Umer Hassan receives DURIP Award for Combatting Decompression Illness in Undersea Missions

Assistant Professor Umer Hassan has received a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) Award  for his project titled "MEDIUM: Monitoring and Engineering Decompression Illness during Undersea Missions." The DURIP instrumentation awards provide the unique means through which the Depart of Defense supports universities in the acquisition of essential laboratory equipment, usually out of reach for most research grants.  As part of this project, Dr. Hassan  has received a $84625 award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to build the MEDIUM platform for personalized testing, monitoring and engineering divers’ innate ability to prevent decompression illness, one of the most prevalent medical conditions experienced by the divers during underwater diving missions. Current diagnosis is highly non-specific and relies on symptoms such as joint pains, paralysis, fatigue, memory loss, and shortness of breath. Decompression usually results in a blocked blood vessel caused by air or gas bubbles and subsequently triggers the divers’ immunological response. It’s a highly individualized condition with patients experiencing different levels of severity and can potentially lead to shock and patients’ mortality. The challenges include stratifying a highly individualized condition with heterogeneity in divers’ immune response to the presence of bubbles and strategizing the personalized therapeutic drugs. The MEDIUM platform will be instrumental in performing experiments to address the above challenges.   

Congratulations Umer!