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Faculty and Staff Grants from September and October 2021

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Lorne Fultonberg


Lorne Fultonberg


303 871-2660

Announcement  •
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Congratulations to the following faculty and staff members who received grants and awards in September and October 2021:

Miriam Valdovinos
Ramona Beltran

Ramona Beltran, associate professor, and Miriam Valdovinos, assistant professor, at the Graduate School of Social Work

  • Grant from the National Institutes of Health for "Our Stories, Our Medicine Archives: A Culture Centered Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Health Information Interface for Urban American Indian and Alaska Natives"
  • The Our Stories, Our Medicine Archive (OSOMA) seeks to leverage web-based access to health information by providing traditional indigenous health knowledge information along with widely available evidence-based and emergent practices for diabetes and cardiovascular disease specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) communities. The OSOMA project presents a novel approach to addressing health disparities in urban AIAN communities through locating diabetes and cardiovascular disease information within an interactive community-based participatory digital archive that is created by and for urban AIANs.
Joe Brown

Joe Brown, assistant professor in the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Grant from the Nature Conservancy for "DU Tree Film: Treeless"
  • This project will develop a documentary web series that examines the problem of "tree inequity" in Denver. The web series focuses on the Denver neighborhoods that lack tree canopy cover while highlighting the disproportionate effect global warming is having on these communities. The tree film project aims to educate the Denver area residents and policy makers about the issue of tree inequity while providing examples of solutions.
Eric Chess

Eric Chess, director of the Paul Freeman Financial Security Program at the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging.

  • Grant from SilverBills, subaward from the National Institutes of Health, for "SilverBills: A Financial and Legal Tech Tool for Caregivers"
  • Project abstract: This project will address the lack of financial management and legal support for caregivers of PwD by building features on our SilverBills products that simplify financial management, provide a supportive communication tool and a vault for critical legal documents. Using proprietary technology, SilverBills receives, scrutinizes, stores and pays bills on behalf of clients. SilverBills intends to use the grant to further develop its technology and tailor capabilities to specifically address the needs of caregivers.
J. Michael Daniels

J. Michael Daniels, professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • Grant from the National Science Foundation for "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Flood hydrology in tropical coastal catchments: linking watershed dynamics to mangrove sedimentation"
  • Project abstract: Coastal watersheds, particularly in the tropics and subtropics, are expected to be more severely affected by amplified flooding from sea level rise and upstream anthropogenic activity. Improved modeling and characterization are needed in data-limited regions to better understand, predict and manage flooding where these amplifications are expected.
Bradley Davidson

Bradley Davidson, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and director of the Human Dynamics Laboratory at the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

  • Grant from Exer Labs for "Assessment of Exer Measures of Human Motion"
  • Project abstract: Exer Labs has created a smartphone and tablet-based fitness and coaching platform that assesses the movement biomechanics of the user and provides specific and applicable real-time instruction. The product review will examine the accuracy of the joint and segment motion by comparing the Exer outputs to gold standard 3D motion capture.
Pilyoung Kim
Elysia Davis

Elysia Davis, professor and director of the Neurodevelopmental Research Program, and Pilyoung Kim, associate professor, in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Grant from Michigan State University, subaward from the National Institutes of Health for "Genetic Influences on Infant Brain Development: Understanding the Developmental Origins of Mental Illness"
  • Project abstract: This project will contribute data from an expected sample size of around 300 babies from their NIH funded project, R01 MH109662 "Reducing Fetal Exposure to Maternal Depression to Improve Infant Risk Mechanisms."
Sandra Eaton

Sandra Eaton, professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • Grant from the University of Colorado Denver, subaward from the National Institutes of Health for "Developing EPR tools for preclinical interrogation of redox regulation mechanisms contributing to acute lung injury"
  • The overall goal of the project is to use electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) imaging to examine redox regulatory mechanisms that contribute to acute lung injury.

Michael Farries, functional neurosurgery bioengineer at the Office of
Research and Sponsored Programs

  • Grant from Saint Joseph Hospital, Inc. for "Leased Employee Agreement"
  • Project abstract: Research at DU is focused on developing a closed loop deep brain simulation (DBS) technique which might ultimately give human DBS recipients better clinical outcomes and fewer side effects. Implanting rats with recording devices in an effort to use local field potential recordings to detect certain behaviors in rats might then be used to automatically adjust stimulus parameters.
Scott Horowitz

Scott Horowitz, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

  • Grant from the National Institutes of Health for "Nucleic Acids' Roles in Protein Folding and Aggregation"
  • Project abstract: This project is to investigate how nucleic acids are involved in protein aggregation and folding. Protein misfolding and aggregation lead to many debilitating diseases including Alzheimer's disease.
Alex Huffman

Alex Huffman, associate professor, and Maxwell Freeman, PhD student, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • Grant from the Department of Defense, subaward from the Department of Army for "Application of Raman spectroscopy to chemical analysis of atmospheric particulate matter"
  • Project abstract: Raman spectroscopy offers the possibility to gain relatively specific chemical information about atmospheric aerosols, but doing so on a single-particle basis has been technically challenging until recently. Through a previously awarded grant through the Army Research Office, we acquired an instrument developed and marketed by Battelle called the Rapid, Enumerated Bioidentification System (REBS). The team will aerosolize various kinds of biological and non-biological aerosol particles for collection and analysis by the REBS.
Kevin Morris

Kevin Morris, research associate professor and American Humane Endowed Chair at the the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the Graduate School of Social Work

  • Grant from Nestle Purina PetCare Company for "Impacts of canine-assisted therapy on mental health service engagement for youth with mental and emotional challenges"
  • Project abstract: The specific aims of the proposed study are to determine (1) whether inclusion of a dog in individual therapy using a standardized canine-assisted therapy protocol in addition to treatment-as-usual increases client engagement; (2) if increased engagement translates into improved mental and emotional health; and (3) if these improvements are sustained over time.
Jonathan Moyer

Jonathan Moyer, assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures

  • Grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for "Support for International Futures for UNDP"
  • Project abstract: The objectives of this project are to provide UNDP and UNDP country offices with timely responses to questions related to long-term modeling in general and the International Futures platform specifically, alternative scenarios (shaped by both uncertainty and policy choices) that help countries understand sustainable development goal achievement, and ongoing capacity building and training resources for UNDP and UNDP country offices.
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Jonathan Moyer, director and assistant professor; Keith Gehring, teaching associate professor; David Bohl, assistant director of analysis; and Anajulia Barney, contract and business administrator at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

  • Grant from the United Nations Development Programme for "International Technical Cooperation BRA/16/022 Capacity and Public Policy for Sustainable Development"
  • Project abstract: The BRA/16/022 project aims to support the process of building governance mechanisms and the Brazilian State's capacities to implement the policies framed in the 2030 Agenda, promoting comparative studies, learning paths and training processes for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The aim of this project is to promote governmental transformation and support bodies and entities of the Public Administration in the definition of their organizational strategies and in the elaboration of transforming solutions for the challenges faced, in line with the objectives of the SDGs and contributing to the development of innovation and management skills in the public sector.

Donald New, senior project manager at the Applied Research Technology Institute at the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

  • Grant from Battelle National Labs, subaward from DOE for "Dynamic Sample Loading"
  • Project abstract: The University of Denver Applied Research and Technology Institute (ARTI) operates a high-explosives test range on which it conducts high-explosives research for a variety of customers including U.S. government organizations. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory seeks ARTI's services to provide dynamic sample loading. ARTI will provide testing services in terms of "range days" and "half range days" for testing of the samples.
  • Grant from Orinca USA for "Novel Testing Using Slow Cookoff"
  • Project abstract: This project will test two formulations of explosives that Orinca developed and classify them using slow cookoff techniques.

Nicholas Perry, research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Grant from the American Psychological Foundation for "Relationship processes and daily health behaviors among sexual minority female couples with overweight and obesity"
  • Project abstract: Sexual minority women (SMW) are at increased risk for overweight/obesity, which has critical implications for their overall health and well-being. The proposed study uses wearable sensors for the collection of objective health data (i.e. physical activity, sleep) and ecological momentary assessment to capture social control processes, minority stressors and sexual minority-specific vulnerabilities in real-time in the daily lives of SMW couples with overweight/obesity.
  • Grant from Washington Park Research and Evaluation, LLC, subaward from the Administration for Children and Families for "Evaluation of Becoming ONE"
  • Project abstract: For this project, University of Denver will support Washington Park Research and Evaluation's (WPRE) evaluation of Agape's Becoming ONE program. In this role, research scientists and project coordinators will support WPRE's independent evaluation of Becoming ONE to assess program performance and provide a final, summative evaluative judgement that synthesizes our findings into a final report.
Michelle Rozenman

Michelle Rozenman, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Grant from San Diego State University Research Foundation, subaward from the National Institutes of Health, for "Video-visit behavior therapy for anxiety and depression in youth: A randomized effectiveness-implementation study in low-resource primary care settings
  • Project abstract: This project will include training the study therapists and then data will be transferred from Kaiser to Rozenman to do therapy supervision and also potential analyses.
Kaipeng Wang

Kaipeng Wang, assistant professor at the Graduate School of Social Work

  • Grant from the Rutgers Asian Resource Center for Minority Aging Research, subaward from the National Institutes of Health, for "Attitudes towards Experience of Family Involvement in End-of-life Care among Older Asian Americans"
  • Project abstract: Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority older populations in the United States. However, research on older Asian Americans' end-of-life (EOL) care decisions, especially among Southeast Asian Americans, remains a paucity. This study aims to examine and compare the effect of family relationship on older Southeast Asian Americans and Chinese Americans' attitudes toward and experience of family involvement in EOL care.