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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.]


Dr. Nicholas A. Peppas has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first faculty member from The University of Texas at Austin to receive this honor-the highest recognition a scientist or engineer in the medical sciences can receive in the United States.

Peppas, professor of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and pharmaceutics, is already a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of France (Pharmacy).

His election places him in select company among the nation’s engineers and scientists. Within the NAE membership of about 2,000, he is one of four chemical engineers and one of eight biomedical engineers to be active members in both the NAE and IOM. Peppas is the only pharmaceutical scientist in both.

Peppas was cited for “seminal contributions and visionary leadership in pharmaceutical sciences, drug and protein delivery, and biomaterials science, and for pioneering fundamental work on drug delivery that has led to numerous pharmaceutical products or devices.”


The Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program begins its eighth year with 14 outstanding scholars.
Seven faculty members join the Faculty Fellows Program. The Graduate Fellows Program includes five doctoral fellows and one master’s fellow from other universities, and one dissertation fellow from The University of Texas at Austin.

The visiting Faculty Fellows:

  • Dr. Bethany L. Albertson, Department of Political Science, University of Washington – Seattle
  • Dr. Eiichiro Azuma, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Lorne Campbell, Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Dr. Matt D. Childs, Department of History, University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Matt Cohen, Department of English, Duke University
  • Dr. Marcin K. Peski, Department of Economics, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Allan W. Shearer, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University.

The Graduate Fellows:

Doctoral Fellows:

  • Mark Bayer, Department of Management, Washington University.
  • Solaman Cooperson, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pennsylvania State University
  • Christopher Heaney, Department of History, Yale University
  • The Rev. Brian Muzas, Department of Public Affairs, Seton Hall University, Princeton University
  • Amy Smith, Department of Chemistry, College of Charleston

Dissertation Fellow:

  • Michael S. Waring, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Master’s Fellow:

  • Arturo Longoria, Department of Information Studies, Columbia University

News and Information


The National Institutes of Health has changed its policy on resubmission (amended) applications. Beginning with original new applications (i.e., never submitted) and competing renewal applications submitted for the Jan. 25, 2009 due dates and beyond, the NIH will accept only a single amendment to the original application.

Failure to receive funding after two submissions (i.e., the original and the single amendment) will mean that the applicant should substantially re-design the project rather than simply change the application in response to previous reviews. It is expected that this policy will lead to funding high quality applications earlier, with fewer resubmissions.


Nominations for the Hamilton Book Author Awards, underwritten by the University Co-operative Society, are being accepted by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The awards recognize faculty and staff members who have published the best book-length publications as determined by a multi-disciplinary committee appointed by the Vice President for Research.

The first prize is $10,000 and four other prizes are $3,000 each.

Nominations can be made for published works including, but not limited to, scholarly monographs, creative works (e.g., novels and anthologies of poetry), exhibition catalogs, textbooks and edited collections.

Current University of Texas at Austin faculty (tenured, tenure-track, senior lecturers and lecturers), Code 1000 and staff are eligible. Students are not eligible. Nominated books must have been published between Sept. 1, 2007, and Aug. 31, 2008. Books in any language may be nominated.

Authors may nominate their work by submitting a nomination form, two copies of the book, and two copies of their current CV to the Office of the Vice President for Research (MAI 302, Mail Code: G1400) on or before 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008.

For more information, please contact Marilyn Harris at marilynharris@austin.utexas.edu or 471-2877.


The Office of Sponsored Projects is presenting a class called The Life Cycle of a Sponsored Research Grant.

The class takes place Oct. 21, 2008, from 2-4 p.m. in Room 4.106A in the North Office building (NOA). Registration is through TXCLASS SP101 (formerly PN111).

Participants will learn about the services available from the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), which serves as the coordinating office for externally funded research projects submitted by The University of Texas at Austin.

The presentation will provide an overview of the grant award process and will include information and tips on using electronic research administration tools, budget development, and other pre-award issues, as well as grant account administration issues. Related policies and procedures will also be discussed. This class is open to everyone but is most appropriate for entry-level research administrators.

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.]

Bloomberg News
Oct. 13, 2008
HEADLINE: Newspapers Axe Monday Issues on Paper Cost, Ad Slump

[From an article about newspapers eliminating Monday editions.]

Newspapers are pushing to save money. Circulation is shrinking, and industry print advertising sales fell a record 16 percent in the second quarter, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Printing less often and publishing on the Web cuts delivery costs and helps counter paper prices that jumped a record 35 percent in the past year.

Advertisers “aren’t stupid,” said George Sylvie, associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. “They know that the eyeballs aren’t there on Monday.”

Research Opportunities

Important university research deadlines:
Awards and Grants
Limited Submissions

Cooperative Institute To Investigate Satellite Applications For Regional/Global-Scale Forecasts
Deadline: Jan. 5, 2009

Fiscal Year 2009 ONR Young Investigator Program
Deadline: Jan. 12, 2009

Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences
Deadline: Oct. 31, 2009

Circadian-Coupled Cellular Function in Heart, Lung, and Blood Tissue
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 8, 2008; Application, Jan. 6, 2009

Mechanisms of Adverse Drug Reactions in Children
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Dec. 21, 2008; Application, Jan. 21, 2009

Innovative Approaches to Target Identification and Assay Development for Fungal Diagnosis
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Jan. 12, 2009; Application, Feb. 11, 2009

NIAMS Building Interdisciplinary Research Team Revision Awards
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Jan. 19, 2009; Application, Feb. 19, 2009

Neurodevelopment and Neuroendocrine Signaling in Adolescence: Relevance to Mental Health
Deadline: Feb. 5, 2009

Exploratory Studies in Cancer Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis
Deadline: Feb. 16, 2009

Neuroimaging in Obesity Research
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 18, 2009; Application, March 18, 2009

CHE-DMR-DMS Solar Energy Initiative

Deadlines: Preliminary Proposal, Dec. 16, 2008; Full Proposal, March 9, 2009

Science of Science and Innovation Policy
Deadline: Dec. 16, 2008

Biomolecular Systems Cluster
Deadline: Jan. 12, 2009

Developmental and Learning Sciences
Deadline: Jan. 15, 2009

CubeSat-based Science Missions for Space Weather and Atmospheric Research
Deadline: Feb. 10, 2009

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Grand Challenges in Global Helath/Explorations, Round 2
Deadline: Nov. 2, 2008

Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
Research Grants, Dissertation Fellowships and Performance Grants
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2008

Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
Dissertation Fellowships for Research on Understanding Violence, Aggression, and Dominance
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2009

Research Project

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


FACULTY: Jeffrey Gross, assistant professor, Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $165,000

While eye formation is a well-conserved process across animals, the molecular mechanisms and the cell and tissue movements that facilitate many aspects of the process remain unclear.

Research in this CAREER award focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular underpinnings of vertebrate eye development. Of particular interest to the Gross lab are the mechanisms that lead to the formation of the ventral optic cup, which subsequently undergoes a number of distinct cellular movements that are required for normal eye formation. To identify these mechanisms and genetic components required for ventral optic cup formation, the Gross lab utilizes the zebrafish embryo as a model system in which genetic, molecular and in vivo imaging techniques can be applied.

The research addresses two central questions in eye development: (1) What are the regulatory components that lead to ventral optic cup formation, and how do these components interact as a network to facilitate this process? and (2) What are the cellular mechanisms that govern optic cup morphogenesis, and how are these regulated?

The Intellectual Merit of this project lies in a betterment of the understanding of the molecular and developmental mechanisms underlying eye formation, processes that have not been well characterized in any organism.

The broader impacts of the project are: (1) numerous training opportunities are provided for graduate, undergraduate and high school students in contemporary molecular and genetic techniques; (2) the research is integrated into a cutting edge laboratory course for undergraduate students that involves them first-hand in the research process and enables them to gain a unique research experience as part of their undergraduate training; and (3) the PI, graduate and undergraduate students participate in a number of outreach programs designed to attract and retain underrepresented students in the sciences, and to provide meaningful research experiences to these students.