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2015-2016 President's Faculty Grant Winners

Algae for Production of Biodiesel and Omega-3 Oil, and Recovery of Heavy Metals

Viable alternative energy sources are needed as the demand for oil and gas resources increases with the growth of the global economy and population. Microalgae are fast growing photosynthetic...

An Integrative Analysis of Chronic Sleep Restriction's Effect on Cancer Risk

Although sleeping less than six hours a night is associated with significantly increased mortality, no study has looked at how volitional (non-experimental) and objectively-verified chronic sleep...

Assessing High Risk Sexual Behaviors Among Users of a Gay Sex Mobile Application

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to experience a disproportionate burden of new HIV infections in the United States, accounting for 34,500 (63%) of the approximate 50,000 yearly...

Assessing Psychological Contributions to the Outcome of Limb Lengthening

In the process of limb lengthening and deformity correction, the bone lengthens or is realigned at a rate up to 1 mm per day, which is much faster than a bone would grow naturally. This rapid...

BMP2 Induced Osteogenesis of Stem Cells in Self-Assembled Peptide Scaffold

Therapeutic management of bone loss in the craniofacial region as a consequence of trauma, surgery or congenital malformations presents a clinical challenge. Cleft palate is the second most common...

BONE: Blocking Osteoclasts Using Novel Experimentation

Bone and joint disorders caused by increased autoimmune bone resorption debilitate 27 million Americans who live with osteoarthritis (OA).  The lifetime risk of developing OA of the knee...

Cancer Cell Therapy: Methionine Metabolism Targeted Gene Delivery

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society (ACS), in USA during the year 2014 about 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer and among them about a half...

Cytotoxicity of Deepwater Horizon Oil on Human Models of Breast and Blood

The effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill were devastating to the marine ecosystem and had a severe economic impact on the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Such acute effects...

Development of an Angiotensin II-Conjugate as a Biased Agonist at AT1 Receptors

Because cardiovascular disease and stroke are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., there is a continuing need to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of these diseases to...

Do Hybrids of Threatened Corals Survive Better in a Warming Ocean?

Corals build the foundation of shallow tropical ecosystems but are threatened by climate change.  Hybridization can provide an avenue for rapid adaptation to changing conditions. Corals...

Electro-simulation Therapies to Improve/Maintain Vision in Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a slowly progressive, inherited retinal degeneration affecting roughly 1 in 4000 people, typically resulting in a loss of peripheral and night vision, with most legally...

Gene Expression in Oligodendroglial Model of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most frequent human neurodegenerative disorders associated with the procession of aging. PD physiopathology is linked to a widespread process of...

Genome-wide Discovery of Transcriptome Differences in Parkinson's Neuronal Model

Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting 1-2% of the population over the age of 65 (1, 2). The causes of PD are still elusive and to date there is no...

How Vulnerable are Coral Islands to Rising Sea Level?

Coastlines are dynamic environments and their morphology is influenced by a host of environmental controls, including sea-level rise, on time-scales of minutes to millennia. Not least because of...

Hypoxia Inducible Factor Mediated Human Angiotensinogen Gene Regulation

The incidence of hypertension, an increase in blood pressure is increasing worldwide. In 2000, an estimated 972 million adults were suffering from hypertension, which is predicted to grow to 1.56...

Improving Access to Mental Health Care and Counseling Services for Families

Many people do not seek mental health services due to barriers such as stigma, accessibility, and costs. The US Surgeon General and the World Health Organization (WHO) have called for the...

Informal Markets for Antiretroviral Medications Used for HIV Prevention

Widespread diversion of antiretroviral medications (ARVs), which are used to treat HIV infection, has recently been documented in South Florida. Diversion refers to the unlawful channeling of...

I Think Therefore I Can: The Role of Self-Efficacy in Exposure to Contamination

The primary aim of this project is to examine the effect of self-efficacy (SE) on engagement in a contamination related behavioral approach task (CR-BAT). This potential relationship is important,...

Medieval Climatic Anomaly and Mega Droughts on the Northern Great Plains

The goal of this project is to determine the timing of a major prehistoric drought that occurred in the Badlands National Park and adjacent Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, South Dakota, Northern...

Pre and Post-treatment Ocular Structure and Function in Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones and slow down metabolism. Although thyroid hormones affect nearly every organ in...

Role of Oxytocin in Neuronal Cells Development and Survival

The neuropeptide oxytocin that is released from the posterior pituitary into the systemic circulation, has been implicated in several vital physiological processes, ranging from reproduction to...

Targeting African American and Ashkenazi Jewish Triple Negative Breast Cancers

Triple negative breast cancer (BC) is the most aggressive and least studied type of BC, and the most common BC subtype in African American (AA) and Ashkenazi Jewish women. Triple negative BC is...

The Effect of E-books on Preschool Children's Emergent Literacy Skills

There has been a significant increase in the use of electronic technology for educational purposes for young children; however, there is very little research on the impact this has on...

Transgenerational Acclimation and Adaptation to Climate Change

A primary goal of climate change research is to determine if species will be able to persist in a warmer environment. Most studies predict that climate change will cause many species to become...

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