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Junior faculty receive seed funding from WSU

Three faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are among the nine junior faculty from across WSU colleges and campuses who received New Faculty Seed Grants to kick-start development of their research, scholarly or creative portfolios.

Grant winners and their projects include:

  • Zachariah Heiden: Using fluorescent dyes for the generation of switchable catalysts, Department of Chemistry
  • Emily Huddart Kennedy: Green consumerism and social inequality, Department of Sociology
  • Shannon Scott: Asian and Asian American wind quintet commissions tour and recording project, School of Music

The Office of Research and Office of the Provost support the annual New Faculty Seed Grants to help junior faculty develop research, scholarly or creative programs that lead to sustained professional development and extramural funding.

Faculty who have been at WSU for less than four years were encouraged to send in proposals. This year, 49 proposals were received. Each proposal underwent a rigorous process that included a primary review by an emphasis area review panel, followed by a secondary review by the Research and Arts Committee.

The nine selected proposals represent the range of scholarly activity taking place at WSU. The total amount of grant funding is $259,280.

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WSU News


First cohort chosen for PNNL-WSU graduate research

Washington State University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have selected the first group of students for the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program. Chemistry PhD students Ernesto Martinez, Austin Winkelman, and Anthony Krzysko were among the 12 WSU students selected for the program’s first cohort.

The program adds a new dimension to WSU and PNNL’s long partnership, which includes joint faculty appointments and research projects. The program is available to students who have been accepted into a WSU graduate program and are primarily pursuing research related to clean energy, smart manufacturing, sustainability, national security or biotechnology.

“Engaging graduate students with the talented energy, environment, national security and fundamental science researchers at our institutions will increase the scientific and research capacity in our region,” said Chris Keane, vice president for research at WSU.

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WSU News

Non-invasive prostate cancer diagnosing, monitoring

Clifford Berkman

Technology being developed at Washington State University provides a non-invasive approach for diagnosing prostate cancer and tracking the disease’s progression.

The innovative filter-like device isolates prostate cancer indicators from other cellular information in blood and urine. It could enable doctors to determine how cancer patients are responding to different treatments without needing to perform invasive biopsies.

“It may be possible to predict which drugs would be most effective in treating a patient’s cancer,” said WSU chemistry professor Clifford Berkman. “More broadly, this technology could be expanded to other types of cancers and diseases.”

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Science Newsline

Knowridge Science Report

Researchers find new clues for nuclear waste cleanup

Jamie Weaver

A Washington State University study of the chemistry of technetium-99 has improved understanding of the challenging nuclear waste and could lead to better cleanup methods.

The work is reported in the journal Inorganic Chemistry. It was led by John McCloy, associate professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and chemistry graduate student Jamie Weaver. Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Office of River Protection and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collaborated.

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Chemists make major strides in organic semiconductors

Ursula Mazur

Washington State University chemists have created new materials that pave the way for the development of inexpensive solar cells. Their work has been recognized as one of the most influential studies published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry in 2016.

Professors Ursula Mazur and K.W. Hipps, postdoctoral researcher Bhaskar Chilukuri and graduate students Morteza Adinehnia and Bryan Borders grew chain-like arrangements of organic nanostructures in the laboratory and then used mathematical models to determine which arrangements were the best conductors of light and electricity.

Journal editors recognized the WSU study as an important step in the advancement of organic semiconductors that perform on par with metal- and silicon-based electronics. They included the work in a collection of 2016’s most influential research publications, or “Hot Papers.”

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WSU News