Research Wire

The very latest Washington University research news

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3.23.17
Rohit V. Pappu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, is part of an international team of scientists that received a three-year, $1 million grant from the Human Frontier Science Program to uncover the molecular logic and organization of specialized micrometer-sized structures in cells. Their work will focus on uncovering the organization of membraneless organelles and the selective permeability of biomolecules into these organelles. Read more on the engineering site.


3.3.17
Marcus Foston, assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a five-year, $250,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Herman Frasch Fund for Chemical Research. Foston is working to design a new type of catalyst that turns wasted plant material into a product that can be used for renewable chemical and material production. Learn more on the engineering site.


3.2.17
Ebony B. Carter, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the School of Medicine, has received a career development award from the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The grant will fund a randomized trial comparing group prenatal care to traditional/individual care for women with Type 2 and gestational diabetes.


3.2.17
Jenine Harris, associate professor at the Brown School, has received a $171,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a program aimed at encouraging and facilitating use of open science to advance public health practice and policy by sharing statistical source code. Open-access statistical code is one strategy to develop open and accessible research and to speed the translation of data to findings.


2.14.17
Xiang Tang, professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences, has received a $45,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of a conference titled “A Noncommutative Geometry Festival in Shanghai.”


2.9.17
Todd E. Druley, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, received a $100,000 award from the Kellsie’s Hope Foundation to fund scholarships and support research on sequencing genes related to pediatric cancers.


2.7.17
Erik Herzog, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received $227,000 from the March of Dimes Transdisciplinary Center in support of research on premature deliveries. Herzog also received $38,000 in funding from the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders for research on “Dissecting Downstream SCN Neural Circuits in Sleep and Arousal.”


2.7.17
Hani Zaher, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received a $400,000 award from the Siteman Cancer Center for a project titled “RNA as a Target of Alkylation Chemotherapy in Cancer.”


1.31.17
Nima Mosammaparast, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pathology and immunology at the School of Medicine, has received a $200,000 grant from the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Research Fund to support work studying how DNA is repaired, in hopes of identifying new ways to treat tumors.


1.27.17
Brian Carpenter, professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $2,000 from the American Psychological Association in support of a workshop on “Addressing the Workforce of Academic Geropsychologists.”


1.27.17
Jaclyn Weisman, a university fellow in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $1,000 grant from the American Psychological Association in support of her dissertation research on anxiety disorders, under the direction of Thomas Rodebaugh, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences.


1.26.17
James W. Janetka, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the School of Medicine, has received a $100,000 grant from the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Research Fund to support work designing novel inhibitors intended to prevent the spread of several cancer types, including breast, pancreas, lung, prostate and glioblastoma. Janetka has partnered with Andrea Wang-Gillam, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine, to study these inhibitors against pancreatic cancer and with Shunqiang Li, an assistant professor of medicine, to investigate them against breast cancer.


1.11.17
Juan Carlos Melendez, a graduate student in anthropology in Arts & Sciences, received a $12,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support dissertation research on “The Role of Symbols in Establishing Political Power” under the direction of David Freidel, professor of anthropology.


1.11.17
Christina Karageorgiou, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $6,000 grant from the American Psychological Association toward her research on “The impact of genomic regulation on corticolimbic connectivity and emotion regulation: a pharmacologic challenge fMRI study.” Karageorgiou is working with Deanna Barch, chair of psychological and brain sciences.


1.3.17
Harry McClelland, a postdoctoral researcher in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $21,000 grant from the International Ocean Discovery Program for biogeochemistry research.


1.3.17
Carolyn Barnes, a graduate student in anthropology in Arts & Sciences, received $20,000 from the Wenner-Gren Foundation in support of dissertation research on the thoroughbred horse-racing industry in central Kentucky. Barnes is working with Peter Benson, associate professor of sociocultural anthropology.


1.3.17
Michael Frachetti, associate professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, received a $20,000 grant from the Max van Berchem Foundation for a project titled “Archaeological Research of the Qarakhanids (ARQ): ‘Nomadic’ urbanism and the architecture of production at the mountain town of Tashbulak, Uzbekistan (11th c. AD).”


12.20.16
Kathryn Miller, chair of biology in Arts & Sciences, received a $43,000 grant from the University of Wisconsin–Great Lakes Higher Education supporting the development of scholarship on teaching and learning.


12.16.16
Henric Krawczynski, professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, received a $70,000 grant from NASA for a theoretical study of gravitationally lensed quasars titled “Revealing the Structure of the inner Accretion Flow of the Quasar RXJ 1131-1231.”


12.14.16
Erik Herzog, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received a $824,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as co-principal investigator of a four-year research project titled “Multiscale Modeling of the Mammalian Clock: The Role of GABA Signaling.”


12.8.16
Mary Politi, associate professor of surgery, and Terence Myckatyn, MD, professor of surgery, both of the School of Medicine, received a two-year, $400,000 grant from the Siteman Investment Program to develop a decision-making tool for breast cancer patients. Read more on the Department of Surgery site.


11.29.16
Kelle H. Moley, MD, the James Crane Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and director of the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences at the School of Medicine, has received $1.98 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a renewed five-year study on “Molecular and Metabolic Aspect of Implantation.” The project should have an important impact on the fertility field by revealing mechanisms critical to successful decidualization, implantation and overall pregnancy outcomes.


11.29.16
Andreas Herrlich, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, received a $1.125 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for research titled “The Role of ADAM17 Substrates in Progressive Kidney Disease.” Herrlich’s goal is to to define the molecular mechanism by which ADAM17 and its substrates contribute to progressive kidney disease and to evaluate the therapeutic potential of inhibiting the pathways involved.


11.18.16
David Fike, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, and Jocelyn Richardson, a PhD candidate in geochemistry, will receive a $110,000 grant from the American Chemical Society to undertake a project titled “New Approaches to Reconstructing the Timing of Diagenesis and Porosity Evolution in Sedimentary Carbonate Strata.” Their research will take advantage of the university’s state-of-the-art secondary ion mass spectrometry system along with advanced X-ray spectromicroscopy techniques.


11.18.16
William McKinnon, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $64,000 from the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA to study thrust faulting in rock and ice lithosphere in the outer solar system. McKinnon also received a grant of $40,000 from the Southwest Research Institute for research related to a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa.


11.18.16
Morgan Raven, a postdoctoral research associate in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, was awarded a two-year fellowship from the Agouron Institute to support her research in stable isotope biogeochemistry.


11.9.16
ShiNung Ching and Jr-Shin Li, of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, are working on methods to get a specific reaction from particular cells in the brain, thanks to a National Eye Institute grant. They are working with Jason T. Ritt of Boston University.

The two-year, $254,496 grant is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovating Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, a large-scale investment launched by President Barack Obama in 2013 to equip researchers with insights necessary to treat a wide array of brain disorders. Read more on the engineering site.


11.8.16
Michael Avidan, MBBCh, professor of anesthesiology and of cardiothoracic surgery at the School of Medicine, and Yixin Chen, professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, are co-principal investigators on a two-year, $589,998 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop, validate and assess machine-learning, forecasting algorithms that predict adverse outcomes for individual patients.


11.7.16
Indira Mysorekar, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of pathology and immunology, and associate director of the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences at the School of Medicine, has received a $1.56 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute on Aging for research titled “Interleukin-6 and Aging: Impact on Immune Defense and Tissue Repair in Urinary Bladder.” The grant will be used to study how estrogen regulates the course of urinary tract infections and bladder recovery after infection. The hope is that the work leads to development of therapeutic interventions for the disease in aging menopausal populations.


11.3.16
Vijay Ramani, of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a three-year, $468,087 grant from the Office of Naval Research to create a stable, bipolar membrane for fuel cell propulsion systems that would enable the U.S. Navy’s unmanned undersea vehicles to fulfill challenging mission requirements. Read more on the engineering website. 


11.2.16
Christine Floss, research professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, has been awarded $30,000 from NASA to support a project titled “Characterizing Comet 81P/Wild 2 with Acfer 094 and Tagish Lake Analog Foils.”


11.2.16
Crickette Sanz, associate professor in anthropology in Arts & Sciences, and David Morgan, research associate in anthropology, received a $20,000 grant from the Columbus Zoological Park Association to undertake research titled “Goualougo Triangle Ape Project: Developing Conservation Policies and Local Leadership to Ensure the Long-Term Survival of Chimpanzees and Gorillas in the Congo Basin.”


11.2.16
Marina Gross, a University Fellow in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $1,000 grant from the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students for research on using pupillometry to separate attention from effort and study the influence of time pressure.


10.31.16
Marcus Foston, assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a three-year, $224,970 grant from the National Science Foundation to find catalysts that will break down lignin, a tough part of the cell walls of woody and grassy plants, into chemicals that can be used as building blocks for materials. The hope is to create chemicals and other materials to shift dependence on petroleum toward renewable resources. Read more on the engineering site. 


10.25.16

Methodius Tuuli, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine, received $633,000 of an expected $2.9 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a study on “Prophylactic Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Obese Women at Cesarean: Multicenter Randomized Trial.” The projects aims to yield high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of such therapy in reducing surgical site infections after a cesarean section in obese women.


10.25.16
Richard D. Vierstra, the George and Charmaine Mallinckrodt Professor in biology in Arts & Sciences, received a one-year, $98,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake a project titled “Molecular Dissection of the Arabidopsis 26S Proteasome.”


10.25.16
Anna Hood, a Chancellors Fellow in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received an $87,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a two-year research project titled “Biological Interventions to Improve Cognition in Children with Sickle Cell Disease.”


10.20.16
Bradley Evanoff, MD, the Richard and Elizabeth Henby Sutter Professor of Occupational, Industrial and Environmental Medicine at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, $856,202 grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Through this funding, Washington University will become a partner with the University of Iowa and the Nebraska Safety Council in the new Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest. The center, based at the University of Iowa, is one of six centers funded by NIOSH to promote the safety and health of U.S. workers.


10.20.16
José E. Figueroa-López,  associate professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences, received a three-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled “A New Approach Toward Optimal and Adaptive Nonparametric Methods for High-Frequency Data.”


10.20.16
Ryan Ogliore, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, has received $100,000 from NASA for a field-emission scanning electron microscope that will be used to analyze samples of comets and asteroids.


10.12.16
Young-Shin Jun, associate professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received three grants from the National Science Foundation totaling nearly $1.03 million over three years. Jun will use the funding to study interfacial reactions that relate to energy, environmental and biomedical systems involving a variety of earth-abundant materials. Learn more on the engineering website.


10.12.16
Sarah Elgin, the Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts & Sciences and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in biology, was awarded a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research on “Repeat-Induced Heterochromatin Formation in Drosophila.”


10.12.16
Rachel D. Roberts, professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences, has received a three-year, $221,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for research titled “Taut Foliations and Contact Topology.”


10.12.16
Jeff Gill, professor of political science in Arts & Sciences, received a three-year, $126,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a research project titled “Smooth National Measurement of Public Opinion Across Boundaries and Levels: A View From the Bayesian Spatial Approach.”


10.4.16
Richard Mabbs, associate professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, has received $440,000 from the National Science Foundation for a three-year study on “Electron-Molecule Temporary States: Vibronic Coupling in Excited Anions.”


10.4.16
Kater Murch, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, has received $320,000 from the National Science Foundation for a three-year study on “Measurement and Control in Open Quantum Systems.”


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