Jay Ponder, professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, received a $1.17 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) toward development of a next-generation nucleic acid force field.
Alexander Barnes, assistant professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, was awarded a $389,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant toward research on high-sensitivity NMR at room temperature for molecular structure and dynamics.
Heather Grantham, associate professor in the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (PACS) at the School of Medicine, will be the principal investigator on a $2.2 million training grant awarded to PACS from the U.S. Department of Education. The two five-year awards will provide scholarship support and expanded training opportunities for students in the Master of Science in Deaf Education (MSDE) program, which trains teachers of the deaf specializing in listening and spoken language, and in the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program for students interested in working with the pediatric population. In total, the training grant will support partial tuition scholarships for 56 MSDE students and 40 AuD students in the pediatric specialization. These programs will provide a unique model for interdisciplinary training for deaf educators and clinical audiologists, incorporating shared coursework, assignments and fieldwork/clinical experiences.
Douglas A. Wiens, the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, will undertake a collaborative research project titled “Investigating ice sheet-solid Earth feedbacks in West Antarctica: Implications for ice sheet evolution and stability,” with a $424,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
Donna B. Jeffe, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, received a four-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences for a project “promoting research careers among underrepresented minority physicians.”
The study should lead to new knowledge about factors that promote the participation of physician-scientists from historically underrepresented groups in federally funded research. Jeffe and her co-investigators, Yan Yan, of the School of Medicine, and Christine Ekenga, of the Brown School, seek to identify barriers to and facilitators of increasing and sustaining diversity in the physician-scientist workforce to best meet the nation’s health-care needs.
Biomedical engineers from Duke University and Washington University have demonstrated that, by injecting an artificial protein made from ordered and disordered segments, a solid scaffold forms in response to body heat, and in a few weeks integrates into tissue. The lab of Rohit Pappu, of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, provided the computational modeling for the project. The research appears in Nature Materials.
This technique has applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Read more on the engineering website.
Infectious disease specialist Gary Weil, MD, at the School of Medicine, has received a $2.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead a clinical trial in eastern Ghana to evaluate a triple drug combination for treating onchocerchiasis, a parasitic worm disease also called river blindness. The researchers want to determine whether timing of giving the drug combination is more effective than the standard treatment in killing the worms, which infect the eyes and can lead to vision problems and blindness if left untreated. Read more about the project.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Himadri Pakrasi, of Arts & Sciences, $1.5 million to develop Anabaena 33047 — a photosynthetic, fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria — as a versatile production platform that can be used by the bioenergy research community. Its fast growth rate and lack of nitrogen demand means it should significantly improve the cost outlook for the production of biofuel and nitrogen-containing petrochemical replacement products.
This research is supported and administered by Washington University’s International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability. Read more about Pakrasi’s work on the Source.
Thomas Stein, a researcher in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $68,000 grant from NASA in support of database development and analysis for the Mars Phoenix Scout Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer.
Philip Skemer, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, will use a $33,000 National Science Foundation award to support research on satellite observations and modeling of surface meltwater flow and its impact on ice shelves.
Six researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have received funding from the Longer Life Foundation — a cooperative effort between the School of Medicine and the Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) — that helps junior investigators launch research projects and assists more established researchers as they extend their investigations into new areas.
This year, the Longer Life Foundation is celebrating 20 years of supporting research aimed at improving methods for promoting healthier lives, enhancing longevity and predicting long-term mortality. Read more about the researchers and their work on the School of Medicine site.
Michael Krawczynski, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & 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 in Arts & Sciences, and Michael Bouchard, a doctoral candidate working with Jolliff, received an $89,000 grant from NASA toward a project titled “Investigating Martian rock types and origins via rover observations and comparisons to Martian meteorites.”
Brecca Gaffney, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Program in Physical Therapy at the School of Medicine, received a $60,000 L’Oreal USA 2018 For Women in Science Fellowship, for research pursuing the link between chronic hip pain and the development of low back pain. Gaffney studies the biomechanics of movement to understand how motion affects the body. As part of the fellowship, Gaffney will serve as a mentor in the Mission: St. Louis Beyond School program, where she will work with female students from low-income high schools in math, science and reading proficiency.
Regina Frey, Florence E. Moog Professor of STEM Education and associate professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, received a $437,000 grant from theNational Science Foundation for a collaborative project titled “Inclusive learning and teaching in undergraduate STEM instruction.”
Joan Strassmann, Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology, and David Queller,Spencer T. Olin Professor, both in biology in Arts & Sciences, received a $1.14 million grant from the National Science Foundation toward a research project titled “Kith and kin in amoeba-bacteria cooperation.”
Douglas Chalker, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, won a $495,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of a project titled “Establishing a genomics education alliance: Steps toward sustainability.”
Abhinav Jha, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science and of radiology at the School of Medicine, has received a two-year, $430,000 Trailblazer Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)‘s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Jha will collaborate with Richard LaForest, professor of radiology, and Thomas Schindler, associate professor of radiology in nuclear medicine, both at the School of Medicine, on a new imaging method to improve outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease.
Michael Frachetti, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, received a $30,000 grant from the National Geographic Society to support ongoing research on “Nomadic urbanism and connectivity along the Medieval Silk Road.” Frachetti, a National Geographic Explorer since 2013, also received “research and exploration” awards from the Society in 2013 and 2015 for field work at a long-lost ancient nomadic city in the mountains of Uzbekistan.
J.T. Shen, the Das Family Career Development Distinguished Associate Professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a two-photon controlled-phase logic gate, an elementary building block of a full-fledged quantum photonic circuit for optical quantum information. To date, this type of photonic logic gate has been elusive because of the difficulty of working with photons. Learn more on the engineering site.