Science Research Roundup: Summer 2018

This summer, Arts & Sciences researchers were awarded grants from organizations including the National Science Foundation and NASA.

Deanna Barch, professor and chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and associate dean for academic affairs, was awarded $3.55 million from the National Institutes of Health in support of research on "Effort-based decision-making and motivated behavior in everyday life."

Petra Levin, professor of biology, received $2.08 million from National Institute of General Medical Sciences toward research on homeostatic control of bacterial growth and cell division.

Meredith Jackrel, assistant professor of chemistry, received a five-year, $1.9 million National Institutes of Health grant for her project “Safeguards of the proteome: Elucidating the roles of protein disaggregases.” 

Joel Myerson, research professor of psychological and brain sciences, and Leonard Green, professor of psychological and brain sciences and of economics, were awarded $1.61 million from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled "Decision-making in younger and older adults: A discounting framework." 

Joan Strassmann, Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology, and David Queller, Spencer T. Olin Professor, both in the Department of Biology, received a $1.14 million grant from the National Science Foundation toward a research project titled "Kith and kin in amoeba-bacteria cooperation."

Bruce Carlson, associate professor of biology, was awarded $700,000 from the National Science Foundation for research on “Adaptive rewiring of a sensory network through spike-timing-dependent plasticity.” 

Jeffrey G. Catalano, professor of Earth and planetary sciences, will use a $676,000 grant from NASA to investigate "Life on clays: Evaluating Fe(II)-smectites as electron eonors on the early Earth and on other planetary bodies."

Ram Dixit, associate professor, Eric Herzog, professor, and Ian Duncan, professor, all in the Department of Biology, were awarded $650,000 from the National Science Foundation to acquire a multiphoton microscope system as a shared instrument for the Washington University research community.

Douglas Chalker, professor of biology, won a $495,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of a project titled "Establishing a genomics education alliance: Steps toward sustainability."

William Buhro, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, received a $480,000 award from the National Science Foundation toward his research on intramolecular anodic olefin coupling reactions.

Regina Frey, Florence E. Moog Professor of STEM Education and associate professor of chemistry, was awarded $437,000 from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project titled "Inclusive learning and teaching in undergraduate STEM instruction."  

Erik Henriksen, assistant professor of physics, received a $406,000 National Science Foundation grant toward a project titled "Pursuit of quantum spin liquids in exfoliated anti-ferromagnetic insulators." Henriksen was also awarded $69,000 from Zyvex Labs to collaborate on the development of atomically precise fabrication and contactless measurement technology.

Bronwen Konecky, assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences, was awarded $317,000 from the National Science Foundation toward a collaborative research project titled "A Model/Proxy Synthesis of Walker Circulation Trends During the Last Millennium."

Xinyi Liu, assistant professor of archaeology in the Department of Anthropology, won a $312,000 National Science Foundation grant in support of research on the origins and spread of millet cultivation.

Richard D. Vierstra, George and Charmaine Mallinckrodt Professor in the Department of Biology, received $304,000 from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled "Phytochromes: Structural perspectives on photoactivation and signaling." Vierstra was also granted $49,000 from the NIH to study autophagic clearance of inactive proteasomes and ribosomes as models for protein quality control. 

Odis Johnson, associate professor of education and of sociology, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant of $300,000 to explore how national datasets can be used to promote broader participation of underrepresented race-gender groups in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Brett Wick, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will use a $230,000 National Science Foundation grant to study "Applications of harmonic analysis to Riesz transforms and commutators beyond the classical settings."

Xiang Tang, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Noncommutative geometry and analytic Grothendieck Riemann Roch theorem." Noncommutative geometry is an emerging branch of mathematics that examines the spaces where functions, like the position and momentum, depend on the order in which they are encountered and multiplied. 

Jonathan Myers, associate professor of biology, is a co-investigator on a $200,000 National Science Foundation EAGER grant for the project “Disentangling the effects of ecological clade sorting and adaptive diversification to the assembly of regional biotas.”

Douglas A. Wiens, Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was awarded $173,000 from the National Science Foundation in support of research on "Comprehensive seismic and thermal models for Antarctica and the Southern Oceans: A synthesis of 15-years of seismic exploration."

Tammy English, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, was awarded $156,000 from the National Institutes of Health toward research on the role of cognitive and social processes in emotion regulation across adulthood.

Yanli Song, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received a $161,000 National Science Foundation grant to study a new application of equivariant index theory. 

Carlos Botero, assistant professor of biology, received a $150,000 National Science Foundation EAGER grant for the project "Removing barriers to macro-ecoevolutionary studies of the avian brain."

Hani Zaher, associate professor of biology, was awarded $136,000 from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the role of the ribosome in determining the fate of damaged mRNA. 

Todd Braver, professor of psychological and brain sciences, will use a $107,000 National Institutes of Health grant to study dual mechanisms of cognitive control. 

Todd Kuffner, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received a $100,000 National Science Foundation collaborative grant to study "New developments in direct probabilistic inference on interest parameters." NSF also awarded Kuffner $7,000 in support of the third workshop on higher-order asymptotics and post-selection inference. 

Michael Krawczynski, assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences, and Kelsey Prissel, a doctoral candidate working with Krawczynski, received a $90,000 award from NASA in support of a project titled "Experimental investigation of lunar iron isotope fractionation and implications." 

Bradley Jolliff, Scott Rudolph Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Michael Bouchard, a doctoral candidate working with Jolliff, were awarded $89,000 from NASA toward a project titled "Investigating Martian rock types and origins via rover observations and comparisons to Martian meteorites." 

Thomas Steina researcher in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, received a $68,000 grant from NASA in support of database development and analysis for the Mars Phoenix Scout Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer.

Joseph Jez, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, will collaborate on a $762,000 National Science Foundation grant on the mechanisms and impacts of de-regulating aromatic amino acid biosynthesis in plants. The goal is to understand how plants regulate the biosynthesis of these molecules and how different upstream and downsteam pathways, which move substantial amounts of carbon into building blocks for growth, are coordinated.                        

Crickette Sanz, associate professor of physical anthropology, was awarded $56,000 from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden toward her research on the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project.

Philip Skemer, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences, will use a $33,000 National Science Foundation award to support research on satellite observations and modelling of surface meltwater flow and its impact on ice shelves.

Michael Frachetti, associate professor of archaeology, received a $30,000 grant from the National Geographic Society in support of a research project titled "Nomadic urbanism and connectivity along the Medieval Silk Road."   

Emorie Beck, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences, will use a $5,000 award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for a research project titled "Personalized interventions: Using networks to change behavior and predict outcomes."

Denise Head, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences and of African and African American studies, was one of 11 female scientists from around the world awarded scientific heirlooms by their peers at the fifth Suffrage Science Awards for Life Sciences. The awards celebrate women in science and encourage others to enter science and reach senior leadership roles.

Crystal Riley Koenig and Yi-Ling Lin, graduate students in anthropology, have been recognized with 2018 academic excellence awards from the Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society.

Alexander Barnes, assistant professor of chemistry, has been recognized with a 2018 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, recognizing his independent scholarship and deep commitment to education. Barnes will use his unrestricted $75,000 award to improve a technology to detect the chemical agents that flush out HIV DNA hiding inside living cells — genetic information which otherwise prevents a curative treatment.

The Department of Chemistry recently received an Innovation Award from the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in recognition of its outstanding program that improves research safety on campus.

Did we miss something? Let us know.

For assistance with proposal writing, editing, coordination, and other related projects, please contact 
Crystal Gammon, grants and science writer in Arts & Sciences.

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