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RCSA Announces Cottrell College Science Awards

Tucson, AZ – June 21, 2012 – Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) today announced the 2012 Cottrell College Science Awards – a total of $1.8 million in grants to support 51 early career scientists at primarily undergraduate institutions in the United States. The Awards support significant research that contributes to the advancement of science and to the professional and scholarly development of faculty and their students. The Cottrell College Science Awards (CCSA) provide crucial recognition and funding to primarily undergraduate institutions, which play an outsized role in graduating students who go on to earn PhDs, and to the faculty at these institutions as they work to establish their own labs. This year’s awards fund 44 grants—40 to single investigators and four multi-investigator teams representing 11 researchers. It is anticipated that these scholars will conduct research with 400 undergraduate students. The grants went to 36 institutions in 22 states. Recent research conducted by RCSA Program Director Silvia Ronco demonstrates the success of the CCSA program. Ronco said that fifty percent of the students of faculty who receive CCSA awards proceed to graduate school. In addition, in 2009, 6,936 US college students received baccalaureate degrees in chemistry from primarily undergraduate institutions. Of those, 2,844 (41 percent of the national total) came from schools which received the bulk of RCSA’s Cottrell College Science Award (CCSA) funding for early-career researchers in the last 15 years. 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 all aspects of the research projects. Three institutions earned two awards in this grant-making cycle:
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Illinois State University
  • Texas State University, San Marcos
“Research involving early career scientists and students is crucial to American scientific leadership,” said Dr. James M. Gentile, President and CEO of Research Corporation for Science Advancement. “The Cottrell College Science Awards provide funding that enables dedicated faculty members to establish research programs and allows students to engage in research directly. Both purposes are essential to challenging and retaining talented faculty and promising students in the sciences.” A complete list of this year’s Award-winners is attached. For additional information, contact Emma McKinstry at Goodman Media International, (212) 576-2700 or About Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) Research Corporation for Science Advancement ( – formerly known as Research Corporation – is the oldest foundation devoted wholly to science and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Research Corporation 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. Follow updates from RCSA on Facebook and Twitter.

Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award

Dr. Veronica Barone Dr. Bradley D. Fahlman Central Michigan University – Mt. Pleasant, MI Chemical Unzipping of Doped Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Energy Storage Applications Physics
Dr. Natalia V. Connolly Dr. Wei-Jen Change Dr. Alistair Campbell Hamilton College – Clinton, NY Novel Computational Techniques for Investigating Gene Interaction Networks in Ichthyopthirius Multifiliis and its Endosymbiotic Bacteria Physics
Dr. Stephanie S. Strand Dr. Mark J. Snider Dr. Melissa M. Schultz College of Wooster – Wooster, OH Microbial Degradation of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products during Wastewater Treatment Chemistry
Dr. Edward J. Crane III Dr. Matthew Sazinsky Dr. Jade Star Lachey Pomona College – Claremont, CA An integratedStudy of the Enzymology, Microbiology and Geology of Sulfur-Based Respiration: from Molecular Mechanisms to the Bio- and Geosphere Chemistry

Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award

Dr. Mark R. Ams Allegheny College – Meadville, PA Molecular Torsion Balances for Probing the Distance Dependency of CH-pi Interactions Chemistry
Dr. James Wollack St. Catherine University – Saint Paul, MN Enzymatic and Chemical Synthesis of Strained Ring Containing Proteins and Oligonucleotides for use in Tetrazine Cycloaddition. Chemistry
Dr. Tatiana R. Prytkova Chapman University – Orange, CA The Protein Structure and Mobility control of Electron Transfer Reactions in Ru-Modified Proteins. Chemistry
Dr. Kerry A. Rouhier Kenyon College – Gambier, OH Defining the Role of Arabidopsis thaliana Methylmalonate Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase in Lipid Metabolism Chemistry
Dr. Eric James Watson Seattle University – Seattle, WA The Synthesis and Reactivity of Novel Triple-layer Bimetallic Complexes: Model Systems for Organometallic Molecular Wires Chemistry
Dr. Michael David Bridges California State University, Fullerton – Fullerton, CA Equilibrium Dynamics and Binding Kinetics of Intrinsically Disordered Cancer Proteins by EPR Spectroscopy. Chemistry
Dr. Sharon Jane Gerbode Harvey Mudd College – Claremont, CA Particle-Scale Dynamics of Impurity Defect Expulsion in Colloidal Crystals Physics
Dr. David Joel Gorin Smith College – Northampton, MA Selectivity in Complex Contexts: Directing Chemical Reactions with DNA-Small Molecule Conjugates Chemistry
Dr. Kristine A. Nolin University of Richmond – Richmond, VA Rhenium(V)-Oxo Catalyzed Addition Reactions Chemistry
Dr. Nicholas J. Robertson Northland College – Ashland, WI Synthesis of High Molecular Weight Polyester and Polyamide Architectures Derived from Biorenewable Monomers Chemistry
Dr. David Hanneke Amherst College – Amherst, MA Quantum Logic Spectroscopy of Charged Molecules Physics
Dr. Jun-Hyun Kim Illinois State University – Normal, IL Construction and Modification of Stimuli-Responsive Hollow Polymer Nanoparticles for Targeted Drug-Delivery Vehicles Chemistry
Dr. Heather Lynn Abbott-Lyon Kennesaw State University – Kennesaw, GA Radiation Induced Prebiotic Chemistry at Ice-Mineral Interfaces Chemistry
Dr. Prashanth Jaikumar California State University, Long Beach – Long Beach, CA r-Mode Oscillations and Gravitational Wave Signatures of Hybrid Neutron Stars Physics
Dr. Amy L. Lane University of North Florida – Jacksonville, FL A Genetic-Chemical Approach for Exploring Biotic Interactions as Activators of Natural Product Biosynthesis Among Marine Bacteria Chemistry
Dr. Corina Maeder Texas State University, San Marcos – San Marcos, TX Regulation of the Essential Splicing Helicase Brr2 by U5 snRNP Proteins During Spliceosome Assembly. Chemistry
Dr. David S. N. Rupke Rhodes College – Memphis, TN Feedback in Major Galaxy Mergers: A Comprehensive Survey of Wind Structure and Power Sources Astronomy
Dr. Kristin Michelle Slade Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Geneva, NY The Effects of Macromolecular Crowding on Enzyme Kinetics in the Mitochondria Chemistry
Dr. Mishkatul Bhattacharya Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester, NY Optomechanical Rotation Sensors: Theoretically Identifying and Circumventing the Quantum Limits to their Sensitivity Physics
Dr. William Reed Collins Fort Lewis College – Durango, CO From Carbon Nanohoops to Nanotubes: New Approaches to the Chemical Synthesis, Elaboration, and Application of the [n]Cycloparaphenylene Family Chemistry
Dr. Christian E. Laing Wilkes University – Wilkes-Barre, PA Modeling RNA Tertiary Structure by Merging SHAPE Chemistry with Comparative Sequence Alignment Chemistry
Dr. Abby R. O'Connor Ramapo College of New Jersey – Mahwah, NJ New Ni(II) and Pd(II) Complexes Containing Hemilabile Pendent Arene Groups to Catalyze the Polymerization of Olefins and Polar Monomers Chemistry
Dr. Peifang Tian John Carroll University – University Heights, OH Modeling the Light Propagation in Brain Tissues using Monte Carlo Simulation with a Dynamic and Heterogeneous Tissue Model Physics
Dr. Justin K. Hines Lafayette College – Easton, PA Investigating Potential Amyloid-Membrane Interactions: The Role of an Auxilin-type Molecular Chaperone in Yeast Prion Propagation. Chemistry
Dr. Mike J. Twiner University of Michigan, Dearborn – Dearborn, MI Algal Toxins as Phosphatase Inhibitors: Identification of New Targets and Structure-Activity Characterization Chemistry
Dr. Mehnaaz Ali Xavier University of Louisiana – New Orleans, LA Aptamer-Based Biosensors with Co-factor Modulated Enzyme Signaling Chemistry
Dr. Megan E. Bolitho University of San Francisco – San Francisco, CA Rational Design, Chemical Synthesis, and Biochemical Evaluation of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the LuxS Enzyme Chemistry
Professor Joseph Carson College of Charleston – Charleston, SC Extrasolar Planet Imaging Studies with the Hubble and Spitzer Telescopes Astronomy
Dr. Tania Betancourt Texas State University, San Marcos – San Marcos, TX Responsive Hydrogels Based on Binary Nucleic Acid Probes for Molecular Detection and Triggered Drug Release Chemistry
Dr. Justin Joseph Donato University of St. Thomas – Saint Paul, MN Shedding Light on the Mechanism of Action of an Enzyme that Confers Resistance to a Common Antimicrobial Agent Chemistry
Dr. Klebert B. Feitosa James Madison University – Harrisonburg, VA Transient Glassy Dynamics of Dense Emulsions at the Particle Level Physics
Professor Benjamin C. Gorske Bowdoin College – Brunswick, ME Synthesis of Peptoid/Thiopeptoid Hybrids as Polyproline Type II Helix Mimics. Chemistry
Dr. Swapan Jain Bard College – Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Synthesis of Novel Purine Analogs and Evaluation of their Binding to Xanthine Phosphoribosyl Transferase (XPT) Mrna Chemistry
Dr. Amy Lytle Franklin and Marshall College – Lancaster, PA Investigation of the Effect of Counterpropagating Light on Perturbative-Regime Frequency Conversion Physics
Dr. Christopher C. Marvin Hendrix College – Conway, AR Visible Light Photocatalytic Oxidation of Amines to Iminium Ions: Amine Scope and Mannich Cyclizations with Allyl and Vinyl Silanes Chemistry
Dr. T. Andrew Mitchell Illinois State University – Normal, IL Toward the Building Blocks for the Convergent Total Synthesis of Muironolide A Chemistry
Dr. Shannon O'Leary Lewis and Clark College – Portland, OR Understanding Noise from Quantum Interference for a Novel Atomic Magnetometer Physics
Dr. Lisa E Prevette University of St. Thomas – Saint Paul, MN Characterization of the Interaction Between Cell-Penetrating Compounds and Glycosaminoglycans Chemistry
Dr. David A. Rider Western Washington University – Bellingham, WA Conducting Polymer/Nanoparticle Interfacial Layers for Hydrogen Fuel Cells Chemistry
Dr. Nicholas Salzameda California State University, Fullerton – Fullerton, CA Discovery and Optimization of Small Molecule Inhibitors for the Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E Light Chain Chemistry

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