Purdue scientists to discuss their work in diabetes, cancer, sustainability at conference

April 2, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Research related to diabetes management, breast cancer prevention, improvement of food security in East Africa and the role social networks play in natural disasters will be presented during the April 18 Grand Challenge conference at Purdue University.

"Professors representing six research projects that received seed grant funding from the Global Policy Research Institute will report on their technological findings and research impact in the areas of health, food security, and society and leadership," said Arden L. Bement Jr., the institute's director. "One of the key missions of the Global Policy Research Institute is to support scientific research that addresses grand challenges, whether they are local, state or national, and this event highlights a variety of these projects."

During the last two years, the Global Policy Research Institute awarded more than $400,000 in seed money to support research and the work of approximately 20 graduate students.

The conference, Policy Research for a Changing World, is free and open to the public, but participants must preregister at http://www.purdue.edu/research/gpri/events/view.php?id=853

The conference, which is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be webcast at mms://video1.itap.purdue.edu/GPRI

Purdue's Global Policy Research Institute focuses on the university's strengths in science, information technology, data management and systems engineering in collaboration with economics and the social sciences to inform policymakers about critical issues such as food security and health. These incentive award grants also serve as an opportunity for graduate students to work on interdisciplinary teams addressing problems with broad impact.

The topics and presenters are:

* "Bridging Income Generation with Provision of Incentives for Care (BIGPIC)." Sonak Pastakia, assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

* "Public Health Policies for Breast Cancer Prevention Research: A Global Venture." Sophie A. Leliévre, associate professor of basic medical sciences.

* "Development of Markets for Local Food Crop to Enhance Incomes and Improve Food Security for Smallholder Farmers in East Africa." Betty Bugusu, managing director of International Food Technology Center in the Department of Food Science.

* "A Global Spatially-Explicit, Open-Source Data Base for Analysis of Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment: Kickoff Workshop for a 2-Year Pilot Project." Thomas Hertel, distinguished professor of agricultural economic, and Nelson Villoria, research assistant professor of agricultural economics.

* "Network Resilience in Disasters: An Interdisciplinary, International Perspective." Satish Ukkusuri, associate professor of civil engineering.

* "New Perspectives on Intractable Problems: Informal Institutions as Policy Responses to Global Grand Challenges." Laurel Weldon, professor of political science.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Arden L. Bement Jr., 765-496-6713, bement@purdue.edu