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Chris Gesswein

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Scientists at Clemson University, Prisma Health seek breakthroughs see more

    Researchers at Clemson University and Prisma Health have received grants that will help them find new ways to treat cancer and manage chronic pain and diabetes.

    Researchers from the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences and the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences have been awarded funding through the Innovation Maturation Fund, a joint effort of the Clemson University Division of Research and the Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health.

    The Innovation Maturation Fund program serves as a catalyst to increase applied research collaborations between Clemson University research faculty and Prisma Health clinicians. The goal is to promote multidisciplinary scientific collaborations to develop healthcare innovations, said Chris Gesswein, executive director of the Clemson University Research Foundation.

    “We are pleased to announce the third round of funding from this highly competitive and unique maturation program,” Gesswein added. “The proposed projects address significant healthcare needs, and we look forward to working with the research teams to improve healthcare delivery efficiencies and outcomes.”

    This year’s Innovation Maturation Fund awards totaled nearly $80,000 and were granted to the following researchers:

    • Brian Booth, assistant professor in the department of bioengineering, and Prisma Health physician John O’Connell plan to test a new method of cancer treatment called oscillating electric fields. This new method is a Food and Drug Administration-approved cancer treatment still in its infancy and is being used with other therapies such as chemotherapy to improve survival rates of patients with advanced cancers. This treatment emits a low-intensity oscillating electric field that works to prevent cancer cells from multiplying. To generate and monitor these specifically-tuned electric fields, the team has designed, built and tested a device capable of delivering treatment over a broad range of electric field intensities.
    • Matthew Browning, an assistant professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and Prisma Health physician Teny Henry Gomez are working to refine their virtual reality-assisted guided imagery prototype for advanced-stage cancer patients. Patients with advanced cancer often experience high levels of debilitating pain and pain-related psychological distress. While medications remain the preferred treatment for pain, Browning and Gomez say there is a pressing need for safe, home-based, non-drug interventions to treat cancer pain. Virtual reality interventions are effective in managing short-term pain in acute healthcare settings, but their role in cancer pain and home-based settings is not as well understood. The team plans to use their prototype to assess the outcomes of using virtual reality at home to manage a patient’s chronic pain.
    • Hamed Rahimian, assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering, and Prisma Health physician Meenu Jindal are working together to create software that will help patients treat their diabetes using individualized plans. A challenge to treating diabetes is knowing the patient’s reaction to a specific medication and dose of the drug, which is often found through trial and error. The team plans to take the guesswork out of finding the right medication and dosage for patients by creating an adaptive machine learning and optimization framework. The framework will be programmed with each patient’s disease progression from electronic medical records (EMR) and determine optimal personalized treatment recommendations. The team plans to test this framework and then develop software using an algorithm to create personalized treatment recommendations so health­­­care providers can better help their patients.
    • Kuang-Ching Wang, professor of electrical and computer engineering and C. Tycho Howle Chair of Collaborative Computing Environments, and Prisma Health physician Scott Annett are working to create a new solution for enhancing the diagnosis, assessment and management of myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is chronic sensitivity in muscles that occur around palpable tense tissues. It is the most common cause of chronic pain in the United States. However, currently, there are no biomarkers that can quantify myofascial tissue abnormalities. Typical treatments include physical therapy, medication or acupuncture. Combining the power of functional ultrasonography, smart needle measurement, and machine learning, the team will develop a solution that will deliver unprecedented, quantitative diagnosis and assessment of the muscle tissues, thereby enabling better understanding and more effective management of this pain.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Clemson, Prisma Health to collaborate on developing new medical treatments see more

    Researchers at Clemson University and Prisma Health have received funding to collaborate on the development of new medical treatment and diagnostic technologies.

    Three Clemson-Prisma Health collaborations received investments from the recently created Innovation Maturation Fund, a joint effort between the Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Prisma Health and the Clemson University Division of Research. The program provides health care-focused grants designed to advance the development and commercialization of innovative medical initiatives and translational science, to improve the health care industry and to promote economic growth in the region.

    The projects supported by this fund include a system to monitor triggers affecting respiratory health, injectable tissue regeneration technology and a monitoring device for patients with chronic kidney disease.

    This year’s Innovation Maturation Fund awards range from $20,000 to $35,000 and were granted to:

    Brian Booth, assistant professor in the department of bioengineering, and Jeffery Edenfield, medical director at the Prisma Health Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), to further develop a collagen-type medical implant that could greatly aid in breast tissue regeneration post-lumpectomy and prevent the recurrence of tumors.

    Goutam Koley, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, and Steve Snodgrass, pediatric pulmonologist, to develop a mobile sensor system that monitors environmental triggers for respiratory health issues that are especially prevalent in patients with respiratory illnesses. The monitoring system will utilize a battery powered miniaturized sensor system with cellular data connectivity that can be carried in person to continuously monitor specific environmental parameters for an individual.

    Robert Latour, McQueen-Quattlebaum Professor in the department of bioengineering, and Sudha Garimella, clinical assistant professor in the School of Health Research and medical director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension at Prisma Health–Upstate, t0 continue to develop ammonia breath-test sensors that can be used by patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to measure the ammonia concentration in their exhaled breath. This technology would enable patients with CKD to monitor their physiologic status within the comfort of their own homes.

    Managed by the Clemson University Research Foundation, the goal of the fund is to increase applied research collaborations between Clemson faculty, graduate students and Prisma Health clinicians and to promote ideation and design of medical technology innovations that are attractive for commercialization.

    “The Innovation Maturation Fund is a special funding program that was developed in conjunction with the Clemson Division of Research and Prisma Health to target unmet needs in the health care industry,” said Chris Gesswein, executive director of the Clemson University Research Foundation. “I am excited to be able to participate in granting the first round of funds to deserving researchers through this new program. An important step towards fostering and supporting innovation in health sciences, with this program we have the unique opportunity to accelerate the commercialization of medical technologies in an effort to create a more self-sustaining model for promoting growth in health care.”

    “Prisma Health is excited to partner with Clemson University to engage companies and researchers in developing the next innovative breakthroughs in healthcare,” said Cody Reynolds, technology transfer manager in the Office of Innovation at Prisma Health-Upstate. “The Innovation Maturation Fund provides early-stage technical solutions to clinical opportunities and access to clinical learning environments that will equip researchers with the tools necessary to successfully obtain public and private funding.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Two SC organizations have launched a new investment fund designed to boost health care innovation see more

    GREENVILLE, South Carolina — Two leading South Carolina organizations have launched a new investment fund designed to boost health care innovation in the state. The Clemson University Division of Research and the Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Prisma Health recently signed agreements to fund up to $200,000 per year in grants through the new Innovation Maturation Fund.

    The health care-focused grants are intended to advance the development and implementation of new medical initiatives, advance translational science, create job and educational opportunities, improve health care and drive economic growth in the region.

    “This is an important step to support health sciences research in our state,” said David Sudduth, vice president and chief operating officer of the Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health. “While we have a strong history of academic, research and innovation partnership in the Upstate through the Health Sciences Center, this is the first of what we hope will be many grant-making opportunities designed with our academic partners in order to support our community.”

    “Pairing Clemson University’s health research and bioengineering capabilities with Prisma Health’s industry-leading clinical environment provides an incredible opportunity for the development of medical technologies and initiatives that will improve health care for South Carolinians and many others,” said Tanju Karanfil, Clemson University vice president for research. “I am excited to see the ideas and impactful innovations that stem from this partnership.”

    The fund will be managed by the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF), which manages the process of moving Clemson’s hundreds of innovative technologies from the laboratory into commercial markets. CURF has awarded more than $870,000 in maturation funds to Clemson researchers across academic disciplines since the launch of a similar fund in 2014. Those funds have led to startup companies, new technologies available for license and follow-on research investments.

    The new Innovation Maturation Fund — launched in cooperation with the HSC and Prisma Health — is the first such fund targeted exclusively toward researchers in the health sciences.

    “We look forward to working with Prisma Health to leverage this fund to advance promising medical technologies from ideation through initial phases of translational product development,” said Chris Gesswein, executive director of CURF. “By identifying and targeting unmet clinical needs early in the research process, we have a wonderful opportunity to impact successful downstream commercialization of technologies developed and matured through this Innovation Maturation Fund.”

    Prisma Health clinicians, Clemson research faculty and graduate students are eligible for grant funds. Applications for the first round of grants will be accepted this fall. For more information, click here.

    Innovation Maturation Fund Partners

    The Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) is an independent 501(c)3 organization and was created to support the Clemson University research enterprise, guiding Clemson researchers through the technology transfer process by identifying, protecting, and developing university intellectual property. CURF is committed to creating a sustainable model for research by connecting Clemson researchers to external organizations and identifying opportunities for research collaboration to feed back into Clemson University.

    The Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health is a collaboration between Prisma Health, Clemson University, Furman University and University of South Carolina. Located on the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus, this nationally recognized center seeks to bridge the gap between academics, research, clinical practice and health care transformation in a way that is innovative, inter-institutional, interprofessional and interdisciplinary. Regional community, education and business leaders also participate in the Health Sciences Center’s shared governance.

    Prisma Health, a not-for-profit health company, is committed to excellence in patient care, clinical research and teaching the next generation of medical professionals. Our organization – South Carolina’s largest private employer – was formed when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health joined together in late 2017, officially becoming Prisma Health in January 2019. With 32,000 team members (including volunteers), 18 hospitals and over 300 physician practice sites, we serve more than 1.2 million patients annually – about a quarter of the state’s population. Our goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care. Our cardiovascular, neuroscience, OB/GYN, oncology and orthopedic programs attract patients throughout the region. Also noteworthy are our two renowned children’s hospitals, comprehensive diabetes care and extensive primary care network. Ultimately, we are dedicated to transforming the health care experience for our patients and families, our team members and guests by bringing our purpose to life: Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference. Learn more at