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Research Alert

Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]

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Research Prizes and Honors

[Have you or a colleague won a research-related prize or honor? Let the Research Alert know.]


The 2008 Philip Taft Labor History Book Prize was awarded to Laurie Green, an assistant professor in the Department of History, for her book “Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle.”

The prize committee said the book “is a highly original contribution to the labor historiography of race, gender and class in an important southern city during the crucial period for civil rights movement mobilization at the grassroots.”

A $1,500 cash award comes with the prize named for Professor Philip Taft, who was one of America’s first historians of the nation’s labor movement.

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News and Information


Explore the foundations of safe science, review best practices and promote professional networking at IBC 201, the Institutional Biosafety Committee’s conference. It is co-sponsored by The University of Texas System and Texas AandM University System.

Dates: Pre-conference (Biological Safety Officer Course), Sept. 2-3, 2008
Main Conference, Sept. 4, 2008

Location: Commons Conference Center, J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas at Austin
10100 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas

Find the conference agenda, registration, maps and more online.

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QuotedUT Researchers in the News

[A sampling of recent quotes by university faculty members and researchers. To be included in this section, let the Research Alert know when you or a colleague have been quoted.]

The New York Times Sunday Magazine
June 29, 2008
HEADLINE: A Swimmer of a Certain Age

[Dara Torres, 41-year-old Olympic hopeful, broke her first of three world records in 1982 at 14, and now returns from her second retirement after six years and the birth of her daughter two years ago.]

So how long can peak athletic performance last? Hirofumi Tanaka, the director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, found that both elite and nonelite runners and swimmers could maintain personal bests until age 35, after which performance declined in a gradual, linear fashion until about age 50 to 60 for runners and 70 for swimmers. Deterioration was rapid from there. Tanaka also found that swimmers experienced more modest declines than runners and that swim sprinters, like Torres, experienced the smallest declines of all.

June 27, 2008
HEADLINE: Drivers slow down as costs accelerate

[Preliminary traffic data for the first five months of 2008 indicate that average speeds are down in some states.]

Transportation experts and some law enforcement professionals caution that it’s too soon to establish a link between gas prices and driving speeds.

“Even if state troopers find that people are slowing down, that doesn’t necessarily mean drivers are consciously driving slower to conserve on gas,” says Chandra Bhat, professor of transportation engineering at the University of Texas.

“It could be that gas prices are making people drive shorter distances, and when people travel shorter distances, speeds tend to be slower. Or it could be that people are downsizing to vehicles with less power, and less power means lower speeds. Or it could be that people are more wary and they don’t want to risk being ticketed,” Bhat says.

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Research Opportunities

Important university research deadlines:
Awards and Grants
Limited Submissions

Joint Solicitation for the OFES-NNSA Joint Program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas
Deadlines: Required Letter of Intent, Aug. 18, 2008; Application, Sept. 11, 2008

Plasma Science Centers
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Aug. 11, 2008; Required Pre-Application, Sept. 1, 2008; Application, Feb. 2, 2009

Restructured FutureGen
Deadline: Oct. 8, 2008

NIOSH Small Research Grant Program
Deadline: Nov. 16. 2008

NIJ FY09 Graduate Research Fellowship
Deadline: Nov. 21, 2008

Cost-Effective Approaches To Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy, And Corporate Greenhouse Gas Management
Deadline: Aug. 6, 2008

Research Opportunities for Fundamental Space Biology Investigations in Microbial, Plant and Cell Biology
Deadlines: Notice of Intent, July 7, 2008; Proposals, Sept. 8, 2008

DFG/NEH Bilateral Digital Humanities Program
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2008

America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants
Deadline: Aug. 27, 2008

America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants
Deadline: Aug. 27, 2008

Resource Program Grants in Bioformatics
Deadline: Sept. 25, 2008

Collaborations with National Centers for Biomedical Computing
Deadline: Various; program expires Sept. 8, 2011

Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition
Deadline: Oct. 16, 2008

Exploratory/Developmental Bioengineering Research Grants
Deadline: Oct. 16, 2008

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team Science in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases
Deadlines: Letters of Intent, Feb. 24, 2009; Application, Mar. 24, 2009

Integrating Biobehavioral and Sociocultural Research to Prevent HIV Transmission and Infection
Deadline: Various; program expires May 8, 2011

Law and Social Science Program
Deadline: Aug. 15, 2008

Environmental Implications of Emerging Technologies
Deadline: Sept. 15, 2008

Cooperative Studies of the Earth’s Deep Interior
Deadline: Sept. 25, 2008

Deadline: Sept. 26, 2008

Dynamical Systems
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2008

Information and Intelligent Systems: Core Programs
Deadlines: Medium Projects, Oct. 1, 2008 – Oct. 31, 2008; Large Projects,
Nov. 1, 2008 – Nov. 28, 2008; Small Projects, Dec. 1, 2008 – Dec. 17, 2008

Computing and Communication Foundations: Core Programs
Deadlines: Medium Projects, Oct. 1, 2008 – Oct. 31, 2008; Large Projects,
Nov. 1, 2008 – Nov. 28, 2008; Small Projects, Dec. 1, 2008 – Dec. 17, 2008

Computer and Network Systems: Core Programs
Deadlines: Medium Projects, Oct. 1, 2008 – Oct. 31, 2008; Large Projects,
Nov. 1, 2008 – Nov. 28, 2008; Small Projects, Dec. 1, 2008 – Dec. 17, 2008

Arctic Research Opportunities
Deadline: Nov. 10, 2008

Behavioral Systems
Deadline: Jan. 12, 2009

Thatcher Hoffman Smith Prize
Creativity in Motion
Deadlines: Letter of Interest, August 30, 2008; Invited Application, Jan. 15, 2009

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Research Project

[Let the Research Alert know about your research projects.]


FACULTY: Lauren Meyers, associate professor, Section of Integrative Biology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $429,999

Abstract: Contact network epidemiology is a new and powerful mathematical approach to study the ecology of infectious diseases. It involves building realistic models of the complex host contact patterns that underlie disease transmission, and then applying methods from statistical physics to predict outbreak dynamics.

This project will extend these methods to study disease spread through modular host populations – those consisting of highly intra-connected subgroups – and then address specific questions about viral diseases in Serengeti carnivore populations.

This project will also train students from kindergarten through graduate school through participation in the research, new courses, and the development of web-distributed teaching materials on infectious disease ecology and evolution.

As the field of mathematical biology becomes increasingly critical to scientific progress, there is demand for a new generation of computational tools and researchers who can use them effectively. This project will yield a more versatile mathematical framework for predicting disease spread and a better understanding of multi-host disease transmission, a topic of great importance to the health of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife populations of conservation concern. It will provide young men and women from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to experience the utility, accessibility and excitement of mathematical biology.

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