2006 S&T Fund Awards

Professors  Sankaran Thayumanavan and Edward Coughlin - UMass Amherst – MASS-CREST: Center for Renewable Energy S&T. The center’s mission is innovation in the area of renewable energy devices and its translation to marketable technologies, processes and techniques. It involves faculty from the departments of chemistry and polymer science and engineering. The center’s research focus areas include solar cells, fuel cells and batteries, and “future fuels” such as hydrogen and biomass. Amount awarded: $200,000.

Professor Theodore Djaferis - UMass Amherst – Wireless Communication Center for Excellence. The center will leverage campus expertise across a number of departments (electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and industrial engineering and computer science) to implement a broad research program building on expertise in signal processing, networking and protocols and spectrum utilization. The center will pursue large-scale federal funding and industry partnerships and work closely with the region’s venture capital community. Recruitment of a permanent director will be underway shortly and support from the S&T Initiative Fund will be provided over two years. Amount awarded: $200,000.

Professor Robert Chen – UMass Boston – Center for Coastal Environmental Sensing Networks. The center’s focus is creation and testing of new environmental sensors, development of smart sensor networks with the ability to focus observing resources, and systems to visualize and analyze complex and non-continuous data streams. The center’s strengths include its highly interdisciplinary team (with key investigators from earth, ocean and environmental science; computer science and biology) and the unique focus of the research program on developing networks that cross the land-water and social-natural boundaries. Amount awarded: $150,000.

Professors Alex Fowler and Paul Calvert – UMass Dartmouth – Bioengineering Initiative. The award will help build the campus’s capacity in engineered biomaterials and cellular and tissue engineering. An interdisciplinary bioengineering laboratory will be established, seed funding for junior faculty provided, and a virtual center created involving collaborating institutions, including Mass General Hospital. The program will leverage the campus’s research strength in textiles and advanced materials and its recognized role as a catalyst for regional economic development. Faculty from mechanical engineering, materials and textiles, electrical engineering and biology will be involved. Amount awarded: $150,000.

Professor John Warner – UMass Lowell – Green Chemistry Collaborative for Pharmaceuticals. The project establishes a collaborative research program with the pharmaceutical industry to introduce green chemistry to the manufacturing process. The specific emphasis is development of designer formulations of active pharmaceutical ingredients, which could cut manufacturing costs, extend patent life, and reduce environmental impacts. A retired industry executive from Pfizer has been recruited to serve as a consultant to the project. The project involves faculty from the departments of chemistry and clinical laboratory and nutritional sciences. Amount awarded: $100,000.

Dr. John Sullivan -UMass Medical School – Translational Research Center. The award is an internal planning grant to support a major initiative by the campus to secure NIH funding for a program in clinical and translational science. An NIH planning grant proposal for $150K has been submitted with the expectation of a future center-level proposal. Amount awarded: $150,000.

Dr. Donald Tipper -UMass Medical School – Support is provided for a research program on a platform technology that enables the production of oral vaccines based on yeast cell wall particles. The technology possesses a number of unique advantages with respect to cost and scalability of production, regulatory approval, and robustness of application. Amount awarded: $100,000.

Sr. Vice President Marcellette Williams -UMass President’s Office – UMass/China S&T Faculty Exchange. Funding is provided to seed an international collaboration program with China. The activity will leverage existing relationships, such as the recent memorandum of understanding with Tsinghua University and establishment of a Confucius Institute. Amount awarded: $50,000.