The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) has announced the six winners of the 2012 University Research Strategic Alliance (URSA) grants.
The URSA grants offer a one-year, $25,000 award to full-time faculty members at WUSTL who begin a new collaboration with investigators from different disciplines. Researchers who receive the seed funding will work together in a new area of research or plan to approach a problem in a different way.
“We are extremely pleased with the vigorous response from the faculty,” says Evan D. Kharasch, MD, PhD, vice chancellor for research and the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology.
“This year, we had a 22 percent increase in proposals submitted to the program compared with last year. The proposals submitted represent approximately 49 new collaborations, involving faculty from all seven schools across the university.”
Winners of the 2012 URSA grant are:
- Ramesh Agarwal, PhD, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Ravi Rasalingam, MD, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, for research titled “Study of Left Ventricular Blood Flow to Address Severe Cardiomyopathy in Patients With Heart Failure.”
- Mikhail Berezin, PhD, Department of Radiology, and Venkat Subramanian, PhD, Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, for research titled “Imaging of Anti-Cancer Drug Distribution in Tissues Using Electrical Impedance Tomography.”
- Gautam Dantas, PhD, Department of Pathology and Immunology and Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, and Jane E. Phillips-Conroy, PhD, Department of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences and of Anatomy and Neurobiology, for research titled “Wild African Baboons as Models for the Evolution and Exchange of the Gut Microbiota and its Associated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Pre-Modern Times.”
- Matthew Gabel, PhD, Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences, and John C. Morris, MD, Department of Neurology and of Pathology and Immunology, for research titled “Disclosure of Individual Research Results in Alzheimer’s Disease: Perceptions of At-Risk Asymptomatic Participants.”
- Joshua A. Maurer, PhD, Department of Chemistry in Arts & Sciences, and Robert O. Heuckeroth, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics and of Developmental Biology, for research titled “Micropatterned Protein Surfaces for Enteric Neuron Axon Pathfinding.”
- Vivia V. McCutcheon, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, and Douglas Luke, PhD, Brown School, for research titled “Social Networks as External Executive Control in Early Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorders.”
“All of the grants were awarded to teams representing two or more schools of Washington University, illustrating the diversity of collaborations,” Kharasch says.
“The overall quality of the applications was outstanding. Although the number of quality applications exceeded our capacity for funding them all, we hope that the collaborative relationships formed during the proposal development process will continue.”
The URSA proposal review committee comprised 25 faculty members, and Kharasch says the OVCR is grateful to these individuals for contributing their time and expertise to further this collaboration and new research initiative. Scores were based on the following criteria:
- the quality and expertise of the research and investigative team;
- the interdisciplinary diversity of the investigative team;
- the originality and innovation of the research; and
- the likelihood of sustainability for future funding.
Faculty from all departments and schools are invited to submit proposals for next year’s URSA grants with a focus on new collaborative innovative research. Applications for next year’s grants will be due in the spring of 2013.
For more information about applying for URSA grants, contact Laura Langton at (314) 747-1378 or email@example.com.