2 UC Davis Health faculty members among 2022 CITRIS Seed Award recipients


Two faculty members from UC Davis Health are among those who have earned a 2022 CITRIS Seed Award.

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) at the University of California annually awards “interdisciplinary research projects that show promise to shape the future of their fields,” according to the Institute’s website.

All eight projects receiving the award funding are composed of multi-campus teams from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz, and each receives up to $60,000.

Alyssa Weakley is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology.

Her team’s project, “Activity monitoring to improve caregiver connection and care for older adults living alone with Alzheimer’s disease,” seeks to create a digital platform allowing caregivers to monitor their loved ones’ activities. The method utilizes vibration sensors and machine learning to provide data. The goal of the project is to help keep people with memory concerns such as dementia and Alzheimer’s safely in their own homes.

Daniel Cates is an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

He is part of a team focused on “Restoring speech communication with a multimodal decoder-synthesizer.” The project will develop a device aimed at combatting dysarthria, a condition that does not allow an individual to produce comprehensible speech. Cates’ team hopes to build a decoder-synthesizer to produce fluent speech in a user’s own voice.

The CITRIS Seed Funding program supports innovative, early-stage research in the information technology sector that has promise to attain larger-scale funding from diverse sources. Since 2008, the program has awarded funds to more than 240 UC-wide collaborative research projects.

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