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2017-2018 REP-Storrs Recipients

June 6, 2017

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 Research Excellence Awards for Storrs/Regional Campuses. Funding support totaling $1,063,005.55 will be granted to 29 exciting faculty projects.

The primary goal of the REP is to provide seed funding to fuel innovative research, scholarship, and creative endeavors with strong potential for significant extramural funding and/or achievements consistent with the highest standards of accomplishment in the discipline.

The 2017-2018 REP-Storrs competition drew 103 project proposals (51 Single-PI and 52 interdisciplinary, multi-PI) requesting more than $3.6M in funding.

We are grateful for the participation of over 125 faculty members in the review process for this competition. Ten peer review panels were created based on broadly shared disciplinary areas and reviews made using the REP program review criteria, which are consistent with the evaluation criteria of competitive extramural funding agencies. Final funding decisions were made by the OVPR.

Additional information about the program, including the program guidelines, is available on the OVPR website. The anticipated deadline for the 2018-2019 awards will be December 18, 2017.

The 2017-2018 REP awardees are:

Jeffrey Aeschlimann, Pharmacy Practice – $49,458.10
Determining the Prevalence of Newly Described Trimethoprim Resistance Elements in United States Clinical Isolates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Co-PIs: Michael Nailor, Pharmacy Practice; Dennis Wright, Pharmaceutical Sciences; Stephanie Reeve, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Kyle Baumbauer, School of Nursing – $50,000
The Role of ASIC3 in Nociceptor Sensitization Following Spinal Cord Injury
Co-PI: Erin Young, School of Nursing

Christopher Blesso, Nutritional Sciences – $24,990.04
Defining the Impact of Dietary Sphingomyelin on Lipopolysaccharide Translocation and Inflammation

Xu Chen, Mechanical Engineering – $49,999.12
Mechatronics and Modeling of an Open-Protocol Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing System
Co-PI: Rainer Hebert, Materials Science and Engineering

Amanda Denes, Communication – $45,331.23
Can Social Support Mitigate the Stress of Weight Management? Investigating Physiological Stress Responses to Couples’ Communication about Weight Loss
Co-PI: Amy Gorin, Psychology

Caitlin Elsaesser, School of Social Work – $50,000
Understanding Aggressive Social Media Interactions among Youth Living in Violent Neighborhoods
Co-PIs: Desmond Patton, Christine Ohannessian

Nathan Fiala, Agricultural and Resource Economics – $43,819.46
Wheels of Change: Impact of Cycles on Female Education and Empowerment in Zambia
Co-PI: Nishith Prakash

Bernard Goffinet, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – $49,940.34
Comparative Genomics and Transcriptomics of Closely Related Mosses with Contrasting Architectural Complexities
Co-PI: Jill Wegrzyn

Dalié Jiménez, School of Law – $25,000
Connecticut Financial Distress Research Project

Nicole Landi, Psychological Sciences – $25,000
Neural Basis of Text Processing in Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit

Elaine Chuoung-Hee Lee, Kinesiology – $40,000
Intriguing Roles of tRNAs as Stress Signals and Metabolic Regulators in Stress- resilient, Long-lived C. elegans Strains
Co-PI: Rachel O’Neill

Juliet Lee, Molecular and Cell Biology – $25,000
The Application of Zebrafish Transgenics to Study the Role of Mechanosensing in the Regulation Cell Movement

Lindsey Lepley, Kinesiology, $49,995
Neural and Morphological Alterations After Non-Invasive ACL Rupture: Identifying Modifiable Risk Factors of Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis
Co-PI: Sarah Reed

Baikun Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering – $49,999.80
“Band-aid Battery” – Energy Scavenging from Human Sweat for Wearable Sensors
Co-PIs: Lei Wang, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Linda Pescatello, Kinesiology

Diane Lillo-Martin, Linguistics – $24,998.04
Relations between Language Experience and Outcomes for Deaf Children

David Lund, Marine Sciences – $24,995.40
Explosive Submarine Volcanism during Glacial Terminations: New Sediment Archives from the Global mid-ocean Ridge System

James Magnuson, Psychological Sciences – $49,945
Bridging Funds for Computational Modeling: Language Processing, Development, and Impairment
Co-PIs: Jay Rueckl, Psychological Sciences; Kevin Brown, Biomedical Engineering

Samuel Martínez, Anthropology & Institute for Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies – $15,363
Coverage of Haiti in the Dominican Republic’s Daily Newspapers: A Content Analysis
Co-PI: Thomas Craemer, Public Policy

Christin Munsch, Sociology – $49,347.06
Marital Status Discrimination: Evidencing Employment Bias
Co-PI: Janet Barnes-Farrell, Psychological Sciences

Michael Pettes, Mechanical Engineering – $25,000
Development of a Scientific Instrument for Accurate High-Throughput Characterization of Thermoelectric Properties

Eugene Pinkhassik, Chemistry – $50,000
Through-shell Communication in Cell-mimicking Rotaxane-like Structures
Co-PIs: Christian Brueckner, Chemistry; Sergey Dergunov, Chemistry

James Rusling, Chemistry – $50,000
Highly Selective Protein-Binding Nanoparticles for Biomolecule Purifications
Co-PI: Steven Suib, Chemistry

Valérie Saugera, Literatures, Cultures, and Languages – $5,000
Louchébem: Chronicling the Parisian Butchers’ Jargon

Luyi Sun, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – $25,000
Self-monitoring and Self-healing Smart Epoxy Nanocomposites

Julia Valla, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – $24,999.04
Production of Renewable Aviation Fuels from Gas-phase Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation of Biomass Pyrolysis Vapors

Huanzhong Wang, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture – $25,000
Vascular Meristem Initiation and Activity in Plant Stem

Ryan Watson, Human Development and Family Studies – $39,824.80
An Intersectional Approach to Advance Understanding of School Achievement, Health Behaviors, and Family Experiences of LGBTQ Youth
Co-PI: Rebecca Puhl

Michael Willig, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – $50,000
Variation in the Composition and Structure of Microbiomes of Tropical Bats: Multiple Dimensions of Biodiversity in Complex Symbiotic Systems
Co-PI: Joerg Graf, Molecular and Cell Biology

Wei Zhang, Civil and Environmental Engineering – $25,000
Modeling and Validation of Short Fatigue Crack Growth for Multiscale Damage Prognosis


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