Aug. 18, 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.]

Engineering Professors Inducted as Fellow of American Chemical Society

Benny Freeman Nicholas Peppas Two professors at The University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering have been named Fellows at the American Chemical Society (ACS), an honor bestowed upon distinguished scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to the world's largest scientific society.

Nicholas Peppas, chair of the school’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, left, and Benny Freeman, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, were among the 213 scientists named fellows.

Peppas, the Fletcher Stuckey Pratt Chair in Engineering, holds appointments in the school's Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is recognized as the father of modern drug delivery and has pioneered work on sustained and controlled release systems and delivery of drugs and proteins in the body. Peppas has invented several drug delivery systems and devices, some of which have been licensed to pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

Freeman, the Kenneth A. Kobe and Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek & American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professor of Chemical Engineering, has led groundbreaking research on water purification and gas and liquid separations using polymer and polymer-based membranes.

News and Information

UT Austin Hosts National Science Foundation Grants Conference in October

NSF logo The first National Science Foundation Regional Grants Conference of fiscal year 2012 will be held in Austin, Texas and hosted by The University of Texas at Austin on Oct. 17-18, 2011.

Key representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as faculty, researchers and grant administrators representing colleges and universities from around the U.S. will participate.

The conference will cover a wide range of current issues at the NSF including the state of current funding; new and current policies and procedures; and pertinent administrative issues. NSF program officers representing each NSF directorate will be on hand to provide up-to-date information about specific funding and answer your questions.

The registration fee is $340.

Quoted-UT Researchers in the News
Aug. 12, 2011
HEADLINE: "The Help" Hurts Black Women's Image, Say Black Women Historians

(Tiffany Gill, associate professor in the Department of History, spoke to about the portrayal of black women in the movie, "The Help".)

Tiffany Gill

In her 12 years as a member of the organization, Professor Tiffany Gill can’t recall the Association of Black Women Historians ever making a statement on a contemporary film, but The Help, in theaters nationwide this week, has disturbed the organization.

“Certainly this is not the only film where we have seen derogatory images of African- American women, but what is unique about this film is that the aggressive marketing campaign is trying to make this a cultural phenomenon and we wanted to speak to that,” Tiffany Gill, associate Professor of History, African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin told

In a statement released by the organization, the women boldly critique the movie in an attempt to bring public awareness to what they believe are gross misrepresentations of Black women and perpetuation of painful stereotypes.

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

Defense Production Act Title III for Lithium Ion Battery Production for Military Applications Project
Deadline: Sept. 22, 2011

Military Critical Clouds
Deadline: Sept. 22, 2011

Department of Education

Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities -- Transition to college and careers
Deadline: Sept. 8, 2011

National Institutes of Health

Mentored Career Award for Faculty at Institutions That Promote Diversity
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, Sept. 26, 2011; Application, Oct. 26, 2011

NIDCD Research On Hearing Health Care
Deadline: Letter of Intent, Sept. 30, 2011; Application, Oct. 31, 2011

National Science Foundation

Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011

Long Term Research in Environmental Biology
Deadline: Jan. 13, 2012

Physics of Living Systems
Deadline: Oct. 26, 2011

Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry
Deadline: Jan. 26, 2011

Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011

Cultural Anthropology
Deadlines: Jan. 1, 2011, March 1, 2011 and Aug. 15, 2012

Arts, Humanities and Culture

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
Omohundro Institute/NEH Postdoctoral Fellowship
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2011 Postmark

Institute for Aegean Prehistory
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2011

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art History Fellowships
Deadline: Nov. 4, 2011

Other Funding Opportunities

Bikes Belong Foundation
Research Grant
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2011

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Health Care Delivery and Policy Research
Deadlines: Letter of Intent, late September 2011; Application, early January 2012

Semiconductor Research Association
Call for White Papers in Modeling and Simulation
Deadlines: White paper, Sept. 29, 2011; Proposal, Dec. 16, 2011

Research Project

Epidemiology of Drinking and Disorders in Border vs. Non-Border Contexts

Richard SpenceJane MaxwellLynn WallischRESEARCHERS: Lynn Wallisch, research scientist, Center for Social Work Research, School of Social Work, left, and co-investigators: Jane Maxwell, research scientist, middle, and Richard Spence, research professor, Center for Social Work Research, School of Social Work, right
AGENCY: Alcohol Research Group
AMOUNT: $35,380

People of Mexican origin constitute the largest subgroup of Hispanics in the United States (70 percent), representing 29 percent of the country’s immigrant population. A substantial proportion of these immigrants come to the U.S. from border areas in Mexico. A large percentage of border Hispanics is also native-born. Little epidemiologic data exist on substance use or related disorders along the U.S.-Mexico border on either side, or on the effect of stressors associated with border residence.

The proposed research aims to describe and explain alcohol and drug use patterns and related problems among Mexican-origin adults living in two pairs of sister metropolitan areas at the Texas-Mexico border, plus, as a contrast, in one adjacent non-border metropolitan area on each side of the border. The research will also test a conceptual model explaining the effects of border residence on alcohol and drug use outcomes; variables examined will include cross-border mobility and migration, acculturation, social support, exposure to violence, social norms, perceived enforcement of laws, and socio-economic factors.

Survey data from face-to-face household interviews will be collected on 2,400 Mexican-origin adults living in two border metropolitan areas (Laredo, McAllen/Brownsville) and one non-border metropolitan area (San Antonio) in Texas, and on 2,400 adults living in two sister metropolitan border counterparts (Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa/Matamoros) and one non-border metropolitan area (Monterrey) in Mexico. The study is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA, which subcontracted with UT Austin researchers Lynn Wallisch, Richard Spence and Jane Maxwell to consult on study design and instrument development, oversee field work, and contribute to data analysis and preparation of manuscripts for publication.

This research builds on two previous federally-funded studies of drug and alcohol use on the Texas side of the border conducted by Wallisch, Spence and Maxwell in 1996 and 2003. The current study is expected to increase our understanding of substance use patterns and problems in the border context, including the influence of cross-border mobility, and provide valuable data that can help inform intervention and prevention efforts on both sides of the border.

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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