Ozark Biomedical Initiative Research Symposium to be held Aug. 18

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On August 7, 2018

Researchers from Missouri S&T and Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) will present their research at an annual symposium hosted by the Ozark Biomedical Initiative (OBI) on Saturday, Aug. 18.

The event will be held 8:30 a.m.– 2 p.m. in the Carver/Turner Room of the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus. The event is open to the public.

The OBI is a partnership between PCRMC and Missouri S&T that fosters collaborative research for improving healthcare. Since its establishment in 2015, the OBI has held an annual symposium to share advances made by university and hospital researchers with the local community.

Keynote speaker and chirality expert Dr. Daniel Armstrong, chemistry professor from the University of Texas-Arlington

Dr. Daniel Armstrong, the Robert A. Welch chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Texas-Arlington, is the keynote speaker for this year’s event and will discuss his work on designing chiral separations for biological and pharmacological applications. Armstrong has authored over 630 publications and holds over 30 patents on separation technologies. He was named Curators’ Distinguished Professor of chemistry in 1989 at Missouri S&T, where he taught for 13 years. His keynote presentation begins at 9 a.m.

After Armstrong’s presentation, OBI grant recipients will present their research, followed by a poster session showcasing research and collaborative opportunities at Missouri S&T and PCRMC.

Through the OBI, Missouri S&T and PCRMC each contribute $25,000 annually to fund collaborative research projects. Projects are awarded based on their potential to improve healthcare and to benefit our community, says Dr. Casey Burton, director of medical research at PCRMC. This year, the OBI awarded mini-grants to five research projects that will be presented at the symposium:

  • “Acupuncture Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Skin Cancer Detection,” by Dr. Jie Huang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T; Dr. Klaus Woelk, associate professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T; Dr. Rex E. Gerald II, American Inventor Institute; Sean B. Cartwright, MRI technologist at PCRMC; and Dr. William V. Stoecker with The Dermatology Center in Rolla. The researchers aim to develop a new medical tool for the accurate diagnosis and spatial mapping of non-melanoma skin cancers.
  • “New Pheromone Bioassay Technique and Brown Recluse Spider Trap Testing,” by Zachary Foulks, a senior in chemistry at Missouri S&T; Jennifer Parks, a technician in biological sciences at Missouri S&T; Alex Cristea, a senior in chemistry at Missouri S&T; Haiting Zhang, a graduate student in chemistry at Missouri S&T; Dr. William V. Stoecker with The Dermatology Center; and Dr. Honglan Shi, research professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T. The researchers will present new techniques to detect sex pheromones of the brown recluse spider for use in new brown recluse spider traps.
  • “Polymeric Microparticles for Skin Wound Healing,” by Daniel Smith, a graduate student in chemical engineering at Missouri S&T; Chase Herman, a 2018 chemical engineering graduate of Missouri S&T; Dr. William V. Stoeker with The Dermatology Center; and Dr. Satupa Barua, assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T. Through this project, researchers hope to develop biodegradable, polymeric microparticles to assist wound healing in clinical applications using a technique developed at Missouri S&T.
  • “Multifunctional CuS-Nanoparticle Embedded Catheter for Multimodal Cancer Therapy,” by Hiep Pham, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Missouri S&T; Dr. Chang-Soo Kim, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T; Dr. Chris Spencer, medical director at the PCRMC Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI), medical director of radiation oncology at the DDCI and radiation oncologist at the DDCI; and Dr. Jonghyun Park, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T. This presentation will introduce their work to develop state-of-the-art catheters embedded with specialized nanoparticles for use in cancer treatment.
  • “Towards Early Detection of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia with Non-invasive Cognitive Health Screening and Smart Multi-modal Sensing,” by Dr. Debraj De with Smart Health Beacons; Dr. Devin Burns, assistant professor of psychological science at Missouri S&T; Dr. Mignon Makos, PCRMC neurologist; and Dr. Sajal Das, the St. Clair Endowed Chair professor of computer science at Missouri S&T. Their presentation will highlight their efforts to improve screening techniques for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia using new automated exams in combination with a “smart chair” that can detect subtle movements in patients thought to be linked with stress or cognitive load.

View the symposium schedule at http://obi.mst.edu/.

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