UVA awards $ 19 million in STEM funding to 4 key research projects


The University of Virginia has awarded $ 19 million for interdisciplinary STEM research through Grounds as part of the Preeminence to Preeminence Fund.

“AVU professors undertake groundbreaking and inspiring research every day,” said Liz Magill, Director of AVU. “These proposals were no exception; all align with our mission and have the potential to advance solutions in areas most in need.

“I also see them as part of AVU’s continued focus on STEM fields, demonstrated by hiring faculty, purchasing equipment, and improving infrastructure. The Preeminence to Preeminence Fund is part of this continuum.

The University has focused on STEM research since the establishment of the University’s strategic plan, “A great and good university: the 2030 plan”, including a variety of investments in STEM ranging from Trans University Microbiome Initiative, the creation of 14 bicentennial chairs in STEM fields, and ongoing commitments to innovative infrastructures such as the Link Lab. These types of investments will continue to be a priority over the coming year, with particular emphasis on environmental resilience and sustainability and the brain and neuroscience across the board. Grand Challenges Program.

Four projects were supported by the Prominence-to-Preeminence Fund:

Immunology, Imaging and Computing for Precision Immunomedicine (iPRIME) in Cardiovascular Disease

Led by Dr. Coleen McNamara, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research at the Faculty of Medicine, the iPrime in Cardiovascular Disease project will strengthen AVU’s position as a global leader in immunotherapy for cardiovascular disease. The collaborative team includes professors from the faculties of medicine, data science, engineering and nursing, and aligns with Plan 2030’s focus on precision medicine.

Climate science: bridging the global and community scales

The Climate Science project is organized around three themes: the use of large-scale data to inform local and actionable advances in climate science; use cyber-physical systems to study and mitigate energy consumption and global climate change; and explore how different approaches to decarbonization can realistically be deployed at the regional level. This environmentally focused project is led by Karen McGlathery, Director of the Environmental Resilience Institute at AVU and Professor of Environmental Sciences, with partner professors from the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Data Science and the School of Engineering.

BIG steps forward

Tajie Harris, professor of neuroscience in the Faculty of Medicine and director of the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, plans to bring together professors of medicine, engineering, and the arts and sciences to advance the understanding of neuroinflammation in the disease. Alzheimer’s. There is an urgent need for new therapies to treat Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias, and this brain and neuroscience project is designed to accelerate research into how the immune system affects the development and progression of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease.

PREPARE: An integrative scientific program in science and in response to pandemics

Led by Chris Barrett, Executive Director of the Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative and Professor of Computer Science at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, PREPARE (Pandemic Research in Emergence, Planning, and Response) will seek to reduce the global burden of infectious diseases through technology and engineering. It will also lead to new general theories for understanding complex large-scale networked systems. These concepts could be transposed into other disciplines such as cybersecurity, ecology and social sciences. Researchers at the Biocomplexity Institute plan to partner with others at UVA Health, the College of Arts & Sciences, and Schools of Data Science, Engineering and Medicine to establish this interdisciplinary, integrative science approach, which fits with the focus of the Plan 2030 on digital technology and society. .

“The choice of research themes, the breadth and depth of their scope, as well as the expertise already established in many disciplines coming together to tackle these difficult problems is what made [these research proposals] stand out, ”said Vice President of Research Melur“ Ram ”Ramasubramanian. “Unlike 3Cavaliers, which encouraged research in its early days, we were looking for established groups that were on the cusp of great discoveries. This group of beneficiaries has excelled in this regard.

The STEM Fund from Preeminence to Preeminence is one of the growing continuums of AVU research grants supporting faculty at all stages of research and discovery, including 3Riders and Grands Défis, as well as the funding of research projects focused on the UVA community, such as the President’s and Provost’s Institutional Research Fund. It is designed to provide up to five years of funding for projects and can include support for faculty, research staff, students, infrastructure and equipment. Projects are expected to attract long-term funding from federal agencies, private foundations and other sources to become self-sustaining.


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