Fall Research Update 2019
Welcome back! And a very special welcome to new faculty and staff, including our new president, Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
As we embark on a new academic year, I’d like to share a number of research successes from across campus, as well as news and announcements to assist you in your research and creative activities.
The research enterprise at MSU continues to both grow and diversify. The last NSF HERD report, using 2017 data, indicated research expenditures of $695M. I’m pleased to report that our recent submission of 2018 data was $715M. While that figure could change slightly when finalized, it represents a strong increase over the previous year, including improvements in health and defense projects and related funding. This growth reflects the research productivity of scholars across campus and your efforts are very much appreciated.
The Graduate School is celebrating its 25th anniversary! The growth in graduate programs over this time has been tremendous as MSU now offers 288 graduate degree opportunities in 14 colleges. Read more in this special report.
MSU Foundation Professors
It is with great pleasure that I announce the latest faculty named MSU Foundation Professors. From human health to water, these scholars have each made important advances related to the world’s most challenging problems. I also want to thank the Office of the Provost and the MSU Foundation for their support of this program. Congratulations to:
- Laura McCabe, professor in the departments of Physiology and Radiology, has long been engaged in exploring the mechanisms regulating bone cell differentiation and bone formation and developing new strategies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
- David Morgan, professor in the Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine of the College of Human Medicine, has spent his career studying the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. His research has already led to several clinical trials, first with a vaccine and now with antibody injections, to activate the body’s immune response and stop the buildup of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain.
- Amirpouyan (A. Pouyan) Nejadhashemi is a professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. A leading expert in water resources modeling, Nejadhashemi examines water and its distribution, movement, and quality in a variety of environments.
- Terrie Taylor, University Distinguished Professor of Tropical Medicine in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, is an internationally recognized scientist and physician who has waged a 33-year battle against malaria. Her research determined swelling of the brain and pressure on the respiratory center as the cause of death in pediatric patients. This discovery is now leading to the development of interventional therapies and expanded use of ventilators.
Faculty Awards & Honors
MSU faculty have garnered numerous awards over the past few months and several are highlighted below. Be sure to visit the Award News section of the MSU Research website for more faculty success stories, and please contact us if there are additional stories we can include.
- Nine MSU scholars have received NSF Early CAREER Awards thus far in 2019. They include: H. Metin Aktulga, Daniel Ducat, Matthew Hirn, Ilya Kachkovskiy, Sophia Lunt, Jiliang Tang, Liangliang Sun, Zhenqi Wang, and Jay Zarnetske.
- Daniel Bazin, NSCL senior physicist, was recently named a 2019 American Physical Society Fellow.
- Michele Grimm, Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been named by the National Academy of Medicine to a special commission on global aging challenges.
- Joe Krajcik, Department of Science Education, has been elected to the National Academy of Education.
- Gina Leinninger is the 2019-20 recipient of the American Physiological Society’s (APS) Central Nervous System Section New Investigator Award.
- Jeff Nanzer, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected for a DARPA Award.
- Milton (Mitch) Smith III, Department of Chemistry, has received the 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Organometallic Chemistry.
- Kristin Parent, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has received a 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infections Disease Award.
- Ashley Shade, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, was selected as a 2019-2023 Ecological Society of America (ESA) Early Career Fellow.
- Esther Thorson, School of Journalism, has been honored with the Deutschmann Research Award.
- Mohsen Zayernouri, departments of Mechanical Engineering, and Statistics and Probability, has received a second Young Investigator Program Award.
Research in a Federal Regulatory Context
The Office of Regulatory Affairs recently published a newsletter with information pertinent to researchers. It provides a number of updates and an overview of services that could be very beneficial to your work.
On Thursday, September 5, more than 150 MSU faculty and representatives from other universities and companies participated in the 12th annual MSU-FBI Academic Alliance Conference. This year’s topic stressed foreign influence on university research. Additional info on these emerging guidelines is available on our website. If you would like to attend the conference next year, be sure to mark your calendars for September 14, 2020.
- The new Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building is now open. It will house several current teams and new faculty from the Global Impact Initiative. Check out this overview and video tour.
- The Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion will transform the future of business. Learn more in this message from Dean Sanjay Gupta.
- The Billman Music Pavillion is on schedule, with a dedication for the new addition scheduled for April 2020.
- The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is tracking ahead of schedule with approximately 92 percent completed. Civil construction is finished, with technical installation ongoing.
- WKAR recently opened the new NextGen Media Innovation Lab.
- The new water treatment plant will open soon. IPF encourages researchers to understand how this change could impact your work.
Research and Innovation Personnel Announcements
- Marianne Huebner has been named the new director of the Center for Statistical Training and Consulting (CSTAT).
- John Goudreau will serve as the new director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).
- Anupam Jhingran has joined the MSU Innovation Center as the new technology manager of life sciences.
- Brian O’Shea is the new director for the Institute for Cyber Enabled Research (ICER).
Reminders & Deadlines
- MSU internal grant deadlines, including those for the Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP), are fast approaching and we urge you to review and apply.
- Conflict of Interest disclosures--why, what, and when to disclose.
- As of October 1, NIH now requires an ORCID for new grant proposals.
- Several NSF programs including Major Research Instrumentation (MRI), Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), and Engineering Research Centers, are institutionally limited. Please be sure to review the internal deadlines and plan accordingly.
- MTRAC AgBio Tier I Full Award proposals are due November 5, 2019.
- Science + Society @ State is calling for applications for grant projects - the deadline is January, 27, 2020.
- There are a number of upcoming events to support grant writing efforts. Please visit our calendar for details.
Spotlight on Computation
Krishnan, recruited to MSU under the Global Impact Initiative, is an assistant professor in the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science & Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. He currently leads a team of students and postdocs working broadly in the areas of computational genomics and biomedical data science. Arjun was recently awarded a highly competitive MIRA (Maximizing Investigators' Research Award - R35) from the NIH MIGMS (National Institute of General Medical Sciences), a flexible 5-year grant for his entire group to pursue multiple projects of interest.
The Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering’s collaborative environment brings together biologists, engineers, astronomers and mathematicians as well as undergrads and grad students. These researchers create models that help tackle complex problems like researching dying stars so we can understand the origins of matter, mapping Earth’s interior to better predict earthquakes, and developing novel ideas in network theory to explain complex diseases.
Joe Cesario, Department of Psychology, reviews his recent work showing that, contrary to many activist claims and media reports, there is no widespread racial bias in police shootings. Joe discusses his analysis of national criminal justice data and his experimental studies with police officers in a specially designed realistic simulator. He maintains that evidence suggests that racial bias does exist in other uses force of force such as tasering but that the decision to shoot is fundamentally different and driven by facts about criminal context in which officers find themselves rather than race.
Rebecca Campbell, Department of Psychology, focuses her research on violence against women and children with an emphasis on sexual assault. She discusses her recent National Institute of Justice-funded project to study Detroit’s untested rape kits. Rebecca also describes the problem of untested kits and her work with police departments around the country to reduce the backlog.
Pride point: Campbell was recently honored in Crain's Detroit Business as a Notable Woman in Education Leadership by a team of Crain’s Detroit Business editors. Award recipients are selected based on their career accomplishments, track record of success in the field, contributions to their community and mentorship of others.
My best regards for a successful semester.
Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation