October 5, 2018

Faculty members receive Showalter funding

Elizabeth Tran, R. Claudio Aguilar and Edward Bartlett Elizabeth Tran, R. Claudio Aguilar and Edward Bartlett. (Photo provided) Download image

Three faculty members have been designated Showalter Faculty Scholars for 2018.

The faculty members are:

* R. Claudio Aguilar, associate professor of biological sciences, a world-renowned cell biologist who is making important contributions to understanding Lowe syndrome and the cellular processes associated with this devastating disease.

* Edward Bartlett, associate professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering, an internationally recognized neuroscientist who studies the central auditory system to understand the fundamental basis of sound perception and auditory signal processing as well as changes in human hearing with age or acoustic trauma.

* Elizabeth Tran, associate professor of biochemistry and an international award-winning biochemist and geneticist who focuses on how RNA molecules control the behavior of cells and tissues including the role of RNA helicases in cancer cell growth.

"The Showalter Scholars are outstanding mid-career professors on an accelerated path to academic distinction whose research interests embrace areas supported by the Showalter Trust," says Jeff Bolin, associate vice president for research. "Each of the honorees has demonstrated tremendous success in obtaining research funding, publishing their findings and collaborating with faculty members at Purdue and beyond to address critical questions within the life and health sciences."

The researchers were selected in partnership with the university faculty scholars program. The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships nominated university faculty scholars in consultation with academic units and the Office of the Provost, and an external committee made the final selections. Each of the new Showalter Scholars will receive funding for five years: an annual award of $5,000 from the trust, matched at 100 percent by the provost. Fifteen Showalter Scholars are supported at present.

"We are very grateful to the Showalter Trust for the support provided through this program," Bolin says. 

Though the faculty scholar program is relatively new, the Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust has benefited Purdue researchers for more than 40 years through one-time grants to faculty in the areas of environmental science; biochemistry and molecular biology; disease prevention, diagnosis, progression, treatment and control; new technologies for food production, preservation, distribution and safety; and medical and biophysical instrumentation. This year, 11 early-career faculty members received up to $75,000 each in Showalter Trust funding.

The researchers and their projects are:

* Amy Brewster, Psychological Sciences: “Trem2 Dysfunction in Epilepsy.”

* Srividya Iyer-Biswas, Physics and Astronomy: “Emergent Physical Laws Governing Stochastic Single-Cell Aging.”

* Chi Hwan Lee, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and Georgia Malandraki, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences: “Tele-EaT Sensors: Wearable Technology for the Tele-rehabilitation of Dysphagia.”

* Christina Li, Chemistry: “Sinter-resistant Core-shell Catalysts for Carbon Monoxide Oxidation Prepared via Colloidal Ligand Exchange.”

* Jacqueline Linnes, Biomedical Engineering: “Detection Platform for Substance Use Monitoring in Sweat.”

* Tiffany Lyle, Comparative Pathobiology: “Functional Blood-Tumor Barrier Pathology in Brain Metastases of Lung Cancer.”

* Sandro Matosevic, Industrial and Physical Pharmacy: “Identifying Altered Metabolic Programs of Natural Killer Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment to Improve Cancer Immunotherapy.”

* Mark Sayles, Biomedical Engineering and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences: “Effects of Noise-induced Hearing Loss on Binaural Processing of Complex Sounds.”

* Benita Sjögren, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology: “Molecular bBasis for F-box Protein 44 Substrate Recognition.”

* Ellen Wells, Health Sciences: “Metal Contamination and Children’s Health in East Chicago.”

* Yang Yang, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology: “Determine the Roles of Keratinocytes in Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy Using an in vitro Co-culture Model.”

More information on the Showalter Trust early-career grants program is available online.

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