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Campus & Community

Faculty Highlights: Grants and Awards From Summer 2017

October 11, 2017

Faculty Highlights

In this section, Drexel Quarterly provides an update on research funding, commercialization activity and faculty honors at Drexel, courtesy of the Office of the Provost. This update offers a snapshot of activity during the summer quarter.

 

Sponsored Research

Konstantinos Serfes, PhD, a professor in the School of Economics in the LeBow College of Business, was recently awarded a fellowship by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Greece to conduct research. He will collaborate with Chrysovalantou Milliou at the Athens University of Economics and Business on research and graduate student mentoring. The goal of the research collaboration is to study mergers between multinational and multiproduct firms.

LeBow Institute for Strategic Leadership’s Executive Director Alison Young was awarded a 2017 Eisenhower Fellowship to study barriers to gender equity in leadership positions in G20 governments.  Young spent the month of June in six different cities in China, working on her research, presenting lectures on her research topic and meeting with various high-ranking government officials. 

Kapil Dandekar, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Geoffrey Mainland, PhD, an assistant professor of computing in the College of Computing & Informatics; Baris Taskin, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Steven Weber, PhD, interim department head and professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received $850,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation for their project entitled “II-NEW: Scalable Software Defined Radio Network Testbed for Hybrid Measurement and Emulation.”

Jason Baxter, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, was awarded an NSF grant totaling $216,250 for his research titled, “Collaborative Research: Directing Charge and Energy Flow in Discrete Nanocrystal Dendrimer (NCD) Hybrids and in their Assemblies.”

Sharrelle Barber, ScD, an assistant research professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Dornsife School of Public Health, was awarded an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant to study multilevel social predictors of hypertension and diabetes control, comparing data from the United States and Brazil. The three-year, $231,000 grant will allow Barber to determine which social factors are associated with control of hypertension and diabetes across both countries.

The College of Arts and Sciences’ faculty received two humanities-focused NSF grants totaling over $440,000: “STANDARD: Ethical Autism Research Cultures and Community Engagement” to Chloe Silverman, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Politics, and “Fostering Collaboration Between Sociolegal Studies and Science and Technology Studies” by Rose Corrigan, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Politics and an associate professor in the Kline School of Law.

The College of Arts and Sciences’ science faculty received over $3.46 million in research funds. Noted grants include: “Mechanisms underlying Tip60 HAT Action in Neuroprotection of Cognitive Function” by Felice Elefant, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, and “Collaborative Research: Characterizing Active Learning Environments in Physics” by Eric Brewe, PhD, associate professor of physics and science education in the Department of Physics. Brewe’s project, a $226,00 NSF grant, runs from June 2017 through 2020.

Toni A. Sondergeld, PhD, an associate professor in the School of Education, received a two-year, $100,038 contract from the American Board of Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) for assessing teacher effectiveness from non-traditional licensure programs.

Ayana Allen-Handy, PhD, an assistant professor in the School of Education, with colleagues Valarie Ifill, program director of dance in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Raja Shaar, an assistant professor of design in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and Michelle Rogers, PhD, an associate professor of informatics in the College of Computing & Informatics, (CoCI), received an ExCITe Center Seed Grant for Learning Innovation for their project “Black Girls STEAMing through Dance: Examining STEAM Literacies, STEAM Identities, and Self-Concept.” This project integrates concert dance, design, computer science, and creative writing to inspire the formation of STEAM literacies, STEAM identities, and positive self-concept among 7- to 12-year-old African-American girls in West Philadelphia.

Brian Wigdahl, PhD, professor and chair in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Medicine, received $767,557 from the National Institutes of Health for his project “Gene Editing Strategies to Target HIV for Elimination in Periphery and Brain.”

Akhil Vaidya, PhD, professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, received $512,494 from the National Institutes of Health for his project “Mitochondrial Functions in Malaria Parasites.”

Barbara Schindler, MD, Professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, received an award from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration titled “Working Together for Women” in the amount of $399,996. This is a collaboration with Mothers in Charge and the Office of Addictions Services, City of Philadelphia.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Jerome Dugan, PhD, an assistant professor of health economics, and Layla Booshehri, PhD, an assistant research professor in the Health Systems and Sciences Research Department, were awarded a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for “Reducing Health Disparities among Minority Households through Improved Financial Decision Making: Evidence from Negative Income Transfers Generated by the Affordable Care Act.” The team will examine the impact of recent health regulation on the economic security of households and financial strategies to reduce health disparities.

Margaret Finley, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department, and her collaborators were awarded a three-year multisite grant from the Department of Defense for “Development of a Biopsychosocial Prospective Surveillance Model of Shoulder Pain in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury.” The goal is to provide early identification and intervention to ameliorate debilitating consequences of activity limitations in individuals with spinal cord injury, reducing the burden for military service members, veterans, their families and caregivers.

The School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health SystemsHasan Ayaz, PhD, an associate research professor, Banu Onaral, PhD, H.H. Sun Professor, and Kurtulus Izzetoglu, PhD, an associate research professor, received a two-year, $395,000 Lockheed Martin Corporation Advanced Technology Laboratories grant for the project titled “Cognitive Assessment Model for Performance and Task Management.”

Lin Han, PhD, an assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, and colleagues were awarded a three-year, $349,000 NSF grant for the project titled “Role of Small Proteoglycans in the Structure and Biomechanics of Articular Cartilage.”

Amy Throckmorton, PhD, an associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, and colleagues received a three-year, $300,000 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award for the project titled “Hybrid Dual-Support Ventricular Assist Device for Heart Failure.”

Major Gifts, Honors & Recognition

Theodore Corbin, MD, an associate professor of emergency medicine control in the College of Medicine, and John Rich, MD, a professor of health management and policy in the Dornsife School of Public Health, received the Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services from the Office for Victims of Crime, for Drexel’s Healing Hurt People program, in the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice. Healing Hurt People, which was established in 2007 at Hahnemann University Hospital, has expanded to five of seven trauma centers in Philadelphia as well as to programs in Chicago and Portland.

Sue Kilham, PhD, professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Phycological Society of America’s Award of Excellence — a career achievement award that honors scientists who have had a major impact on the field of phycology, and who have a record of sustained scholarly activity, including teaching and service.

Abioseh Porter, PhD, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, was honored at the annual conference of the African Literature Association at Yale as the "Most Distinguished Member of the World-Wide African Literature Association.”

Natalie Pedersen, an assistant professor of legal studies in the LeBow College of Business, was elected treasurer of the Mid-Atlantic Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

Jay Bhatt, liaison librarian for engineering in the Drexel University Libraries, was recognized as the 2017 Engineering Librarian of the Year by the Special Library Association (SLA) Engineering Division. Bhatt received the award during the SLA Conference on June 18.

Ajmal Yousuff, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM), and a team of five MEM students were selected as the first-place winner in the “Airlock Design” completion at the 2017 RASC-AL Conference in Cape Canaveral.

The Dornsife School of Public Health’s Amy Carroll Scott, PhD, an assistant professor of community health and prevention, and Felice Le-Scherban, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, are leading the PROSPER (Promise of Strong Partnership for Education Reform) partnership in West Philadelphia Promise Zone. Funding includes a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and $76 million in matching dollars from the city and various nonprofits. Working with partners including the city of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia School District and other area groups, their work will target lifelong literacy, behavioral health and community supports to improve the “cradles to careers” trajectory of all children of Promise Zone which surrounds Drexel’s campus.

Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded the Dietetics Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award by the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition.

Robert J. Palisano, interim associate dean of research and distinguished professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded the 23rd Annual Maley Lectureship, the highest honor for clinical excellence and impact from the American Physical Therapy Association.

This story was published in the fall 2017 issue of Drexel Quarterly.

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