UT Tyler

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Institute for Integrated Healthcare (IIH) - Member Highlights

Current Research


The IIH and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences are involved in various research activities. If you are interested in learning more about any of these research efforts, please email the primary contact.

Research Highlight for Dr. X. Neil Dong, Associate Director of Institute for Integrated Healthcare

Dr. Neil Dong

The objective of Dr. Dong's research is to apply the basic principles of biomechanics to solve real-life problems and improve the quality of life for those with chronic musculoskeletal diseases. Dr. Dong is currently working on the following research projects:

1. Fracture risk assessment of spine using stochastically enhanced DXA images.

A total of 54 million U.S. adults aged 50 years and older are affected by osteoporosis and low bone mass, correlating with approximately two million broken bones annually in the United States. Dr. Dong will establish an economical and effective method for identifying patients at high fracture risk and monitoring the treatment response of osteoporotic drugs by combining bone mineral density (BMD) and stochastic predictors – the assessment of the inhomogeneous distribution of BMD from Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scans. This project is currently supported by a research grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Figure 1

Figure 1. (a) DXA images of lumbar spine from the Hologic densitometer; (b) The BMD map of L1-L4 vertebrae from the lumbar spine; and (c) experimental variogram and stochastic predictors from the L2 vertebra. The stochastic predictors, correlation length (L), sill variance (c) and nugget variance (c0), were extracted from the hole-effect model.

2. Rehabilitation strategies to overcome quadriceps weakness for athletes with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

The goal of this research project is to facilitate complete recovery of quadriceps strengths after ACL reconstruction and allow athletes to return to their previous sports activities.

3. Development of a portable EMG-based biofeedback system to alleviate chronic neck pain.

The objective of this application is to develop intervention strategies to lessen neck pain of hospital nurses.

UT Tyler