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15 teams to share $1 million in collaborative grants through IU Research program

Past projects helped researchers earn over $88 million in additional funding

  • April 27, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José has announced over $1 million in collaborative research grants to be shared among 15 newly formed research teams. Members of the teams represent 21 departments from eight schools on three IU campuses.

The IU Collaborative Research Grants program, initiated by José and now in its fifth year, awards teams of researchers up to $75,000 to support collaborative, innovative projects with a high likelihood of securing external funding. Each project team includes faculty members from different campuses, schools, departments or disciplines.

“As it was envisioned to do, the Collaborative Research Grants program continues to increase the capacity for our investigators to do meaningful and innovative work through new partnerships,” José said. “This increased capacity for collaboration is an especially important outcome of this program.”

This year, 44 investigators make up 15 teams that represent departments and schools from Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU Southeast, in addition to one team that had a member from Purdue University.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie called the program and the most recent round of awards integral to stimulating new opportunities for sharing knowledge and expertise that lead to discovery.

“Vice President José has energetically promoted and supported this program to encourage faculty to contribute their expertise in shared, innovative ways,” McRobbie said. “As the end of his tenure draws near, Indiana University can reflect positively on the distinct successes that have been achieved by this program: New and highly productive partnerships have been forged that have already led to new discoveries; the university’s investment has been realized more than ten-fold thanks to subsequent related funding; and a new framework has been developed for our faculty that stimulates creative, passionate investigation through shared knowledge.”

Since a collaboration funded by the inaugural round of grants in 2010-11, Giovanna Guidoboni, an associate professor of mathematics at IUPUI, and Alon Harris, professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the IU School of Medicine, have seen their initial round of work on modeling glaucoma result in enormous benefits.

Following their original round of research, the pair received three external grants, including one from the National Science Foundation for over $275,000. They have also founded a new scientific journal, the Journal for Modeling in Ophthalmology; established an agreement of international cooperation with the Polytechnic University of Milan (Italy); and co-organized an international workshop in Europe.

“That 2011 collaborative research grant has indeed led to an incredible number of great successes,” Guidoboni said.

Craig Pikaard, the Carlos O. Miller Professor and Distinguished Professor of Biology at IU Bloomington, was funded in 2011 with Haixu Tang, an associate professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington. Pikaard said spin-out benefits from that original grant continue to this day.

“This is a valuable university program that helped jump-start the collaboration between my lab and the group Haixu Tang leads," he said "It also helped me obtain a highly coveted Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation investigator position. Haixu and I continue to collaborate, and we hold regular meetings of our groups.”

In total, it is estimated that the $3 million distributed by IU during just the first three years of the grants program has thus far helped Collaborative Research Grant-funded investigators earn more than $88 million in new external funding. This figure is expected to grow as those funded more recently pursue external funding opportunities.

“The idea behind the program was to create incentives for researchers to initiate new collaborations to address important problems in transformative ways,” José said. “While we can fund only about 15 percent of the applications, just the process of preparing applications has created some new partnerships across the university. The program has been a success so far, and we believe it will continue to be in the future.”

The 15 projects awarded funding this year are:

Single Cell Studies With Scanning Sniffer Patch Microscopy
Lane Allen Baker, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; and Theodore Cummins, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine.

Investigating the Relationship Between Cumulative Disadvantage and Telomere Length as a Contributor to Cancer Disparities
Silvia Bigatti, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, IUPUI; Brittney-Shea Herbert, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, IU School of Medicine; Kenzie Latham, Department of Sociology, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI; and Anna Maria Storniolo, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, IU School of Medicine.

Mechanism of the Regulation of DNA Replication by PIF1 Family Helicases
Matthew L. Bochman, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; Yuichiro Takagi, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine; and Amber Mosley, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine.

Matrix Engineering With Adipose Stem Cells to Promote Islet Function and Longevity
Robert V. Considine, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, IU School of Medicine; Raghu Mirmira, Department of Pediatrics, IU School of Medicine; and Sherry L. Voytik-Harbin, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University.

Using in vivo Microscopy to Build Predictive Models of Drug-induced Liver Injury
Kenneth Dunn, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, IU School of Medicine; Richard Day, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, IU School of Medicine; and Steve Pressé, Department of Physics, School of Science, IUPUI.

Understanding Naturalistic Bicyclist Behavior for Safety and Sustainability
David Good, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU Bloomington; Lauren Christopher, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI; Stanley Chien, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI; Jiang Zheng, Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Science, IUPUI; and Yaobin Chen, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI.

Neurotherapeutic Potential of Adipose Stem Cell-Conditioned Medium in ALS
Kathryn Jones, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, IU School of Medicine; and Keith March, Department of Medicine, Krannert Institute of Cardiology, IU School of Medicine.

The Impact of the Public Investment in Education in the Academic Performance of K-12 English Language Learners in Southern Indiana
Haeil Jung, SPEA, IU Bloomington; Magdalena Herdoíza-Estévez, School of Education, IU Southeast; Cathy Johnson, School of Education, IU Southeast; and Jacquelyn Singleton, School of Education, IU Southeast.

Developing Remote Sensing Techniques for Detection of Toxin-Producing Cyanobacteria
Lin Li, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, IUPUI; Kevin Mandernack, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, IUPUI; and David Kehoe, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington.

Effect of Antarctic Weathering on Global Climate
Kathy Licht, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, IUPUI; and David Bish, Department of Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington.

A Novel Approach to Discover Drug Resistance Genes in Breast Cancer Cells
Tao Lu, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine; and Lang Li, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, IU School of Medicine.

Induction and Maintenance of Chronic Migraine: Regulation of TRP Channels by Endogenous N-acyl Amide Lipids
Gerry Oxford, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IU School of Medicine; Heather Bradshaw, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington; and Joyce Hurley, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, IU School of Medicine.

Optical-Based, Label-Free Multiplex Assay for Direct Quantification of microRNAs in Serum and Cancer Cells
Rajesh Sardar, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Science, IUPUI; and Murray Korc, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, IU School of Medicine.

Developmental Adaptation to Chronic Hypoxia
Robert Tepper, Department of Pediatrics, IU School of Medicine; Mircea Ivan, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, IU School of Medicine; and Kenneth Nephew, Medical Sciences Program, IU School of Medicine-Bloomington.

Hippo/YAP Signaling Controls Protein Redistribution and Organ Size in Critical Illness
Clark Wells, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biochemistry, IU School of Medicine; Teresa Zimmers, Department of Surgery, IU School of Medicine; and Leonidas Koniaris, Department of Surgery, IU School of Medicine.

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