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Recent ARRA Awards

ARRA

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $21.5 billion for basic scientific research, purchase of scientific equipment, and support of science-related construction.

 

RECOVERY ACT (ARRA) IMPACT

Cumulative Dollar Amount of Awards to Tulane:

$38,471,397

Cumulative Number of Awards Made to Tulane:

63

Cumulative Number of Proposals Submitted:

231


(Last update 10/11/10)

 


HIGHLIGHTED RECOVERY ACT AWARDS

  • Natural History Museum Receives $1.2M ARRA Grant
    The Tulane Museum of Natural History received a grant of nearly $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to redesign a leading computer program it developed to help researchers around the world catalog natural history collections.
  • ARRA-Funded Project Studies How the Brain 'Hears'  Space
    Exactly how the brain computes sound location and uses that information to guide attention and alert the motor system for action is the topic Golob is studying thanks to a five-year, $768,443 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The award funding is part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Promising Research is CAREER Building
    Scott Grayson, an assistant professor of chemistry in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, has received a $450,000 ARRA-Funded National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award — a recognition of his contributions to student understanding of fundamental science, and of his talents as a teacher and researcher.

 


NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM RECEIVES $1.2 MILLION ARRA GRANT

September 10, 2009

Mike Strecker
mstreck@tulane.edu

The Tulane Museum of Natural History received a grant of nearly $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to redesign a leading computer program it developed to help researchers around the world catalog natural history collections.

rios


"Our computer program now has a flexible architecture that can be modified to support virtually any language," says Nelson Rios, manager of collections and informatics at the Tulane Museum of Natural History. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


The program, known as GEOLocate, was developed in 2003 by Nelson Rios, manager of collections and informatics at the Museum of Natural History, located in Belle Chasse, La. The GEOLocate program is now used by 800 researchers and institutions worldwide and is considered a critical tool for computerizing data on natural history collections.  

"This is our fourth grant from the National Science Foundation and our fifth grant overall for GEOLocate," Rios says. "This grant revolves around a complete redesign of the program based on Web services, online mapping and integration with other natural history software applications."  

A computer programming and database expert, as well as a biologist, Rios developed the program as an aid for institutions as they began scanning text labels from older collections and placing them in computer databases. While the text labels included the state, county and general area where a specimen was found, they left out specific longitude and latitude data.  

Using GEOLocate, a researcher can input the general label information on where a specimen was found such as "Mississippi River at Hwy. 190 Baton Rouge" and receive the precise longitude and latitude coordinates of its location.  

Such information is critical in enabling researchers around the globe to study climate change, species migration, extinction patterns and threats to the animal kingdom, says Hank Bart, director of the Tulane Museum of Natural History.  

The funding was provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the economic stimulus package enacted by Congress.

 

 

How the Brain ‘Hears’ Space

September 22, 2009

Keith Brannon
kbrannon@tulane.edu

Most people take for granted that they can tell where things are happening in the environment. But this ability is actually the result of sophisticated circuits in the brain devoted to processing spatial information, says Ed Golob, assistant professor of psychology in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering. 

Golob


In the laboratory, Tulane psychologist Ed Golob performs a test that measures activity in certain regions of the brain as a subject process sound. He has received a national early career award for his research. (Photo by George Long)


"Hearing is especially valuable because our ears can detect sounds coming from any direction," Golob says.  

Exactly how the brain computes sound location and uses that information to guide attention and alert the motor system for action is the topic Golob is studying thanks to a five-year, $768,443 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The award funding is part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"I was interested in spatial information because it is such a basic aspect of the world that the nervous system needs to take into account," says Golob. "The brain goes through a lot of trouble to represent the space around us."  

Specifically, Golob is looking at how the brain uses spatial information when attending to a task, while also being sensitive to unexpected events. An example of this is how people can carry on a conversation in a noisy, crowded restaurant, but also orient to the location of breaking glass if someone drops a cup.  

Part of the grant will cover the cost of special audio equipment and headphones that allow researchers to play virtual reality sounds that seem like they are coming from different areas in a room. Researchers also measure activity in certain regions of the brain as subjects process sound. The goal is to see which areas are involved in specific spatial processing of sound.  

Later experiments will examine how sounds and their proximity affect people's actions.  

The grant award, which began in August, also funds graduate research positions as well as an educational program in conjunction with Xavier University that is designed to attract more undergraduates to pursue graduate study in neuroscience and psychology, Golob says. 

The funding was provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the economic stimulus package enacted by Congress.


 

Promising Research Is CAREER-building

September 3, 2009

Kathryn Hobgood
khobgood@tulane.edu

Scott Grayson, an assistant professor of chemistry in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, has received the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award — a recognition of his contributions to student understanding of fundamental science, and of his talents as a teacher and researcher.

Grayson's CAREER award for nearly $475,000 began in August and will last for five years. The award, which is part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funds basic science research into how polymers — large chains of molecules — can be manipulated in different ways.  



In this video produced by Kathryn Hobgood, Scott Grayson, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award winner, explains
how controlling the size and shape of polymers could be used in applications for cancer therapy.

"In our research labs, we're essentially looking at ways of controlling the size and shape of polymers," says Grayson. "Why we're interested in this is that there are a number of applications that we can investigate if we can manipulate polymers correctly."  

The CAREER Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. It supports the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education. Grayson, who works with undergraduates, graduates and research assistants, also helped create a service-learning course with fellow Tulane faculty member Hank Ashbaugh in which undergraduates give demonstrations of everyday uses of the scientific method to high school students.  Ashbaugh is assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

With students of all ages, Grayson tries to demonstrate how science is intuitive — and how if you understand it, it's not a matter of memorizing facts.  

"There are no great applications of science that didn't first come from an understanding of the fundamentals of science," he says. "The more you understand the basic rules of how things work, the more you can use that knowledge to make the world a better place. Bringing my students along to help them understand this is inspiring. I think it's beautiful."

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