2015 Grant Awards

July 9, 2015
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From scientific examinations of turtle ant colonies and orb-weaving spiders to research investigations delving deep into the cells of developing embryos and the brains of people with schizophrenia, it’s been a banner year for major new research grants at Columbian College. The following are among the college’s major grants* awarded during fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014—June 30, 2015):

Andrei Afanasev (physics): $50,000 from the Center for Innovative Technology to develop new, efficient solar cells to improve the efficiency of converting solar light into electricity

Lynne Bernstein (speech and hearing): $272,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to test the brain’s general principles of perceptual learning in speech and non-speech categories

Charlene Bickford (history): $153,000 from the National Archives and Records Administration to support research by the First Federal Congress Project

David Braun (anthropology): $229,000 from NSF to investigate the adaptations of hominin species in Koobi Fora, Africa, between 1.4 and 2 million years ago

Stephanie Cellini (public policy): $95,000 from the Smith Richardson Foundation to fund research assessing the earning and debt of for-profit college students

David Costanza (organizational sciences and communication): $70,000 from the Army Research Institute to explore survival analysis as a technique for leadership development and officer and enlisted personnel success

Gustavo Hormiga (biological sciences): $488,000 from NSF for research on the phylogeny and diversification of orb weaving spiders

Oleg Kargaltsev (physics): $59,00 grant from the Smithsonian Institution to investigate x-ray counterparts of puzzling Gev-Tev sources and $50,000 from the Smithsonian Institution to develop a snap-shot survey of unidentified sources from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

Hua Liang (statistics): $124,000 from NSF to expand statistical and computational tools that divulge the underlying structure, dynamics and functionality of gene regulatory networks

Stuart Licht chemistry): $251,000 from the Office of Naval Research to investigate ways to transform the Navy's energy and fuel chain

Ira Lurie (chemistry): $293,000 from the Department of Justice and the National Institute of Justice to test the performance of fluid chromatography applied to synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts

Peter Nemes (chemistry): $396,000 from NSF to support research in microsampling single-cell mass spectrometry for examining cells in the developing embryo, and a $360,622 from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new type of mass spectrometer that will measure small-molecular single-cell heterogeneity in the early stages of embryo development

Guillermo Orti (biological sciences): $398,000 from NSF for collaborative research on the role of habitat transitions in parallel marine fish radiations

Daniele Podini (forensic sciences): $52,000 from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to develop methods for applying DNA quantitation and next generation sequencing instrumentation for rapid and comprehensive sexual assault evidence processing to assist in investigations

Scott Powell (anthropology): $229,000 from NSF to identify the ecological and evolutionary interactions in turtle ant colonies between a host and its symbiotic gut bacteria as they integrate into one organism

Robert Pyron (biological sciences): $375,000 from NSF to construct a species-level complete model of the phylogenetic, trait, spatial and environmental characteristics of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles)

Huixia Wang (statistics): $299,000 from NSF to fund exploration of a new and pragmatic framework for modeling and predicting conditional quantiles in data-sparse regions

Ronald Workman (physics): $81,000 from NSF to examine individual hadrons such as protons and neutrons to develop theoretical tools and computational services for the discovery of new subatomic particles

Guangying Wu (psychology): $65,000 from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to better understand why humans with schizophrenia sustain auditory phantasms and disorganized speech.

*Dollar figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.