2009 S&T Fund Awards

Professors Rick Adrion and Prashant Shenoy – UMass Amherst – Massachusetts Green Computing Initiative: Sustainable IT for a Knowledge Economy. This effort will bring together academic scientists and engineers, industrial researchers and users of computing resources, and local utilities to collaborate on developing the next generation of sustainable information technology (IT) solutions. Research will include a range of energy-aware computing strategies, such as virtualization technologies, cloud computing, advanced power management, green storage and efficient flash disks. The project will leverage existing alliances (such as the Commonwealth IT Initiative and its successor, the Commonwealth Alliance for IT Education) for education and workforce development and will also be closely aligned with the UMass/MIT-led high performance computing initiative in Holyoke, MA. Amount awarded: $161,000.

Professors Ray Bradley and Rick Palmer – UMass Amherst – Effects of Climate on the New England Environment. The initiative will focus on developing a UMass-led effort to advance climate science and provide actionable information on regional climate change to a broad range of potential users. Users include both private sector entities (such as utilities, insurance companies, and natural resources-intensive industries like agriculture, maritime services and many manufacturing sectors) and public policymakers in energy, health, natural resources management and other areas. Key activities include creation of a multi-institutional partnership (multiple academic/research institutions, users, and government), a research program to improve and down-scale climate models, and creation of decision-support tools. The effort is consistent with both federal and state priorities and expected funding opportunities. Amount awarded: $144,000.

Professors Danny Schnell, Susan Leschine and Michael Henson – UMass Amherst – The Institute for Massachusetts Biofuels Research (TIMBR). The objectives of the project are to further develop TIMBR’s biofuels research program, expand private sector partnerships, establish teaching and training programs for workforce development and support the biofuels industry through industry, market and organizational research. Funds will be used to support development of multi-institutional research proposals to federal and state sponsors, manage a broad-ranging outreach and industrial partnership program (including an industry advisory board, annual conferences, and a collaborative and industry-sponsored research program). TIMBR expects to be well-positioned to provide UMass leadership in development and pursuit of a regional energy innovation strategy. Amount awarded: $170,000.

Professor Andrew Grosovsky – UMass Boston – Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. Funds would be used to help launch the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy (CPCT), a joint effort with Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HACC). The focus of the center is to develop and make broadly available clinical diagnostic tools to identify specific cancer subtypes in patients and enable physicians to tailor personalized therapies. The first phase of the center’s growth will create a core monoclonal antibody facility for biomarker development. The center will stimulate faculty recruitment at UMass Boston (center director will also hold an appointment at DF/HCC), provide research and training opportunities for students, and leverage research growth. Amount awarded: $100,000.

Dr. Celia Schiffer – UMass Medical School – Interdisciplinary Center in Drug Resistance. The proposal outlines a unique effort to establish an interdisciplinary research program in drug resistance. Unlike traditional drug design and development strategies that focus narrowly on disrupting the function of therapeutic targets without regard for other impacts, often leading to new drugs becoming obsolete soon after introduction, this program focuses on minimizing resistance as a design criteria. Work will focus specifically on rapidly evolving diseases, and the center would interface the Medical School’s developing translational science program, specifically the Advanced Therapeutic Cluster’s RNAi Therapeutics program. Amounts awarded: $150,000.