Research Wire

The very latest Washington University research news

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9.21.17
Rohan Mishra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a four-year, $361,177 grant from the National Science Foundation to design highly efficient catalysts using 2-D materials. He is collaborating with researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They hope the work could have a major impact in energy-related systems, such as carbon dioxide conversion. Read more on the School of Engineering site.


9.19.17
Gregory Bowman, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, nearly $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Allosteric impact of non-active-site mutations on enzymatic function.”


9.19.17
Mary Kathryn Sewell-Loftin, a postdoctoral research scholar in internal medicine at the School of Medicine, received $59,166 as part of a three-year grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “The Role of Cancer-Associated Fibroblast Biomechanics on Angiogenesis.”


9.15.17
Engineers are honing in on a new way to accurately assess the effects of forces during a traumatic brain injury. The National Science Foundation recently awarded  Phil Bayly, the Lilyan & E. Lisle Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and his collaborators — Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and assistant professor of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, and Joel Garbow, professor of radiology at the School of Medicine — a three-year, $467,000 grant to develop and validate the new measurement method. Learn more on the engineering site.


9.14.17
Jeffrey G. Catalano, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $249,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of a collaborative project titled “Linking metal nanoparticle chemical modifications at the luminal/intestinal epithelia interface to intracellular alterations of essential metal homeostasis.” Catalano also received $171,000 from the National Science Foundation as co-investigator of a research project titled “Impact of redox-driven recrystallization on the stability and reactivity of uranium and lead oxides.”


9.14.17
Denise Head, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, was awarded $229,000 from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of a project titled “Understanding the return journey: route reversal in younger and older adults.”


9.13.17
Ximena Lemoine, a graduate student in archaeology in Arts & Sciences, received a $20,000 Wenner Gren dissertation fieldwork grant in support of research on “Pigs in Neolitithic North China: domestication in the context of diversity and regional expression.”


9.13.17
Caitlin Rankin,a graduate student in archaeology in Arts & Sciences, received a National Geographic Society Young Explorer Grant of $4,600 toward a research project titled “Wet or dry? Geoarchaeological evidence of regional climate variation in the central Mississippi River valley.”


9.12.17
Ryan Clegg-Watkins, a postdoctoral research associate working with Bradley L. Jolliff, the Scott Rudolph Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $48,000 grant from NASA in support of a research project titled “Determining boulder size, frequency and range distributions around impact craters at spacecraft landing sites.” Also, Michael Bouchard, a doctoral student in earth and planetary sciences, also working with Jolliff, received $44,000 through the NASA Earth Space and Science Fellowship program in support of a research project titled “Investigating Martian rock types and origins via rover observations and comparisons to Martian meteorites.”


9.12.17
Raymond E. Arvidson, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $50,000 from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a collaborator on a Martian mineral spectroscopy project.


9.6.17
Meredith Jackrel, assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, received an $80,000 Springboard Fellowship from the Target ALS Foundation in support of her research on protein folding and neurodegenerative disease.


9.6.17
Pratim Biswas, the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of energy, environmental and chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and Richard Axelbaum, the Stifel & Quinette Jens Professor of Environmental Engineering Science at the School of Engineering, received a $499,841 grant from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled “SusChEM: Ultrafine Particle Formation in Advanced Low Carbon Combustion Processes.”


9.6.17
Todd Kuffner, assistant professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences, received an $80,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project titled “Higher-order asymptotics and accurate inference for post-selection.”


9.6.17
Laura Hennefield, a postdoctoral research associate in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $57,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of a research project titled “The development of optimism in preschool-age children: individual differences and implications for resiliency and mental health.”


9.6.17
Elijah Thimsen, assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a three-year, $248,984 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the vaporization of nanoparticles in low-temperature plasmas. He will explore a new aerosol mechanism in these plasmas that has not been previously studied. The mechanism allows for materials, such as metals, to vaporize at room temperature, due to the nonequilibrium environment within the plasma. Learn more on the School of Engineering site.


9.5.17
Bailey Fearing, postdoctoral research associate in biomedical engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a two-year, $120,000 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Cytoskeletal Regulation of Human Nucleus Pulposus Cell Phenotype.”


8.31.17
James Buckley, professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, received a $220,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in support of theoretical and experimental studies in particle physics and cosmology.


8.31.17
Bryce Sadtler, assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, received a $110,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund in support of a project titled “Identification of active sites in methane oxidation catalysts by single-molecule fluorescence imaging.”


8.30.17
Joseph Culver, professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Mapping Functional Connectivity with Fluorescence Molecular Tomography.” Culver conducts research in the Optical Radiology Laboratory at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.


8.30.17
Kenneth F. Kelton, the Arthur Holly Compton Professor in Arts and Sciences, in the Department of Physics, received a $386,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled “Fundamental investigations of nucleation processes in silicate liquids and glasses with a goal of developing predictive models for glass formation and crystallization.”


8.30.17
Philip Skemer, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $323,000 from the National Science Foundation in support of a project titled “Using micromechanical experiments to investigate the rheology of geologic materials.” Skemer also was awarded $126,000 by the National Science Foundation toward a collaborative research project titled “EarthCube data infrastructure: A unified experimental-natural digital data system for cataloging and analysis of rock microstructures.”


8.29.17
Douglas A. Wiens, the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $587,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project titled “Solid Earth response of the Patagonian Andes to post-Little Ice Age glacial retreat.”


8.29.17
Elissa Bullion, a doctoral student working with Michael Frachetti, associate professor of archaeology in Arts & Sciences, received $22,000 from the National Science Foundation toward her doctoral research project on the role of urbanization in shaping social identity.


8.24.17
Raj Jain, the Barbara J. & Jerome R. Cox, Jr. Professor of Computer Science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, recently received nearly $300,000 from the National Science Foundation for continued research about cloud-based computing systems. The three-year grant will allow his lab to zero in on how to keep cloud-based computing functioning at its best and more resilient. Read more on the engineering site.


8.24.17
Adam Eggebrecht, an instructor with the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, received a two-year, $419,375 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Mapping Language Processing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Diffuse Optical Tomography.”


8.17.17
Michael Gross, professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, of immunology and of internal medicine at the School of Medicine, received a $50,000 grant from the American Parkinson Disease Association in support of his research on proteins.


8.16.17
Aimee James, associate professor of surgery at the School of Medicine, received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address colorectal cancer mortality rates in rural southern Illinois. James and colleagues will work with Southern Illinois Healthcare to address and improve patient screening and follow-up. Learn more on the Public Health Sciences webpage.


8.14.17
Jessica Wagenseil, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, recently received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study mechanical factors in development of the body’s large arteries.

Wagenseil will determine how hemodynamic forces during embryonic development can affect the assembly of elastic fibers in arteries, as well as overall arterial wall maturation. The research results may be used to improve clinical interventions or tissue engineering protocols to encourage better arterial function.


8.3.17
Arye Nehorai, the Eugene and Martha Lohman Professor of Electrical Engineering, received a four-year, $740,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research for research titled “Advanced Machine Learning Techniques for Adaptive Radars in Nonstationary Environments.” Nehorai is also director of the Center for Sensor Signal and Information Processing in the School of Engineering & Applied Science.


8.2.17
Todd Braver, professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a two-year, $414,000 grant from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Neural mechanisms of mindfulness: a discordant twin design.”


8.2.17
Bruce Fegley Jr., professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $25,000 from NASA for research on the effect of carbon dioxide and water on planetary magma compositions.


8.2.17
Patrick Crowley, professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a three-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project on “SPLICE (secure predictive low-latency information centric edge) for next-generation wireless networks.” He is working with partners from Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ohio State, Purdue and Texas A&M universities.


8.1.17
Christopher A. Maher, an assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, received an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award to support his work into understanding how colon cancer spreads. Most colon cancer research has focused on the proteins in tumors. But a large portion of cancer genomes generate molecules called long noncoding RNAs, which do not encode proteins but may play critical roles in tumor spreading. Maher, also an assistant director at The McDonnell Genome Institute, is studying one such molecule that he recently discovered is altered in patients when the tumor has spread. The award provides a $792,000 grant to support research into how this novel molecule triggers some tumors to metastasize.


7.25.17
Richard Loomis, professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, received a two-year, $110,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for research on halogen bonding interactions.


7.18.17
Amit Pathak, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Siteman Cancer Center. The 2017 Siteman Investment Program Pre-R01 award will fund a project titled “Memory-Plasticity Crosstalk in Cancer Cells.”


7.14.17
Li Yang, associate professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, received a $228,000, three-year grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a research project titled “Ferroelectricity, Multiferroics, and Enhanced Magnetoelectric Effect in Single-Atomic Layers.”


7.11.17
Michael Avidan, MBBCh, the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor of Anesthesiology at the School of Medicine, and Yixin Chen, professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a two-year, $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to apply “big data” and information technology to monitor patient risk factors during surgery in a project called ACTFAST. They will conduct a pilot study of an anesthesiology “control tower” to help prevent negative outcomes and medical errors. Learn more on the School of Engineering site.


7.6.17
Washington University’s Institute for School Partnership has received a $368,630 grant from the Monsanto Fund toward a project titled “MySci Do,” an extension of the institute’s science education program.


6.27.17
Rodrigo Reis, professor at the Brown School, received $248,277 from the Missouri Foundation for Health in support of research on the health consequences that could affect communities as a result of MetroLink expansion proposals, with a goal of informing policymaking for better health outcomes in the St. Louis region.


6.23.17
Arye Nehorai, the Eugene and Martha Lohman Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Center for Sensor Signal and Information Processing in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received $150,000 from the Office of Naval Research in support of research on “Co-Prime Sensor Array Signal Processing.”


5.26.17
Deanna Barch, chair of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences and the Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, received $35,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) toward a project titled “SchizConnect: Large-scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation and Federation.”


5.26.17
Renee Thompson, assistant professor in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $4,500 from the University of Melbourne in support of research on sexual objectification and emotion.


5.26.17
Emily Hanson, university fellow in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $500 from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues toward a research project titled “On the Ironic Effects of Being Empathic: Consequences for Attitude Polarization and Intergroup Conflict.”


5.25.17
Barbara Kunkel, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received a $645,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of research on “Roles of Auxin during Pseudomonas syringae Pathogenesis.”


5.25.17
Debbie Yee, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $30,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Interactions of Motivational Incentives and Cognitive Control in Older Adult Decision-Making.”


5.18.17
Amy McQueen, assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, received a $20,000 grant from the Washington University Center for Diabetes Translational Research to document unmet basic needs and diabetic-related health-care gaps among Medicaid beneficiaries with Type 2 diabetes. The research, conducted in collaboration with the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change at the Brown School, will inform future policy and interventions to reduce diabetes-related health disparities.


5.3.17
The Washington University Center for Women’s Infectious Diseases Research announced its 2016-17 Pilot Grant awardees: Justin Fay, an associate professor of genetics, and Kristine M. Wylie, an assistant professor of pediatrics. Read more on the School of Medicine site.


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