Norwich faculty earn historic slate of research grants

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Norwich faculty earn historic slate of research grants

Fri, 08/26/2022 - 2:59pm -- tim
Five major grants go to women in both STEM and liberal arts fields

Vermont Business Magazine Norwich University announced that three professors have earned Pilot Awards and two have earned Project Awards from the Vermont Biomedical Research Network (VBRN) to support research for 2022-2023.

All the awards have gone to women across several disciplines:

·Dr. Natalie Cartwright (mathematics): Youth firearm injuries: prediction using machine learning on imbalanced data, VBRN Pilot Award ($25,000)

·Dr. Sarah Gallant (chemistry): Development of a Spectrophotometric Method for Detection of Uranium (VI) in Drinking Water, VBRN Pilot Award ($25,000)

·Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker (criminal justice): What is the impact of COVID-19 on substance abusers’ recovery? VBRN Project Award ($71,140)

·Dr. Rachele Pojednic (exercise science): The Perceived Effect versus Biomarkers of Cannabidiol on Muscle Recovery in Active Adult Women, VBRN Pilot Award ($24,939)

·Dr. Helene Sisti (psychology): Interhemispheric Coupling in Learning a Visuomotor Bimanual Coordination Task, VBRN Project Award ($75,000)

The two Project Awards (Drs. Hassett-Walker and Sisti) are renewable for an additional year.

Since fall 2021, Norwich has received $112,500 in funding for supplies and equipment: $50,000 in startup funds for five new hires; $50,000 to purchase equipment; $20,000 in discretionary funds for supplies and equipment; $15,000 to support undergraduate researchers; and $7,500 to use the core services at UVM.

Startup funds:

In fall 2021, two new hires each received $10,000 as startup funds:

·Dr. Sarah Gallant, a new hire in the Chemistry Department, received $10,000 that was supplemented with approximately $13,000 from the Office of Academic Research to purchase a Shimadzu UV-2600i UV-Vis Spectrophotometer to develop a spectrophotometric method for detecting Uranium in drinking water.

·Dr. Emma Ste. Marie, another Chemistry Department new hire, received $10,000 for supplies and equipment for the synthesis of unusual amino acids and their incorporation into peptides in order to make designer vitamins.

In fall 2022, three new hires received $10,000 as start-up funds:

·Dr. Kylie Blodgett, a new hire in the Health and Human Performance Department, received $10,000 for supplies and training to examine the relationships between resilience and mental health, physical health, and academic success of Norwich University students for the new Resilient Bodies research project

·Dr. Jeffrey Kirkland, a new hire in the Chemistry Department, received $10,000 that was supplemented with approximately $5,000 from the Office of Academic Research to purchase a 2-stage impactor with PM10, PM2.5. This is a specialized field-sampling instrument designed for particle research. 

·Dr. Morgan Moeglein, a Biology Department new hire, received $10,000 for supplies and equipment to study the relationships between chromosome number, genome size, and organismal processes, from the cellular to the physiological, in plants.

Equipment funds, $50,000: In fall 2021, VBRN allocated $50,000 for Norwich University to buy large equipment for research. These funds were available because of money that was not able to be used during the pandemic.

·The Health and Human Performance Department was able to purchase a metabolic cart and bike ergometer for approximately $30,000. The ParvoMedics metabolic cart enables direct calorimetry during exercise (i.e., assessment of gas exchange and energy expenditure) to assess anaerobic thresholds, maximal oxygen consumption, nutrient-specific energy expenditure and more. The Lode Corival CPET Bike Ergometer can be controlled remotely through the ParvoMedic metabolic cart to research exercise physiology involving metabolic testing.

·The Psychology Department had approximately $10,000 to update two of research laboratories with an eye tracker and electroencephalogram signal processor and data acquisition system.

·The Biology and Chemistry departments used $10,000 to purchase a real-time DNA and RNA sequencing device.

The $20,000 in discretionary funds were used to bring in an external speaker, buy databases to use for a machine learning project and buy additional small equipment for the Health and Human Performance and Psychology departments.

Norwich University has participated with VBRN as a baccalaureate partner institution (BPI) since 2001.

“The nearly $10M in funding that Norwich researchers have received from VBRN in the past decade has been instrumental in jumpstarting many faculty and student research projects with necessary equipment and supplies and contributed to laboratory enhancements. Being a baccalaureate partner institution in the network has not only allowed the Norwich research portfolio to grow and strengthen in the biomedical research areas but also presented opportunities to make important and sustained contributions to the field.” Associate Provost for Research and Chief Research Officer, Dr. Tara Kulkarni said.

Dr. Darlene Olsen, VBRN research coordinator at Norwich University and Dana Professor of Mathematics, said, “This past year, we have seen an increase of funds to Norwich University from VBRN in both funding individual projects but also in funding for supplies and equipment needed for research. This has undoubtedly helped us attract and retain high-quality faculty across campus. This has a direct impact on our students, as students have the opportunity to witness and participate in top-notch research while attending a small institution.”

Over the past decade, Norwich University has invested more in faculty and undergraduate research of endowed income and reinvested grant overhead to over $800,000, to complement more than $20 million of externally acquired research and institutional grants managed by the Office of Academic Research.

More than 250 students have conducted research since the Office of Academic Research’s creation in 2007. The program supports and encourages students to pursue original research, scholarship and creative projects with faculty and provides funding to allow for information exchange and work presentation at professional meetings and within Norwich University’s community.

“My recent trip to Norwich highlighted how important this institution is to the success of the VBRN network and how its research community continues to thrive,” VBRN Director Christopher Francklyn said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support Norwich’s hard-working faculty, whose research interests range from fundamental chemistry to diverse facets of human perception and behavior. It is a wonderful partnership, and will only continue to grow.”

The Vermont Biomedical Research Network, formerly Vermont Genetics Network (VGN), is in its fifth phase of funding with a five-year $19.4 million award from the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.

The network, focused on human health and behavior as broadly defined, aims to build a culture to promote biomedical research infrastructure in Vermont. The goal is to build and sustain a statewide culture of research by facilitating the research capacity of faculty members, and the education of undergraduates, at its baccalaureate partner institutions Castleton University, Middlebury College, Northern Vermont University (Lyndon and Johnson campuses), Norwich University and St. Michael’s College.

The network also works with students in college lab classes throughout Vermont to bring cutting-edge research resources into their education, including at the Community College of Vermont, Landmark College, and Champlain College. At the lead institution, the University of Vermont, the network has developed state-of-the-art facilities for proteomics, bioinformatics and a professional development and education core to provide to researchers across Vermont the resources needed to conduct world-class research and compete for federal funding.

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six Senior Military Colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Norwich University 8.26.2022 Northfield, VT