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Research Announces Big Idea Planning Grant Winners

SLU’s Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Research Growth Committee have announced the winners of the first round of Big Ideas planning grants. The multi-year competition offers increasing levels of investment for projects that demonstrate broad faculty engagement, strong leadership and compelling research plans.

The SLU community can learn more at SLU Research’s celebration of research and scholarship on Monday, April 30, at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA).

The Big Ideas competition builds on SLU’s research growth goal of creating university-wide strategic research priorities.

Nearly 40 proposals were submitted by teams of SLU faculty in response to the call for Big Ideas. Three proposals were selected to move forward with $50,000 planning grants to advance their ideas prior to submitting a full research and business plan in six to nine months.

Planning Grants

Planning for the Development of a SLU Center for Systems Biology
Leadership Team
  • Maureen Donlin, Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine
  • Jim Edwards, Ph.D., Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D., Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine
  • Haijun Gong, Ph.D., Mathematics and Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences
The WATER Institute
Leadership Team
  • Amanda Cox, Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • Craig Adams, Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • Liz Hasenmueller, Ph.D., Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
GeoSLU: Geospatial Research, Training and Innovation
Leadership Team
  • Vasit Sagan, Ph.D., Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mario Schootman, Ph.D., Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Social Justice
  • Ness Sandoval, Ph.D., Sociology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

The university community will have an opportunity to hear from the Big Ideas teams at the April 30 celebration, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. The University community is invited to attend, no RSVP is required.

Five groups received preliminary planning grants to further grow their ideas.

Preliminary Planning Grants

Saint Louis University Drug Discovery and Development
Leadership Team
  • Jack Kennell, Ph.D., Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • John Tavis, Ph.D., Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, School of Medicine
  • Marvin Meyers, Ph.D., Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
Healthy Living
Leadership Team
  • Tricia Austin, Ph.D., Physical Therapy, Doisy College of Health Sciences
  • Jeremiah Weinstock, Ph.D., Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gretchen Salsich, Ph.D., Physical Therapy, Doisy College of Health Sciences
Health Informatics
Leadership Team
  • William Manard, M.D., chief medical informatics officer, SLUCare; and professor, Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine
  • Leslie Hinyard, Ph.D., Saint Louis University Center for Outcomes Research, School of Medicine
Healing Justice and Equity
 
Leadership Team
  • Ruqaiijah Yearby, J.D., School of Law
  • Kira Banks, Ph.D., Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Amber Johnson, Ph.D., Communication, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Michael Vaughn, Ph.D., Social Work, College of Public Health and Social Justice
  • Takako Nomi, Ph.D., School of Education
Institute of Materials Science for Medicine: From Design to Application
 
Leadership Team
  • Scott Sell, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • Ryan McCulla, Ph.D., Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Scott Martin, Ph.D., Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Steve Buckner, Ph.D., Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

In a few cases, the Research Growth Committee (RGC) received multiple proposals on related topics and is encouraging the teams to explore the potential for their respective projects to become part of a more inclusive Big Idea.

Four proposals were endorsed by the RGC as likely college-level research priorities that may have potential to grow into university-wide initiatives. The RGC also received a variety of projects that do not currently fit the Big Idea criteria and is providing small seed funds to enable the teams to continue to collaborate.

RGC Seed Funded Priorities

Saint Louis University Center for Food and the Environment
Leadership Team
  • Allison Miller, Ph.D., Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Flannery Burke, Ph.D., History, College of Arts and Sciences
Center for Translational Chronic Pain Research
Leadership Team
  • Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., Pharmacological and Physiological Science, School of Medicine
Developing a Saint Louis University Sepsis Center
Leadership Team
  • David Ford, Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine
  • Blythe Janowiak Mulligan, Ph.D., Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jane McHowat, Ph.D., Pathology, School of Medicine
SLU Center for Urban Education Policy and Economic Growth (UEPEG)
Leadership Team
  • Takako Nomi, Ph.D., School of Education
  • Gary Ritter, Ph.D., School of Education
  • Heather Bednarek, Ph.D., Chaifetz School of Business
  • Michael Podgursky, Ph.D., Chaifetz School of Business
SLU’s Research Growth Committee
  • Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., provost
  • Kevin Behrns, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine
  • Enrico Di Cera, Ph.D., chair, School of Medicine Research Planning Committee
  • Justin Daffron, S.J., assistant to the president for growth initiatives
  • Chris Duncan, Ph.D., chair, Scholarship Research Council
  • David Heimburger, vice president and chief financial officer
  • Mark Higgins, Ph.D., dean, Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
  • Chris Jacobs, M.D., co-chair, Applied Health Research Council
  • Bill Kauffman, J.D., vice president, general counsel, secretary of the University
  • Sheila Manion, vice president for development
  • Monica Matthieu, Ph.D., junior faculty representative
  • Kenneth Olliff, D.Min., vice president for research
  • Michelle Sabick, Ph.D., chair, Science and Engineering Research Council and dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • John Tavis, Ph.D., senior faculty representative
  • Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., co-chair, Applied Health Research Council
  • Robert Wilmott, M.D., vice dean for medical affairs