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April 27, 2007

ULM snags nine BOR grants

The Louisiana Board of Regents recently recommended funding for nine innovative projects by professors at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Under the BOR's Research Competitiveness Subprogram, the following two proposals were funded:

- Loren Hayes, biology, received $80,634 for his project, "Ecological Causes and Fitness Consequences of Group Living.” In 2007 and 2008, Hayes and ULM students will collect fitness data from group-living degus (rodents), resulting in four years of fitness estimates for the population. During the spring 2008 and 2009, a ULM M.S. student will conduct molecular genetics analyses with Eileen Lacey of UC-Berkeley to determine the maternity of all tissue samples collected during this study. The proposed studies will result in high-impact publications, wrote Hayes.

- Ralph Zehnder, chemistry, was awarded $64,768 for his project, "Synthesis and Characterization of Lanthanide Actinide Hydroxy Mixed-Ligand Complexes: Potential Matrices for Nuclear Waste Isolation.” According to Zehnder’s grant proposal, “This research is of considerable national importance because it address fundamental science and a potential solution to one of the world’s most pressing and as yet unsolved problems — safe isolation and storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste.”

Under BOR's Traditional Enhancement Program, the following proposals were funded:

- Joe Pankey and Naveen Musunuru, both of agriculture, received $49,815 for their project, "Enhancement of Agricultural Lecture and Laboratory Classes at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.” This grant will fund equipment that will improve the soils laboratory and introduce ULM students to precision agriculture and applied research. The web-based program, which will be used to implement this proposal, will allow students to track all records, such as pesticide applications, in addition to all costs associated with the row crop unit at the Johnson Farm.

- Rob Howard, geosciences, received $86,111 for his project, "Laboratory for Instrumentation Visualization (LIVE) and ULM Hurricane Evaluation at Landfall Project for Science (ULM HELPS).” The new equipment will modernize the meteorological instruments laboratory by adding dataloggers and electronic equipment now commonly used in the atmospheric sciences. The instruments will allow ULM students to measure temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction, precipitation, and solar and infrared radiation.

- Donna Glaze, Jan Shows and Rayne Lowder, all from the School of Nursing, received $40,000 for their project, "A Clinical Simulation Center for the School of Nursing.” According to the grant proposal, the Clinical Simulation Center, which provides authentic interactive equipment in a realistic and controlled environment, will promote patient safety, and it will give students valuable practice. Also according to the proposal, “This imaginative project will encompass and enrich the community by allowing for opportunities in health facilities, community agencies, elementary schools and high schools that would otherwise not be available.”


- Sami Nazzal, Karen Briski, Khalid El-Sayed and Ronald Hill, all of basic pharmaceutical sciences, received $81,619 to purchase a Raman spectrometer and a reaction Raman probe. Their project is entitled, “Dispersive Raman Spectrometer for the Enhancement of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ULM.”

- Sami Nazzal, basic pharmaceutical sciences, received $34,380 to purchase a new laser diffraction particle size analyzer, which will help establish competitive research programs and productive regional and national collaborations, according to the proposal. His project is entitled, "A Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer for the Enhancement of Pharmaceutical Research and Education at ULM.”

- Khalid El-Sayed, Seetharama Jois and Ronald Hill, all of basic pharmaceutical sciences, received $63,730 for their project, "CapNMR Flow Microprobe Enhancement of ULM College of Pharmacy NMR Spectrometer.” The BOR invested $94,316 in 1995 and $59,000 in 2002 to purchase and then upgrade the current ULM JEOL Eclipse 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. ULM matched this investment by $121,666 in 1995 and $30,000 in 2002. The CapNMR probe represents a 21st-century technology upgrade that amplifies the previous BOR and ULM investments in this spectrometer.

- Roy Parish, clinical and administrative sciences, was awarded $36,000 for his project, "Completion of the State-of-the-Art Clinical Pharmacy Research Laboratory.” The grant will fund the purchase of a new capillary electrophoresis unit for the lab at the ULM College of Pharmacy satellite campus in Shreveport. The new unit will enable the laboratory to conduct a wide variety of investigation of the biochemical basis of disease and the rates and processes of drug metabolism and elimination.

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