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Sherry Knighton-Schwandt

Last modified: Tuesday, February 6, 2007

IU Bloomington faculty reap benefits from campus funding program

Feb. 6, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington faculty vying for large grants from external funding agencies will be aided by $2 million in seed money provided by their university's Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

The three-year-old Faculty Research Support Program allows faculty to conduct preliminary research that could lend credibility to proposals for bigger, more ambitious projects. FRSP is also intended to support the general development, expansion and enhancement of outstanding research and scholarship.

"Once again, the Bloomington faculty have demonstrated their commitment to seeking out funding resources for scholarly activities that have the potential for improving society," said Sarita Soni, IUB vice provost for research. "This program is critical for helping faculty compete for grants from the National Institutes for Health and the National Science Foundation, among others."

A previous FRSP grant recipient, IUB microbiologist Yves Brun, acquired a $1.2 million N.I.H. grant last month to study a natural glue with potential commercial applications. Brun partially credited his FRSP grant as having improved the allure of his grant application.

Selected 2007 FRSP projects include:

* Kelly Caylor, professor of geography, and Todd Royer, professor of environmental science, will collaborate on providing the first data on the occurrence of pharmaceuticals, hormones and other organics within Indiana streams that may impact physiological and reproductive function of aquatic organisms as well as incidences of cancer and the development of antibacterial resistance.

* Cheng Hu, professor of psychology, will shine light on radiotherapy response by utilizing diffusion magnetic resonance imaging to improve dose distribution for patients undergoing proton radiotherapy.

* Ann Elsner, professor of optometry, will study retinal imaging and visual function, which are keys to understanding eye disease and aging. A 3-D visualization workstation will be developed to enhance data exploration and modeling.

* Heidi Ross, professor of education, will develop a national student engagement survey for Chinese secondary and higher education that will establish the East Asian standard for documenting empirically confirmed "good practices" in education.

* Laura Hurley, professor of biology, and Robert Withnell and William Shofner, both professors of speech and hearing sciences, will study tinnitus, the false perception of sounds resulting from auditory damage. The condition is prevalent in the U.S. population, but little is known regarding the changes in the brain that cause it.

* James Glazier, professor of physics, will initiate a collaborative interdisciplinary project to develop biological models for neuroblastoma growth with the goal of developing methods for cancer therapy testing.

* David Koceja, professor of kinesiology, will utilize a simple neural test to identify elderly individuals who are at high risk for falls and will document the role of a specialized balance-training paradigm in improving their balance. The study will also examine selected neural variables to identify the mechanisms that underlie this improvement.

For inquiries about the program or to speak with Soni or any of the grant recipients, please contact Sherry Knighton-Schwandt at 812-856-0504 or