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Research Grants

Smart Brain Imager
Sponsor: PA Department of Community and Economic Development, Manufacturing PA Initiative
Dates: 8/1/2020 - 7/31/2021
Collaborators: Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu and Infrascan, Inc.

Current smart health devices can conveniently and efficiently monitor various physiological signals from the body such as heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. Although it is one of the most vital organs, monitoring of the brain both physiologically and functionally in everyday and everywhere settings remains a challenge. This is partially because, until recently, existing neuromonitoring methods based on electrophysiology or magnetic resonance imaging would not allow wearable, battery operated, wireless, easy to use designs that can be reliably deployed in mobile, real-life environments. This collaborative project aims to design, develop and manufacture a universal, comfortable, durable, affordable and reliable platform, based upon functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology, that is miniaturized, fully wireless and app-operable, which can accelerate cognitive health monitoring.

Portable Diffuse Optical Sensors for Point-of-Care Monitoring in Prolonged Field Care
Sponsor: Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
Dates: 7/2020 - 7/2022
Collaborators: Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu, Drexel University (lead), Hebrew University, Infrascan Inc.

The proposed portable system will be designed to integrate several screening, diagnosis and monitoring functions into a single ruggedized system capable of simultaneously monitoring multiple brain and body vital signs to help identify and monitor medical management of injuries and exposures.

Dr. Izzetoglu’s contributions will include:

  • Laboratory and animal model test protocol design
  • Algorithm development
  • Analysis and evaluation of the outcomes for cerebral and body oximetry
  • Cerebral edema monitoring
  • Hemorrhage assessment
  • Hematoma detection using the proposed system

Brain systems of locomotion and falls in older persons with Multiple Sclerosis
National Institutes of Health - RO1
Dates: 7/1/2019-6/30/2024
Collaborators: Roee Holtzer, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Primary)
Meltem Izzetoglu, Villanova University (Subcontract PI)
Manuel Hernandez, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Subcontract)
Robert Motl, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Subcontract)

This study aims to identify brain systems, structures and novel mechanisms of mobility using advanced neuroimaging methods which can predict increased incident fall risk among patients with multiple sclerosis.

The paucity of data regarding cognitive and brain control of mobility and falls in MS presents a critical gap in knowledge that significantly impedes translation to clinical interventions. Identifying novel modifiable biomarkers of falls and mobility impairments in older adults with MS is of paramount epidemiological and clinical significance. Elucidating the mechanistic underpinnings of brain systems controlling mobility in older adults with MS will have a major impact on knowledge and potential implications for assessment. Read more.

Point of Injury Device to Measure and Monitor Physiological Parameters Relevant to Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
U.S. Army
Dates: 09/01/17 – 03/31/19

The goal of this project is to design and evaluate a miniaturized version of near infrared (NIR) based hematoma detection device for trauma victims at the site of injury.

Biological and Neural Mechanisms of Falls
National Institutes of Health
Dates: 09/01/13 – 05/31/18

This project aims to study biological and neural contributions to falls in aging by: 1) determining biological mechanisms contributing to falls; 2) establishing contributions of central microvascular pathology to fall risk using state of the art neuroimaging techniques; 3) establishing the contribution of the prefrontal cortex to falls using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which enables imaging during walking.

Portable Near Infrared Field Triage and Resuscitation Aid Technology for Combat Casualty Care
Marine Corps System Command
Dates: 09/01/14 – 08/31/17

The goal of this project is to deploy a portable near infrared (NIR) based device for field triage and resuscitation of trauma victims at the site of injury.

Central Control of Mobility in Aging
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health
Dates: 03/01/11 – 03/01/16

This project aims to examine the effects of executive control and fatigue on the maintenance of mobility and risk of mobility disability in aging and their underlying brain substrates. Brain structural and functional substrates of the associations among executive control, central fatigue and mobility will be determined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIR).

HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Improved Control and Sensory Feedback for Neuroprosthetics
National Science Foundation
Dates: 06/01/11 – 05/31/16

This project aims to examine the effects of different types of feedback on learning how to grasp with an exoskeleton.

Non-invasive Monitoring of Cerebral Edema in Real-Time Using a Novel Near Infrared Spectroscopy Monitoring System
Drexel University CURE Grant
Dates: 01/01/14 – 12/31/15

In this project, we propose to test the hypothesis that cerebral edema contributes to ongoing brain injury in after perinatal hypoxia-ischemia, and that early detection and management of cerebral edema using an NIR based technology will decrease subsequent brain injury on a piglet model.

ACE – Adolescent Comprehension Evaluation
Drexel University Innovation Grant
Dates: 04/01/13 – 03/31/14

Brief description: This project aims to develop an app based comprehension evaluation tool for adolescents and test it through brain based measures using fNIRS technology

Non-Invasive Hand-Held TBI-Induced Brain Edema Monitoring System
The Wallace H. Coulter Translational Partners Grant Program

The overall goal of this project is to design and develop a near infrared (NIR) based mobile imaging device to detect and continuously monitor brain edema at the site of injury and in the hospital as well.

Reading Acceleration Program for the Enhancement of Reading Fluency and Comprehension
The Wallace H. Coulter Translational Partners Grant Program
Dates: 04/01/12 – 03/31/13

The main objective of this project is to design, develop and evaluate a web based reading acceleration program in English for the enhancement of reading skills including reading fluency and comprehension of grade school students, primarily in the fourth grade with and without reading disabilities.


Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu

Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu
Electrical and Computer Engineering