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Guoqiang Yu Awarded Two NIH Grants Totaling Nearly $4.7 Million

July 16, 2020

Yu researches near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy/tomography through his Biomedical Optics Lab.

Guoqiang Yu, professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded two grants from the National Institutes of Health that total nearly $4.7 million. Yu researches near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy/tomography through his Biomedical Optics Lab.

The first grant, “Noninvasive Noncontact High-Density Optical Imaging of Neonatal Intraventricular Hemorrhage,” will receive $2,704,685 over five years.

From the abstract: “Preterm infants are at high risk for brain injuries due to alterations in brain blood flow and oxygenation, especially after the occurrence of intraventricular hemorrhage, and currently there is no reliable bedside method to monitor these functional parameters continuously in premature brains. This project will develop and test a new, noncontact, fast, high-resolution, and portable optical device, which enables immediate and continuous imaging of brain blood flow, oxygenation, metabolism, and functional connectivity in neonatal piglets and preterm infants. Compared to currently available technologies, this noninvasive, multi-parameter, functional imager will provide a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of neonatal brain health/injury, which may help optimize care for critically ill neonates and reduce harm to their brains.”

To achieve the set aims, Yu is supported by a team of engineers, scientists and clinicians, including:

  • Henrietta S Bada, MD, Professor, UK Department of Pediatrics
  • Elie G Abu Jawdeh, MD & Ph.D., Associate Professor, UK Department of Pediatrics
  • Brandon A Miller, MD & Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UK Department of Neurosurgery
  • Lei Chen, Ph.D. & MD, Research Assistant Professor, UK Department of Physiology
  • Chong Huang, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, UK Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • David K Powell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UK Department of Neuroscience
  • Qiang Cheng, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
  • Li Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UK Department of Biostatistics

The second grant, “Perioperative Diffuse Optical Imaging of Tissue Blood Flow and Oxygenation for Optimization of Mastectomy Skin Flap Viability,” will receive $1,956,594 over the next three and a half years.

From the abstract: “Clinical prognoses after surgical breast reconstruction often involve mastectomy skin flap necrosis or other complications associated with lack of blood flow and oxygenation to wound tissue volumes. The objective of this project is to design and optimize a novel noninvasive optical imaging technique, which will enable rapid online 3D imaging of both blood flow and oxygenation distributions throughout the entire volume of mastectomy skin flaps to perioperatively assess ischemic-hypoxic tissue regions/volumes. Outcomes from this translational study in swine and patients undergoing mastectomy with expander-implant based breast reconstruction will provide essential information for intraoperative guidance of compromised tissue excision and postoperative optimization of incremental expander fill volumes to reduce postmastectomy complications and healthcare costs.”

In this translational project, Dr. Yu also works with a team of engineers, scientists and clinicians, including: 

  • Lesley Wong, MD, Professor, UK Division of Plastic Surgery
  • Lei Chen, Ph.D. & MD, Research Assistant Professor, UK Department of Physiology
  • Chong Huang, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, UK Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Li Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, UK Department of Biostatistics

“These two awards from the NIH not only reflect the high quality of the research works that Dr. Yu and his interdisciplinary teams are pursuing but also exemplify the successes in deepening engineering-medicine integration at UK—one of the department’s missions,” said Guigen Zhang, chair of the department.

Professor Yu has taught and conducted research at UK since 2007.