Public Release: 

Research Corporation awards $2.8 million in grants in chemistry, physics and astronomy

Awards to scientists promote research at primarily undergraduate institutions and encourage Ph.D.-granting institutions to excel at both teaching and research

Research Corporation

(Tucson, AZ) - Research Corporation, America's first foundation for the advancement of science, announces the awarding of sixty-five grants to scientists at colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. Through three different grant programs, Research Corporation will be supporting scientists in many of the cutting-edge areas of science--from dark energy, cosmology and nanostructures to biomimetic systems, light-harvesting compounds and environment-friendly solvents.

Examples of this year's awardees and their proposed research programs include:

• Ann Esin, Department of Physics at Harvey Mudd College, will study the photometric variability of stars in nearby star-forming clusters. (Cottrell College Science Award)

• Peter M. Iovine, Department of Chemistry at the University of San Diego, will examine the synthesis and spectroscopy of conjugated light-harvesting compounds containing boroxine cores. (Cottrell College Science Award)

• Rustem F. Ismagilov, Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, will use minimal chemical models to understand complex biochemical networks and to create biomimetic functional systems. (Cottrell Scholar Award)

• Bhuvnesh Jain, Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, will study gravitational lensing as a probe of dark energy and cosmology. (Cottell Scholar Award)

• Rebecca L. Braslau, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will investigate the design and preparation of ABA triblock copolymers as lipid bilayer mimics. (Research Opportunity Award)

Through the Cottrell College Science Awards (CCSA) program, faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions are challenged to explore new areas of science, to make new discoveries that contribute to their discipline and to initiate new research programs that can be sustained by other extramural funding sources, as well as with institutional support. A key element in these research programs is that they involve undergraduate students in meaningful ways. It is also expected that these endeavors will spill over into teaching, thereby raising the quality of undergraduate education.

The CCSA program supports both beginning and established faculty, with an emphasis on faculty initiating an area of research. These awards are announced twice a year. In this round of CCSA announcements, fifty-one scientists will receive $1.8 million in grants, an average of $36,000 per grant.

The prestigious Cottrell Scholar Awards (CSA) program is designed to support young faculty members at Ph.D.-granting institutions. These awards recognize institutions and faculty members who wish to excel at both teaching and research. The awards also seek to reinforce faculty mentoring, communication and a heightened appreciation for instruction in university science departments.

Cottrell Scholars are announced once a year, and each award recipient receives a grant of $75,000. Applicants must be in the third full calendar year of their first tenure-track position, and their applications consist of both research and teaching proposals. In this year's competition, the eleven awardees were selected from a group of ninety-six applicants.

In the third and final announcement, Research Opportunity Awards (ROA) have been made to three mid-career and senior scientists at graduate institutions who wish to reestablish long-term funding by initiating a new program of experimental research. In the ROA program, the chair of each Ph.D.-granting astronomy, chemistry or physics department in the United States and Canada may nominate up to two tenured faculty members annually who are without major research funding. The goal is to seed a vigorous, competitive basic research program reestablishing the individual as a productive member of the scientific research community. Awards are announced twice a year, and each award is for $50,000.

A list of all award recipients is attached.

Research Corporation is a private foundation, established in 1912, that aids basic research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry and physics) at U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities. As one of the country's first foundations, Research Corporation was incorporated before the term "foundation" came into popular use. Research Corporation's founder, Frederick Gardner Cottrell, was a distinguished scientist, inventor and philanthropist. He continues to serve as a model and inspiration for the scientists who receive these awards today. Research Corporation supports ideas independently proposed by college and university faculty members and carries on activities related to science advancement.

For more information about Research Corporation and its programs, visit their website (


Todd Michael Weaver - University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Structural studies of fumarase C mutants and transition state analogue complexes - $30,874

Allan M. Nishimura - Westmont College
A study of water-halobenzene clusters on Al2O3(0001) surface by emission and cavity ringdown spectroscopy - $36,218

Stuart M. Rothstein - Brock University
Towards generating the complete structure distribution of a protein: Exploiting novel and established pattern recognition techniques - $18,420

Shawn M. Swavey - University of Dayton
Mechanistic studies of the reduction of O2 in acidic solution at electrodes modified with redox-active multi-metallic porphyrins - $30,548

Ram S. Mohan - Illinois Wesleyan University
Use of ionic liquids as environment-friendly and novel solvents for organic synthesis - $29,019

Krzysztof Slowinski - California State University, Long Beach
Conductivity of two-component monolayers at the air-water interface - $38,944

Colin D. Abernethy - Western Kentucky University
N-heterocyclic carbene complexes of early transition metals in high oxidation states - $39,672

Samir M. Aouadi - Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Real time spectroscopic ellipsometry study of the growth of nitride/metal nanocomposite and nanolaminate coatings - $42,000

Peter M. Iovine - University of San Diego
Synthesis and spectroscopy of conjugated light-harvesting compounds containing boroxine cores - $35,706

Jason J. Reddick - University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Polyketide biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis: New chemistry from a familiar bacterium - $41,984

Douglas A. Vander Griend - Calvin College
Exerting mathematical and chemical control to rationally synthesize discrete and infinite coordination networks - $38,606

Gary W. Beall - Texas State University, San Marcos
Development of a theoretical model for gas transport in polymer nanocomposites - $37,316

Christopher J.A. Daley - Western Washington University
Nitrile hydratase active site models: Study of structure, function, and role of post-translational modification using the synthetic analog approach - $40,803

Scott K. Bur - Gustavus Adolphus College
The development of vinyl glycine derivatives for use in 1,5-electrocyclizations and their application to natural product synthesis - $36,218

Paul Urayama - Miami University
Development of a novel imaging chamber for high-pressure biological fluorescence microscopy - $36,815

S. Burcin Bayram - Miami University
Polarization spectroscopy of highly excited state diatomic molecules - $33,939

Glen G. Briand - Mount Allison University
Synthesis and characterization of models for novel indium radio-pharmaceuticals - $28,000

Michael J. Carney - University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
Octahedral coordination geometry and its impact on polymerization catalysis - $30,000

John Birmingham - Santa Clara University
Neuromodulation of sensory feedback in a motor control system - $25,682

Myriam Cotten - Pacific Lutheran University
Solid-state NMR investigations of molecular recognition and biological function at interfaces using antimicrobial peptides - $45,465 Gregory M. Raner - University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Stopped-flow and freeze quench techniques for the study of transient cytochrome P450 intermediates - $36,074

Lev Gasparov - University of North Florida
Raman and infrared studies of the layered transition metal chalcogenides - $40,384

David M. Johnson - University of Texas at San Antonio
Fundamentals of radical copolymerization: Do penultimate units exert an electronic effect on propagation kinetics? - $24,884

Kevin J. Quinn - College of the Holy Cross
Synthesis of dihydropyrans by ring expansion of vinyl epoxides - $35,040

Yuh-Cherng Chai - John Carroll University
The regulatory role of cellular thiols on activation of caspase(s) in apoptotic cells - $35,007

Jeffrey Katz - Colby College
Synthesis of azacalixarenes, oxocalixarenes, and dicalixarene cages - $39,684

Stacey D. Wetmore - Mount Allison University
A computational study of how nature repairs damaged DNA purines - $21,089

Alberto G. Rojo - Oakland University
Sequential fragmentation and the origin of quasihexagonal patterns - $30,684

Michael P. Myers - California State University, Long Beach
NOCKS - Nitric Oxide Chemistry and K+channels role in umbilical cord Stem cell differentiation - $37,840

Ann Esin - Harvey Mudd College
A study of photometric variability of stars in nearby star-forming clusters - $31,218

David Tucker-Smith - Williams College
Phenomenology of warped unification - $31,218

Keenan E. Dungey - University of Illinois at Springfield
Porous heterobimetallic oxides for energy storage - $33,494

Don L. Warner - Boise State University
Investigation of alkyl migration from silicon to carbon for the stereocontrolled synthesis of carbon-carbon bonds - $37,036

Kwang Hun Lim - East Carolina University
NMR studies of ligand recognition properties of SH3 and WW proline-rich binding domains: Structure and dynamics - $35,000

Kartik Ghosh - Southwest Missouri State University
Ferromagnetism in oxide-based dilute magnetic semiconductors - $34,604

Jim Crumley - Saint John's University/College of Saint Benedict
The variation of ion cyclotron waves during the solar cycle due to composition effects - $37,224

Ang Chen - University of Akron
Study of the physical mechanism of induced dielectric anomalies in SrTiO3-based quantum paraelectrics - $41,000

Paul W. Fontana - Seattle University
Sheared-flow suppression of turbulence in two-dimensional flows - $50,184

Uwe Trittmann - Otterbein College
Non-perturbative calculations in supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories - $34,980

Oleg A. Starykh - Hofstra University
Effect of geometric frustration and disorder on weakly coupled spin chains - $28,583

Michael J. Lim - Rowan University
Fast recombination in strongly coupled, ultracold plasmas - $41,176

James P. Luba - University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Biochemical activity of glutathione peroxidase homologs from Staphylococcus aureus - $41,884

David O. De Haan - University of San Diego
Secondary organic aerosol formation by acid-catalyzed surface reactions - $42,754

Krishna L. Foster - California State University, Los Angeles
Laboratory studies on the affect of substrate on the kinetics of PAH oxidation - $42,603

Jeffrey McNamara Peloquin - Boise State University
The applicability of photoexcited manganese salts in the treatment of water contamination - $34,608

Prabasaj Paul - Denison University
Investigation of the scattering of light at photonic crystal interfaces using Padé approximation techniques - $23,682

Gabriel C. Spalding - Illinois Wesleyan University
Brownian particle streams in tuned optical lattices - $40,000

Gregory M. Ferrence - Illinois State University
?-Bond metathesis reactions mediated by N-confused porphyrin lanthanide complexes and the divalent lanthanide hydride, [(TptBu,Me)Yb(?-H)]2 - $40,000

Q. Charles Su - Illinois State University
Relativistic quantum dynamics of one- and two- electron systems - $34,018

Steven D. Doty - Denison University
Thermal balance in three-dimensional sources: The next step in modeling and understanding the structure of star-forming regions - $42,000

Scott M. Lacey - Franklin and Marshall College
Wave-chaotic dynamics in three-dimensional asymmetric optical resonators - $40,963

CCSA Total Awards: 51 Total Amount: $1,815,144

Spring 2004 COTTRELL SCHOLAR AWARDS Seth M. Cohen - University of California, San Diego
A bioinorganic approach for designing improved matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors - $75,000

Rustem F. Ismagilov - University of Chicago
Using minimal chemical model to understand complex biochemical networks and to create biomimetic functional systems - $75,000

Carsten A. Ullrich - University of Missouri-Rolla
New approaches for electron dynamics in semiconductor nanostructures and for teaching modern condensed-matter physics - $75,000

Bhuvnesh Jain - University of Pennsylvania
Gravitational lensing as a probe of dark energy and cosmology - $75,000

Garth J. Simpson - Purdue University
Nonlinear optical probes of structure and function in biological systems; anatomy of a green laser pointer - $75,000

Vassiliki Kalogera - Northwestern University
Genetic algorithms in gravitational wave astrophysics - $75,000

Rosa Alejandra Lukaszew - University of Toledo
Investigating the structural and magnetic properties of nano-magnets - $75,000

Christian E. Schafmeister - University of Pittsburgh
The development of rigid bivalent inhibitors of influenza hemagglutinin - $75,000

Paul J. Chirik - Cornell University
Nitrogen fixation with group 4 transition metals - $75,000

John Cerne - SUNY at Buffalo
Infrared hall effect in strange magnetic metals - $75,000

Anthony D. Dinsmore - University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Photonic glasses: Influence of the topology of random media on light propagation - $75,000

CS Total awards: 11 Total Amount: $825,000

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY AWARDS Alexander Scheeline - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Levitated drop reactor: Towards highly parallel enzyme kinetics measurements - $50,000

Rebecca L. Braslau - University of California, Santa Cruz
Design and preparation of ABA triblock copolymers as lipid bilayer mimics - $50,000

Craig A. Merlic - University of California, Los Angeles
Copper promoted synthesis of vinyl ethers - $50,000

ROA Total Awards: 3 Total Amount: $150,000


Contacts: Randy Wedin, e-mail:, phone: 952-475-3970 Dena McDuffie, e-mail:, phone: 520-571-1111

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