CSEE Professor Tülay Adali and Professor Kelly Westlake from the University of Maryland School of Medicine received an award from the joint UMBC-UMB Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program for a project  that ultimately will improve the recovery of stroke victims. The new joint UMBC-UMB Seed Grant Program pairs primary investigators from UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to conduct research as a team. Successful partners are offered research funding of up to $75,000 over twelve months to pursue their collaboration.

Nearly 800,000 U.S. citizens have a stroke each year, making it the leading cause of long-term disability. Treatment for stroke victims is mainly targeted towards residual functional deficits, especially regaining hand functions. Their project (“Independent Vector Analysis to Investigate Cognitive Neural Networks after Stroke: A Comparison between Two Rehabilitation Interventions”) will have a direct impact on stroke rehabilitation through objective evaluation of the two main treatment paradigms currently in use: unimanual (involving one hand) and bimanual (involving both hands) training. The evaluation will use the new class of medical image analysis techniques, independent vector analysis (IVA) algorithms, developed by Dr. Adali and her research group. The new class of IVA algorithms successfully captures subject variability and perform significantly better than the approaches traditionally used for the problem.

The initial results of the project demonstrate the advantages using IVA for the problem and will be presented this month at the 48th Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems in Princeton, NJ. The PIs are preparing two journal submissions, one based on the methods developed for the task and a second one emphasizing clinical significance of the results. These results will also provide the preliminary data for the proposal that Professors Adali and Westlake plan to submit to the NIH later this year.