University of Southern California

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Running Total: Impact of the Stimulus Bill at USC


Like other large research universities around the country, USC is a recipient of research and education funding from the 2009 federal stimulus bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The large number of stimulus-funded research grants won by USC testifies to the quality of its faculty. The university is proud to be part of the effort to stimulate the economy, make discoveries that will change the future, and train the next generation of leaders.

To convey the impact of this extraordinary, one-time investment of taxpayer money in academic research and student financial aid, USC is gathering information on all of its ARRA-funded activity in one place. This site includes running totals of ARRA grant funding at USC, brief explanations of each grant, and articles about selected projects.

The following is a list of projects at USC funded by federal stimulus spending as of March 3, 2010. This list will be updated regularly until the end of the stimulus award period, sometime later this year. (It may not include all stimulus-related activity at USC, such as money received by faculty members acting as subcontractors to grant recipients elsewhere.)

USC School of Dentistry (Total awarded to date: $8,029,425)
  • Yang Chai, USC School of Dentistry, “TGF-beta Signaling and Craniofacial Morphogenesis,” $13,692 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To study the role of the TGF-beta genetic pathway in normal craniofacial development and the link between disruption of the pathway and cleft palate and other craniofacial malformations.
  • Yang Chai, USC School of Dentistry, “Interdisciplinary New Faculty Recruitment in Craniofacial Development,” $1,574,637 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To support the USC P30 project, a collaboration between the USC School of Dentistry and the Keck School of Medicine of USC for the recruitment of junior faculty members committed to the interdisciplinary study of craniofacial defects.
  • Casey Chen, USC School of Dentistry, “Genomic Comparison of A. actinomycetemcomitans Strains,” $16,300 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: For the study of different strains of the pathogen Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, a major factor in gum disease, including research into possible correlations between particular genes and a strain’s virulence.
  • Janet Oldak, USC School of Dentistry, “Matrix Based Mineral Enamel-Biomimetics,” $325,197 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To reveal the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of dental enamel, with a long-term goal of developing durable enamel substitutes.
  • Michael Paine, USC School of Dentistry, “Enamel Matrix Protein Interaction,” $820,025 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To characterize interactions between proteins involved in the formation of dental enamel.
  • George Salem, USC School of Dentistry, “Safe and Effective Yoga Prescription for Older Adults: Biomechanical Consideration,” $1,367,703 from the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine: In light of a clinical trial suggesting that yoga can be ineffective or even harmful for seniors, to determine the benefits and risks of yoga for older adults and to determine the most appropriate yoga exercises for participants’ body types and fitness levels.
  • Songtao Shi, USC School of Dentistry, “Osteogenic Mechanisms of Shed,” $116,045 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: No information available.
  • Songtao Shi, USC School of Dentistry, “Interplays Between the Jaw Mesenchymal Stem Cells and T Lymphocytes,” $813,050 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To understand the unexpected interaction between stem cells that regulate craniofacial formation and immune cells, and determine the mechanisms by which the interaction may be related to bone diseases.
  • Malcolm Snead, USC School of Dentistry, “Determination and Expression of Amelogenin Gene Products,” $408,036 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To study the genes responsible for expression of amelogenin, the dominant protein in the formation of mammalian enamel.
  • Olga Solomon, USC School of Dentistry, “Autism in Urban Context: Linking Heterogeneity with Health and Service Disparities,” $1,248,025 from the National Institute of Mental Health: To examine disparities in autism spectrum disorders diagnosis and services for African American children in urban settings, in order to facilitate earlier diagnosis and services for African American children with autism and help improve their developmental outcomes.
  • Stephen Yen, USC School of Dentistry, “Late Maxillary Protraction for Cleft Lip and Palate,” $445,750 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To provide a sound evidence base for surgical and orthodontic care of children with cleft lip and palate, the most common facial birth defect, by planning a clinical trial among five research centers to test whether an orthopedic, non-surgical treatment can be an alternative to surgery for these patients.
  • Margarita Zeichner-David, USC School of Dentistry, “Cementogenesis: Role of Hertwig’s Epithelial Root Sheath,” $16,300 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To further understand the process of root development at the morphological, cellular and molecular levels including the mechanisms underlying root dentin, cementum and periodontal ligament formation which leads to root attachment in healthy gum tissue.
  • Margarita Zeichner-David, USC School of Dentistry, “Molecular Regulation of Periodontium Formation,” $790,654 from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: See above.
USC Institute for Creative Technologies (Total awarded to date: $65,500)
  • Thomas Parsons, Institute for Creative Technologies, “Virtual Reality and Augmented Social Training for Autism,” $65,500 from the National Institute of Mental Health: To examine the basic science and therapeutic applications of virtual reality (VR) technology in research on social skills development for children with higher-functioning autism.
USC Rossier School of Education (Total awarded to date: $1,500,000)
  • Karen Gallagher, USC Rossier School of Education, “Math for America Los Angeles: Improving Student Achievement by Focusing on Teacher Quality, Preparation and Professional Development,” $1,500,000 from the National Science Foundation: To support teaching fellows in the Math for America Los Angeles, a non-profit organization formed by USC, Claremont Graduate University, and Harvey Mudd College, as it seeks to raise student achievement in the greater Los Angeles area by developing transformational secondary school mathematics teachers.
USC Viterbi School of Engineering (Total awarded to date: $25,379,855)
  • Stephen Cronin, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Enhanced Catalytic Phenomena via Surface Plasmon Resonant Excitation,” $400,000 from the National Science Foundation: To study how extremely powerful laser-induced electromagnetic surface waves on metal nanostructures trigger catalytic chemical reactions, attempting to isolate the effects of temperature, electronic and other variables, with the goal of improving fuel cell technology and with an outreach component to Los Angeles area high school teachers and their students.
  • P. Daniel Dapkus, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Energy Frontier Research Center for Emerging Materials for Solar Energy Conversion and Solid State Lighting,” $12.5 million from the Department of Energy: To explore new phenomena in organic materials, in thin-layer semiconductor nanostructures, and in hybrid structures in order to improve the efficiency of solar cells and light sources.
  • P. Daniel Dapkus, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Nanostructure Visible Light Emitting Diodes,” $303,500 from the National Science Foundation: To improve LEDs that emit at visible wavelengths, using nanoscale patterning to create designs which are both cheaper to make and emit light more efficiently.
  • Ewa Deelman, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Integrated Resource Provisioning Across the National Cyberinfrastructure in Support of Scientific Workloads,” $3,486,869 million from the National Science Foundation: To create a common interface with a robust, scalable, and flexible system that will serve a number of existing supercomputing networks, to facilitate computing-based research in astronomy, earthquake science, gravitational-wave physics, fusion, and many other scientific domains.
  • Roger Ghanem, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Uncertainty Quantification for Petascale Simulation of Carbon Sequestration Through Fast Ultra-Scalable Stochastic Finite Element Methods,” $623,063 from the National Science Foundation: To study the challenges involved in permanent storage in geologic formations of carbon dioxide produced by burning coal.
  • Ramesh Govindan, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “NetSE: Medium: Collaborative Research: Green Edge Networks,” $600,000 from the National Science Foundation: To understand the principles and methods for the design of green networks at the edge of the Internet, with possible broad applications to other areas of computing, including large server systems, mobile devices and consumer appliances.
  • Robert Graybill, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Software Application Discovery Initiative (SADI) Study,” $280,961 from the National Science Foundation: To fund pilot research for eventual development of model-based simulation, a computational approach that would allow manufacturers to perform virtual prototyping instead of relying exclusively on physical prototyping.
  • Tzung Hsiai, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Shear Stress and Mechanically Unstable Plaque,” $432,178 from the National Institutes of Health: To identify high-risk lesions in the coronary arteries in cardiac patients undergoing catheterization using heat transfer to image and understand local blood flow disturbances in the presence of non-obstructive but inflammatory atherosclerotic lesions.
  • Carl Kesselman, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Bio-Informatics Research Network Coordinating Center,” $492,873 from the National Center for Research Resources: To provide a data sharing infrastructure that will enable researchers to investigate complex data-driven medical problems that would otherwise be impossible to study.
  • Kevin Knight, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Deciphering Natural Language (DECIPHER),” $1.2 million, National Science Foundation: To decipher ancient texts using computers, and to train automated language translation systems.
  • Clara Lajonchere, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Disseminating Scientific Information on Autism to the Latino Community,” $966,682 from the National Institute of Mental Health: To translate scientific information on autism spectrum disorders into everyday language so that Latino families can understand and utilize scientific discoveries in their health decision-making process, with a long-term goal of developing an outreach model for academic institutions nationwide.
  • Noah Malmstadt, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Biomimetic Systems for Studying Nanoscale Structure Formation in Cell Membranes,” $336,970 from the National Institutes of Health: To study islands of fatty substance in living cells, called “lipid rafts,” which play important but still little-understood roles in metabolism and diseases such as diabetes.
  • Noah Malmstadt, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Engineered Microfluidic Mixing for Green Nanocrystal Manufacturing,” $270,000 from the National Science Foundation: To reduce the cost and environmental impact in the manufacture of nanocrystaline materials, which are used increasingly in fields from self-powered electronic components to pharmaceuticals.
  • Patric Muggli, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Current Filamentation Instability,” $680,774 from the National Science Foundation: To study a property known as “current filamentation instability” thought to cause a range of astrophysical phenomena in dense plasmas, such as gamma ray bursts and magnetic field generation.
  • Theodore Tsotsis and Muhammad Sahimi, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “Fundamental Studies of Novel SiC Nanoporous Materials for Separation Applications,” $325,001 from the National Science Foundation: To explore tailored preparation processes to create more effective and efficient Silicon Carbide (SiC) membranes, which have potential for industrial separation of gas mixtures into their components.
  • Priya Vashishta, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, “A Dedicated Computing Platform for Large Spatiotemporal-Scale Atomistic Simulations of DNA Translocation and Self-Assembly,” $450,000 from the National Science Foundation: To establish a dedicated computing platform for microsecond simulations to study DNA self-assembly and translocation, while also improving access by minority students to hands-on experience in large-scale computing projects.
USC Davis School of Gerontology (Total awarded to date: $869,579)
  • Kelvin Davies, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, “Oxygen Radical Toxicity and Protein Degradation”, $294,592 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To research the oxidative effects of environmental toxins on proteins in the body and improve understanding of the mechanisms of acute and chronic toxicity.
  • Jung Kim, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, “Sociodemographic, Biosocial and Behavioral Mechanisms Linked to Earlier Oral Aging,” $448,061 from National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research: To understand how demographic, socioeconomic, psychological, medical and biological factors interact to produce oral health disparities across population subgroups in the United States, and given that oral health status can be related to major chronic conditions related to aging, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, to understand interacting mechanisms by which oral health care and other medical care can be coordinated to improve overall health status.
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (Total awarded to date: $13,145,477)
  • Oscar Aparicio, USC College, “Analysis of Replication Fork Restart and Checkpoint Regulation After DNA Damage,” $316,417 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To apply technologies developed in Aparicio’s laboratory to the study of DNA replication, with the goal of better understanding the processes involved in normal replication and in the uncontrolled cell growth of cancer cells.
  • Michelle Arbeitman, USC College, “Genes Underlying Reproductive Behavior and Physiology,” $325,148 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: For the study of master transcription factors regulating genes involved in mating behavior in fruit flies, in order to provide a foundation for understanding complex behavior in other organisms, including humans.
  • Asok Aravind, USC College, “Rationality Problems and Homotopy Theory for Varieties,” $132,552 from the National Science Foundation: To work on problems relating arithmetic properties of classical objects of study in algebraic geometry to their geometry, drawing together several branches of mathematics and illustrating the fundamental unity of the subject.
  • Jay Bartroff, USC College, “Adaptive Designs,” $130,000 from the National Science Foundation: To explore statistical procedures and techniques necessary to solve societal problems that require adapting one’s actions in response to new information, as in the areas of climate change (solar energy, automobile emissions, and so on), homeland security, and health care.
  • Thorsten Becker, USC College, “Thermochemical Models of Mantle Dynamics and Plate Motions,” $88,885 from the National Science Foundation: To address fundamental questions about the large-scale flow of magma in the interior of the planet by developing a new theoretical model of the flow, and by devising several new approaches to testing and refining the model.
  • Sarah Bottjer, USC College, “Neural Mechanisms of Vocal Learning,” $121,648 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: To study a neural circuit essential for vocal learning in songbirds, in order to advance understanding of how animals including humans learn sounds during a sensitive period of development or after a stroke.
  • Stephen Bradforth, USC College, “Femtosecond Studies of the Influence of Solvent on Chemical Reaction Dynamics,” $200,000 from the National Science Foundation: To examine chemical reactions on the timescales of atomic motion in molecules, in search of new insights into how molecules react in water and other liquids.
  • Richard Brutchey, USC College, “New Low-Temperature Synthetic Routes to Functional Perovskite and Semiconductor Nanocrystals,” $345,001 from the National Science Foundation: To develop systematic approaches for making functional materials under low temperature conditions — much in the same way that organic chemists have developed a very extensive and diverse toolbox of bench-top reactions - with the ultimate goal of designing nanocrystals for solar energy conversion and energy storage technologies.
  • Douglas Capone, USC College, “The Importance of Molybdenum Speciation to Nitrogen Fixation and Assimilation in Lakes,” $533,999 from the National Science Foundation: To augment scarce information on metal abundance in lakes with new data on the roles of trace metals in the nutrient cycle, focusing particularly on molybdenum as a potential key limiting nutrient.
  • Lin Chen, USC College, “Mechanism-Based Small Molecule Epigenetic Modulators: Targeting Specific HDACs,” $1,000,000 from the National Institutes of Health: To develop specific inhibitors for the HDAC group of enzymes, which modify gene expression and play important roles in cancer, neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune disease and cardiac hypertrophy.
  • Linda Duguay, USC College, “Collaborative Research: Linking Researchers and Graduate Students through COSEE Tools and Services,” $65,500 from the National Science Foundation: To train scientist-graduate student teams to produce interactive materials on ocean literacy and climate literacy that can be designed for a variety of audiences.
  • Susan Forsburg, USC College, “Checkpoints and Double Strand Breaks in S. pombe Meiosis,” $640,167 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To study the roles of two genes involved in cell division in all organisms from yeast through humans, with the goal of better understanding genetic abnormalities resulting from faulty cell division, which in humans are responsible for a large number of miscarriages and other developmental failures.
  • Feixue Fu, USC College, “Changing Phytoplankton Trace Metal Requirements in a High CO2 Ocean,” $428,461 from the National Science Foundation: To understand the impact of rising carbon dioxide levels in the world’s oceans on the trace metal appetites of organisms at the base of the food chain, with the ultimate goal of better predicting future shifts in basic ocean resources and potential feedbacks to global climate.
  • Andrew Gracey, USC College, “Searching for Links Between Genotype and Phenotype in the Evolution of Air-Breathing, Hypoxia, and Terrestriality in Gobies,” $146,143 from the National Science Foundation: To investigate aspects of aerial respiration and amphibious capacity in mudskipper fishes (Family Gobiidae), which are renowned for their capacity to live out of water, and to probe the genetic bases for the evolutionary progression of the mudskippers from forms that only used air-breathing as an emergency response to forms that spend extended periods out of water.
  • Thomas Jordan, USC College, “Outward on the Spiral: Petascale Inference in Earthquake System Science (SCEC PetaShake Project),” $1,600,000 from the National Science Foundation: To improve existing computer simulations of earthquakes through a collaboration to develop a supercomputing facility dedicated to physics-based seismic hazard analysis computations at a speed at least 1000 times greater than previous simulations.
  • Yong-Gang Li, USC College, “Study of Coseismic Damage and Post-Mainshock Healing on the Longmen-Shan Fault Ruptured in the 2008 M8 Wenchuan Earthquake in China,” $108,558 from the National Science Foundation: To determine the evolution of the fault zone after the devastating earthquake in western China in 2008, to document characteristics of damaging earthquakes and to evaluate potential earthquake risk in high-risk regions in the U.S.A. and China, with the aim of understanding earthquake processes and hazards globally.
  • Emily Liman, USC College, “TRP Ion Channels in Taste Transduction,” $214,235 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: To improve our understanding of the genetic pathways that underlie taste sensation, how they are organized in space, how they change over time, and how taste sensation changes with development and aging or in response to disease.
  • Katherine Marenco, USC College, “Investigating the Role of Changing Substrates in the Ordovician Radiation: Great Basin, USA,” $160,000 from the National Science Foundation: To explore the structure of sediment trapped in shell beds, sponge-algal mud mounds, and patch reef of Ordovician-era marine deposits in California, Utah, and Nevada, to develop museum exhibits on fundamental concepts of paleontology and reconstructions of the Ordovician world, and to involve undergraduate students in field and laboratory aspects of the research.
  • Meghan Miller, USC College, “Examining the Evolution of the Colorado Plateau and Its Relation to the Surrounding Tectonic Provinces Using USArray Data,” $160,092 from the National Science Foundation: To map three-dimensional variations in geological layers beneath the Four Corners area of the southwestern U.S., providing a consistent framework for interpreting Cenozoic-era extension, compression, and local convection features in the area, with the goal of providing the data to non-seismologists interested in continental evolution, extensional dynamics, geodynamics, volcanology, and structural geology.
  • James Moffett, USC College, “Determination of Copper Distribution, Speciation, and its Relationship to Picoplankton Community Structure for the U.S. GEOTRACES Zonal North Atlantic Survey Section,” $397,358 from the National Science Foundation: To explore the role of copper in aquatic nutrient cycles as part of a new international oceanographic program aimed at identifying the factors behind the distributions of key trace elements in the oceans.
  • Sergey Nuzhdin, USC College, “Acquisition of Solexa Genome Analyzer to Enable Collaborative Molecular, Environmental, and Computational Research,” $647,893 from the National Science Foundation: To acquire a next-generation sequencing machine that will allow a broad group of scientists at University of Southern California to use vast amounts of genetic data to address questions spanning the disciplines of molecular and computational biology, marine environmental biology and neurobiology, and to train the next generation of scientists, with a particular focus on minorities, in the latest genomic and computational approaches to biology.
  • John Platt, USC College, “Acquisition of Integrated EBSD/EDS Attachments and Software for the Field Emission SEM at the University of Southern California,” $142,017 from the National Science Foundation: To support acquisition of upgrades to a variable pressure field emission source scanning electron microscope in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Southern California.
  • Peter Qin, USC College, “Acquisition of a Pulse Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectrometer,” $1,039,916 from the National Center for Research Resources: To purchase a state-of-art pulse electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer — a powerful tool for analyzing conformations and metal ion co-factors of biological systems — thereby significantly benefiting ongoing research in the Los Angeles area.
  • Peter Qin, USC College, “Structure, Dynamics and Function of the Packaging RNA,” $84,833 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To better understand the structure and function of ribonucleic acid (RNA), the cousin of DNA that acts as an information carrier, catalyst and regulator in essential biological processes, by studying RNA in a pathogen believed to be similar in structure to several human disease agents.
  • Richard Roberts, USC College, “In Vitro Selection of Proteins Via MRNA-Protein Fusions,” $694,446 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To develop molecules that can bind protein surfaces and block harmful interactions between proteins, as in cancer and HIV-AIDS.
  • Sean Roberts, USC College, “Exciton Transport and Charge Separation in Organic Solar Cells Visualized with Interface Specific Femtosecond Spectroscopy,” $200,000 from the National Science Foundation: To study the dynamics of energy migration in organic solar cells, and to help launch a summer internship program at USC for high school and community college students in Southeast Los Angeles — a region with a large percentage of underrepresented minorities.
  • Charles Sammis, USC College, “Micromechanics-Based Modeling of Dynamic Earthquake Rupture in a Structurally Complex Fault Zone,” $145,543 from the National Science Foundation: To develop a new generation of numerical dynamic earthquake models in which the generation of off-fault damage and its effect on rupture propagation are modeled using a micromechanical damage mechanics model expanded and made suitable for numerical modeling, yielding predictions that can be tested in the field and verified in the laboratory.
  • Mark Thompson, USC College, “Collaborative Research: Acquisition of a 400 MHz NMR at the University of Southern California,” $469,164 from the National Science Foundation: To purchase a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and autosampler, expanding the instrument facilities of USC significantly and serving both the research and teaching communities at USC.
  • John Tower, USC College, “Aging Specific Gene Expression in Drosophila,” $185,689 from the National Institute on Aging: By studying genetic pathways involved in aging and conserved from fruit flies to humans, the researchers hope to understand the basic mechanisms of aging and ultimately develop interventions for human aging-related diseases.
  • Alan Watts, USC College, “Neuropeptides and their Physiological Control,” $687,916 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: To resolve the structural and functional organization of the neural networks responsible for controlling brain circuits that play a critical role in generating responses to a wide range of stressors, but particularly those generated within the body such as cardiovascular and metabolic stimuli.
  • Chung-Yung Robert Wu, USC College, “EUV Photoexcitation and Emission of N2 at Low Temperatures,” $317,291 from the National Science Foundation: To study the role in planetary atmospheres of molecular nitrogen (N2) for the benefit of atomic and molecular theorists, atmospheric modelers, and optical astronomers.
Keck School of USC (Total awarded to date: $37,099,959)
  • Marilyn Ader, Keck School of USC, “Metabolic Effects of Atypical Antipsychotics,” $84,152 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: To test the hypothesis that certain antipsychotic drugs — widely prescribed to millions of people in the United States for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other psychiatric conditions — cause diabetes by inducing metabolic changes.
  • Hooman Allayee, Keck School of USC, “Role of the 5-Lipogenase Pathway in Artherosclerosis,” $261,650 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: To investigate the potential of using drugs currently approved for asthma in the management of coronary artery disease, which may lead to newer and more effective therapies.
  • Woojin An, Keck School of USC, “Role of Histone H4 N-Terminal Tail in Transcription Regulation,” $215,416 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To study how a specific chemical modification — acetylation of histone H4 protein within chromosomes — activates genes in human cells, with the goal of adding to the understanding of the molecular basis of many human diseases associated with uncontrolled gene expression.
  • Steve Arbuckle, Keck School of USC, “Scholarships for Physicians Assistant Program,” $67,902 from the Health Resources and Services Administration: To support students for whom the cost of attendance constitutes a severe financial hardship, preventing a heavy debt load for graduates who often work in medically underserved and lower-paying communities.
  • Edward Avol, Keck School of USC, “Air Pollution and Pre-Clinical Artherosclerosis in Elementary-School Children,” $289,022 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To study whether exposure to fine particulate matter pollution in urban areas may lead to subclinical artherosclerosis in children, potentially translating into higher incidence of cardiovascular disease later in life.
  • Edward Avol, Keck School of USC, “Air Pollution, Intima-Media Thickness, and Lung Function in College Students,” $529,239 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To study whether exposure to fine particulate matter pollution in urban areas may lead to compromised lung function in college-age youth, potentially translating into higher incidence of cardiovascular disease later in life.
  • Richard Bergman, Keck School of USC, “Quantitative Studies of Metabolic Organ Dynamics,” $262,416 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: To understand the physiological mechanisms underlying the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance.
  • Alexandre Bonnin, Keck School of USC, “An Ex-Vivo Placental Perfusion System to Study Materno-Fetal Biology,” $244,250 from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development: To design and implement a new technology that will provide unique opportunities to determine how maternally derived molecules such as neurotransmitters, cytokines, hormones and drugs reach the fetal brain and impact the development of circuits that have been implicated in autism.
  • Zea Borok, Keck School of USC, “Epigenetic Regulation of AEC Plasticity and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition,” $1,381,681 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: To recruit a lung cell and molecular biology expert for Keck’s Division of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine, for the study of mechanisms by which cells lining the air spaces of the lung repair themselves following injury.
  • Miles Cockburn, Keck School of USC, “Defining Critical Aspects of Environmental Ultraviolet Exposure in Melanogenesis,” $480,980 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To study the impact of different wavelengths of ultraviolet rays from the sun on melanoma risk, and to improve prevention strategies in light of the nearly worldwide increase in melanoma incidence.
  • David Conti, Keck School of USC, “Hierarchical Modeling of Interactions in Genome-Wide and Pathway-Based Studies,” $1,061,981 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To develop statistical techniques to reveal which genes are involved in disease and in which environmental context they act, thereby improving understanding of the interplay of nature and nurture in complex diseases.
  • Victoria Cortessis, Keck School of USC, “A Genetic Linkage Study of Testicular Cancer,” $162,804 from the National Cancer Institute: No information available.
  • Edward Crandall, Keck School of USC, “Absorption Mechanisms for Peptide/Protein Drugs via Lung,” $800,001 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: To better understand the absorption mechanisms and pathways for small molecule drugs delivered to the lungs.
  • Jane Figueiredo, Keck School of USC, “Pharmacogenetics of Tamoxifen and Chemotherapies and Risk of Contralateral Breast Cancer,” $162,541 from the National Cancer Institute: To use data from a large survey of breast cancer survivors to explore the role of genetic factors in the effectiveness of chemotherapy and tamoxifen, particularly as related to the risk of a new cancer in the unaffected breast.
  • Amir Goldkorn, Keck School of USC, “Targeting Cancer with Telomerase Interference,” $107,996 from the National Cancer Institute: To characterize a novel therapeutic agent capable of killing a variety of cancer cell types and to test its ability to inhibit cancer in mice.
  • Joseph Hacia, Keck School of USC, “Comparative Genomics of Peroxisomal Lipid Metabolism,” $232,255 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To test whether humans have evolved in how they metabolize lipids (fats) in response to a dietary shift towards meat, by comparing lipid metabolism in humans and closely related primates that are primarily vegetarian or omnivorous.
  • Christopher Haiman, Keck School of USC, “Expanding Resources for Understanding the Genetic Basis for Prostate Cancer in African American Men,” $2,839,825 from the National Cancer Institute: To identify common genetic risk factors for prostate cancer in African American men by conducting a genome-wide study of prostate cancer with more than 10,000 volunteers.
  • Daniel Holschneider, Keck School of USC, “Implantable Minipump for Tetherless Drug Self-Administration in Mice,” $325,000 from National Institute on Drug Abuse: To develop an implantable self-operated pump for free movement of mice during studies of drug addiction, in order to study interactions between drug use patterns, environment and genetics.
  • Jadvar Hossein, Keck School of USC, “[F18]FMAU in Prostate Cancer,” $393,250 from the National Cancer Institute: To explore a new prostate cancer imaging method for the large group of prostate cancer survivors who appear to have experienced recurrence according to the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screen, but for whom current imaging technologies fail to detect any tumor.
  • Michael Jakowec, Keck School of USC, “Glutamate-Dopamine Plasticity in Nigrostriatal Injury: Exercise Enhanced Recovery,” $893,979 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: To understand the biological reasons behind the observed slowing of Parkinson’s disease progression in patients who practice intensive treadmill running.
  • Deborah Johnson, Keck School of USC, “Novel Targets that Are Deregulated by Loss of PTEN,” $143,474 from the National Cancer Institute: To understand how the tumor suppressor PTEN works, in order to suggest new approaches for developing drugs that mimic its function.
  • Peter Jones, Keck School of USC, “USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (Core) Support,” $1,231,883 from the National Cancer Institute: No information available.
  • Jae Jung, Keck School of USC, “Host-Pathogen Competition in IFN Mediated Antiviral Defense,” $1,993,343 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: To describe the molecular mechanisms underlying the host-viral interaction at a basic scientific level and to provide the foundation for developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for emerging viral disorders.
  • Neil Kaplowitz, Keck School of USC, “USC Research Center for Liver Diseases,” $238,608 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: No information available.
  • Martin Kast, Keck School of USC, “Exploration of Novel Pan-HPV Treatments to Block Development of AIDS-Associated Cancer,” $1,000,000 from the National Cancer Institute: To improve understanding of how HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) might co-interact with immune cells to increase the risk of cancer in HIV-infected individuals, and to develop strategies to defeat the HPV virus in HIV-infected people by activating local innate immunity.
  • James Knowles, Keck School of USC, “Transcriptional Atlas of Human Brain Development,” $8,920,456 from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse: To determine the expression patterns of genes in particular brain regions at particular points in development, which will be essential for understanding how genetic variation affects normal and abnormal brain development.
  • Andrea Kovacs, Keck School of USC, “HCV and HIV Progression in Women on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART),” $374,130 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: To better identify those women who may benefit from more aggressive anti-retroviral therapy.
  • Amy Lee, Keck School of USC, “Stress Induction of Glucose Regulated Protein GRP78/BIP,” $13,004 from the National Cancer Institute: To investigate whether the naturally occurring human protein GRP78 could be used as a marker for cancer progression, and whether targeted blocking of the protein’s expression might slow or stop tumor growth.
  • Amy Lee, Keck School of USC, “Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperone as a Regulator of Obesity and Diabetes,” $776,392 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: To explore possible new drugs for prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans, using a newly developed mouse model whose genetic profile may provide clues for preventing high-fat, diet-induced diseases.
  • Pat Levitt, Keck School of USC, “Autism Research Program,” $2,061,115 from the National Institute of Mental Health: To organize a rich community of scientists across the USC campus — in Engineering, Cinematic Arts, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and the Keck School — who recently have become active in research addressing characterization and interventions in autism spectrum disorders.
  • Thomas Mack, Keck School of USC, “DNA Methylation Differences Between Identical Twins,” $539,132 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To examine the linkage between DNA methylation, an important factor in many disorders, and environmental factors known to predict specific diseases: the level of methylation will be compared in twins who give a history of pertinent environmental exposure, to that in their relatively unexposed identical co-twins.
  • Rob McConnell, Keck School of USC, “Urban Air Pollution and Children’s Respiratory Health,” $577,195 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: To investigate the role of traffic-related pollution in childhood asthma and lung function, capitalizing on findings from the southern California Children’s Health Study (CHS), a population-based study.
  • Michael Neely, Keck School of USC, “Plasma and Genital HIV Dynamics in Women,” $50,000 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: To the effectiveness of several drugs in preventing sexual or maternal-to-child transmission of HIV by suppressing viral replication in the genital tract.
  • Anne Peters, Keck School of USC, “Clinical Center for Look AHEAD: Action for Health in Diabetes,” $90,846 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: To conduct Look AHEAD, a randomized clinical trial examining the long-term health effects of an intensive weight loss intervention in approximately 5,145 overweight volunteers with type 2 diabetes.
  • Malcolm Pike, Keck School of USC, “Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer,” $162,773 from the National Cancer Institute: No information available.
  • Sita Reddy, Keck School of USC, “Biochemical Analyses of Muscleblind Complexes in Myotonic Dystrophy,” $176,222 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: To analyze the pathology of myotonic dystrophy at the molecular level.
  • Kimberly Siegmund, Keck School of USC, “Statistical Models in Epigenomics,” $479,860 from the National Cancer Institute: To develop mathematical models that can retrospectively reconstruct tumor histories, allowing researchers to address important biological questions about the growth and spread of cancer.
  • Michael Stallcup, Keck School of USC, “Protein Methyltransferases as Transcriptional Co-Regulators,” $40,000 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: To extend understanding of the specific contributions of co-regulator proteins and histone modifications to transcriptional regulation of genes, with applications for improved understanding of normal and pathological regulation of endocrine and metabolic physiology.
  • Michael Stallcup, Keck School of USC, “Training in Cellular Biochemical and Molecular Sciences,” $78,068 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences: To support the USC Training Program in Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences as it prepares students for careers in interdisciplinary biomedical research and related occupations.
  • Henry Sucov, Keck School of USC, “Cardiomyocyte Proliferation and Ventricular Morphogenesis,” $810,815 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: To study how the muscle of the embryonic heart forms and becomes organized, leading to a better understanding of certain forms of congenital heart defects, and possible future treatments for adult heart failure.
  • Hidekazu Tsukamoto, Keck School of USC, “Southern California Research Center for ALPD and Cirrhosis,” $1,946,907 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: To support the Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases (ALPD) and Cirrhosis, which unifies 53 investigators from major academic institutions in Southern California and 4 foreign countries toward a common mission of promoting research, training, and outreach for ALPD and cirrhosis.
  • Tobias Ulmer, Keck School of USC, “Mechanisms of Integrin Receptor Transmembrane Signaling,” $189,438 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: To explore the structural basis for understanding a key mediator of blood platelet aggregation, which is expected to help in developing drugs to control this process and reduce abnormal changes in the vascular system that could lead to stroke and heart attack.
  • Thomas Valente, Keck School of USC, “Social Networks and Networking that Put Adolescents at High Risk,” $714,008 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: To survey 10th grade students at two points in time in one academic year, and to examine the students’ online profiles on social networking sites, to determine the most relevant networks for estimating peer influence and selection on adolescent substance use.
  • Alan Yu, Keck School of USC, “Expression, Function and Regulation of Renal Claudins,” $343,650 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: To develop a structural model to explain the function of claudins (proteins that play an important role in the kidneys) and claudin-based pores, with the goal of improving understanding of disorders such as hypertension and renal salt-wasting.
  • Jiang Zhong, Keck School of USC, “Microfluidic Devices for Molecular Characterization of Cancer Cells at the Single Cell Level,” $243,603 from the National Cancer Institute: To develop an inexpensive integrated microfluidic device for large scale single-cell gene expression profiling, allowing analysis of hundreds to thousands of rare cancer cells at the single-cell level, and serving as a novel platform for detection of such cells.
  • Shuping Zhong, Keck School of USC, “Mechanism of Alcohol-Induced RNA pol III Dependent Transcription, $446,875 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: To understand the mechanism of alcohol-induced genetic changes leading to liver cancer and ultimately to develop new drugs to treat alcohol-associated liver diseases.
USC School of Pharmacy (Total awarded to date: $2,027,744)
  • Ronald Alkana, USC School of Pharmacy, “Low Level Hyperbaric Ethanol Antagonism,” $58,869 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: For a project aiming to identify potential targets for anti-alcoholism drugs to reduce the social problems, loss of life and economic costs resulting from the misuse and abuse of alcohol.
  • Jennifer-Ann Bayan, doctoral student in the USC School of Pharmacy, “Cross-Talk Between Mesenchymal Cells and Beta Cells During Islet Regeneration,” $77,708 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities: To study the potential of pancreatic stellate cells to aid in the regeneration of beta cells (the cells responsible for producing insulin) and islets (the parts of the pancreas that contain beta cells).
  • Allison Bryant, USC School of Pharmacy, “Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students,” $289,717 from the Human Resources and Services Administration: To reduce the student debt levels of low-income doctoral students who will be entering the work force and contributing to the overall economy soonest.
  • Roberta Diaz Brinton, USC School of Pharmacy, “Development of Allopregnanolone as a Neurogenic Regenerative Therapeutic,” $310,220 from the National Institute on Aging: To explore the potential of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone as a potential drug for preventing or delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Daryl Davies, USC School of Pharmacy, “Sites and Mechanisms of Ethanol Action in P2X Receptors,” $46,325 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: To study a family of receptors in the central nervous system involved in the body’s response to alcohol, with the goal of understanding the role played by such receptors in the physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol.
  • Sarah Hamm-Alvarez, USC School of Pharmacy, “Ad5 Fiber Entry and Trafficking in Lacrimal Acini,” $408,692 from the National Eye Institute: To investigate a potential new drug delivery mechanism for treatment of severe dry eye diseases.
  • Nouri Neamati, USC School of Pharmacy, “Inhibition of HIV-1 Integrase-LEDGF/P75 Interactions,” $472,073 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: To evaluate the potential for disrupting replication of the HIV-AIDS virus by inhibiting its interaction with critical chemical partners.
  • Tino Sanchez, doctoral student in the USC School of Pharmacy, “Design and Discovery of HIV-1 Inhibitors with a Novel Mechanism of Action,” $82,352 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: To mine molecular databases for novel compounds that are able to disrupt replication of the HIV virus.
 USC School of Social Work (Total awarded to date: $4,167,543)
  • Kristin Ferguson, USC School of Social Work, “Engaging Homeless Youth in Vocational Training To Meet Their Mental Health Needs,” $742,033 from the National Institute of Mental Health: To develop strategies for recruitment and retention of homeless youth with mental illness in a comprehensive vocational training program designed to improve their mental health, behavioral, social and occupational outcomes.
  • Penelope Trickett, USC School of Social Work, “From Child Maltreatment to Adolescent Substance Abuse: Risks, Protective Factors,” $1,451,567 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse: To provide important new knowledge about the risk and resilience factors underlying the relationship between child maltreatment and adolescent substance abuse, in order to inform intervention and prevention efforts targeting those most at risk.
  • Suzanne Wenzel, USC School of Social Work, “Men’s Heterosexual Behavior and HIV Infection,” $1,973,943 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: To study, in homeless men, how social context is associated with attitudes/beliefs about HIV and gender, as well as with heterosexual risk behavior.
Other (Total awarded to date: $69,681)
  • Melissa Gaeke, Division of Student Affairs, “Jumpstart at USC,” $69,681 from the Jumpstart for Young Children: For a project that brings USC students into Head Start classrooms to conduct literacy programming, assist classroom teachers, and provide family literacy programming.