Skip to main content

News and Media

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu
Dr. Dursun Delen

Spears researchers awarded DoD grant to conduct data science research

Monday, December 18, 2023

Media Contact: Jeff Hopper | Communications Coordinator | 405-744-1050 |

A team of researchers from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University have secured a Department of Defense (DoD) grant totalling nearly $1.7 million over the next three years. The grant will allow the Spears researchers to conduct groundbreaking data science research to discover if there’s a correlation between military personnel that have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and later development of epilepsy.

Dr. Dursun Delen, regents professor in management science and information systems (MSIS) and director of research for the Center for Health Systems Innovation (CHSI), and Dr. Zheng Han, then manager of the health data analytics program for CHSI and now an assistant professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, intend to use machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to interpret over 100 million unique patient data points from independent, Veterans Affairs hospital and DoD data sets. The researchers hope to discover if there are any common indicators between military patients that have suffered a traumatic brain injury and later developed epilepsy.

“While I’ve been involved in studies like this previously in my career,” Delen said, “this is the largest scale academic research endeavor I’ve undertaken since joining OSU over 20 years ago. We hope to make a direct and meaningful impact on the identification and treatment of these patients.”

This type of investigation teeters on a line between data driven and medically influenced conclusions. The researchers will begin by developing a better understanding of the medical data points that are known indicators of TBIs and epilepsy, as a place to start investigating. 

From there, the team will let data science take over and uncover possible connections of the two medical conditions within these large data sets. The researchers will present their findings to medical professionals to verify any medical relevance the results may have.

“The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence has essentially made the previously impossible, possible,” Delen said. “Previously, a task like this would likely be seen as a daunting, herculean effort. However, with the continued evolution of machine learning and artificial intelligence, we are able to take these enormous sets of data and thoroughly investigate whether they hold any undiscovered knowledge and actionable insight.”

The team hopes data science will provide a foundation to build a prototype data analysis system for medical facilities to treat these patients more efficiently and effectively.

This grant will be the first large award given to a member of the Center for Predictive Medicine, a burgeoning new initiative within Spears. The goal of the center is to conduct impactful research within the healthcare community, which ultimately helps fulfill OSU’s land-grant mission of improving the health and well-being of the state of Oklahoma and beyond.

“I expect that we will continue to secure external research funding to conduct ground-breaking, impactful research in health analytics and predictive medicine,” said Dr. Rick Wilson, head of the Spears MSIS department. “I think the Center for Predictive Medicine and specifically this grant demonstrates how wide ranging our department and the Spears School of Business research interests are in terms of influencing and making a difference in the world.”

Back To Top
SVG directory not found.