The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics received research awards totaling nearly $5.2 million to study diabetes, stress-induced aging, Alzheimer’s disease, immigration-related obesity, and develop implantable drug testing devices.
The University of Minnesota https:/.umn.edu, Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org and the State of Minnesota https://mn.gov will enable five research teams to initiate and collaborative on two year projects. The projects were selected based on the quality and rigor of the proposed research, importance of the medical need, and the potential for future commercialization.
One of the research teams will focus on a project to determine whether the retina can be used as a biomarker to identify and evaluate patients with preclinical and symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.
This study proposes to unite hyperspectral camera imaging using the spectrum of each pixel which was developed at the University of Minnesota with two Mayo patient cohorts to monitor retinal changes. The study will compare the retinal scans with brain scans and dementia severity. The long term goal is to develop a noninvasive inexpensive population screening diagnostic tool capable of detecting early Alzheimer’s disease.
Another research project will enable researchers to study patients with glioblastoma, by employing an implantable multi-catheter device to allow for simultaneous drug delivery and at the same time, have the capability to assess effectiveness.
Other projects will research type 1 diabetes by studying malfunctioning cells in an individual’s tissues and organs to help determine the root causes of aging and age-related diseases, and investigate whether changes in gut microbiome composition following immigration to the U.S contributes to higher obesity.