2011 Promising Investigator Research Award

University researchers have been awarded $171, 957 to fund 10 of 59 proposals received in response to the 2011 Promising Investigator Research Award (PIRA) solicitation according to Vice President for Research and Graduate Education Stephen Kresovich.

"Junior faculty were quite responsive to our 2011 PIRA solicitation," Kresovich said, "and that's especially gratifying given this program is meant to encourage the development of individual research projects that can be expected to attract external funding and promote scholarly activities."

He said the 2011 PIRA funding was allocated between two "Tracks."

"Track I funds, considered 'seed' monies, are awarded to faculty to enhance the competitiveness of a subsequent submission of a new proposal for external funding." Kresovich said. The 2011 Track I funded proposals are:

  • "Tissue-specific Adhesive Sealants."
    PI: Tarek Shazly, Mechanical Engineering

  • "Developmental Neurotoxicity of an Alternate Flame Retardant (Firemaster 550) Widely Detected within Indoor Environments."
    PI: David Volz, Environmental Health Sciences, Arnold School of Public Health

  • "Three Lives: Envisioning Gay Identities in Modern Chinese Film and Fiction."
    PI: Jie Guo, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences

  • "Modulation of Neurotransmission by Psychoactive Plant Products."
    PI: David Mott, Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience, School of Medicine

  • "College Life, Learning and Post-Graduation Success at a Flagship Public University."
    PI: Nathan Martin, Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences

  • "Physiological Responses in Older and Younger Adults as a Function of Reward."
    PI: Echo Leaver, Psychology, USC Aiken

  • "Modeling the First and Second Coordination Spheres of Type-2-Cu Nitrite Reductase."
    PI: Gerard Rowe, Chemistry & Physics, USC Aiken

"Track II funds support the general development, and expansion or enhancement of faculty research and creative activity and focus on research contributions that increase academic, intellectual, and scholarly activity," he said. Funds are awarded to faculty with positive reviews on recent extramural applications who proposed a specific plan to strengthen an application for re-submission.

2011 Track II funded proposals are:

  • "Graphene Nanoreinforcement for Concrete: Physical Compatibility and Fundamental Properties."
    PI: Fabio Matta, Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering & Computing

  • "Description of Quantum Motion of Hydrogen in Molecular Systems with Trajectories."
    PI: Sophya Garashchuk, Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

  • "Hydrogen Production via Proton Conducting Ceramic Steam Electrolysis."
    PI: Xingjian Xue, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering & Computing

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