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Five research teams made up predominantly of Old Dominion University faculty members will share nearly $400,000 in One-Time Multidisciplinary Seed Funding grants for 2006 from the ODU Office of Research. Topics of the funded research will range from health disparities in Hampton Roads to development of a virtual operating room.

Mohammad Karim, ODU vice president for research, said the five successful applications were among 27 funding proposals involving 113 ODU faculty investigators. "Our faculty researchers have responded to our solicitation of white papers by presenting us with many great and fine ideas. I wish we could have funded more of these projects," Karim said.

This seed funding initiative reflects a major investment to cultivate research programs at ODU. The goal is to support projects that are relevant to instructional research priorities, are multidisciplinary and can produce immediate impact, and can build thematic teams with prospects to attract additional and new research dollars.

"We hope that the teams will now gather enough momentum, collect enough seed data, and then aggressively go after federal agencies to bring in additional research support," Karim said.

The winning teams are composed of 18 ODU faculty members, seven from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), and one Navy researcher. Non-ODU researchers are noted. Grants went to:

"Health Matters: Determinants of Health Disparities in Hampton Roads" -- $92,000 to Joshua G. Behr, assistant professor of political science and geography; Cmdr. John B. Baccus (Navy); Aaron I. Vinik (EVMS); Margaret Camarena, director, Social Science Research Center; Stacey Plichta, associate professor of community and environmental health; James Alan Neff, associate dean of research and professor, College of Health Sciences; and Harry J. Tillman, assistant professor of nursing.

"A Prototype of the Human Virus Interactome Resource (HVIR)"-- $95,000 to Alex Pothen and Mohammad Zubair, professors of computer science, and Kurt Maly, chair, professor and eminent scholar of computer science; Chris Osgood, associate professor of biological sciences; and Oliver John Semmes (EVMS).

"Effective Sensor Technology and Development for Biodefense" -- $38,000 to Ariel Pinto, assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering; and Gavin Welch, Richard Drake and Michael Bono (EVMS).

"Virtual Operating Room" -- $95,000 to Mark W. Scerbo, professor of psychology; Lee A. Belfore, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Hector M. Garcia, visualization lab manager, Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center East; Michael Jackson, director, nurse anesthesia program, School of Nursing; and Leonard, J. Weireter, Jr. (EVMS).

"Establishment of Environmental Public Health Tracking System in Virginia" -- $80,000 to H. Anna Jeng, assistant professor of community and environmental health; Tom Allen, associate professor of political science and geography; Ling Li, associate professor of information technology and decision sciences; Dayanand Naik, professor of mathematics and statistics; and Maria Frontini (EVMS).

Karim said the selection of teams was based on the qualifications of the principal investigators, problem uniqueness, multidisciplinary breadth, infrastructure availability, funding homework, budget reasonability, and future funding prospects. The funded projects will be completed by June 2006.

This article was posted on: December 20, 2005

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