Science research roundup: May 2022

Last month, Arts & Sciences researchers received awards from NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and others.

Jeffrey Zacks, associate chair and professor of psychological and brain sciences, and Denise Head, professor of psychological and brain sciences, won a five-year, $2,530,277 grant from the National Institutes of Health for work on aging and development.

Alex Meshik, research professor of physics and a faculty fellow in the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, won a $690,521 grant from NASA to support improving instrumentation and refining analytical techniques in preparation for high precision isotopic analyses of asteroid samples. Meshik aims to study noble gases in extraterrestrial samples to better understand the evolution of small bodies and the early solar system. Read more about Meshik's work in the Ampersand.

Keith Hengen, assistant professor of biology, won a $300,000 grant from the BrightFocus Foundation for Alzheimer’s disease research titled “Aberrant Neural Dynamics in Early Life Warn of Future Disease.”

William McKinnon, professor of Earth and planetary sciences, received a $164,255 award from NASA and the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to support his work as co-chair of the Europa Clipper Habitability Working Group.

K. Eliza Williamson, a cultural anthropologist and lecturer in Latin American Studies, was awarded a grant for postdoctoral fieldwork from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. This grant will fund Williamson’s ongoing, longitudinal ethnographic research with families raising children diagnosed with congenital Zika syndrome in Bahia, Brazil.

Michael Nowak, research professor of physics, received a $96,398 award from NASA for joint NuSTAR/Event Horizon Telescope observations of a supermassive black hole system. Read the related story from the Source.

Yeganeh Sekhavati, a graduate student in biological anthropology, won a $2,955 grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. The award supports Sekhavati’s dissertation fieldwork.

Alexandra Sacco, a graduate student in biological anthropology, won a $2,800 grant from Primate Conservation, Inc. to be used for travel and field expenses. The award supports Sacco’s project titled “Genetic Variation and Population Health in Endangered Red Colobus Monkeys.”

Arts & Sciences recently announced the first cohort of winners of internal Seeding Projects for Enabling Excellence & Distinction (SPEED) grants. The SPEED program awards grants of up to $50,000 to spur novel and impactful research, scholarship, and creative practice initiatives led by tenure-track and research faculty. The first round of winners includes Joshua Blodgett, assistant professor of biology; Arpita Bose, associate professor of biology; Theresa Gildner, assistant professor of biological anthropology; Nan Lin, professor of mathematics and biostatistics; Kater Murch, professor of physics; E.A. Quinn, associate professor of biological anthropology; Sheng Ran, assistant professor of physics; Renee Thompson, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences; and Alison Tuck, a university fellow in psychological and brain sciences. Read more from the Ampersand.

Did we miss something? Contact Shawn Ballard, communications specialist in Arts & Sciences.