Posted on October 27, 2023

Collage of subject headshots

Several CAS faculty have secured new and continuing research funding this fall. Kudos to Dr. Wasserberg, Dr. Eger, Dr. Oberlies, Dr. Osena, Dr. Zhang, Dr. Cech, and Dr. DeJesus! Read more about their projects below.

Jasmine DeJesus (Psychology) was granted a continuation award as part of an NIH-funded collaborative research project led by the University of Michigan, “The Development of Eating Behavior in Infancy: Associations with Behavior, Diet, and Growth to Age 6 years.” DeJesus is contributing her expertise to the development and implementation of the research protocol, gained from her work on a similar study where mothers fed their infants unfamiliar foods. The project summary is available here through NIH RePORTER.

Nadja Cech (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received a continuation award as part of an NIH-funded project led by the University of Colorado at Denver. The project, “Quorum sensing, diversity and skin inflammation,” examines the interactions between skin and the microbes that reside on its surface. The project summary is available here through NIH RePORTER.

Yi Zhang (Mathematics and Statistics) received a continuation award for his NSF grant, “Novel Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Deterministic and Stochastic Optimization Problems with Inequality Constraints.” According to the abstract, “The project aims to develop new numerical methods for solving optimization problems that have applications in elasticity theory, fluid filtration in porous media, constrained heating, cancer therapy, shape optimization, and financial mathematics.”

Ayalew Osena (Biology) was awarded a new subcontract by Clemson University to contribute to a USDA-funded project, “Identifying Effective Farming Practices to Reduce Risks Of Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Food Crop Productions.” Dr. Osena’s lab will study the uptake of six PFAS compounds in tomato and radish plant species under sub-irrigation and hydroponic systems.

Nicholas Oberlies (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received a continuation award from Ohio State University for the NIH-funded collaborative project, “Discovery of anticancer agents of diverse natural origin.” Oberlies and his team study fungal cultures as a source of new anticancer drug leads. Read more in the project summary.

Asa Eger (History) was awarded a grant from the Barakat Trust for his project, “The Afterlives of ‘Lost’ Classical Cities: Uncovering Caesarea Maritima’s Islamic Past.” The grant helped fund excavations for the 2023 season. Eger’s team seeks to study the urban transformation from the 4th-10th centuries, Umayyad Caesarea and its role as ribat or coastal fortification, and how the earthquake-tsunami of 749 radically altered settlement.

Gideon Wasserberg (Biology) won a contract with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to conduct tick distribution surveys throughout the state. Ticks will be collected in the field, speciated, and sent to CDC for pathogen testing. Wasserberg’s work was recently featured in the new issue of UNCG’s Research Magazine.

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