Science research roundup: June 2020

Researchers from Arts & Sciences recently received awards from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the American Heart Association.

Scott VanBommel, research scientist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, won a $324,303 grant from NASA for a project titled “Enhancing the scientific return of the Mars Exploration Rovers: Improved characterization of trace elements and heterogeneous matrix effects in Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer data through comprehensive spectral modeling.”

Gary Patti, Michael and Tana Powell Professor of Chemistry, is a finalist for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. He is among 10 finalists in the field of chemistry and 31 finalists overall. The Blavatnik Award recognizes the nation’s top faculty-rank scientists and engineers aged 42 and younger. Patti is the first honoree from Washington University in the award’s seven-year history. Read more from the Source.

Douglas Wiens, Robert S. Brooking Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation for collaborative research: $252,964 for a project titled “Interactions Between the Tonga-Lau Subduction System and the Samoan Plume” and $119,218 for seismic investigation of the sub-ice environment and crustal composition of Antarctica. 

Meredith Jackrel, assistant professor of chemistry, won a $231,000 grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) for research on countering cardiac amyloidosis with engineered protein disaggregases.

Jose Figueroa-Lopez, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was awarded a $149,999 National Science Foundation grant to support a project titled “Optimal Nonparametric Methods for Ito Processes Based on High-Frequency Data.”

Bhupal Dev, assistant professor of physics, was awarded $35,000 by the Fermi Research Alliance for a project on the phenomenology of neutrino non-standard interactions with matter.

Tiana Saak, an undergraduate researcher working with Jonathan Barnes in the Department of Chemistry, received a $5,000 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the American Chemical Society's Division of Organic Chemistry. This prestigious award covers research and living expenses to support Saak's summer research in the Barnes Lab.