Feb. 6, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 10

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    $500,000 awarded for joint University-Argonne projects

    Areas of study range from humanities to materials science Researchers at the University and Argonne National Laboratory, in areas of study ranging from the humanities to materials science, have been awarded $500,000 for new joint research projects through the University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory Collaborative Seed Grant Program and related institutional funds. With the anticipated second-year renewal of many of last year's projects, the total for the entire program is near $1 million.

    The projects cover a broad spectrum, from studies of the highest energy cosmic rays to research on metal production in the ancient Near East.

    "I find it truly impressive that successful joint proposals are coming from all parts of the University, from the Humanities and the Social Sciences divisions as well as from the Biological Sciences and the Physical Sciences divisions," said David Schramm, Vice President for Research and Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in the Physical Sciences.

    This is the second year the program has funded collaborative efforts between the two institutions. Initially providing one year of funding, the program expanded this year to accept two-year proposals. Grants for a second year will be awarded based on availability of funds and demonstration of progress. Projects awarded grants last year have been invited to submit renewal proposals for a second year of funding, based on the same criteria. Those awards will be announced later this month.

    This year's total award amount for new and renewed proposals exceeds last year's total by more than $400,000. The increase is due largely to Argonne's very high 1996 performance score, which is based on an annual evaluation by the U.S. Department of Energy and determines the amount of additional funding provided to the University for the management of Argonne. In addition, the University and Argonne have supplemented the contract amount to enable certain special programs to occur as well.

    "I am delighted that our University of Chicago-Argonne Performance Contract and Argonne's 1996 performance score have enabled a significant expansion of our U of C/Argonne Collaborative Seed Grant Program," said Dean Eastman, Director of Argonne and Professor in Physics at the University. "Our performance has made it possible to expand the program to provide the two-year grants, as well as to fund the 13 new grants for 1997. These grants span a wide range of science areas and will provide quality science, enhance collaborative interactions between the University and Argonne and provide the seeds for follow-up activities."

    The competitive grants are open to all areas of mutual interest to the University and Argonne and require a principal investigator from each institution. This year, 68 letters of intent were submitted, from which 23 were chosen to submit full proposals. The proposals were evaluated by a committee consisting of scientists and non-scientists from the University and Argonne, and the final decisions for the awards were made by a committee chaired by Schramm and Eastman that included the University's Deans and Argonne's Associate Laboratory Directors.

    "As a group, the proposals were very strong. We would have felt very comfortable funding more proposals, had the resources been available," Schramm said.

    Eleven of the new projects, totaling $420,000, are being funded through the University's performance-based contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Two of the projects, totaling $80,000, are being funded from alternative University and Argonne sources. In addition, $2,000 from last year's funding has been awarded for a conference that was recently held at the University.

    New proposals winning collaborative seed grants and their principal investigators are:

    _ "Influence of Particulates on the Transfer of Visible Sunlight Through the Atmosphere," John Frederick, Professor and Chairman of Geophysical Sciences, and Jeffrey Gaffney, Environmental Research Division at Argonne

    _ "Archeological Applications of the Advanced Photon Source," Aslihan Yener, Assistant Professor in the Oriental Institute, and Esen Alp, Advanced Photon Source at Argonne

    _ "Computer Simulation and Time-Resolved X-ray Diffraction Studies of Protein Conformational Changes," Karl Freed, Professor in Chemistry; Keith Moffat, Professor in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; and Paul Bash, Center for Mechanistic Biology and Biotechnology at Argonne

    _ "Numerical and Analytical Methods for Ginzburg-Landau Equations," Todd Dupont, Chairman of Computer Science and Professor in Mathematics; Greg Huber, Research Associate in the James Franck Institute; Igor Aranson, Materials Science Division at Argonne; Hans Kaper and Gary Leaf, Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne

    _ 2nd Midwest Stress Response and Chaperone Meeting (funded with 1995-96 monies), Martin Feder, Professor in Organismal Biology & Anatomy, and Jonathan Trent, Center for Mechanistic Biology and Biotechnology at Argonne

    _ "Quantitative Measurements of the Expression of R. capsulatus Genome Elements Using Hybridization Chip Technology," Robert Haselkorn, the Fanny L. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology; Mikle Fonstein, Research Associate in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology; Andrei Mirzabekov and Sergei Bavykin, Center for Mechanistic Biology and Biotechnology at Argonne

    _ "Synthetic Quantum Confined Materials," Lu Ping Yu, Associate Professor in Chemistry, and Hsien-Hau Wang and Aravinda Kini, Chemistry Division at Argonne

    _ "Productivity and Efficiency of Manufacturing: Analysis of Plant Level Environmental Performance," George Tolley, Professor in Economics, and Gale Boyd, Decision & Information Sciences at Argonne

    _ "DNA Chip Based Detection and Quantification of Leukemia Associated Chromosome Trans-locations," Peter Domer, Assistant Professor in Pathology, and Andrei Mirzabekov and Sergei Bavykin, Center for Mechanistic Biology and Biotechnology at Argonne

    _ "Physics of Neutron Star Binary Coalescence," Angela Olinto, Assistant Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics; Ian Foster, Mathematics & Computer Science Division at Argonne; and Robert Wiringa, Physics Division at Argonne

    _ "Development of the Atomic (Scanning) Force Microscopy for Biomedical Application," Shaohua Xu, Research Associate in Medicine; Morton Arnsdorf, Professor in Medicine; Sunil Sinha and Jin Wang, Advanced Photon Source at Argonne; and Xiao Wu and Pedro Montano, Materials Science Division at Argonne

    _ "Studies of the Highest Energy Cosmic Rays," James Cronin, University Professor Emeritus in Physics, and Harold Spinka, High Energy Physics Division at Argonne

    _ "Artificial Intelligence Classifiers for Detecting Nonspontaneous Acute Leukemias," Janet Rowley, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine, and Yuri Orechwa, Reactor Analysis Division at Argonne

    _ "Multifunctional Assemblies Directing Cell-Metabolite flow: X-ray and NMR Structures of Biotin-Dependent Carboxylases," Michael Weiss, Professor in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Andrzej Joachimiak, Center for Mechanistic Biology & Biotechnology.