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Office of the Vice President for Research


Congratulations to the 2017 ASPIRE Grant Recipients

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to announce the results of the 2017 ASPIRE I, II and III internal funding competitions. ASPIRE grants were initiated in 2012 to fund promising research and shared research infrastructure to help strengthen the University of South Carolina’s competitiveness for external grants and bolster scholarship throughout the USC System. Moreover, the ASPIRE II grants were aimed at promoting interdisciplinary research through faculty collaborations across different schools and colleges of USC.

USC Faculty researchers submitted a total of 161 proposals to the ASPIRE programs this year. The proposals were reviewed by faculty review committees appointed by the Vice President for Research, and 71 were selected for funding.

Prakash Nagarkatti, the Vice President for Research, notes, “In 2012, we founded ASPIRE to boost the research and scholarship at USC across all disciplines, and all system campuses. Now, in our sixth year of ASPIRE funding, it is becoming apparent that we are meeting our goals. We have documented growth in interdisciplinary research across the entire university, and a significant return on investment, totaling about $50 million in extramural funding for lines of research that began with ASPIRE grants. I am so proud of this growth, and of the outstanding researchers who are receiving funding for 2017.”

The 2017 ASPIRE recipients are listed below, by funding track. It is the Office of Research’s pleasure to recognize this distinguished group. Complete details about the ASPIRE program, including criteria for each funding track and sub-track, are available on the program’s home page.


2017 ASPIRE-I: Innovation recipients

Sub-track I, junior faculty development

Principal
Investigator

Title Department College
Behroozmand, Roozbeh Understanding the Effects of Neuro-stimulation on Speech and Hand Motor Function in Parkinson's Disease Communication Sciences & Disorders Public Health, Arnold School of
Chandrashekhar, MVS ASPIRE 1: High responsivity solar blind ultraviolet detectors for civilian and military applications using Ultra Wide Bandgap AlGaN materials Electrical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of
Chojnowski, Jena The effects of the addition of a PAX6 BAC reporter transgene on limbal stem cell characteristics USC Beaufort - General USC Beaufort
DebRoy, Swati Mathematical Model for Predicting Childhood Obesity Trends in a School USC Beaufort - General USC Beaufort
Fu, Zhengqing Screens for non-degradable active salicylic acid analogs to control citrus greening disease Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Ho, Yen-Yi Integrating Somatic Mutation and Gene Expression Data to Identify Active Driver Pathways
Associated with Cancer Survival
Statistics Arts and Sciences, College of
Klusek, Jessica A longitudinal study of maternal mental health outcomes in fragile X syndrome: Biological sensitivity to context and the potential buffering effect of vagal tone Communication Sciences & Disorders Public Health, Arnold School of
Li, Zhenlong Enhancing Situational Awareness by Mining Big Social Media Data in Near-real Time for Disaster Management: A CyberGIS Approach Geography Arts and Sciences, College of
Makris, Thomas Dioxygen-Dependent Mechanisms for Carbon-Carbon Bond Cleavage Chemistry & Biochemistry Arts and Sciences, College of
Maskiell, Nicole "Mistress both of Matter and Form": Slavery and Gender in the Colonial Northeast History Arts and Sciences, College of
Monroe, Courtney Evaluating Columbia Moves: A Social Network Approach Using a Team Competition and Technology to Increase Physical Activity Health Promotion, Education & Behavior Public Health, Arnold School of
Pariyadath, Renu Narrating Disaster: Activist Use of the Right to Information Act to Re-tell the Story of Bhopal USC Upstate USC Upstate
Poulain, Fabienne ChIA-PET identification of transcriptional enhancers for the study of topographic maps in the visual system. Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Roberts, Kenneth Anaerobic and Oxygen-Dependent Studies of the Mechanism of the 2,4'-Dihydroxyacetophenone Dioxygenase Reaction USC Aiken USC Aiken
Sarzynski, Mark The Effect of Exercise Training on MicroRNAs Bound to High-Density Lipoproteins Exercise Science Public Health, Arnold School of
Vejerano, Eric Warren A Novel Particle for Capturing and Inactivating the Influenza Virus Environmental Health Sciences Public Health, Arnold School of
Werfel, Krystal Fatigue in Children with Hearing Loss: The Roles of Language Comprehension and Listening Environment Communication Sciences & Disorders Public Health, Arnold School of
Xiao, Feifei Powerful Detection of Genome Structural Change and Its Effect on Cutaneous Melanoma Epidemiology & Biostatistics Public Health, Arnold School of
Zhang, Bin A Deep Learning-based Fault Diagnosis and Prognosis for Health Management Electrical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of



Sub-track IIA, research faculty development

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Kloot, Robin Effects of Agricultural Land Management Practices on the Soil Microbiome and their Relationship to Crop Health and Yield Environmental Health Sciences Public Health, Arnold School of
Mitchell, Monique Enfranchising Children's Grief in Foster Care: Exploring and Explaining the Impact of an Innovative Intervention (E3GFC) Social Work, College of Social Work, College of
Samadi, Seyedehzahra APROPOS: Advancing flash floods PRedictiOn in POorly gauged and ungauged catchments using bayeSian algorithm Civil & Environmental Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of
Wen, Cun Spectroscopic and Kinetic Studies of Single-site Cobalt Catalysts for CO2 Hydrogenation Chemical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of



Sub-track IIB, postdoctoral scholar development

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Bam, Marpe Regulation of immune response in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by epigenetic mechanisms. Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology Medicine, School of
Chang, Ming A pathogen type III effector targets a key protein complex in plant immunity to cause disease Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Chen, Jian Unravel the function of NPR1 interacting La-related proteins in plant defense response Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Choi, Seul Ki Health information seeking behaviors among caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: Are caregivers taking care of their own health? Health Promotion, Education & Behavior Public Health, Arnold School of
DeMello, Molly Identifying Ways to Reduce Sedentary Behavior through Wearable Technology Among Breast Cancer Patients Nursing Nursing, College of
Floyd, Sarah Measuring Patients' Willingness-to-Pay for Normal Knee Function Health Services Policy and Management Public Health, Arnold School of
Gao, Peng Basins-Level Heavy Rainfall and Flood Analyses Geography Arts and Sciences, College of
Kingston, Alexandra Co-evolution of complex traits associated with a key innovation: Weaponry, armor, vision, and predator avoidance in the snapping shrimp, Alpheus heterochaelis Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Li, Ning Processing Satellite Images for Measuring Ground Displacements Mechanical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of
McDermott, Martina The role of STAT1/STAT3 in the therapeutic response of HER2 positive breast cancer to dual CDK8/HER2 inhibition Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences Pharmacy, SC College of
Ontiveros, Jorge Assessing high frequency fluctuations in the eastern tropical north Pacific oxygen minimum zone during the past two millennia Earth and Ocean Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Saylor, Rachel A Combined Voltammetric and Microscopic Investigation of Serotonin Neurochemistry Chemistry & Biochemistry Arts and Sciences, College of
Shi, Dexin A Comparison of Modern Missing Data Techniques in Item Response Modeling Psychology Arts and Sciences, College of
Sweeney, Allison Developing Brief Motivational Interventions to Enhance Engagement in Physical Activity Among Inactive African Americans Psychology Arts and Sciences, College of
Verreet, Tine In vivo role of Mitofusin-2 mutations in Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy-dependent optic atrophy Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Zhang, Yao An Evaluation of Health Literacy in Mental Health among Youth involved in the South Carolina Juvenile Justice System Health Promotion, Education & Behavior Public Health, Arnold School of



Sub-track III, bridge funding

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Smith, Deanna Examining the role of the Lissencephaly protein, Lis1, in dynein-dependent transport Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Wethey, David Changes in Competitive Interactions Driven by Climate Change Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of



Sub-track IV, senior faculty exploration

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Bizimis, Michael High precision Iron - isotope ratio analytical capabilities on geological samples at the University of South Carolina. Earth and Ocean Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Chen, Hexin Development of miR-489 as a novel therapeutic target in breast cancer Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Geraci, Marco BiPe Charts - Bivartiate percentiles for anthropometric charts in preterm infants Epidemiology & Biostatistics Public Health, Arnold School of
Hilbish, Thomas Evolutionary Genomics of Adaptation to Climate Change Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Leier, Andrew Did an ancient transcontinental river flow across northern North America? Earth and Ocean Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Liu, Jihong Evaluating South Carolina Birth Outcome Initiative's Impact on Reducing Early Term Elective Inductions and Saving Health Care Costs Epidemiology & Biostatistics Public Health, Arnold School of
Mandal, Krishna Ultra-Fast Bright Scintillator for High Resolution Wearable Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for Brain Imaging Electrical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of
McInnes, Campbell Exploring the KRAS- AGO2 interface as a potential drug target in mutant RAS driven cancers. Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences Pharmacy, SC College of
Nagel, Caroline Mapping the Social Geography of Jim Crow-Era Columbia: An Historical GIS Project Geography Arts and Sciences, College of
Pittman, Douglas Deciphering the Architecture of the RAD51D Protein Complex Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences Pharmacy, SC College of
Ritchie, Kimberly Beneficial Bacterial Associates of the Great White Shark, Carcharadon carcharias USC Beaufort - General USC Beaufort
Tarr, Simon VRchive: Prototyping Virtual and Augmented-Reality Integration for Media Archives Art Arts and Sciences, College of
Waldman, Alan The Influence of Progerin on the Integrity of DNA Repair Biological Sciences Arts and Sciences, College of
Wiskur, Sheryl Synthesis and Initial Testing of Triphenylsilyl Reagents for Trifluoromethylation Chemistry & Biochemistry Arts and Sciences, College of
Yu, Lingyu Virtual Inspection of Inaccessible Areas through Piezo-AirCoupled Sensing and Wavenumber Analysis Mechanical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of
Zhu, Jun The role of microRNA221 in vulnerability to nicotine dependence Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences Pharmacy, SC College of


ASPIRE-II: Integration recipients

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Britton, Jeanne
  • Michael Gavin, English
  • Andrew Graciano, Art

The Digital Piranesi University Libraries University Libraries
Decker, Scott
  • Suzanne Adlof, Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • Kenn Apel, Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • Stacy-Ann January, Psychology

  • Mitchell Yell, Educational Studies

Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Improving Dyslexia Identification and Reading Outcomes in South Carolina Schools: Development and validation of the Carolina Automated Reading Assessment Psychology Arts and Sciences, College of
Fairchild, Amanda
  • Christopher Church, Children’s Law Center

  • Tia Anderson, Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Joshua Gupta-Kagan, School of Law

Investigating the impact of juvenile court intake structures on decision-making outcomes and inequities in juvenile justice: An interdisciplinary collaboration to promote the integration of empirical inquiry into policy analysis and reform Psychology Arts and Sciences, College of
Frongillo, Edward
  • Angela Liese, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

  • Anwar Merchant, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

  • Christine Blake, Health Promotion, Education & Behavior

  • Heather Brandt, Health Promotion, Education & Behavior

  • Courtney Monroe, Health Promotion, Education & Behavior

  • James Thrasher, Health Promotion, Education & Behavior

  • Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Health Promotion, Education & Behavior

  • Debra Krotish, Internal Medicine

  • David Simmons, Anthropology

  • Bethany Bell, Social Work

  • Seung Jang, Journalism and Mass Communications

  • Donaldson Conserve, Arnold School of Public Health

  • Julia Lopez-Robertson, Instruction and Teacher Education

  • Ronit Elk, Nursing
Positioning USC for Global Prominence in Research on Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease Health Promotion, Education & Behavior Public Health, Arnold School of
Khan, Asif
  • Morgan Stefik, Chemistry and Biochemistry 

  • MVS Chandrashekhar, Electrical Engineering 

Next Generation High-Voltage and High-Temperature Power Electronics using AlGaN and ALD Insulator Layers Electrical Engineering Engineering & Computing, College of
Montie, Eric
  • Matthew Kimball, Baruch Institute 

  • Yiming Ji, USC Beaufort

Building a USC Interdisciplinary Team to Study the Impacts of Anthropogenic Noise on the Behavior of Marine Organisms USC Beaufort - Academic Affairs USC Beaufort

Moore, Spencer

  • Alexander McLain, Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

  • Rekha Patel, Biological Sciences

  • Jason Stewart, Biological Sciences

  • Sue Heiney, Nursing

  • Monique Lyle, Institute for Public Service and Policy Research 
Chronic social stress and accelerated aging among South Carolina women: Investigating the social, behavioral, and biological influences on aging processes Health Promotion, Education & Behavior Public Health, Arnold School of
Wang, Qian
  • Guiren Wang, Mechanical Engineering 

  • Thomas Makris, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Center for Chemical Innovation (CCI) for Multi-Enzyme Assemblies for Efficient Catalysis Chemistry & Biochemistry Arts and Sciences, College of

 

ASPIRE-III: Infrastructure recipients

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Greytak, Andrew Acquisition of isothermal titration calorimeter for Biochemistry and Nanoscience research development Chemistry & Biochemistry Arts and Sciences, College of
Leverette, Chad Acquisition of a Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (LC/MS) for Materials Science and Biochemical Applications USC Aiken USC Aiken
Mathew, Sajish Acquisition of nanoliter dispensing robot for protein crystallography Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences Pharmacy, SC College of
Price, Robert

Acquisition of Logos X-ClarityTM Tissue Clearing System and Confocal
Microscopy Objective for the USC Instrumentation Resource Facility

Cell Biology & Anatomy Medicine, School of
Sudduth, Elizabeth SMART Overhead Book Scanner University Libraries University Libraries

28 April 2017