News Archives: August, 2016

EPSCoR Track-2 award at the University of Delaware

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A multi-institutional research team led by assistant professor Jared Medina of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware has received a four-year, $6 million Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-2 grant from the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

RII Track-2 grants aim to build national research strength by initiating collaborations in two or more EPSCoR jurisdictions. The award supports research of national significance while also requiring recipients to invest in developing a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce — particularly early-career faculty researchers.

The project led by Medina involves nine faculty members from UD, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the University of Nevada, Reno, in a joint effort to probe the complex relationship between existing knowledge already stored in the brain and new information obtained through sensory perception.

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MDI Biological Laboratory receives NIH grant for research on peripheral neuropathy

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The MDI Biological Laboratory has announced that it has received a grant of $456,500 over two years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the study of peripheral neuropathy.

The grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will support research conducted by assistant professor Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, a disabling condition causing pain, numbness, tingling and temperature sensitivity in the distal extremities. Approximately 60 to 70 percent of chemotherapy patients suffer from this condition, for which no treatments currently exist.

"We are very grateful for the generous support of the National Institutes of Health," Rieger said. "This grant will allow us to move closer to our goal of translating our discoveries about peripheral neuropathy in zebrafish to chemotherapy patients and to the millions of other people who live with this condition, which can seriously interfere with many everyday tasks."

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Dartmouth College receives major National Institute of Health grant

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Faculty members are developing the iTarget project, an interdisciplinary biomedical research center, aided by a five-year, $12.45 million National Institutes of Health grant awarded to the College in May.

The National Institue of General Medical Sciences administers the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant received by Dartmouth. The project will fund junior faculty working on early-stage research focused on cellular processes and the impact of diseases upon the interaction of cells and molecules.  iTarget will fund four projects led by junior faculty. COBRE funding can be renewed over two additional five-year periods.

The iTarget project is designed to develop a new center of intellectual activity at the College, said Dean Madden, iTarget director, COBRE award principle investigator, and Geisel School of Medicine biochemistry professor.

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$6.5 million grant will benefit cardiovascular research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

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The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has received a five-year, $6.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will continue support for OMRF heart and blood research that’s been ongoing for more than a decade.

First awarded in 2003, prior Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Vascular Biology grants to OMRF have provided almost $23 million for recruiting and mentoring top-tier junior investigators and supporting their research with state-of-the-art core laboratory facilities.

The original rounds of funding went to support our investigators while they were newer and getting established at OMRF,” said Rodger McEver, M.D., who runs the project and is head of OMRF’s Cardiovascular Biology Research Program. “Now they’re all scientists with their own funding, so the COBRE did exactly what it was supposed to do: mentor young researchers and prepare them to work independently.”

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INBRE grant to provide for faculty-mentored study

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Dr. Newton Hilliard, associate professor of chemistry at Arkansas Tech University, has earned a $50,000 grant from the Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to lead a faculty-mentored pilot study during the 2016-17 academic year.

Two paid Arkansas Tech undergraduate students will assist Hilliard on the study, which seeks to contribute to the investigation of hospital-acquired infections during extended stays in medical facilities.

Individuals who have compromised immune systems or other health issues often have a weakened ability to fend off infections from things we wouldn’t normally think about,” said Hilliard. “One of the issues that has come up recently is that some of these infections are coming about because these microbes…these bacteria…have alternate metabolisms that they can switch to. Most of the antibiotics that we have target the original set of metabolic pathways."

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Southern Miss receives $4m NSF award for gulf water research

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Dr. Jason Azoulay, Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop selective sensing technologies for detecting and analyzing pollutants in Gulf Coast ecosystems.

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Clemson University's Stephen Foulger to lead $6 million in research on the brain

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Stephen Foulger of Clemson University is leading a team that has received $6 million to develop a new way of stimulating specific parts of the brain in what could be the first step toward treatments for seizures and illnesses ranging from addiction to depression.

If it works like researchers hope, patients would someday ingest tiny particles that would lodge themselves near light-sensitive proteins in the brain. When hit with  X-rays, the illuminated particles would activate changes in brain function.

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NSF announces $55 million toward national research priorities

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made 11 awards totaling $55 million aimed at building research capacity to address fundamental questions about the brain and develop new innovations at the intersection of food, energy and water systems.

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How to catch the biggest wave in the universe

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When it comes to waves, it doesn't get much bigger than the gravitational variety. 

Einstein predicted that huge events — like black holes merging — create gravitational waves. Unlike most waves we experience, these are distortions in space and time. They roll across the entire universe virtually unimpeded.

Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, but none were spotted until recently. Given their incredible power, why did it take a century to locate them?

To find out, I went to see where the detection finally occurred. It's just off Interstate 12 in Livingston Parish, La. To get there you head through town, past the "Gold and Guns" pawn shop and up a country road. Turn onto an empty lane and eventually some low buildings emerge from a forest of gangly pine trees.

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