Research Insights

Notable Grants

CAREER: Uncertainty-aware sensing and management for IoT  Friday, May 24, 2024 - Bolstered by a massive scale of ubiquitously connected smart devices, the emergence of Internet-of-Things (IoT) has brought about substantial conveniences to our daily life through a plethora of applications, of which many are safety-critical, including healthcare, surveillance, and autonomous driving, to name a few. For such safety-critical domains, the current toolkits usually fall short in […]
CAREER: Engineering next-generation adrenal gland organoid  Friday, May 24, 2024 - Organoids are 3D, miniature versions of human organs, that help us learn about how organs grow and work. Organoids are useful for understanding human organ development, how cells talk to each other, and how our bodies fix themselves. This project focuses on making better organoids that act more like real organs. Organoids are usually made […]
Assessing global measles outbreak risk via classification methods  Friday, May 24, 2024 - Large and disruptive measles outbreaks are largely predictable with modern forecasting technology and publicly accessible data. We envision a future where global-scale, country-level risk assessment empowers the advocacy case for targeted immunization in advance of outbreaks. As it stands, WHO regularly publishes retrospective lists of large disruptive outbreaks. Broadly speaking, this grant funds the development […]
PREP@UGA: Post-Baccalaureate Research Training to Diversify Biomedical Science  Friday, May 24, 2024 - The University of Georgia (UGA) proposes a renewal of PREP@UGA that builds on the program’s successes to date and continues to advance diversity of the biomedical research workforce. Diversity of the biomedical research workforce is critical to the success of the NIH mission and necessary for research innovation, translation, and justice. However, ongoing, difficult work […]
Multi-omics approaches to lower the barriers to sustainable production of plant natural products with relevance to human health  Friday, May 24, 2024 - Plants synthesize complex molecules for defense and signaling using specialized metabolic pathways. These plant natural products enhance their own evolutionary fitness and many of these molecules have been used with great success as pharmaceuticals to treat a wide range of human diseases as exemplified by Paclitaxel and Vinorelbine. However, our access to plant specialized metabolites […]
CAREER: From Underground to Space: An AI Infrastructure for Multiscale 3D Crop Modeling and Assessment  Monday, April 22, 2024 - A crop’s traits and 3D structure (the shape and architecture of plants, including both above- and below-ground parts) are the attributes that chiefly influence crop growth and yield and provide critical evidence for plant phenotyping (the characterization assessment of plant traits). Crop yield predictions can be made by assessing 3D plant structures using crop sensing […]
CAREER: Integrating Seascapes and Energy Flow: learning and teaching about energy, biodiversity, and ecosystem function on the frontlines of climate change  Monday, April 22, 2024 - Coastal marshes provide a suite of vital functions that support natural and human communities. Humans frequently take for granted and exploit these ecosystem services without fully understanding the ecological feedbacks, linkages, and interdependencies of these processes to the wider ecosystem. As demands on coastal ecosystem services have risen, marshes have experienced substantial loss due to […]
Value-addition Institute for Business Expansion (VIBE): A Georgia-Based Agricultural Innovation Center to Bring Farmers from Fresh to Value-added Markets  Monday, April 22, 2024 - Georgia has a rich agricultural history in fresh produce, owing to its long growing season. Creation of value-added markets would provide a valuable source of income to growers during times where fresh produce is not actively being grown and harvested. In rural areas where farms are primarily located, many entrepreneurs lack accessibility to appropriate business […]
FMRG: Cyber: Cyber-Coordinated Analytical Framework for Multi-stage Distributed Future Manufacturing Systems  Monday, April 22, 2024 - A manufactured product is the end of a long chain of interwoven manufacturing steps that may span geography, industries, and manufacturing processes. Each step may be optimized, yet for a step there may be uncertainty about the larger context of its contribution that if known during production would allow for greater efficiencies, better quality, and […]
Synthetic multi-component influenza vaccines to elicit broad immunity  Monday, April 22, 2024 - Seasonal influenza viruses cause significant disease burden. While seasonal influenza vaccines are available, these are often poorly efficacious due to mismatch with circulating virus strains, particularly in the populations at greatest risk of complications from infection, including the elderly, infant, and immunocompromised. Influenza A viruses (IAV) also pose a pandemic risk for which seasonal influenza […]
CAREER: Detecting Quantum Signatures in Nonadiabatic Molecular Dynamics Thursday, March 28, 2024 - With support from the Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms A (CSDM-A) program in the Division of Chemistry, Melanie Reber of the University of Georgia is developing methods capable of measuring transient changes in the absorption spectra of molecules in the gas phase. Gas phase measurements, specifically in a molecular beam, allow for detailed study of […]
CAREER: New Pericyclic Methodologies for the Convergent Synthesis of Complex Ring Systems Thursday, March 28, 2024 - With the support of the Chemical Synthesis program in the Division of Chemistry, Christopher Newton of the University of Georgia is designing novel molecular “building blocks” that improve the reactivity and versatility of molecular addition reactions. These addition reactions enable the rapid construction of complex organic molecules through the joining of two simpler fragments and […]
Regulation of protein transport in cilia Thursday, March 28, 2024 - Cilia are thread-like microtubule-based cell extensions which function in cell locomotion, fluid transport, and signaling. Many developmental disorders and diseases are caused by defects in ciliary function and assembly. To assemble cilia of a specific size and composition, cells have to transport hundreds of different proteins from the cell body into the organelle. Intraflagellar transport […]
Dissecting Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms of Hand Dexterity after Stroke for Effective Rehabilitation Thursday, March 28, 2024 - Following a stroke, hand dexterity does not recover fully for most patients, significantly reducing quality of life. Optimal and effective assessment and therapies for achieving hand dexterity are currently lacking due, in part, to limited scientific knowledge of human hand dexterity in health and disease. Hand dexterity hinges on multiple essential behavioral components embedded in […]
NSF Convergence Accelerator Track I: SpheriCity — Circularity from Molecules to the Built Environment in Communities Thursday, March 28, 2024 - This project aims to optimize circularity, from the city up, transforming the linear consumption model of raw material extraction, production, use, and disposal that dominates the global economy. This linear model has led to serious unintended worldwide issues, from pollution to resource depletion. This project will reimagine how we design, from molecules and materials to […]
Ethical Industry 4.0: Embedding Legality, Integrity, and Accountability in Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems Thursday, February 22, 2024 - This project is centered around the creation and validation of an innovative digital framework to foster an ethical manufacturing ecosystem where machine ethics, including legality, integrity, and accountability, is mandated throughout the product design-fabrication-service life cycle. In the era of Industry 4.0, manufacturing systems are enhanced with advanced technologies and interconnectivity. While this evolution significantly […]
CSR: Small: Modernizing Dynamic Binary Translation Systems Thursday, February 22, 2024 - Dynamic binary translation (DBT), used to translate executable code from one instruction set architecture to another, supports a range of essential applications, including architectural simulators, hardware emulators, runtime optimizers, program analysis tools, software testing platforms, and more. However, existing DBT systems have not kept up with the rapid evolution of computer software and hardware. For […]
CAREER: Elucidating the hormonal regulation of cellulose synthase complexes by post-translational phosphorylation Thursday, February 22, 2024 - This project seeks to understand how plants control the synthesis of cellulose, a critically important polysaccharide that governs plant growth and development. Cellulose is an important component of food, fiber, textiles, and fuel for human and forage animals. While many of the enzymes that participate in cellulose synthesis in land plants have been identified, it […]
Ecosystem on the Edge: How Coastal Marsh Plants and Microbes Thrive in an Oscillating Environment Thursday, February 22, 2024 - Long term soil carbon preservation in coastal marshes starts with organic matter deposition and depends on the hydrological and biogeochemical environment that affects subsequent transformations and fate. We posit that the intensity of hydrological oscillations, due to tides and plant transpiration and that affect redox conditions, influence organic matter transformations following deposition and set the […]
SCH: Contactless and Engagement-free Sleep Apnea Monitoring and Characterization Thursday, February 22, 2024 - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a major health problem and can lead to or increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, metabolic disease, daytime sleepiness, workplace errors, traffic accidents and death, if it is left undetected. Worldwide it is estimated one billion people, one in seven adults, have OSA. As sleep occurs primarily in the […]
CAREER: Recycling the Radio Spectrum for Science: A New Paradigm for UAS-based Precision Agriculture  Friday, January 26, 2024 - Demand for radio spectrum space is growing quickly, spurred by the explosion of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), and 5G networks. Unfortunately, the growth of active wireless systems often increases radio frequency (RF) interference (RFI) in science observations. As it stands, very little of the RF spectrum […]
CAREER: Additively Manufactured Nanomaterial Layers with Submicron Structures  Friday, January 26, 2024 - Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, instead of conventional manufacturing technologies with subtractive features and a longer lead time. As a revolutionary technology, additive manufacturing significantly improves logistics, quickly enables new products and increases material readiness, critical to bringing […]
Establishing a Socio-ecological System to Support Northern Bobwhite Populations Long-term: Implications for Ecosystem Services and Hunting Opportunities  Friday, January 26, 2024 - The Farm Bill has been an important tool for conservation for almost 40 years; however, many of our important game species and associated non-game species that inhabit grasslands, savannas, marginal farmland, and woodlands continue to decline. New conservation models need to be explored that minimize the need for tax-payer-funded subsidies in the long-term and maximize […]
Defining the mechanisms of MSC extracellular vesicle modulation of microglia metabolism and bioenergetics in traumatic brain injury recovery  Friday, January 26, 2024 - Neuroinflammation plays a critical role in both the onset and progression of traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, most therapies are unable to address the multifaceted aspects. Following TBI, microglia become activated and produce inflammatory cytokines (including TNF-α and IL-6) that damage blood brain barrier (BBB), tight junctions, and lead to infiltration of peripheral immune cells […]
Advanced Geospatial Analytics and Electromagnetic Shielding Technologies for Enhanced Sustainability (ARL-EDGE)  Friday, January 26, 2024 - The University of Georgia research program, titled, “Advanced Geospatial Analytics and Electromagnetic Shielding Technologies for Enhanced Sustainability,” addresses new technological capabilities and novel mechanisms that reside at the nexus of sustainability and autonomy in order to enable multi-domain operations (MDO) in a broad range of challenging environments and applications. Leveraging technology advancements in geospatial intelligence […]
Elucidating mechanisms for artemisinin-induced dormancy in Plasmodium falciparum  Monday, December 18, 2023 - Among the numerous problems plaguing the malaria elimination efforts is the emergence and spread of drug resistance in P. falciparum. Resistance to artemisinin has led to reduced efficacy of artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs) and ultimately selection of resistance to the partner drugs (e.g., piperaquine). Clearly, the threat of multi-drug resistant malaria is as important today […]
Informing Coastal Adaptation and Management through the Coastal Dynamics of Sea Level Rise (iCAM-CDSLR)  Monday, December 18, 2023 - Gulf coast resource managers and decision-makers are increasingly exploring how to improve community resilience in the face of extreme storms and sea level rise (SLR), particularly with nature-based infrastructure. The Coastal Dynamics of SLR (CDSLR) paradigm, a mature ESLR-funded approach developed in 2010, will be used to evaluate flood hazard mitigation and the socioeconomic and […]
CESU-Piedmont Deer-tested Fences: Innovations to reduce conflicts with deer and fencing in suburban habitats  Monday, December 18, 2023 - Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) Urban Wildlife Program responds to numerous calls from metro Atlanta residents about white-tailed deer becoming entangled in residential fences (e.g., wrought iron). These emergencies present concerns for the welfare of deer and the safety of residents and responding personnel. Although fences greater than 10 feet in height are known […]
The Electrical Hydrogen Sensor Technology with a Sub-minute Response Time and a Part-per-Billion Detection Limit for Hydrogen Environmental Monitoring  Monday, December 18, 2023 - The goal of this project is to develop a field deployable hydrogen sensor with environmental monitoring capabilities to detect hydrogen content at environmentally relevant conditions that meet DOE goals. The project is organized around three technical areas: research and development with laboratory testing, sensor system integration, and simulated field testing. The team of scientists and […]
Promoting Rights-based Evaluation  Monday, December 18, 2023 - The long-term goal of this project is to strengthen the use of partner-centered evidence to promote equitable design, implementation, and evaluation of human rights policies and practices; in turn, reducing the disparities between disenfranchised communities’ and funders’ knowledge and values. This project is innovative in that it attempts to actionably move evaluation to a community-collaborative […]
Investigating the Role of Cerebrovascular Dysfunction in Chronic Cerebral Atrophy after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Lohitash Karumbaia Thursday, November 30, 2023 - Cerebral atrophy is commonly encountered in penetrating severe Traumatic Brain Injury (sTBI) survivors. Brain infiltration of blood-borne cytotoxic proteins and immune cells due to cerebrovascular dysfunction is an important factor contributing to progressive cerebral atrophy and onset of Alzheimer’s Disease dementia in sTBI patients. However, there have been no efforts to develop interventional therapies that […]
Collaborative Research: Identifying Systemic Racism in Mathematics Teacher Education: Building a Cross-Site Community with Preservice Teachers of Color from an HBCU, HSI, and PWI, Dorothy White Thursday, November 30, 2023 - This project will make significant contributions to racial equity in STEM by identifying and describing forms of systemic racism inherent in mathematics teacher education programs (MTEPs). Racialized mathematics teaching practices are systemic in elementary mathematics classrooms, and the impacts of systemic inequities in K-12 mathematics education both deter students from diverse backgrounds from becoming interested […]
Synaptic Dysfunction and Energy Failure in Parkinson’s Disease, Hui Zhang Thursday, November 30, 2023 - Summary Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Loss of substantia nigra compacta (SNc) dopaminergic projections and decreased striatal dopamine levels are the characteristic features of PD. Emerging evidence suggest that synaptic dysfunction of dopamine neurons is an early event in the pathogenesis of PD occurring prior to the onset of symptoms. […]
Molecular mechanisms of physical interactions between bacteria and their surroundings, Courtney Ellison Thursday, November 30, 2023 - Project Summary To survive in diverse environments, bacteria must dynamically interact with their physical surroundings to sense and incorporate stimuli into physiological responses. Bacteria often achieve this interplay between extracellular cues and intracellular signaling by using surface-exposed nanomachines that connect the intracellular space to the cell surface. The most broadly distributed surface-exposed nanomachines are appendages […]
Randomized Controlled Trial of Dyadic Financial Incentive Treatment for Dual Smoker Couples: Evaluation of Efficacy, Mechanisms, and Cost Effectiveness, Michelle Vandellen Thursday, November 30, 2023 - Project Summary/Abstract Smokers partnered with other smokers (i.e., dual-smoker couples) represent ~2/3 of all smokers. Dual- smoker couples (DSCs) are less likely to try to quit smoking and more likely to relapse during a quit attempt, reducing overall smoking cessation rates and representing a high-risk clinical population. Despite their high prevalence and risk for persistent […]
Advancing the understanding, detection, and host resistance selection of fungi associated with loblolly pine needle disease Monday, October 16, 2023 - We aim to advance our understanding, detection, and host resistance selection of the pathogens associated with loblolly pine needlecast and needle blight emerging outbreaks in the southern United States. Our approach is to tackle different aspects of the complex problem by leveraging the currently ongoing research efforts in the Villari lab. Our objectives are: 1) […]
Regulation of the Translational Response to Cellular Stress Monday, October 16, 2023 - Proper regulation of gene expression is required for determining and maintaining cellular identity and for responding to the extracellular environment. In eukaryotes, this entails a multi-step pathway for mRNA from transcription to translation and eventual degradation, and cellular responses to changing conditions often induce highly coordinated changes in many of these steps. The response to […]
Leveraging the unique metabolism of Megasphaera elsdenii for metabolic engineering to medium and long chain organic acids for use in jet fuels and biomaterials Monday, October 16, 2023 - Bioproduction of sustainable fuels and materials, including aviation fuel, is a pressing and urgent issue. The knowledge and technologies developed in this proposal, mitigates climate change by creating carbon-neutral fuel. These biotechnologies increase rural economic development by creating a demand for sustainably grown plant biomass, decrease reliance on fossil carbon, and increase U.S. economic competitiveness. […]
Shaping Next Generation Aminoglycoside Antibiotics for Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Diseases Monday, October 16, 2023 - Aminoglycoside antibiotics (AGAs) are potent antibiotics which have long been used as potent broad spectrum antibiotics, with targets including gram negative and gram‐negative pathogens, and complex infectious diseases such as hospitalized CAPD and exacerbated CF. Significant limitations of the AGAs, however, are AGA‐induced permanent hearing loss (ototoxicity), which is reported to affect up to 20% […]
SAM: Sustainable Anthracnose Management for Watermelon and Cucumber Growers in the Eastern U.S. (SCRI) Monday, October 16, 2023 - Anthracnose in watermelon and cucumber can severely impact yields and increase production costs in the absence of effective control options and is a threat to the long-term viability and profitability of the U.S. cucurbit industry. A coordinated, multi-state effort is required to improve our understanding of the recent anthracnose outbreaks by determining pathogen biology, population […]
Creating Cognitively-demanding, Conceptually-focused Coding Opportunities in Mathematics and Science  Thursday, September 21, 2023 - This project will develop units of instruction for third, fourth, and fifth grade students that integrate coding into mathematics and science. Computer coding is an essential part of knowledge for the current generation of students, and it is important for it to be taught beginning at the elementary school level. Many students who are interested […]
MRI: Track 1 Acquisition of a High-Resolution X-ray Computed Microtomography System with In Situ Capabilities for Multidisciplinary Research and Education Thursday, September 21, 2023 - An award is made to the University of Georgia (UGA) to acquire a high-resolution x-ray computed microtomography (micro-CT) system with in situ capabilities that will support the research, training, teaching, and outreach efforts of more than 30 investigators at UGA, Georgia Tech and Emory University in the biological sciences, physical sciences, archaeological sciences, geological and […]
ARTS: Deploying integrative systematics to untangle Lucidota, the Gordian knot of Neotropical firefly taxonomy  Thursday, September 21, 2023 - This project will document the major firefly groups across South America. Documenting and understanding the diversity of life on Earth is an essential step towards preserving biodiversity in the face of global threats, especially for organisms that are poorly known. This is true even for fireflies, charismatic beetles that have inspired childhood memories and poetry […]
Do fine-scale water column structure and particle aggregations favor gelatinous-dominated food webs in subtropical continental shelf environments? Thursday, September 21, 2023 - Using new ocean observing technologies in two contrasting locations, this research is combining measurements of biological and environmental conditions to understand highly productive ocean shelf food webs. Within marine food webs, a diverse community of small animals, referred to collectively as zooplankton, serve as prey for larger animals including fishes and marine mammals. Zooplankton can […]
Novel Modulators of TGFß1 signaling in regulation of remyelination by neural stem cells Thursday, September 21, 2023 - Loss of oligodendrocytes gives rise to demyelination, ultimately resulting in axonal degeneration and debilitating clinical outcomes in diseases like Multiple Sclerosis. While remyelination can prevent neurodegeneration, there are currently no approved therapies for promoting remyelination. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify factors that control remyelination. Neural stem cells in the adult subventricular zone […]
CESU Piedmont: Estimating population size and spatial distribution of the South Georgia black bear population Thursday, September 21, 2023 - This effort will produce accurate and contemporary population estimates for the South Georgia bear population. Such an estimate will allow for an evaluation of how current and future proposed harvest rates will impact the SGP. Data collection will include genetic hair-snare sampling, camera-trapping efforts, and GPS collaring activities. Together, this will provide information on black […]
PlantSynBio: Construction of a plant chassis as a platform for biological discoveries and innovations Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - A wide range of plants are grown for food, feed or fuel, and biotechnology has the potential to improve the quality, yield, and sustainability of these plants. Biotechnology applications include improving nutrition, enhancing resilience to stress, carbon sequestration, production of bioplastics/biomaterials/bioproducts/biofuels, and space exploration. Yet, technology barriers currently prevent construction of plants with complex new […]
Collaborative Research: PGR: The epigenomic selfing syndrome: revealing the impact of breeding system on epigenomes Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - The evolution of mating system, whether a plant primarily self-fertilizes (inbreeds) or outcrosses (is pollinated by a different individual), is one of the most frequent changes during plant evolution. Self-fertilization is associated with a common set of changes in floral development, together known as the selfing syndrome. For example, flowers of self-fertilizing species tend to […]
Network for Engineering with Nature (NEWN) Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - The Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems will conduct two case studies (one in each of the Colorado and Mississippi River Basins), develop a curriculum and certificate for natural infrastructure workforce development and host a design workshop to explore and create an implementation plan to expand the Network for Engineering With Nature to include resilience liaisons. […]
Bacterial partners as a mode of fungal resistance to antimicrobial compounds Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - The species composition of microbial communities determines the impact they have on human health and the environment, but we have a very limited understanding of how microbial communities form. A major driver of this composition is a competition among microbes that is mediated by naturally produced antimicrobial compounds, that help shape which microbes are included […]
Longitudinal Assessment of Post-concussion Driving in Young Adults (LAPDYA) Wednesday, August 16, 2023 - Upwards of 3.8 million concussions occur annually in the United States. Only 44% of concussed individuals reduce their driving at any point following injury despite emergent concerns over post-concussion driving safety, documented driving impairment and reports of feeling unsafe driving after a concussion. Most concussed individuals who reduce their driving only do so for 24 […]
Collaborative Research: Investigating the role and interplay of microenvironment, manufacturing, and metabolism on MSC production of extracellular vesicles Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are isolated from bone marrow and fat cells. While they are not stem cells, they exhibit a similar ability to differentiate into many types of cells. That ability forms the basis for developing treatments for a variety of diseases. MSCs also generate extracellular vesicles (EVs). The EVs transport bioactive molecules that […]
CAREER: When Two Worlds Collide: An Intersectional Analysis of Black Women’s Role Strain and Adaptation in Computing Sciences Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - The University of Alabama will examine Black undergraduate women’s academic and career-related outcomes in the computing sciences (CS). Computing fields are currently in high demand with favorable workforce outcomes and a need for diverse perspectives. Nonetheless, Black women remain underrepresented along CS professional pathways. Some factors that influence Black women’s trajectories into computing professions are […]
Prevention of catheter related infections via photoactive nitric oxide delivery device Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - Currently, clinical applications of intravascular catheters suffer from major challenges: 1) infection; and 2) platelet activation and surface-induced thrombosis. Bacterial contamination of catheters causes more than 28,000 deaths per year in the United States, as well as costing the healthcare industry a staggering $2.3 billion. Thrombus formation can further lead to obstruction of blood vessels, […]
An immunodominance-based Pan-Pneumovirus vaccine for protection against RSV and hMPV Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - The goal of this research project is to further the development of a pan-Pneumovirus vaccine and to test our hypothesis that a chimeric Pneumovirus fusion (F) protein vaccine displaying immunodominant epitopes of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) will induce broad protection against both viruses. RSV and hMPV are widely prevalent agents of […]