June 28, 2016

Profs. Berger, Awad Win $1.88M NIH Grant

Prof. Andrew BergerAndrew Berger (left), Associate Professor of Optics, and Hani Awad (lower right), Professor of Biomedical Engineering, have received a $1.88 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for their project, “Raman Spectroscopic Platform for Transcutaneous Monitoring of Bone Quality.”  Currently, assessing the risk of bone fracture associated with osteoporosis relies primarily on measures of bone mineral density.  These measurements are strongly correlated with bone strength, but not with fracture risk.  The goal of this grant is to demonstrate Raman spectroscopy as a promising, noninvasive way to assess both bone strength and fracture risk, and to also detect improvements in bone quality in response to anti-resorptive and anabolic treatments. 

Prof. Hani Awad

This is an exciting project, with important applications as our population continues to age.  Interestingly, this five-year collaboration between Andrew and Hani started with a Provost Multidisciplinary Award in 2010, which yielded five high profile publications and led to a prior R21 grant from the NIH, which has now culminated in this large MPI R01 award.  As Hani notes, the return on that $75,000 in seed money initially invested in this project through the Provost award is now in excess of $2.25 million in NIH funding.