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2008–2009 highlights

Research funding

  • Steenbock Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering James Dumesic is leading the UW-Madison collaborators in the $18.5 million National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals at Iowa State University. The grant supports collaborative research at six universities, three international institutions, and nine industry partners aimed at transforming the petrochemical-based chemical industry to one based on renewable materials.

  • The National Cancer Institute awarded a five-year, $8.6 million grant to the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies. The grant established the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research II, through which a multidisciplinary team of scientists is conducting three studies that focus on interactive cancer communication systems. The center also received a five-year, $2.8 million grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study ways to reduce relapses. Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Professor and center Director David Gustafson is the principal investigator (PI) on both grants.

  • With funding totaling $7.4 million, Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Justin Williams is a co-PI or collaborator on two National Institutes of Health projects that will enable him and his colleagues to develop technology that could help people with conditions such as ALS, high spinal-cord injuries or brainstem strokes to regain their ability to communicate, and ultimately, to move.

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded $5.3 million in continued funding for Project HealthDesign, an initiative designed to create a new generation of personal health record systems led by Lillian S. Moehlman-Bascom Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Nursing Patricia Flatley Brennan. The grant brings total project funding to approximately $10 million.

  • The Trace Research and Development Center received $4.75 million from the U.S. Department of Education National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research to establish a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center. The funding will help Trace researchers continue to improve the accessibility of technologies that enable people with disabilities to participate in work, education, travel and the community. Industrial and Systems Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Professor Gregg Vanderheiden directs the center.

  • Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Pharmacology Assistant Professor William Murphy is PI or a collaborator on four research grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation totaling more than $4 million. The grants focus on various aspects of biomaterials research. Among Murphy’s collaborators is Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Padma Gopalan.

  • John T. and Magdalen L. Sobota Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Nicholas L. Abbott and Chemical and Biological Engineering Associate Professor Eric Shusta will work with Professor Paul Bertics from biomolecular chemistry and Professor Ron Raines from biochemistry on a five-year, $2.5M grant from the National Cancer Institute of the NIH to pursue the development of novel molecular analysis tools based on liquid crystals.

  • Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Hongrui Jiang is leading a multi-university, multidisciplinary research program to develop biologically inspired intelligent micro-optical imaging systems. This project earned $2 million over four years from the National Science Foundation through the prestigious Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program.

  • Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Kristyn Masters received $1.67 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to use tissue-engineering techniques to produce physiologically relevant in vitro models of diseased heart valves, and then use those disease models as platforms for testing therapeutic treatments such as statin drugs. Among her collaborators is Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Kevin Turner.

  • Biomedical Engineering Professor David Beebe and collaborators received $1.4 million over three years from the National Institutes of Health for their project, “Microchannel cell-based assays to enable cancer research.”

  • Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Leyuan Shi has received a four-year $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how to improve the quality of radiation treatment planning for cancer patients, which could benefit the 60 percent of U.S. cancer patients who receive radiation therapy.

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