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Pieces of Eight


ECU Seed Grants to Further Faculty Research Projects

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

ECU’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies awarded $555,000 in seed grants to 23 professors last month.

The grants will enable researchers to develop preliminary data for a major research grant application to an external sponsor, said Glen Gilbert, then interim vice chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies.

“The research grant program was deemed an important investment in the future of the institution. There is a great need to increase external funding and this program has great potential to move us in a positive direction,” he said.

This year, the program received 89 proposals from faculty representing all 11 colleges and schools. To respond to the number and quality of the grant proposals, the division was able to obtain more than double its original plan of sponsoring 10 projects with $270,000.

Grant recipients for 2005 are:

• Shaw Akula (Microbiology and Immunology), Analyzing Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Entry ($26,416)

• Christine Avenarius (Anthropology), Understanding Changing Concepts of Fairness and Justice in China ($19,986)

• Fred Bertrand (Microbiology & Immunology), Regulation of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor Gene by the Notch-1 Signaling Pathway ($30,000)

• Colin S. Burns (Chemistry), Metal Cofactors in Natively Unfolded Proteins: What Binding Motifs are used by these Species and what Functions do they fulfill? ($28,885)

• David Chalcraft (Biology), The effects of biodiversity on pond communities: incorporating natural patterns of diversity loss ($28,621)

• I. Randolph Daniel, Jr. (Anthropology), Tar River Geoarchaeology ($25,000)

• Melanie Elliott-Wilson (Psychology), Taking a closer look at mother-infant interactions across time and across contexts ($24,798)

• Robert Hickner (Exercise and Sport Science), Suppression of lipolysis by nitric oxide in overweight children ($23,376)

• Tibor Hortobagyi (Exercise and Sport Science), Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation to Assess Brain Function in Health and Disease ($30,240)

• Terry Jones (Physical Therapy), Transcriptional regulation of muscle’s glucose transporter protein in response to exercise and a high-fat diet ($29,150)

• Jamie Brown Kruse (Economics), Spatial, Environmental and Behavioral Determinants of Valuation of Coastal Erosion Risk ($30,000)

• Yong-qing Li (Physics), New Approaches to Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Using Tweezers Spectroscopy ($24,000)

• Kwang Hun Lim (Chemistry), Structural Studies of Intermediate States involved in the Amyloid Formations of the Beta-Amyloid Peptide associated with Alzheimer’s Diseases ($19,937)

• Haiyong Liu (Economics), Participation in Food Assistance, Maternal Employment, and Child Obesity ($14,483)

• David Loy (Recreation and Leisure Studies), Examining the effects of aromatherapy on the biological and behavioral markers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease ($20,919)

• Joseph J. Luczkovich (ICMR/Biology), Evaluating the Impact of Benthic Weather on Fish Behavior: Development and Application of a Remote Estuarine Observing Station in Pamlico Sound ($28,423)

• Alexander Murashov (Physiology), Treatment of Experimental Spinal Cord Injury with Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells ($30,000)

• Megan A. Perry (Anthropology), 2005 Petra North Ridge Project/Wadi Ramm Cemetery Survey: In search of Nabataean cemeteries in Jordan ($15,525)

• Art A. Rodriguez (Chemistry), Investigations into the Development of Quantum Dot-Antibody Biosensors as Diagnostic Probes using Fluorescence Techniques ($29,497)

• Kyle Summers (Biology), The evolution and ecology of reproductive strategies in Amazonian poison frogs (Dendrobates imitator and Dendrobates variabilis) in northern Peru ($30,220)

• Rebecca Maria Torres (Geography), Rural Transformation and Latino Transnational Migration and Settlement in the U.S. South ($19,317)

• Michael Van Scott (Physiology), Effects of Ambient Particulate Matter on Ischemic Injury ($17,517)

• Karin L Zipf (History), ‘Buked and Scorned: Gender, Race and the Welfare State in North Carolina’- a prospective application for a National Endowment of the Humanities grant ($5,093)

This page originally appeared in the July 15, 2005 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at