April 11, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 15

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    Scientists awarded collaborative grants

    A new intellectual synergy is developing between the University and Argonne National Laboratory, thanks to an innovative collaborative grant program. Scientists in nine joint projects -- the first to be funded through the Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago Collaborative Grants Program -- will explore problems ranging from the origin of matter formed in stars to photosynthesis and artificial intelligence.

    The one-year grants were created to encourage joint initiatives by researchers at the University and at Argonne to increase the interaction between the two institutions. The program provides funding for imaginative proposals that might not fall within the current framework of the standard granting agencies, according to David Schramm, Vice President for Research and Louis Block Professor in the Physical Sciences.

    The competitive grants are open to all areas of mutual interest to the University and Argonne and require a principal investigator from each institution. Grant applications proposed joint research, workshops, education or training projects.

    A total of $400,000 is being awarded during the program's first year. In addition to the proposals funded below, $40,000 from the program will be provided as part of the seed money for a new Center for Computational Science (see sidebar).

    "I'm delighted to see the ties between Argonne and Chicago growing," Schramm said. "Strengthening this relationship is mutually beneficial because there are complementary talents at the two institutions, and by working together we can do things that neither of us can do alone.

    "I'd like to see the relationship between Chicago and Argonne be on a par with what is found at other universities that have national labs associated with them, such as Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. Together we can attract greater funding and a larger pool of talented scientists."

    The proposals were evaluated by a committee chaired by Schramm with Glenn Steele, Dean of the Biological Sciences Division; David Oxtoby, Dean of the Physical Sciences Division; and Harvey Drucker and Frank Fadin, Associate Laboratory Directors at Argonne.

    Proposals winning collaborative grants and their principal investigators are:

    _ "Solid-State NMR Conformational Analysis of Apolipoproteins at Lipophilic Interfaces," David Lynn, Professor in Chemistry, Stephen Meredith, Associate Professor in Pathology, and Robert Botto, Chemistry Division at Argonne.

    _ "The Role of AM Fungal Diversity in Ecosystem Functioning and Plant Community Diversity," Ellen Simms, Assistant Professor in Ecology & Evolution, and Michael Miller, Environmental Research Division at Argonne.

    _ "Theory of Unusual Metal-Insulator Transitions in Perovskite Manganese Oxides," Kathryn Levin, Professor in Physics, and Michael Norman, Materials Science Division at Argonne.

    _ "Atom Optics: Applications to Problems in Surface and Synchrotron Based Atomic Physics," Steven Sibener, Professor in Chemistry, and Linda Young, Physics Division at Argonne.

    _ "Towards Understanding the Origin of Matter Formed in Stars and the Sources of Galactic Cosmic Rays," John Simpson, the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Physics, and John Schiffer, Physics Division at Argonne.

    _ "Investigation of the Charge Ordered State in Rare-Earth Manganites," Thomas Rosenbaum, Professor in Physics, and David Hinks, Materials Science Division at Argonne.

    _ "Intelligent Agents in Complex Simulated Worlds," James Firby, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, and Rick Stevens, Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne.

    _ "Electronic Interactions Through Fluids," Philip Eaton, Professor in Chemistry, and John Miller, Chemistry Division at Argonne.

    _ "Mechanism of Oxygenic Photosynthesis in the Absence of PSI," Laurens Mets, Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, and Marion Thurnauer, Chemistry Division at Argonne.