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Spring 2011 Cottrell College Science Awards

Research Corporation for Science Advancement's Spring 2011 Cottrell College Science Awards total $1.8 million. The 48 grants go to early career scientists at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) in the United States. These awards support significant research contributing to the advancement of science and to the professional and scholarly development of faculty, and their students, at liberal arts colleges and PUIs. The awards are given for research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, and physics) or for research in closely related fields that significantly overlaps the physical sciences. Eligible faculty must be within the first three years of a first tenure-track appointment and within 12 years of receiving a doctoral degree. Undergraduate students must be involved in the research in meaningful ways. Five institutions earned two or more awards in this grant-making cycle:
  • The College of New Jersey (3)
  • College of Wooster (2)
  • Santa Clara University (2)
  • Texas State University, San Marcos (2)
  • Union College (2).
"Encouraging, and supporting, early career scientists is of crucial national importance, as the United States seeks to maintain its preeminence in scientific innovation," said Dr. James M. Gentile, RCSA president & CEO. "These awards provide ‘seed' funding for significant research, help early-career faculty establish research programs, and encourage undergraduate students to pursue research interests - all of which are essential to our future as scientific innovators." Founded in 1912, Research Corporation for Science is the second-oldest foundation in the United States (after the Carnegie Corporation) and the oldest foundation for science advancement. RCSA is a leading advocate for the sciences and a major funder of scientific innovation and of research in America's colleges and universities. SPRING 2011 COTTRELL COLLEGE SCIENCE AWARDS Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award Dr. Jennifer M. Steele and Dr. Bert Chandler Physics Trinity University, TX Surface plasmon enhanced Förster resonance energy transfer in fluorescent molecules using metal wire gratings. Dr. Steven W. Suljak and Dr. John T. Birmingham Chemistry Santa Clara University, CA Investigating the role of neurohemal biogenic amines in shaping stomatogastric motor programs of the crab Cancer borealis. Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award Dr. Kurt Andresen Physics Gettysburg College, PA Elucidating Mechanisms of Compaction: Atomic Emission Spectroscopy and X-ray Scattering Investigations of the Ionic Atmosphere of the Nucleosome. Dr. Lauren Benz Chemistry University of San Diego, CA Surface-Supported Metal Organic Frameworks: A Fundamental Investigation of Adsorption and Reactivity of Energy Relevant Molecules. Dr. Michelle R. Bunagan Chemistry The College of New Jersey, NJ Single-Molecule Investigation of Multi-Domain Folding: A Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy Study. Dr. Dale Cameron Other Ursinus College, PA The role of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in modulating the formation, propagation and toxicity of yeast prions. Dr. Lionel E. Cheruzel Chemistry San Jose State University, CA Novel P450 hybrid enzymes with artificial electron donor photosensitizer for the selective oxidation of organic substrates. Dr. Emma J. Coddington Other Willamette University, OR Stress Steroids as Neuromodulators: Studying the Cellular Effects of Stress Steroids on Neurons. Dr. Anca Constantin Astronomy James Madison University, VA A multi-dimensional exploration of the physical properties of cosmic masers' host galaxies. Dr. Trinanjan Datta, Ph.D. Physics Augusta State University, GA Non-equilibrium properties of classical two dimensional XY and Heisenberg model with external time dependent magnetic field. Dr. Bhaskar Datta Chemistry Missouri State University, MO Investigation of Major Groove Modifications of Nucleic Acids on DNA Polymerase Activity. Dr. Karl J. Feierabend Chemistry College of Wooster, OH Self-association of dicarboxylic acids in solution using incoherent broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy. Dr. Jennifer Furchak Chemistry Kalamazoo College, MI Development of a multiplexed molecular beacon assay for the detection of breast cancer metastasis. Dr. John T. Giblin, Jr. Physics Kenyon College, OH Investigations of the inhomogeneous and anisotropic Universe. Dr. Gergely Gidofalvi Chemistry Gonzaga University, WA Orbital optimization and excited-state calculation within the graphically contracted function method. Dr. David P. Gillikin Other Union College, NY Developing archives of aquatic chemistry from freshwater mussel shell geochemistry: Stable isotopes, trace elements, and biomineralization. Dr. Serguei Goupalov Physics Jackson State University, MS Modeling Optical Processes in Lead Salt Nanocrystal Quantum Dots. Dr. Nicholas E. Grossoehme Chemistry Winthrop University, SC Biophysical Characterization of Metal Homeostasis in Multiple Antibiotic Producing Streptomyces coelicolor. Dr. Todd W. Hudnall Chemistry Texas State University, San Marcos, TX Synthesis and Reactivity Studies of Novel Janus-Type Biscarbenes Comprised of Facially Opposed N-Heterocyclic and Carbodicarbenes. Dr. Woo-Joong Andy Kim Physics Seattle University, WA Investigation of the surface electric forces between metallic plates using a high-sensitivity torsion balance and a Kelvin Probe. Dr. Derrick R.J. Kolling Chemistry Marshall University, WV Study of the photoassembly of the oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II in extremophilic phototrophs. Dr. Tracy L. Kress Other The College of New Jersey, NJ Investigating the regulation of gene expression through the coordination of RNA splicing with transcription. Dr. Christopher Laperle Chemistry Providence College, RI Investigations of Solvent-dependent Structural and Chemical Reaction Dynamics of the Group VIII Transition Metal Pentacarbonyls. Dr. Robert B. Lettan, II Chemistry Chatham College, PA Asymmetric Synthesis of Bicyclic Azaheterocycles Utilizing Chiral Memory Cycloadditions. Dr. Laura Listenberger Chemistry Saint Olaf College, MN The function and targeting of perilipin 2, a lipid droplet-associated protein. Dr. Yong Liu Chemistry University of Colorado Denver, CO Investigation of hygroscopicity and redox activity of chemically processed atmospheric organic aerosol. Dr. Justin C. Lytle Chemistry Pacific Lutheran University, WA Carbon Nanofoam Electrodes as Scaffolds for High-Rate Zinc-Air Batteries. Dr. Emily C. McLaughlin Chemistry Bard College, NY Development and synthesis of hydrogen-bonding scaffolds and thiourea organocatalysts for enantioselective [2 + 2] photocycloadditions. Dr. Kenneth A. Miller Chemistry Fort Lewis College, CO Development of a General Synthesis of Chiral alpha-Hydroxy Acids and Application to the Preparation of Potent Antiviral Compounds. Dr. Kevin M. Miller Chemistry Murray State University, KY Synthesis of Novel Imidazolium-Containing Ionenes via Michael Addition Polymerization. Dr. Christine Morales Chemistry University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI Predicting Spectra of Transition Metal Hydrides: Ligand-Dependent Effects on M-H Bonding. Dr. Hector Palencia Chemistry University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE N-heterocycle carbenes as organocatalysts and ligands for functionalized gold nanocatalysts in green reactions. Dr. Margot G. Paulick Chemistry Union College, NY Synthesis and evaluation of cell-permeable variants of trehalose to improve the viability of preserved mammalian cells. Dr. Pushpa Raghani Physics Boise State University, ID Study of magnetic nanostructures deposited on Cu2N/Cu(100) surfaces from first principles. Dr. Alexander Samokhvalov Chemistry Rutgers University, Camden, NJ Mechanistic study of localization and dynamics of photoexcited charge in co-promoted TiO2 under visible/near-IR by multiple Operando techniques. Dr. Tanya Schneider Chemistry Connecticut College, CT Disarming bacteria through inhibition of the biosynthesis of quorum sensing signal molecules. Dr. Joshua Schrier Chemistry Haverford College, PA Chemical and Isotopic Separations using Quantum Tunneling Effects. Dr. Kelly Sheppard Chemistry Skidmore College, NY Expanding the Genetic Code with Pyroglutamate. Dr. Kari L. Stone Chemistry Benedictine University, IL Synthesis of Transition Metal Complexes with Redox-active Ligands for Catalysis. Dr. Riina Tehver Physics Denison University, OH The Structural Foundation of the Force Response of Molecular Motors. Dr. Leeann E. Thornton Other The College of New Jersey, NJ Regulation of plant metabolism through CYP72A cytochrome P450 enzymes. Dr. Alan E. van Giessen Chemistry Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY Multicanonical simulations of protein aggregation: the role of the potential energy surface in oligomer and fibril formation. Dr. David Vuletich Chemistry SUNY College at Brockport, NY Determining the effects of amino acid substitutions within the CXXCH motif of cytochrome c on reduction potential using a heme-peptide construct. Dr. James D. West Chemistry College of Wooster, OH Exploring the Function of Thioredoxin Peroxidase 1 from Baker's Yeast Following Modification by Electrophiles. Dr. Korin E. Wheeler Chemistry Santa Clara University, CA Characterization of the interactions between azurin and silver nanoparticles. Dr. Matthew T. Whited Chemistry Carleton College, MN Development of Silylamides as Nitrene Delivery Reagents for Late Transition Metals. Dr. Steven T. Whitten Chemistry Texas State University, San Marcos, TX Role of unfolded protein in functional allostery: multi-domain control of DNA binding in the tumor suppressor protein p53. Dr. Peter J. Woodruff Chemistry University of Southern Maine, ME A novel approach to enhance bioremediation of chromate using bacteria engineered to produce trehalose.

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