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Faculty Highlights: Recent Awards and Grants


Drexel University faculty have continued to advance scholarly research and make important academic and professional contributions. This update provides an overview of last quarter’s activity, courtesy of the Provost.

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Christopher MacLellan, PhD, Assistant Professor in the College of Computing & Informatics, received two Army Research Laboratory Fellowships through the Army Strengthening Teamwork for Robust Operations in Novel Groups program. MacLellan and Drexel will serve as PI for the “Human-Guided ML for Futuristic Human-Machine Teaming” project ($1.4 million from February 2022 to January 2025), in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Wisconsin -Madison. His second funded project, titled “The Co-evolution of Human-AI Adaptation,” will be conducted in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego (PI) and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Laura N. GitlinPhD, Dean and Emeritus University Professor, and Rose Ann DiMaria-Ghalili, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $84,000 from Temple University for “Vascular Contributions to Mechanisms and Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Bradt jokePhD, Professor of Creative Arts Therapies at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $95,000 from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Advancement of Military Media for “Group Music Therapy for Chronic Pain Management in Service Members with Co-Morbid Chronic Pain and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Ebony WhitePhD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Counseling and Family Therapy at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $2,400 from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision for “Implementing Social Justice Strategies in the core curriculum of CACREP curricula”.

Justine SefcikPhD, assistant professor of graduate nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded $154,000 by the National Institutes of Health for “A person-centered environmental and sensory intervention for nursing home residents with dementia who present persistent vocalizations.

Ezra WoodPhD, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $174,000 grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to study and characterize ozone formation in New York.

College of Arts and Sciences’ Naomi GoldsteinPhD, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences; Amanda NeMoyer, JD, PhD, Assistant Research Professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Zoe Zhang, PhD, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, received a grant from United Way for his evaluation of a new citywide initiative to expunge the criminal records of minors and adults. They received $422,674 for the first year of what is expected to be a five-year grant totaling approximately $1.9 million.

Andrea MortensenPhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology in the College of Medicine, received a one-year grant of $510,709 from the National Institutes of Health for “The mechanism of allosteric modulation of glutamate transporters”.

Olimpia MeucciMD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Pharmacology and Physiology in the College of Medicine, was awarded a one-year, $375,506 grant from the National Institutes of Health for “Effects of Opiates on Neurons and Their Impact on neuropathology of HIV”.

The Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) at the Dornsife School of Public Health has received a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the impacts of paid maternity and paternity leave policies on health outcomes in America Latin and their potential for the United States. The project will be led by Ana OrtigozaMD, PhD, Senior Scholar II at UHC, and Ana V. Diez RouxMD, PhD, Dean of the Dornsife School of Public Health, Dana and David Dornsife Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology, and Director of UHC.

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design will serve as a research collaborator with PA Humanities on their project to map, network, and celebrate the ecosystem of humanities practice in Pennsylvania. This research will conclude with a report and dialogue around the findings to highlight how the humanities are used across multiple sectors to create the building blocks of belonging and civic muscle to foster an equitable and prosperous future. for PA communities. Westphal will receive $60,000 for this work, which involves Westphal Dean Jason Schupbach; Andrew Zicer, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Strategy Program; and Julie Bonmanhead of the Arts & Entertainment Enterprise department and associate professor of arts administration and museum management.

Steven Kurtz, PhD, research professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Sciences and Systems and director of the Center for Implant Research, has received a five-year, $500,000 contract renewal from Stryker Orthopedics for the project. titled “Analysis of Recovered Alternative Bearings for Total Joint Replacement.” He also received a one-year grant of $131,000 from the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences-Small Business Technology Transfer (NIGMS-STTR) for the project titled “3D Printed Silicon Nitride Porous PEEK Composite Spinal Cages for Anti-Infection “.

Gail RosenPhD, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the College of Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for “Learning Multi-scale Sequence Features for Predicting Gene to Microbiome Function”.

Joshua LequieuPhD, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the College of Engineering, received a fellowship from the Charles E. Kauffman Foundation, which supports innovative, interdisciplinary scientific research at universities in Pennsylvania.

Major Gifts, Honors and Recognition

Rose Ann DiMaria-GhaliliPhD, was awarded the Distinguished Gerontological Nursing Educator designation by the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

Susan Bell, PhD, a professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, won the 2022 Reeder Prize from the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociology Association. The Reeder Prize is awarded annually for distinguished contributions to medical sociology and recognizes scholarly contributions, particularly a body of work displaying an extended trajectory of productivity that has contributed to theory and research in medical sociology; education; mentoring; and training, as well as service to the broader medical sociology community.

Asta ZelenkauskaitePhD, associate professor of communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, was re-elected co-chair of the Audience Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research and was invited to co-chair the Communication and Media Division of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.

Barbara Schindler, MD, associate dean emeritus of educational and academic affairs and professor of psychiatry and pediatrics in the College of Medicine, received the 2021 Medical Education Liaison Committee Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes individuals “whose efforts make possible the LCME peer review process and who have had a direct impact on excellence in medical education in the United States.”

Kline Law SchoolLisa TuckerJD, Associate Professor of Law, andAnil KalhanJD, Professor of Law, were elected Fellows of the American Law Institute, which is the leading American organization using scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law.

Wendy GreenJD, a law professor at the Kline School of Law, won the Deborah L. Rhode Award from the Association of American Law Schools for his work fighting discrimination against natural hair and protective hairstyles.

Richard FrankelAssociate Dean of Experiential Learning, Program Director of Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution and Professor of Law at Kline School of Law, won the 2022 Pound Civil Justice Scholarship Award Civil Justice Institute for its article, “Corporate Hostility to Arbitration”, published in the Seton Hall’s Law Revision in 2020.

Joseph Martin, PhD, professor emeritus in the College of Engineering, has been selected to receive the Delaware Valley Engineers Week Council’s 2022 Hall of Fame Award. This award recognizes his engineering achievements, which have had a lasting impact on engineering and the public. Emma Youngs, an undergraduate civil engineering student and president of the American Society of Civil Engineers at Drexel, nominated Martin for this honor because of her commitment to shaping the minds of future engineers.

Jörn Venderbos, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the College of Engineering, received an NSF CAREER Award from the Division of Materials Research’s Condensed Matter and Materials Theory program of the NSF. His project entitled “CAREER: Advancing the Many-body Band Inversion Paradigm for Correlated Quantum Materials” will allow his group to lay the theoretical foundations to better understand the impacts of strong electronic correlations in band inversion materials.

Kristine A. Mulhorn, PhD, chair of the health administration department and teaching professor at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was listed as a Fulbright scholar. His interest is to strengthen the links between an international university and the department of health administration in order to improve the teaching of global health management and to increase the competitiveness of the various programs of Drexel.

Marc SchaeferPhD, research professor at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, was elected to the class of 2022 of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Robert Thayer SataloffMD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the College of Medicine, has been recognized by the American Academy of Teachers of Singing (AATS) with a 2022 AATS Lifetime Achievement Award “in recognition of great contributions…made to singers, singing teachers and the vocal community as a whole.