New Research Grants Propel Columbian College Discoveries

Researcher in laboratory
September 14, 2016

From a search for malaria and tuberculosis treatments to advances in nuclear physics and mathematical knot theory, it has been a banner year for major new research grants at Columbian College. Faculty and student researchers have charted pulsars, uncovered fossils and investigated Arctic climate change. The following are among the college’s major grants* awarded during fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015—June 30, 2016):

Charlene Bickford (history): $140,000 from the History National Archives and Records Administration to support the First Federal Congress Project.

Brenda Bradley (anthropology): $129,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the evolution of hair and fur in primates.

Christopher Edward Brick (history): $225,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the work of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers project; and  $182,000 grant from the National Archives and Records Administration for the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers project.

William Briscoe (physics): $286,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to support a data analysis center for hadronic and electromagnetic interactions.

Nuala Margaret Cowan (geography): $96,000 from the Global Development Lab at USAID for “Mappers Without Borders,” a consortium to create map-based data to support development programs and humanitarian responses.

Alexander Dent (anthropology): $248,000 from NSF for a project entitled “Cellular Connections: Phone Trouble and its Repair among Teens in Washington DC.”

Cynthia S. Dowd (chemistry): $2.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study a promising candidate in the treatment of malaria and tuberculosis; and $121,000 from NIH to investigate a targeted method of treating malaria.

Susan Dudley (Public Policy & Public Administration): $132,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a comparative evaluation of U.S. and E.U. regulatory effects on agriculture.

Harald W. Griesshammer (physics): $185,000 from the U.S. Department Of Energy to develop effective field theories of nuclear physics.

Roy Richard Grinker (anthropology): $50,000 from NSF for a project that integrates multidisciplinary tools to study Plio-Pleistocene paleoecology of early hominins from the Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

Maria Pia Gualdani (mathematics): $410,000 from NSF to study differential equations in collisional kinetic theory.

Henry Hale (political science): $199,000 from the NSF  Political Science program for his project "RAPID: Russia Panel Survey 2015."

Feifang Hu (statistics): $150,000 from NSF for the creation of new adaptive designs and associated methods for statistical inference.

Oleg Kargaltsev (physics): $58,000 from the Smithsonian Institution to investigate x-ray counterparts of puzzling Gev-Tev sources; and $53,000 from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center-Library of Congress for a detailed study of the pulsar PSR B0656+14.

Shannon McFarlin (anthropology): $371,000 from NSF for research on the physical ontogeny and life history of wild mountain and western gorillas.

Stephen Mitroff (psychology): $714,000 from the U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command to examine learning and influences on performance in visual searches.

Guillermo Orti (biology): $688,000 from NSF to provide a unified framework that includes fossil and living species for comparative analyses; and $397,000 from NSF for collaborative research on the role of habitat transitions in parallel marine fish radiations.

Jozef Przytycki (mathematics): $83,000 from NSF to organize the international conference Knots in Washington: A Conference Series on Knot Theory and its Ramifications.

Kym S. Rice (museum studies): $70,000 from the National Park Services for the preservation and analysis of the National Park Service Museum Collections-National Capital Region Museum.

Chet Sherwood (anthropology): $999,000 from NSF to examine differences in vocal learning and sound-symbol associations among chimpanzees.

Sarah Shomstein (psychology): $564,000 from NSF to determine how attentional allocation is structured in the face of uncertainty.

Lizbeth Courtney Smith (biology): $300,000 from NSF to study the diversity of animal immunity and somatic DNA modifications in the sea urchin.

Dmitry Streletskiy (geography): $178,000 from NSF to study Arctic climate change and its impact on the environment, infrastructures and resource availability.

Akos Vertes (chemistry): $380,000 from the Curators of the University of Missouri for the development and refinement of a “molecular microscope” capability based on ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry.

Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal (chemistry): $494,000 from NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development to support her academic and research work in green chemistry and the design of safer chemicals.

Huixia Wang (statistics): $298,000 from NSF to develop a statistical framework for modeling and predicting conditional quantiles in data-sparse regions.

Victor Weedn (forensic sciences): $196,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program.

*Dollar figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.