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University Awards 14 Research Projects Driving Innovation

Inaugural Presidential Initiatives Fund Recipients’ Work Encompasses Biomedical, Life, Forensic and Social Sciences, Advanced Data Analytics and Cyber Security

The new Presidential Initiatives Fund provides seed-funding program to ultimately spur new pathways for novel research, discovery, innovation, scholarship, and artistic creation.

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 5, 2015) — Fourteen research projects directed by University at Albany faculty, whose expertise encompasses a wide range of academic disciplines, have been awarded the first grants of the University’s Presidential Initiatives Fund for Research and Scholarship. The program is designed to support new and innovative research that will enhance UAlbany faculty’s ability to compete for large-scale, interdisciplinary, single and multi-investigator awards.

In his 2013 inaugural address, University at Albany President Robert J. Jones expressed, as one of his top priorities, the growing of the University’s research portfolio to $300 million in annual expenditures over the next decade. The $500,000 Presidential Initiatives Fund for Research and Scholarship was established to support this critical endeavor.

“Our University-wide goal is to stimulate a wide range of cutting-edge proposals across the life sciences and biomedical research, advanced data analytics, forensic science and cyber security, and the liberal arts and humanities including the social sciences,” said Jones. “It is our hope that this seed-funding program will ultimately spur new pathways for novel research, discovery, innovation, scholarship, and artistic creation, and in so doing, provide a platform to grow our research portfolio and the national and international profile of the University.”

Following a comprehensive peer reviewed evaluation process, 14 proposals from a pool of 69 applications will receive seed funding from June 1, 2015, and extending through November 30, 2015. Faculty researchers from all eight UAlbany schools and colleges participated.

The researchers to be funded under the 2015 Presidential Initiatives Fund for Research and Scholarship include:

Life Sciences
  • Prashanth Rangan, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
    Proposal Title: Regulation of stem cell differentiation during Drosophila oogenesis
  • Cara Pager, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
    Proposal Title: Regulation of Dengue Virus Gene Expression by the Cellular RNA DEAD-box Helicase DDX62
  • Jun Wang, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
    Proposal Title: High-throughput, Multiplexed Analysis of Single Migratory Cancer
  • Maksim Royzen, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Mehmet Yigit, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
    Proposal Title: Combating the breast cancer chemo-resistance using smart therapeutic nanoprobes
Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • David Hochfelder, Associate Professor, Department of History
    Proposal Title: 98 Acres in Albany: Digitally Reconstructing the Neighborhood Demolished to Build the Empire State Plaza
  • Daniel Goodwin, Associate Professor, Art and Art History, and Janet Riker, Director, Art Museum
    Proposal Title: Picturing the "Anthropocene": Workshop and Artist Residency
  • Philip McCallion, Distinguished Professor, School of Social Welfare, and Lisa A. Ferretti
    Research Assistant Professor, School of Social Welfare
    Proposal Title: Translating the Chronic Disease Self-management program for community dwelling adults with developmental disabilities
  • Benjamin Shaw, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior
    Proposal Title: Population Aging Grant-Writing Boot Camp
Advanced Data Analytics
  • Zai Liang, Professor, Sociology; Erin Bell, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences; and Tse-Chuan Yang, Assistant Professor, Sociology
    Proposal Title: Fragile Families and the Well-being of Young Children of Immigrants: A Bi-National Pilot Project
  • Kamiar Alaei, Research Professor, Department of Public Administration & Policy and
    Arash Alaei, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior
    Proposal Title: Preliminary Data Analysis to Apply for Non-Traditional (international) Funding for Drug Use and HIV/AIDS Research in Turkey
  • Janet Marler, Associate Professor, Management Department, and Hany Shawky, Professor, Finance
    Proposal Title: A Multi-level Study of Advanced Human Resource Data Analytics, Firm Productivity and Employee Well Being
  • Tao Lu, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Proposal Title: Modeling Varying Relationship between Biomarkers Based on Longitudinal-Competing Risks Survival Data
Forensic Science & Cybersecurity
  • Zheng Yan, Associate Professor, Educational and Counseling Psychology
    Proposal Title: The Best Firewall Project: Solving the 20-Year Puzzle Innovatively
  • Rabi A. Musah, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
    Proposal Title: Application of Multivariate Statistical Analysis to Mass Spectrometry-derived Plant Metabolome Profiles for Forensic Identification of Plant Drugs of Abuse
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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.