Department of Psychiatry Research Department receives funding from South Korea

The UNMC Department of Psychiatry Research Division announced $141,000 in funding from the South Korea Ministry of Science, Information, and Technology. Research Director Soonjo Hwang, MD, said the funding will be used to conduct a clinical study of virtual reality assessments of ADHD. 

The new study is for children with ADHD, ages 5-13.

“This will be a phase I study for the feasibility of this project/product in the US, and we already started discussing Phase II in the next year if this becomes successful, with larger funding and larger scope of work including intervention studies,” Dr. Hwang said. “The funding application was a very competitive process, and everyone worked really hard to receive this among many other very competitive applicants.”

Dr. Hwang traveled to South Korea in early 2023 to discuss funding with leaders of the South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology to obtain grants for several projects, including the current project.

“The South Korean government is very much interested in supporting this international collaboration project, especially on Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Research,” Dr. Hwang said. “We are aiming to build a strong international partnership with them. Previously, the South Korean government, ministry of education funded a published study on fluoxetine and fMRI to UNMC. Thus, the current study will be in line with our on-going effort”

While in South Korea, Dr. Hwang also met with officials at Hippo T&C, a South Korean company that has developed ADHD diagnostic and therapeutic tools, which are combined efforts of medicine, engineering, and psychiatry. According to its website, Hippo T&C is opening a new horizon for collecting and analyzing digital biomarkers in everyday life and managing and treating health in a personalized way.

Dr. Hwang is also in conversation with the researchers at Mount Sinai Health Systems in New York City for this project. The two health systems have discussed working together to conduct a multi-site trial with the goal of bringing the South Korean company’s virtual reality (VR) technology to the United States.

As part of the project, Dr. Hwang sent Department of Psychiatry Clinical Study Coordinator Minjoo Kang, M.Ed., to South Korea to discuss execution of the clinical trial with the Hippo T&C executives. 

“I’m glad I will be able to work on the VR equipment and continue to build a great connection with our colleagues in South Korea. It’s nice that Dr. Hwang can send me to South Korea to develop personal connection with them. As someone from South Korea, I feel like in my role as Clinical Study Coordinator, I can work with them, learn about what they are doing in South Korea and bring it back to UNMC.”

Kang spent six weeks in South Korea. The plan is to have her as the lead coordinator of the project. Dr. Hwang hopes to have the multi-site study up and going within the next 12 months.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

QlmiUUM o eajap pCoDP