however, the current digitized, computer-assisted, or web-based versions developed in the early 2000s (e.g., CBT4CBT) lack the modern customizations and advancements in technology that exist today. Current work focuses on the development of digitized (avatar-assisted) platforms using the following advancements in technology: 1) an avatar assist (e.g., behavioral health coach) to reward interaction and to narrate coping skill activities (aiding therapists and participants); 2) user-friendly and likable customizations; 3) symptom monitoring and tracking of behaviors and; 4) easy delivery and mobile flexibility. The theoretical background, design/development of evidence-based avatar-assisted platforms, and modifications of adult platforms for use with adolescent populations will be discussed. Current avatar-assisted CBT treatment platforms targeting substance use and aggression will also be presented. Moreover,  pilot data related to the implementation of the avatar-assisted platform in substance use clinical settings will be reviewed and presented. 

Click Here for a recorded video of the talk

Speaker: 
Jay Henderson, Associate Professor
Syracuse University
Time: 
3:30-4:30 PM

Abstract: Recent advances in stimuli responsive and multifunctional polymers are enabling new investigations and understanding of cell mechanobiology—the study of how physical forces at the cell level contribute to development, maintenance, wound healing, and disease. By developing computational tools that enable study of the interactions of the polymers and cells, the value of stimuli responsive and multifunctional polymer platforms can be broadened, amplified, and democratized. Current work demonstrating the development, characterization, and application of stimuli responsive and multifunctional polymers and the computational approaches that complement them will be presented.