Recent Grants and Funding
Dr. Chris Lantz, an immunologist and professor of biology, was awarded $445,500 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This NIH-funded project began in February 2016 and supports efforts to define the contribution of the protein interleukin-3 in the pathogenesis of malaria and other parasitic infections. Dr. Lantz, in collaboration with Dr. Tracy Deem, Bridgewater College, will investigate the immunological functions of interleukin-3 using novel genetically modified mice as models of human parasitic disease. The grant will support undergraduate and graduate research students at both James Madison University and Bridgewater College.
Dr. Christine May was awarded a grant from the Shenandoah National Park Trust, "Revealing the Current Relationship between Stream Acidification and Fish Species Richness: What is the Status after Two Decades of Recovery?" This is a one-year grant of $12,000 that will support graduate and undergraduate research to study fish communities in Shenandoah National Park, in collaboration with water quality monitoring at UVa through the SWASS program.
Dr. James Herrick, in collaboration with Dr. Stephen Turner of the University of Virginia, was awarded a Collaborative Research Grant of $57,000 from the 4VA Collaborative. The title of the project is "Genomic Analysis Of Transmissible Multi-Drug Antibiotic Resistance". This award will support undergraduate and graduate research in the transmission and genomics of antibiotic resistant bacteria and their genes in streams impacted by agricultural runoff. The two year grant begins in March, 2016.
Dr. Rocky Parker was sought as a collaborator by Dr. Bruce Kimball (National Wildlife Research Center) to determine the nature of the pheromonal compounds of brown treesnakes for use in invasive species management on Guam. Dr. Parker was awarded $79,332 from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to use analytical chemistry techniques, hormonal manipulation and behavioral assays to isolate, evaluate and produce female sex pheromones from this species.
In collaboration with Dr. Michael Avery (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), Dr. Rocky Parker received $26,400 from the USDA to examine the role of skin lipid-based chemical cues in Burmese python reproduction. Drs. Parker and Avery are using analytical chemistry techniques and behavioral assays to identify compounds with pheromonal activity in this invasive snake species for possible use in management strategies in the Florida Everglades.
Dr. Ray Enke received a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth Health Research Board for his proposal entitled "Molecular and bioinformatic analysis of epigenetic gene regulation in the normal and diseased retina: Characterizing pathways for diagnosing and treating macular degeneration".
In 2015, Dr. Timothy Bloss received a $10,000 grant from the Jeffress Memorial Trust for his proposal, "Characterization of ICD-1 and ICD-2 in the suppression of apoptosis in C. elegans".
Dr. Michael Renfroe received a grant for his project, "Investigation of Industrial Hemp for Oil and Biofuel Production in Virginia" from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service.
Dr. Ray Enke, in collaboration with Drs. Elizabeth Doyle and Oliver Hyman, were awarded a MU Geospatial Minigrant of $500 in December 2015 for the proposal entitled “Integration of GIS and DNA Sequence Data to Characterize Biological Diversity in the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum”.
Dr. Morgan Steffen was awarded a grant of $18,000 from the Eppley Foundation to support her proposed study, "A systems biology approach to understanding an ecologically threatened river ecosystem in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed".
Dr. Marta Bechtel was awarded a grant from Harvey Mudd College $138,342 for her study, "Controlling Cell Phenotype in a Tissue-Engineered Corneal Model.
Dr. Idelle Cooper received an award of $132,000 from the National Science Foundation for her proposed research, "Collaborative Research: RUI: Evolution of color variation in Hawaiian damselflies: causal links for an ecological selection hypothesis ".
In 2014, Dr. Steven Cresawn was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health in the amount of $28,445 to support his proposed study, "Mycobacteriophage as an emerging model organism".
Dr. Cresawn also recieved two grants ($250,000 and $10,000) from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the SEA-PHAGES project.
Dr. Conley McMullin was awarded $20,000 support from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources for his proposed project, "Demographic and Reproductive Study of Shale Barren Rock Cress".
Dr. Joanna Mott's project entitled "Modeling Development and Guidance Testing Project" was funded for $24,000 by Tetra Tech Inc.
Dr. Grace Wyngaard, D. Brian Walton (JMU Mathematics and Statistics) and Dr. Rachel Mueller (Colorado State University Biology) were awarded a research grant to study the dynamics of mobile genetic elements which parasitize the genomes of a freshwater crustacean. The National Institutes of Health has awarded $ 365,517 for the period 2014 - 2017 to support 9 undergraduate researchers and 2 postdoctoral fellows to participate in the research.
Dr. Ray Enke was awarded a College of Science and Mathematics Summer Research Faculty Assistance Grant of $4000, “Characterizing epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in the vertebrate retina” for the summer of 2014.
Also in 2014, Dr. Enke received two JMU 4-VA Collaborative Research Minigrants of $4000 each, one for his study, “Characterizing epigenetic regulation of gene expression during development of the vertebrate retina” and the other with Dr. Stephen Turner (University of Virginia, Co-Principal Investigator) entitled “Bioinformatics analysis and molecular validation of differential gene expression in the developing chicken retina”.
Dr. Steven Cresawn received a grant from the NIH in the amount of $28,173 to support his project entitled, "Mycobacteriophage as an emerging model organism".
The jeffress Memorial Trust awarded a $10,000 grant to Dr. Timothy Bloss for his project, "Characterization of ICD-1 and ICD-2 in the suppression of apoptosis in C. elegans".
Dr. Heather Griscom was awarded a grant for $1,500 from the American Chestnut Foundation to support her proposal, "Habitat Preferences of American Chestnut in an Appalachian Cove Forest".
Global Wildlife Conservation awarded a grant for $15,000 to Dr. Reid Harris for his project entitled, "Support to determine which bacterial species from the skins of Malagasy frogs can act as skin probiotics".
Dr. Harris also received a grant for $5002.23 in support of his project, "Mitigating the potential extinction crisis of Malagasy frog communities from chytridiomycosis: Selection of probiotics that inhibit Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis" by the Chester Zoo.