Beginning in fall 2016, this fellowship gives two years of support for University of Illinois graduate students conducting research on new technologies and clinical tools aimed at advancing individualized medicine. Areas of interest include high performance computing, big data, software development, imaging, nanotechnology, point-of care diagnostics, bioinformatics, systems biology, genomics, and tissue engineering. Graduate students from the UI departments of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and bioengineering are eligible to apply. The fellowship includes a $30,000 stipend, coverage of tuition and select fees, a $5,000 research and travel allowance, and requires the student spend one year at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, doing mentored clinical translational research.
One of the three fellows, PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering Arjun Athreya, is already well acquainted with the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and many of its clinicians and researchers.
Athreya has spent two previous summers in Rochester as a biomedical informatics intern, working with Mayo Clinic scientists to support pharmacogenomics research. Athreya says his goal during his fellowship is to bring about breakthroughs in both science and technology, driven by intricate complexities in biological challenges and important diseases such as depression, cancer, and diabetes.
“From my limited exposure to this domain, it has become very clear to me that central to the success of advancement in healthcare research is a fantastic interdisciplinary team of mentors and access to top quality datasets and computational infrastructure,” says Athreya.
Athreya’s PhD advisor at Illinois, Professor Ravi Iyer, and Dr. Liewei Wang and Dr. Richard Weinshilboum from the Mayo Clinic will mentor and monitor his development of a predictive model that uses a game theory approach to tell whether a patient will respond to drug treatment, given
their genetic biomarkers.
“The interaction facilitated by this fellowship is priceless, and early results of this model are very promising, which tell us that we are moving in the right direction,” says Athreya.
Applications for the Fellowships for Technology-Based Healthcare are accepted year-round. Detailed information on how to apply can be found in the UI Graduate College Fellowship Opportunities Database, or at mayoillinois.org.