University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
myU OneStop

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Prof. Koester’s “Artificial Pancreas” Research Awarded Discovery Transformation Grant by Minnesota Partnership


After an extremely rigorous selection process conducted by globally-prominent diabetes researchers, The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics awarded funding to “A Revolutionary Sensor Platform for Realizing the Artificial Pancreas,” Principle Investigators Yogish Kudva, M.D., professor, Department of Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, and Steven Koester, Ph.D., professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota.

Kudva’s and Koester’s research involves creating a system of automated insulin delivery through continual monitoring of blood glucose. The investigators are developing a graphene-based wireless sensor that can be placed in blood vessels for accurate and continual monitoring of blood glucose levels – a key to achieving optimal glucose control. The project has been referred to, by Kudva, as creating an artificial pancreas.

Kudva’s and Koester’s research was one of four projects deemed to have “the highest potential for transformative results.” 

The four research projects were selected from 2013 Discovery Transformation Grant Program. Together, the selected researchers were awarded a total of $2 million to support their work in diabetes research. Minnesota Partnership funding comes from money appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature.

Other awardees include: Insulin Gene Therapy for Diabetes: PIs Stephen Russell, M.D., Ph.D., professor, Department of Molecular Medicine at Mayo Clinic and R. Scott McIvor, Ph.D., professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota. SERCA Activators for Advanced Diabetes Therapy: PIs David Thomas, Ph.D. and David Bernlohr, Ph.D., professors, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota. A Novel Method for Detecting and Targeting Diabetes Specific CD4+ T Cells: PI is Brian Fife, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, formed in 2003, is a unique collaborative venture among Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and State of Minnesota with the goal of positioning MN as a world leader in biotechnology and biomedical research that improves health and saves lives while offering economic advantages to the state. Minnesota Partnership funding comes from money appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature. To learn more about the Partnership, click here.