Extreme rehab. Department of Psychology Chairman Robert Gatchel has received a $1.522 million Department of Defense grant to study the rehabilitation of military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with musculoskeletal extremity injuries. The award is part of a larger grant, “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Multidisciplinary Research Consortium,” with an overall budget of $33 million. The project is an extension of Dr. Gatchel’s earlier DOD-supported research that evaluated the effectiveness of a functional restoration program designed to decrease chronic musculoskeletal pain, increase functioning and keep military members on active duty. Gatchel is UT Arlington’s Nancy P. and John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology.
Partners for patient safety. UT Arlington has partnered with Cardinal Health to establish the Cardinal Health Nursing Discovery Center at the School of Nursing’s Smart Hospital. “A key strength of this partnership is the opportunity to work together to conduct research to advance best practices that improve patient safety,” nursing Dean Elizabeth Poster said. Cardinal Health develops market-leading patient safety technologies, manufactures medical and surgical products and is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical supply distributors.
Career-minded. Two College of Engineering researchers recently received CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation. Mechanical engineering Assistant Professor Bumsoo Han will study how biological tissues respond to freezing. His work ultimately will help design cryomedical applications for a variety of tissues. Computer science and engineering Assistant Professor Nan Zhang will analyze, understand and optimize trade-offs between privacy protection, data utility and system resources in privacy-preserving data mining. CAREER awards are one of the NSF’s most prestigious honors, supporting early-career development by scholars most likely to become academic leaders.
Signs of progress. Computer science and engineering Assistant Professor Vassilis Athitsos has received a National Science Foundation grant to develop methods to help both deaf individuals and those who can hear learn American sign language. The three-year, $900,000 project involves two significant developments: search technologies for looking up the meaning of an unknown sign, and a visual database and automatic search tool for identifying occurrences of signs in large video databases. Unlike spoken or written language, ASL is not a literal representation of each word, so a complete sentence can be presented quickly. This often makes it difficult for ASL students to grasp the hand positions and gestures. The project involves collaborators at Boston University.
Old home, new house. A significant majority of New Orleans public housing residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina do not want to return to public housing there. That’s the finding of a study by School of Urban and Public Affairs Dean Richard Cole and Visiting Professor Robert Whelan. Dr. Cole says their sampling of more than 2,100 current and former public housing residents found that while 71.6 percent want to return to New Orleans, only about 20 percent want to return to the public housing unit they occupied prior to Katrina and only about 15 percent want to return to any of the city’s available public housing. About 35 percent prefer public housing; the remainder want a broader range of options. The survey also explored when residents intended to go back to New Orleans. Nearly 80 percent wanted to return in six months or less.
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