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Faculty Highlights: Grants and Awards From Winter 2019

April 10, 2019

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 past winter term.

Sponsored Research

Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $748,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation for her project “Towards the First Astronomical Catalog of Neutrino Sources.” 

Alison Kenner, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Politics in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $353,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for her project “Indexing Energy Performance in Housing Servicescapes: A Multiscale Study in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region.” 

Elizabeth Watson, PhD, assistant professor of wetlands sciences in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science in the College of Arts and Sciences and wetlands section leader in the Patrick Center for the Environment in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. She will develop new approaches for seagrass mapping in Baja California, Mexico, during the fall 2019 term.

Abioseh Porter, PhD, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. He will complete a critical life-and-works study of the Beninois novelist Olympe Bhêly-Quénum in France during the 2019–2020 academic year. 

Stefan Rank, PhD, assistant professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, is principal investigator for a $560,000 National Science Foundation-funded project, which creates an augmented reality experience that will allow middle-school youth and their families to meet and assist a virtual crew on a historic ship at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Rank collaborates with faculty of Digital Media as well as the School of Education. 

Genevieve Dion, associate professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, with funding from NSF, NHI and Keck Futures and AFFOA, investigated modular production and mass customization of 3D knit fabrication for the development of seamlessly integrated fabric interfaces for “Textile and Garment Devices.”

Bang Jeon, PhD, professor in the LeBow College of Business, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work and study in Bucharest, Romania at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. 

Simon Cocklin, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in the College of Medicine, received a five-year, R01-type individual research grant, entitled “Novel anti-HIV compounds targeting the HIV-1 matrix protein,” from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH), with the projected total award of $2.8 million. 

Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology in the College of Medicine, received a five-year individual Merit Award for superior productivity in research, entitled “Role of chemokines in neuronal function and survival,” from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), with the projected total award of $1.8 million. 

Christina Vorndran, associate clinical professor, and Katie Beals, adjunct instructor, from the School of Education received a $50,000 NSF I-Corps grant to develop a comprehensive, computer-based English language teaching program providing personalized instruction in sentence construction. 

Major Gifts, Honors and Recognition

College of Engineering Dean and Distinguished Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Sharon Walker, PhD, was elected to the Executive Council for the American Society of Engineering Education’s Engineering Deans Institute.

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems Dean and Distinguished University Professor Paul Brandt-Rauf, ScD, MD, was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Class of 2019 College of Fellows. 

Peter A. Lewin, PhD, Richard B. Beard Distinguished University Professor and Director, Biomedical Ultrasound Research and Education Center, was invited to serve on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Mimi Sheller, PhD, director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy and professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was named the Henry King Stanford Distinguished Professor in the Humanities for fall 2019 at the University of Miami. She was also appointed to the Social Science Research Council’s planning committee for Social Research on Climate Solutions. 

Hasan Ayaz, PhD, associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (PI), and colleagues received a 2019 Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) Formula Grant Program Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the project titled, “Assessment of Brain Function During Social Interaction in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

The Kidney Transplant Program at Drexel’s College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital ranked among the top eight in the nation for post-transplant survival rates, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). The Drexel/Hahnemann Kidney Transplant Program was the only program on the east coast to perform “better than expected,” with a 99.13 percent rate of patient survival with a functioning kidney one year after transplant. SRTR, under contract with the federal government, issued the report on Jan. 7.

André Carrington, PhD, associate professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, was elected to the Executive Committee for the Modern Language Association forum on Media Studies: Sound Studies. 

Donald Bersoff, JD, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and emeritus professor of law in the Kline School of Law, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Hyokjin Kwak, PhD, professor in the LeBow College of Business, has been named an International Research Fellow of Waseda University’s Research Center of Consumer Behavior at the Faculty of Commerce in Japan. 

This story was published in the spring 2019 issue of Drexel Quarterly.