Feb. 2, 2012 | Research Alert

Research Alert

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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.]

Astronomer Honored by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas

karl gebhardtIn recognition of his discoveries regarding the formation of black holes and galaxies, astronomer Karl Gebhardt received the 2012 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

The O'Donnell Award honors outstanding young Texas researchers in medicine, engineering, science and technology innovation. TAMEST presented the award during its ninth annual conference in Houston.

Gebhardt is the Herman and Joan Suit Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Astronomy. Most of his career has focused on understanding the role that black holes play in the formation of a galaxy. He has measured more black hole masses than anyone in the world and is actively targeting many more galaxies.

News and Information

Research Excellence Awards Nominations

Nominations for the University Co-op Research Excellence Awards are due by Feb. 20, 2012.

Find information and nomination forms (available in Word or PDF) at the Awards, Fellowships and Grants page.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Jan. 25, 2012
HEADLINE: 'Cloaking' a 3-D object from all angles demonstrated

Andrea Alu (An experiment by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin successfully "cloaked" a three dimensional object, making it invisible. The BBC talked to Andrea Alu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, about the research conducted with scientists from the university's Applied Research Labs. The article made the inevitable comparison to the invisibility cloak in the Harry Potter series. We, however, prefer the Romulan cloaking device that could make entire spaceships invisible in Star Trek.)

“Cloaking in visible light, hiding more complex shapes and materials - that is, a cloak of Harry Potter qualities - remains distant, but Prof. Alu pointed out that the steps in the meantime will be put to use.

"There is still a lot of work to do," he said. "Our goal was just to show this plasmonic technique can reduce scattering from an object in free space.

"But if I had to bet in five years what kind of cloaking technique might be used for applications, for practical purposes, then I would say plasmonic cloaking is a good bet."

Research Opportunities

Important University Research Deadlines

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The University of Texas at Austin Stimulus Package Web page is online.

Funding Sources

Department of Defense

Electronic Warfare Technology
Deadlines: White Papers, March 16, 2012; Proposals, June 8, 2012

Department of Energy

Integrated Nuclear Medicine Research and Training Projects of Excellence
Deadline: March 28, 2012

Atmospheric System Research
Deadline: April 16, 2012

Department of Justice

Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women: Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Teen Dating Violence (PDF)
Deadline: April 24, 2012

Research on Policing (PDF)
Deadline: April 25, 2012

Determining the Relationship Between Stress and Unexplained In-Custody Deaths (PDF)
Deadline: April 25, 2012

Longitudinal Data on Teen Dating Violence: Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF)
Deadline: April 26, 2012

National Institutes of Health

Building the Science of Public Reporting
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Feb. 27, 2012; Application, March 28, 2012

Development of Tools to Explore the Synaptome
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, March 16, 2012; Application, April 16, 2012

National Science Foundation

Research Initiation Grants in Engineering Education
Deadline: March 29, 2012

MacroSystems Biology: Research on Biological Systems at Regional to Continental Scales
Deadline: April 18, 2012

Archaeology and Archaeometry
Deadlines: Archaeology Full Proposal, July 1, 2012; Archaeometry Full Proposal, Dec. 1, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Gilder Lehrman Fellowships
Deadline: May 1, 2012

The Society for Ethnomusicology
Ida Halpern Fellowship and Award
Deadline: April 1, 2012

The Society for the Preservation of American Moderns
Course Development Grants
Deadline: April 1, 2012

Other Funding Opportunities

American Cancer Society
Institutional Research Grants
Deadline: April 1, 2012

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Mouse phenotyping RFA
Deadline: March 5, 2012

Research Project

Enhancing Children's and Parents' Asthma Management

Sharon HornerRESEARCHER: Sharon Horner, professor, School of Nursing, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health
AMOUNT: $432,726

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness and disproportionately affects children who are ethnic minorities and poor. Few studies of childhood asthma have been conducted with children who live in rural areas or have included Mexican American children in their samples. In an NIH/NINR funded study (Enhancing Children's and Parents' Asthma Management, R01 NR00770), the Asthma Plan for Kids was used to teach rural school-age children how to manage their asthma and parents received an individualized educational session during a home visit. Study findings demonstrated the intervention could improve children's asthma self-management, asthma knowledge, metered dose inhaler skill, asthma severity, and parents' asthma management and access to care.

In this competing continuation, we propose adding a third arm to the current research design with schools randomized into either an in-school asthma intervention, an in-school attention-control intervention, or an alternate intervention-delivery format of a single 5.5-hour asthma day camp. The tri-ethnic sample will be composed of 320 Mexican-American, African-American, and White rural school-aged children (grades 2-5) who have asthma and their parents. In addition, we propose adding a non-invasive measure of chronic airway inflammation (exhaled nitric oxide) to assess the impact of changes in asthma management on airway inflammation.

Families will be followed for a full year with data collection at baseline and at 1-month, 4-months, and 7-months after the intervention to assess improvement in children's asthma morbidity, asthma severity, airway inflammation, family asthma management and quality of life. The proposed Camp-Workshop format may be a more efficient way to deliver the intervention and if it proves to be equally as effective as the School-Home format in improving asthma management and health outcomes it may have greater potential for translation to practice in that it increases the options for intervention delivery.

The Research Alert is an electronic publication from the Office of the Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin. It includes news of research honors and awards, news of research programs and deadlines, researchers quoted in news media, a listing of funding opportunities and a look at a current research project. It is available by e-mail and on the Web.

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