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Faculty Highlights: Recent Grants and Awards

October 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 most recent terms.

Major Gifts, Honors and Recognitions

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

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. It is a highly visible group that leads the conversation around engineering in higher education and leadership within the community.

Christopher Wright, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Education, was named a 2019 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to scientists and engineers at the start of their independent research careers who show promise for leadership in science and technology.

Renee Turchi, MD, a clinical professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health and director of the Maternal and Child Health Program, was named a 2019 “Champion of Children’s Health” by Family Voices,a national organization that focuses on family-centered care for children.

John Medaglia, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was selected as a fellow in the Psychonomics Society, a preeminent society for general scientific experimental psychology.

Elizabeth Kimball, PhD, assistant professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, was appointed to a three-year term as co-chair of the executive board of the Philadelphia Area Council of Writing Program Administrators, which advocates best practices in writing programs for the region’s higher education institutions.

Adam Knowles, PhD, assistant teaching professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a research fellowship to Germany from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation. He’ll spend the 2019­–20 academic year at the German Literature Archive in Marbach am Neckar, Germany for his forthcoming book, “Categories of Complicity: Philosophy Under National Socialism.”   

Michael Lane, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy in the College of Medicine, received the 2019 Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair in recognition of his significant contributions in the field. The award is given only periodically. 

Seena Ajit, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and physiology in the College of Medicine, has been appointed to the Somatosensory & Pain Systems Study Section, National Institutes of Health, for a four-year term.  

Patrick Osei-Owusu, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and physiology in the College of Medicine, has been appointed to the Cardiac Contractility, Hypertrophy and Failure Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, for a six-year term.  

Erjia Yan, PhD, associate professor in the College of Computing & Informatics, was named the recipient of the 2019 Eugene Garfield Award for Innovation in Citation Analysis by the Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company.

The College of Engineering’s Distinguished Professor Michel Barsoum, PhD, and Distinguished University and Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professor Yury Gogotsi, PhD, were jointly awarded the 2020 International Ceramics Prize, the highest honor conferred by the World Academy of Ceramics that has only been bestowed upon 20 other scientists. 

Cheryl A. Hanau, MD, professor and chair of pathology in the College of Medicine, received the 2019 Michele Raible Distinguished Teaching Award in Undergraduate Medical Education from the Association of Pathology Chairs for her outstanding contributions and her stature as a nationally recognized pathology educator.

Sponsored Research

Alex Ortega, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the Dornsife School of Public Health, was awarded a $3.2 million R01 grant by the National Institutes of Health to study psychiatric and substance use disorders among island Puerto Ricans impacted by Hurricane Maria.

Lin Han, PhD, associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (PI), received a five-year $2.67 million NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMSD) R01 grant for the project titled, “Mechanical Regulation of Cell Fate and Multi-Scale Function in the Developing Meniscus.” Han also received a five-year $1.7 million NIH R01 Grant for the project titled, “Biomechanics of Cartilage: Roles of Decorin in ECM Assembly and Degradation.” 

The School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems’ Peter A. Lewin, PhD, Richard B. Beard University Professor and Director of the Biomedical Ultrasound Research and Education Center (PI); Leonid Zubkov, PhD, research professor; and Michael Neidrauer, PhD, assistant professor, and colleagues received a year-four $608,000 NIH R01 renewal grant (grant total is $3 million for 5 years) for the project titled, “Enhanced Ultrasound Treatment of Chronic Wounds with Monitoring of Healing and Quality of Life Outcomes.”

Brian Lee, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Dornsife School of Public Health, along with an international team of investigators, was awarded a $1.7 million R01 grant by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to conduct a pharmacoepidemiology study of maternal antiepileptic medication use during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders. 

The College of Engineering’s Jin Wen, PhD, professor, and Simi Hoque, PhD, associate professor, both in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, have been awarded an NSF grant of $243,717 for their project entitled “Collaborative Research: AccelNet: An International Network of Networks for Well-being in the Built Environment.”

Daniel Marenda, PhD, associate professor of biology (PI), and Jennifer Stanford, PhD, associate professor of biology (Co-PI), both in the College of Arts and Sciences, were awarded a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation for their project “Epigenetic Control of Steroid Hormone Signaling in Axon Pruning.”

Jason Weckstein, PhD, associate professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a $913,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project “Comparative Cophylogenomics in a Highly Replicated System: Tinamou Lice.”

Irwin Chaiken, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Medicine, has been awarded a highly competitive National Institutes of Health Shared Instrumentation Grant in the amount of $364,883 entitled “Biacore S200 Surface Plasmon Resonance Instrument for a Shared Resources Facility.” The instrument will assist the College of Medicine in securing additional grants.

C. Virginia F. O’Hayer, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry, College of Medicine, received a three-year $960,000 grant from the Boomer Esiason Foundation to fund her multi-site research project on the treatment of depression and anxiety in adults with cystic fibrosis, “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy [ACT] vs Traditional Supportive Therapy for Adults With Cystic Fibrosis.”

Dong Wang, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy, College of Medicine, was awarded an R01 grant for $388,680 from the National Institute of Mental Health for “A Raphe-Hippocampus Pathway for Regulation of Memory Specificity During Consolidation.” 

Jacqueline Barker, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology in the College of Medicine, has been awarded a two-year R03 $167,000 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for her project “Alterations in Corticostriatal Control of Cocaine Seeking in HIV Infection.”  

Megan Detloff, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy in the College of Medicine, was awarded a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative.

Maureen Tang, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $250,276 for her project titled, “Collaborative Research: Regulating homogeneous and heterogeneous mechanisms in six-electron water oxidation.”

Fei Lu, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been awarded $500,000 for a two-year grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) through the Building Reliable Electronics to Achieve Kilovolt Effective Ratings Safely (BREAKERS) program. The project is titled, “Resonant Solid State Breaker Based on Wireless Coupling in MVDC Systems.”

The Kauffman Foundation increased its grant to Andre Kurmann, PhD, associate professor of economics and the Dean’s Research Scholar in Economics in the School of Economics in the LeBow College of Business, by $100,000. Kurmann will receive $128,385 over 18 months to study trade and its effect on labor markets. 

Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, distinguished University professor and dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded $268,000 by the University of Pennsylvania (NIH-National Institute on Aging) for the project titled, “A Training and Fidelity Model to Move and Scale Evidence-based Dementia Care and Caregiver Support Programs into Practice: The Case for COPE in PACE Service Setting.

Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the Creative Arts Therapies Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded $300,00 by the National Endowment for the Arts for the project titled, “Cortical hemodynamic response among infants of mothers with and without PPD.

Minjung Shim, PhD, assistant research professor in the Creative Arts Therapies Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded $234,000 by Health and Human Services-NIH for the project titled, “Mindfulness-Based Dance/Movement Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain.

The Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) and Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, dean and UHC director in the Dornsife School of Public Health, will lead a $385,000 pilot study aimed at improving cancer-related health outcomes in Philadelphia neighborhoods. The project, called “Community IMPACT,” is a partnership with Dana Dornsife and the Lazarex Cancer Foundation. UHC, with the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, will combine public health qualitative and quantitative assessment and research methods with grassroots community engagement through funding by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. 

An interdisciplinary team led by Fraser Fleming, PhD, professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for their project “Creative Interdisciplinary Research in Graduate Education.” The team includes Paul Gondek, PhD, visiting research professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; Daniel King, PhD, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; Jen Katz-Buonincontro, PhD, associate professor and associate dean of research in the School of Education; and D.S. Nicholas, assistant professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. They will use the grant to develop and implement a Drexel graduate minor in creative, interdisciplinary research.

Brian Daly, PhD, interim department head and associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a three-year $150,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to deliver and evaluate a socioemotional learning program for elementary school children attending Philadelphia public schools. 

Gwen Ottinger, PhD, associate professor of politics in the College of Arts and Sciences, received $100,000 from the Valero/Benicia Good Neighbor Steering Committee for her project “Air Watch Bay Area,” which makes real-time air quality monitoring information and reporting more accessible to residents.

Andrew Cohen, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, serves as principal investigator (PI) on a grant titled, “A spatiotemporal map of signaling processes controlling human stem cell renewal and differentiation,” which has been funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program. The funding is $350,000 per year for three years.

The LeBow College of Business’ Stacy Kline, clinical professor of accounting, and Barbara Grein, PhD, associate professor and department head of accounting, received a PwC INQuiries Grant for $10,000 to support curriculum development in the LeBow College of Business’ Accounting Department.

 

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