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April 27, 2011

RGI Awards Announced for 2011-2012

Thirty-three proposals have been chosen for funding in the 2011-2012 Research Growth Initiative®, an internal seed-funding competition aimed at enhancing the university's research and scholarly work and supporting the state's economic development through innovation.

As a testament to the improving quality of RGI submissions, the independent experts and scholars who reviewed the applications awarded double-alpha quality ratings to over 40 percent of this year's 112 proposals. The final selection of awardees, based on the external reviewers' ratings of the three evaluation criteria, was made by a committee (RGI coordinator Kathleen Koch and Associate Deans Michael Liston and Douglas Woods) appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Five proposals from Biological Sciences were funded, as well as four each from Engineeringand Physics. Social sciences, professions, and the humanities were also well represented, including the first-ever award for Africology.

Reflecting the growing emphasis on multi- and interdisciplinary research, seven of the 15 collaborative projects funded feature investigators from multiple departments.

Unless noted, Co-PIs are from the same departments as the PIs. The awardees are:

Predicting Phase Formation and Transitions in Functional Oxide Nanolaminates
Carolyn Aita, Chemistry and Biochemistry
This Way Out: A History of Deportation from the U.S., 1935-1970
Rachel Buff, History
Remote-Controlled, Self-Healing Shape Memory Polymer Composites
Jian Chen, Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Novel Kinase KIN2 Signaling in Endoplasmic Stress
Madhusudan Dey, Biological Sciences
Co-PI(s): Valerica Raicu, Physics
Black Horizon: A Documentary in Verse
Rebecca Dunham, English
Drug Discovery for Hepatitis C: Hit-to-lead Development of Helicase Inhibitors
David Frick, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Advanced Electron Microscopy and Holography of Multiscale Multiferroic Materials
Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska, Physics
Co-PI(s): Prasenjit Guptasarma, Marvin Schofield
Residential Segregation and Discrete Choice Analysis
Pat Goldsmith, Sociology
Co-PI(s): William Velez
Recollection as a 2-Stage Process: A Converging Methods Approach to Investigation of Memory, Awareness, and the Brain.
Deborah Hannula, Psychology
Thermally Derived Graphene Based Nanocrystalline Sheets for Lithium Ion Batteries
Carol Hirschmugl, Physics
Co-PI(s): Junhong H Chen, Mechanical Engineering; Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovksa
Preference Functions and the Evolution of Multimodal Signals
Gerlinde Hoebel, Biological Sciences
Measuring Leadership Preferences in Ethno-Territorial Conflicts
Shale Horowitz, Political Science
Vital Architecture: Sustaining Life and Living Space
Jennifer Johung, Art History
Culturally Enhanced Behavioral Activation for African Americans with Depression
Jonathan Kanter, Psychology
Co-PI(s): Michael Brondino, Social Work; Shakoor Lee, Nursing
Theoretical Study of the Microstructural Impacts on the Mechanical Performance of Metal-Matrix Nano Composites
Changsoo Kim, Materials Engineering
Co-PI(s): Pradeep Rohatgi
Gain-Guiding Optical Fiber Lasers: Fundamental Limitations and Practical Solutions
Arash Mafi, Electrical Engineering
The Muslim Milwaukee Project
Anna Mansson McGinty, Geography
Co-PI(s): Caroline Seymour-Jorn, Comparative Literature; Kristin Sziarto
Novel Mechanisms of Cellulose and Chitin Utilization by Members of the Bacterial Phylum Bacteroidetes
Mark McBride, Biological Sciences
Microbial Communities as Indicators of Oil Contamination on Coastal Beaches
Sandra McLellan, Freshwater Sciences
A Feasibility Study of Two-Way Messaging for Prostate Cancer Patients
Susan McRoy, Computer Science
Co-PI(s): Hayeon Song, Communication
A Test of the Association Between Subjective Self-Reports and Objective Measures of Social Support-Related Communication among HIV-Affected African American Female Dyads
Katie Mosack, Psychology
Co-PI(s): Michael Brondino, Social Work; Patricia Stevens, Nursing
Optogenetic Visual Neuroprosthetics
Ramin Pashaie, Electrical Engineering
Lung Oxygen Toxicity: Optical Biopsy and Imaging Techniques
Mahsa Ranji, Electrical Engineering
The Reaction of Nitric Oxide with Mycobacterium tuberculosis HemoglobinN
Marius Schmidt, Physics
Co-PI(s): Arsenio Pacheco, Chemistry; Alan Schwabacher, Chemistry
Identifying the Pathogens That Regulate Tree Species Diversity and Abundance in Tropical Forests
Stefan Schnitzer, Biological Sciences
Spatial Fixes and Hegemonic Re-Rrderings: Africa's Place in the Emerging New Order
Jeffrey Sommers, Africology
Understanding Multi-Level Barriers to Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in Older Adults
Scott Strath, Human Movement Science
Co-PI(s): Kevin Keenan, Ann Swartz
Topological Insulators: Growth and Electronic Properties
Michael Weinert, Physics
Co-PI(s): Lian Li
A Meshless Approach to Studying Cell-wide Calcium Signaling
Zeyun Yu, Computer Science
Sustainable Development of Atomic-scale Nano-coating Technology
Chris Yuan, Mechanical Engineering
Co-PI(s): Tien-chien Jen
Automatic Patient Search for Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
Jun Zhang, Electrical Engineering
Co-PI(s): Xiangming Mu, Information Studies; Tian Zhao; Computer Science
MicroRNA-mediated Cross-Talk Between ABA and Auxin Signaling in Arabidopsis
Dazhong Zhao, Biological Sciences
Singular Stochastic Control of Regime Switching Diffusion: Viscosity Solution and Linear Programming
Chao Zhu, Mathematical Sciences

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