Research Grants in Health Policy, Migration and Sciences Awarded
October 31, 2011 – The David and Lucile Packard Foundation awarded Joan Alker, a research associate professor in Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute, a $1.5 million grant to support work on child and family health policy through the university’s Center for Children and Families (CCF). The center will continue to work on state implementation of national health reform and federal health issues affecting child and family health coverage. Alker, co-executive director of CCF, also will provide strategic, policy and communications assistance to the Packard Foundation’s Finish Line initiative, which works toward ensuring that all children have health insurance.
Christine Elsik, associate professor of biology, received $124,067 to create a genome database and annotate the genome of the mite insect, Varroa destructor, that is being sequenced in a project led by Dr. Jay Evans of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Lab. Elsik and Evans hope to use the resulting insights to improve honeybee health and crop pollination.
The National Science Foundation awarded associate professor of chemistry Kevin Holman with a $405,000 grant over three years to use organometallic molecules to construct microporous materials. Metal-Organometallic Frameworks are a new class of crystalline microporous materials – new materials with very tiny, well-defined pores that can selectively absorb small molecules. Holman says many organometallic molecules, are useful for catalyzing chemical reactions. The incorporation of those molecules into microporous frameworks has the potential to lead to an important new class of catalysts.
Susan Martin, the Donald G. Herzberg Associate Professor of International Migration, received a more than $1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to develop guiding principles and identify effective practices that address displacement during humanitarian crises. The crises include natural disasters, political instability and nuclear and other industrial accidents. Martin, also director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration, will focus on the rights of people displaced by humanitarian crises; the responsibilities of national governments toward these displaced populations; and the role and obligation of the international community in responding to these situations.
Anne Rosenwald, assistant professor of biology, received a National Science Foundation grant of $477,223 to generate a community for undergraduate research through the use of comparative microbial genomics. Rosenwald, also co-director of the biology of global health major, works with the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching and the Genome Education Partnership to help undergraduates better understand gene expression and train them in current methodology important for their future careers as scientists. The project is in collaboration with Janet Russell of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, Ramana Madupu of the J. Craig Venter Institute and Jennifer Roecklein-Canfield of Simmons College.
The National Science Foundation awarded assistant professor of computer science Micah Sherr a $352,378 grant to track adversarial behavior in distributed systems with secure networked provenance. The research aims to allow network administrators to better understand how the various components of their computer systems interact, as well as pinpoint components that have been compromised by attackers. Sherr specializes in and researches privacy-preserving technologies, e-voting security, eavesdropping and wiretap systems and network security.