TYLER – The University of Texas at Tyler announced that assistant professor of electrical engineering Dr. Premananda Indic has received a $500,000 UT System Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) Award to address life-threatening situations among infants and the mentally ill in rural areas. The funds will create a dedicated research center at UT Tyler to develop wearable biosensor systems for the prediction of life-threatening events in preterm infants and for the detection of suicidal ideation in individuals with mental illness. “East Texas has the highest rate of suicide and second highest rate of infant mortality compared to other regions in Texas. Over half of the population in this region lives in rural areas, with limited access to healthcare,” Indic said. “The research in our center will focus on developing low cost, miniature wearable wireless sensor systems that can be deployed to rural areas for monitoring of vital signals from vulnerable people. We hope that this system can provide valuable information remotely to clinicians for the effective management and treatment of such people.” The STARs program is designed to provide the necessary resources to retain high-quality faculty researchers. “The STARs Award affords us an internal means to recruit and retain stellar researchers, such as Dr. Indic, and to provide the equipment and laboratories they need to sufficiently pursue their research,” said Dr. Amir Mirmiran, UT Tyler provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Serving UT Tyler since 2016, Indic holds degrees in technology and electrical and electronics engineering and completed postdoctoral training in medicine. He also is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Indic earned research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Aside from wearable technology and big data analytics, his other research interests include signal processing, machine learning, biomathematics and nonlinear dynamics. A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered. With more than 10,000 students, UT Tyler has facilities in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.