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Office of the Vice President for Research

2023 ASPIRE grants support early-career faculty research across the university

The Office of the Vice President for Research is committed to supporting the University of South Carolina’s researchers at every level through a slate of internal funding programs targeting students and faculty. This year, the ASPIRE program was restructured with the goal of funding promising early-career faculty who intend to pursue subsequent extramural funding. As always, the ASPIRE program seeks to strengthen the university’s competitiveness for external grants and bolster scholarship throughout the USC system.

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 ASPIRE awards. USC Vice President for Research Julius Fridriksson commented, “With an increased focus on early-career faculty for ASPIRE this year, we are investing in the next generation of groundbreaking research and scholarship from our talented faculty. The recipients of this year’s grant, including early-career and senior faculty from a variety of disciplines across campus, will no doubt continue their success in garnering external funding. I am proud to congratulate the new class of ASPIRE recipients on their achievements.”


2023 ASPIRE Recipients

Principal Investigator Title Department College
Agostinelli, Forest How Does this Puzzle Work? Towards Foundation Models for Pathfinding Problems Computer Science & Engineering College of Engineering & Comp.
Armstrong, Bridget Measuring children’s heart rate variability, respiration and sleep using a novel photoplethysmography PATCH device Exercise Science Arnold School of Public Health
Deboom, Meredith The Geopolitics of Global Development: Investigating China’s Influence as a Development Model in Africa Geography College of Arts and Sciences
Ellermann, Melissa Investigating the effects of the lipid sensing transcription factor FadR on Escherichia coli population dynamics and proinflammatory potential in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease Biological Sciences College of Arts and Sciences
Enos, Reilly Examining the Tissue-Specific Action of the Androgen Receptor in PCOS-Induced Metabolic Impairments Path, Microbio. & Immunology School of Medicine
Fillo, Jennifer Mixed-methods examination of intersecting risk factors for alcohol misuse among student service members and veterans Health Prom., Educ. & Behavior Arnold School of Public Health
Ghosal, Rahul Flexible Statistical Methods for Distributional Data and Survival Outcomes Epidemiology & Biostatistics Arnold School of Public Health
Grgic, Mak 'Travelogue' by Mak Grgic, School of Music Advanced Support Program for Innovative Research Excellence Music School of Music
Ha, Byeongwon Virtual Reality in the Expanded Field as an Expansion Pack for Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Art College of Arts and Sciences
Hirsch, Katie R Feasibility of different methods for identification of menstrual phases: A pilot and feasibility trial Exercise Science Arnold School of Public Health
Jenerette, Coretta Melissa Piloting Health Equity Lives in Palliative Care for Sickle Cell Disease (HELP-4-SCD) Nursing College of Nursing
Kim, Minji Validating efficient and effective anti-smoking message evaluation measurement using volumetric choice experiment (VCE) Health Prom., Educ. & Behavior Arnold School of Public Health
Li, Jie Combining Genome Mining and Bioengineering for Discovery of Lanthipeptide Antibiotics Chemistry & Biochemistry College of Arts and Sciences
Lima de Vasconcelos, Lucas REC-STEMEd: Robotics in Early Childhood STEM Education Educational Studies College of Education
LoPresti, Eric Turning USC’s historic moth collection into impactful 21st century science Biological Sciences College of Arts and Sciences
Matchin, William Functional neuroimaging of syntax using a novel training protocol Communication Sci & Disorders Arnold School of Public Health
McCarthy, Cameron Autophagy-dependent Lipids in Vascular Physiology Basic Science Research School of Medicine
Messick, Kyle The use of Artificial Intelligence Across Three Domains BFT Social Sciences BFT
Metcalfe, Christi S Behavioral economics in plea decision-making: An experimental analysis Criminology & Criminal Justice College of Arts and Sciences
Mills, Mary K. miRNA expression dynamics throughout egg development in the understudied vector, Culicoides sonorensis AK Biology & Geology University of SC Aiken
Mu, Sai Leveraging spin-phonon interaction in disordered quantum materials: an ab-initio based data-driven approach Physics & Astronomy College of Arts and Sciences
Pellegrini, Christine Energize! Internet-Delivered Physical Activity Program for Adults with Knee Replacement Exercise Science Arnold School of Public Health
Pershyn, Yuriy Low-Temperature Properties of ReRAM Cells for Quantum Computing Applications Physics & Astronomy College of Arts and Sciences
Quinn, Joseph Michael Manipulating Mechanisms of Homophily and Measuring Changes in the Emergence of Segregation: A Computational Experiment Sociology College of Arts and Sciences
Richardson, Nicole On the Difficulty of Changing One’s Nature: Lamarckism vs Mendelism in the Chinese Eugenics Movement UPS History, Polital Sci., Phil. University of SC Upstate
Ritchie, Kimberly Novel Antibiotics from Elasmobranch-Associated Bacteria BFT Natural Sciences University of SC Beaufort
Tran, Henry Development of The Rural School Leadership Development Institute (RSLDI): An Evidence-Based Program for Supporting Teacher and Principal Retention Educ. Leadership & Policies College of Education
Wang, Yang Investigating Bilingual Students' Reading Strategies in STEM Areas Instruction & Teacher Educ. College of Education
Wang, Zhu Structure-Preserving Model Reduction of Tethered Unmanned Air-Surface Vehicle Control Mathematics College of Arts and Sciences
Wei, Jingkai Does hearing aid use reduce the risk of incident dementia? Applications of causal inference methods to emulate target trials using observational data Epidemiology & Biostatistics Arnold School of Public Health
White, Ralph Edward Development of a Structural Batteries Demonstrator for Electrochemical-
Mechanical Testing
Chemical Engineering College of Engineering & Comp.
Wippold, Guillermo Manuel Premortem of a community-informed, peer-to-peer, barbershop-based intervention to promote health-related quality of life among Black men Psychology College of Arts and Sciences
Wright, Pamela J. Resistance Exercise with Peer Support for Women with PCOS using a Smart Home Video Device:  Feasibility Study Guided by Self-Determination Theory Nursing College of Nursing
Yang, Chih-Hsiang (Jason) Daily Movement Activity Patterns and Cognitive Function in Older African Americans: A Proof-of-Concept Study Exercise Science Arnold School of Public Health

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