As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University is constantly advancing, innovating, and changing the future of the world.
Here are some recent research efforts you may have missed.
MSU will increase its fleet of electric vehicles by nearly 370 Vehicles
The university has announced that it plans to convert 369 vehicles from its fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles to fully electric vehicles over the next decade.
This transition will move MSU moves closer to its goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 as the change will reduce the university’s overall carbon footprint by 18,945 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the long term.
To reinvigorate the commitment, MSU has purchased 40 new electric vehicles and is relying on its electric charging network.
A new invention makes surgeries easier, faster and safer
MSU Professor and Head of Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery at MSU Veterinary Medical Center Dr Loic Dejardin invented and patented the Sacroiliac Dislocation Instrumentation System, or SILIS, and a minimally invasive Lucent Aiming Device, or MILAD.
The invention will make surgeries for injured sacroiliac joints – where the spine connects to the pelvis – more effective and efficient.
Sacroiliac joint dislocations and fractures, or SIL/Fs, are often found in dogs and cats that have sustained car injuries. Traditionally, these injuries can be treated by three methods: open reduction and internal fixation, invasive surgery with an inconsistent success rate, and a minimally invasive osteosynthesis procedure – where an intraoperative imaging modality called fluoroscopy creates an “X-ray film” of the surgical site, helping to avoid invasive surgery but exposing both patient and surgical team to ionizing radiation and ‘caged rest’, prolonging pain and suffering.
The SILAS-MILAD solves these problems because it requires only small incisions and the surgical team can walk away while x-rays are taken. In fact, the invention is so productive that it reduces SIL/F surgeries from 1-2 hours to 30 minutes.
PET scanner arrives at the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Center
Michigan’s first total body PET/CT scanner arrived this month at MSU Radiopharmacy in the Doug Meijer Innovation Building.
The total body scanner scans cancer patients more efficiently than conventional imaging, with a head-to-toe scan lasting as short as 60 seconds – a stark contrast to the 40 minutes of traditional scanners.
BAMF Health will begin using the scanner in July to treat patients with prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.
MSU researchers receive $3.7 million grant for autism research
A team of MSU researchers has received a five-year, $3.7 million grant from National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders study language in young children with autism.
The team is led by the Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor of Communication Science and Disorders at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Courtney Venker. She is joined by Professor of Clinical Psychology Brooke Ingersoll, associate professor in human development and family studies ryan bowles and speech therapist Jenny Johnson.
The project is scheduled to begin in June and has the ultimate goal of improving the ability to offer clinical recommendations on how best to support language development in young children with autism.
Traditionally, adults are advised to simplify what they say to autistic children in order to create a clearer message. However, there is little evidence of the effects of this method.
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“The challenge is that as a field of speech-language pathology, we really don’t have a lot of empirical evidence or research to guide the decisions we make about how to talk to children,” Venker said. “The goal of this study is to gather the information we need to make these evidence-based decisions and to better individualize the way we speak, because we know that some young children with autism have very good language skills. …d “Other children don’t speak yet and may have trouble understanding what they hear. So we’re taking children through this range of spoken language levels and we’ll be able to see what works best for which child.
To conduct the research, Venker and his team will work with more than 100 young autistic children in MSU’s Lingo Lab.
“We are incredibly honored and humbled to have received this funding,” Venker said. “In practice, this means that we will be able to benefit from the support necessary to carry out this project which we believe is very important in ensuring that children have all the opportunities they deserve.”