Research Wire: May 2019

Chelsey Carter, an anthropology doctoral candidate in Arts & Sciences, received a $19,492 grant from the Wenner Gren Foundation to support ongoing research on the intersections of race, class, gender and chronic illness in the United States.

Carter’s research explores how black people with neuromuscular diseases navigate health-care spaces and experience care at medical institutions in St. Louis. The Wenner Gren award will support her research on how people of various races access information about and health-care services for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Philip Skemer, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences and associate director of the Institute of Materials Science & Engineering, received a $311,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s GeoPRISMS program. The grant will support research on the rheology and microstructure evolution of serpentine.

Jian Wang, professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering, received a $516,989 grant from NASA to study the ways in which aerosol particles affect clouds — and how clouds affect aerosols.

Wang will deploy a novel instrument he developed onboard NASA research aircraft that flies for about eight hours at a time. The plane will take samples beginning in late summer through mid-fall and study both manmade aerosols as well as natural aerosols such as sea spray aerosol. Aerosols and clouds are intimately connected. Ultimately, the research will look at how these interactions between aerosols and clouds affect hydrological cycles in southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines.

Tammy English, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $431,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant in support of research on mild cognitive impairment and emotion regulation in naturalistic contexts.

Laura Escobar Vega, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics in Arts & Sciences, received a $172,750 grant from the National Science Foundation to study interactions between Newton-Okounkov bodies, cluster algebras, and orbit closures. The project aims to understand various aspects of the interplay between combinatorics and algebraic geometry for Newton-Okounkov bodies, symmetric orbit closures and subword complexes.

Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, received a $470,500 research grant from the Office of Naval Research. The award is for developing cavitation detection sensors for investigating microcavitation as a potential mechanism for traumatic brain injury.

Andrea Soranno, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the School of Medicine, received a five-year $2.19 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute on Aging for his research titled “Conformational and functional analysis of Apolipoprotein E.”

Ron Cytron, professor of computer science and engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering, received a nearly $150,000 grant from the Mozilla Foundation to investigate the study of ethics and responsibility in computer science.

The grant will allow researchers in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering to introduce two courses: Introduction to Computer Science (CSE 131) and Introduction to Data Science (CSE 217A). Read more on the engineering website.

Megan Baldridge, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, received a $2.4 million five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in collaboration with Katherine King, MD, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine. Their research is titled “Microbiota-dependent regulation of primitive hematopoiesis.”

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