December 14, 2017

SVSU professors to use Braun Fellowship to study signs of metabolic syndrome, managing patient flow in health care

Saginaw Valley State University will support two professors in their scholarly endeavors to improve people’s health. Jay Scott, associate professor of biology, and Danilo Sirias, professor of management, have been awarded SVSU’s Braun Fellowship.

Scott intends to continue investigating the influence of dietary fats, carbohydrates and contaminants on health and disease. Sirias plans to produce case studies regarding the management of patient flow in health care environments.

Each will receive research support grants totaling up to $37,500 over the next three years to further their scholarly and professional activities. Funds may be used for research expenses, equipment, travel and/or other related support. 

Scott has studied metabolic syndrome, characterized by an increase in body weight, fat accumulation, inflammation, and altered metabolism. These symptoms have proven to lead to an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

Through his latest research, Scott plans to examine the signs of metabolic syndrome induced by diets with varying macronutrient ratios and work to determine if diet-related changes in physiology are modified by the exposure to environmental contaminants. This study should increase understanding of how dietary components lead to disease states, and help to identify whether environmental contaminants in food are independent risk factors for disease.

Through other grant-supported research, Scott has previously investigated related topics such as cardiovascular disease. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the cardiology division of the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. An active researcher, Scott has written 12 scholarly articles and given 19 invited scientific presentations.

Scott joined the SVSU biology faculty in 2012. He completed his bachelor’s degree at SVSU, where he played on the baseball team. A native of Ontario, Scott completed his Ph.D. at Queen's University.

As a result of his research, Sirias plans to publish three teaching case studies on the topic of managing patient flow in different health care environments. The three areas he will examine are primary or specialist care, admitted patients, and operating rooms. Sirias will outline the most common difficulties associated with each environment, as well as offering strategies to address the problems detailed throughout the case studies and suggestions for how the material should be taught.

Sirias has prior research experience on the topic. In 2015, he presented “A Proposed Framework to Determine Chokepoints Preventing Better Patient Flow in Emergency Departments,” to the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines. Sirias has received six prior grants -- four of which were through SVSU -- in order to fund research related to labor force, coordination in health care systems, virtual education and management techniques.

Sirias joined the SVSU management faculty in 2001. He completed his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering at the National University of Engineering in Nicaragua. Sirias then completed a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis.

Established in 2005, the Braun Fellowship program was created through a $1.5 million endowment from the Saginaw-based Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation. Administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation, the program's purpose is to recognize the exceptional accomplishments and potential of select SVSU faculty and staff. It is named in honor of Ruth Braun and her late husband, Ted.