Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the University of Massachusetts Lowell have awarded nearly $100,000 in seed grants to five teams of researchers from both campuses for interdisciplinary research projects focused on health and the life sciences.
“We applaud the ingenuity and curiosity of these researchers as they strive to break ground on health matters across the breadth of the life sciences. It is in these interdisciplinary, and inter-collegiate searches that true discovery is made,” said Anne Maglia, UMass Lowell associate vice chancellor for research. “This is just the start. We are certain these ideas will blossom into productive research opportunities for both universities.”
“WPI and UMass Lowell researchers possess complementary expertise, ideal for partnering on research projects that will positively address important health issues,” says WPI Vice Provost for Research Bogdan Vernescu. “These seed grants will launch research that is meant to grow into larger projects funded by outside organizations.”
WPI is contributing $39,958 to the grants, and UMass Lowell is contributing $59,826. The projects are expected to run for one year.
Seed grants were awarded to the following projects and researchers:
- “Evaluation of novel compounds against the bacterial pathogens M. tuberculosis and M. abscessus.” Scarlet Shell, associate professor, WPI Department of Biology and Biotechnology; and Mingdi Yan, professor, UMass Lowell Department of Chemistry. Award: $19,990.
- “Wheel Up: Engaging communities in the development of a wheelchair training simulator for diverse bodies.” Kelilah Wolkowicz, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Erika Lewis, associate professor, Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology; and Yuko Oda, associate teaching professor, Department of Art & Design, all of UMass Lowell; Yunus Telliel, assistant professor, and Jennifer deWinter, professor, both of the WPI Department of Humanities and Arts. Award: $19,864.
- “Interdisciplinary understanding of muscle across scales: recovery after injury.” Nicolai Konow, assistant professor, and Jeffrey R. Moore, professor, both of the UMass Lowell Department of Biological Sciences; Matt Gage, associate professor, UMass Lowell Department of Chemistry; and Sam Walcott, associate professor, WPI Department of Mathematical Sciences. Award: $19,930.
- “Stable producer cell-line development for recombinant adeno-associated virus vector production.” Seongkyu Yoon, professor, UMass Lowell Department of Chemical Engineering; and Eric Young, assistant professor, WPI Department of Chemical Engineering. Award: $20,000.
- “Plasmon-enhanced organic photoredox catalysis for biomanufacturing synthesis.” Michael Ross, assistant professor, UMass Lowell Department of Chemistry; and Patricia Zhang Musacchio, assistant professor, WPI Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Award: $20,000.