CSE faculty funded for three precision health projects

The CSE faculty include Prof. David Fouhey, Prof. Danai Koutra, Prof. Rada Mihalcea, and Research Scientist Veronica Perez-Rosas.

Three of seven projects funded through the 2019 U-M Precision Health Investigators Awards have Co-PIs with a home in CSE.

Spanning across 19 colleges and schools, Precision Health brings the best and brightest at U-M together to 1) develop fundamental social, medical, computational, and engineering science; 2) translate these basic science discoveries into promising treatments that are evaluated in partnership with Michigan Medicine patients and regional health systems; and 3) evaluate and increase the public health impact of effective therapies, working with community health systems, policy makers, and payers to implement these therapies nationally.

These three CSE-related projects are highlighted below. Each team of Investigators Awards recipients will be funded with $300,000 over two years to pursue their research.

Characterizing and Understanding Time-varying Functional Connectivity States via Network Science and Deep Neural Networks

Prof. Danai Koutra and Chandra Sripada, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy, have been funded for their project, “Characterizing and Understanding Time-varying Functional Connectivity States via Network Science and Deep Neural Networks.”

Regarding the project, Prof. Koutra says, “The field of dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) is a newly booming and exploratory branch of neuroscience aimed at understanding how the connectivity (i.e., relationships across distinct regions of the brain) in functional brain networks may change over time, even in a ‘resting state.’ The overarching aim of our work is to shake up the existing statistical paradigms with entirely new approaches to tackle the complex problem of detecting dynamicity in noisy fMRI data with data-driven techniques that take maximal advantage of both the spatial and temporal granularity of fMRI.

“By taking a multidisciplinary approach that combines neuroscientific principles with cutting-edge computational methods like deep learning and network science, we will contribute a principled, data-driven framework that will provide much needed generalizability, interpretability and reproducibility to the field of dFC. Our work will bring the tenants of precision medicine to the critically important study of dFC. By enabling the robust and precise identification of baseline time-varying FC, our work may lead to better and earlier non-invasive diagnostics for various psychiatric disorders and may help to better understand their functional origins in the brain.”

Precision Counselor: Natural Language Processing for Enhanced Behavior Counseling

Prof. Rada Mihalcea, Research Scientist Veronica Perez-Rosas, and Kenneth Resnicow, Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education have been funded for their project, “Precision Counselor: Natural Language Processing for Enhanced Behavior Counseling.”

“Patient-centered behavioral counseling for substance abuse, medication adherence, and other behavior changes is a cornerstone of our health care delivery system,” says Prof. Mihalcea. “We are very excited to embark on this collaboration involving expertise in both Artificial Intelligence and Motivational Interviewing to start developing computational methodologies that can assist counselors in their interventions and allow them to receive timely and cost-effective feedback.”

Precision Diagnosis in Patients with Acute Dyspnea by Linking Imaging and Clinical Data

Prof. David Fouhey and Michael Sjoding, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine-Pulmonary/Critical Care, have been funded for their project “Precision Diagnosis in Patients with Acute Dyspnea by Linking Imaging and Clinical Data.”

“Our work investigates how best to develop algorithms that combine data from digital images with clinical data from the electronic health record to support medical diagnosis,” Prof. Sjoding says. “Our focus is on the diagnosis of acute respiratory and cardiac conditions in hospitalized patients. I am a practicing pulmonary and critical care physician at Michigan Medicine, and my Co-PI, David Fouhey, is an expert in computer vision at the College of Engineering. This work leverages our joint expertise and the extensive clinical data resources available through Precision Health.”