April 21, 2011 | 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.]

Marine Science Professor Receives Powe Award

Zhanfei LiuZhanfei Liu, an assistant professor at the Marine Science Institute, has received a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhnancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The award's $5,000 prize is matched by the university. Liu is one of 30 Powe recipients this year.

Liu conducts research into the source, distribution and diagenesis of biogenic compounds in the ocean..

Two Faculty Members Win Guggenheim Fellowships

David Stuart

Don HowardDavid Stuart, right, professor of Mesoamerican art in the College of Fine Arts, and Don Howard, assistant professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, have been named recipients of Guggenheim Fellowship Awards. They are among 179 artists, scholars and scientists selected from nearly 3,000 applicants.

Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has given more than $230 million in fellowships to more than 15,500 individuals. The fellowships are designed to encourage advanced professionals in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the creative arts to take time from steady appointments, such as teaching, and focus on personal creative projects.

News and Information

University of Texas at Austin Researchers Awarded $4.7 Million for Cancer Research

Faculty from The University of Texas at Austin have been awarded $4.7 million from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) for research to further understand cancer biology and develop new cancer treatments.

They are:

• Researchers at the university's Texas Institute for Drug and Diagnostic Development were awarded $2.4 million as part of a $12.6 million award to the Gulf Coast Consortia CPRIT Throughput Screening Program.

Tanya Paull• Tanya Paull, left, professor in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, was awarded $1 million to study how double-stranded DNA is repaired after it breaks and how pathways to DNA repair affect the development of tumors.

Maria Person• Maria Person, director of the Protein and Metabolite Analysis Facility at the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the College of Pharmacy, received $1.3 million to purchase state-of-the-art mass spectrometry equipment. It will be used to observe molecular details from the earliest stages of DNA damage, through cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis, and to provide detailed characterization of interactions of drugs with DNA and proteins.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News

Austin American-Statesman
April 17, 2011
HEADLINE: Will Doggett be the target of new congressional map?

Steve   Bickerstaff[In an article about revising Austin area congressional districts, Steve Bickerstaff, a professor in the School of Law, said that the process is a matter of numbers.]

"The ultimate decider is the numbers themselves," said Steve Bickerstaff, a redistricting expert at the University of Texas School of Law who wrote a book about Texas' last redistricting. "There's only so much you can do."

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

Center of Excellence in Laser-Based Remote Sensing and Communications
Deadline: June 7, 2011

Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2011

Department of Education

Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities: Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel
Deadline: May 31, 2011

Department of Energy

FOA: Biomass Research and Development Initiative
Deadline: May 31, 2011

Environmental Protection Agency

Request for Proposals to Develop Standards for Environmentally Preferable Electronic Products
Deadline: June 14, 2011

NASA

Astrophysics Research and Enabling Technology
Deadline: March 23, 2012

National Institutes of Health

NIMHD Health Disparities Research
Deadline: Letter of Intent, May 14, 2011; Application, June 14, 2011

Understanding User Needs and Context to Inform Consumer Health Information Technology Design
Deadline: June 5, 2011

Integrative Systems Biology Approaches to Auditory Hair Cell Regeneration
Deadline: June 5, 2011

Research on Children in Military Families: The Impact of Parental Military Deployment and Reintegration on Child and Family Functioning (R01)
Deadline: June 5, 2011

Research on Children in Military Families: The Impact of Parental Military Deployment and Reintegration on Child and Family Functioning (R021)
Deadline: June 16, 2011

National Science Foundation


Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Partnerships in Transformational Research, Education and Technology - A Focused Call for Nanosystems ERCs
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, July 15, 2011; Full Proposal, Sept. 16, 2011

Guidance on Submission of RAPID Proposals to ENG, CISE, and OISE on the 2011 Earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand
Deadlines: April 29, 2011

Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Partnerships in Transformational Research, Education and Technology - A Focused Call for Nanosystems ERCs
Deadline: Sept. 28, 2011

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Babel Program Broad Agency Announcement
Deadline: June 7, 2011

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
Research Grants
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2011

Library of Congress
Kluge Fellowships
Deadline: July 15, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

NASPA Foundation
Research Grants & Proposals for discovery of new knowledge through research and innovation in the field of student affairs
Deadline: July 1, 2011

Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation
German Chancellor Fellowships for Prospective Leaders
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2011

Research Project

Difference Topology Analysis of Chirality and Geometry of Site-specific Recombination

Makkuni JayaramRESEARCHER: Makkuni Jayaram, professor, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, principal investigator
AGENCY: National Science Foundation
AMOUNT: $192,400

Genomes undergo several types of rearrangements as part of normal cell growth, development and differentiation. Such DNA rearrangements fall into several categories, including homologous recombination, site-specific recombination, DNA transposition and retro-transposition. These rearrangements proceed in a highly orderly and regulated manner instituted by high-order interactions of proteins with cognate DNA sequences as well as interactions among the proteins themselves.

Proper action of site-specific recombinases requires proper geometry of the DNA dictated by two features: a) chirality, the handedness (right or left) in which DNA sites come together during a particular reaction, and b) alignment of the DNA molecules at the recombination site (parallel vs. anti-parallel). This project will use difference topology analysis to address two major questions about the mechanism of action of tyrosine family recombinases. Is there a defined chirality to the interaction of target sites? And how does the DNA sequence of recombination sites affect alignment of the target sites? The results of these studies will yield important insights with potential applications to genome engineering and biotechnology. The project will provide interdisciplinary training opportunities at the interface of mathematics and biology for a postdoctoral fellow, a graduate student and undergraduates. In addition, this interdisciplinary focus will be featured in classroom activities for graduate and undergraduate courses and in presentations for the lay public.

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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