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College of Science earns five advanced research awards

The College of Science has received five Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program awards from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Overall, UT Arlington received eight awards for $975,874. UT Arlington's awards came in the fields of biology, psychology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, computer science engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program is a competitive peer-reviewed grant program created in 1987 by the 70th Texas Legislature. The purpose of the program is to encourage and provide support to faculty members and students in Texas institutions of higher education, both public and independent, to conduct basic research. The program doled out 112 total awards worth nearly $15.6 million this year.

"We're very proud to have received these awards," said Ron Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington's vice president for research and federal relations. "It is a very competitive process, and the number of awards received by UT Arlington is a testament to the importance of our research."

About 4 percent of the 2,387 proposals received funding, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website. The UT Arlington award winners, their grant amounts and their research projects are:

  • Yuan Peng, psychology, $198,622. Peng's research will use pain feedback to stimulate impulses that will help patients reduce their pain.
  • Sophia Passy, biology, $194,780. Passy's investigations will determine what factors promote biodiversity in streams. She also will test her recent theory that iron limitation is not restricted to oceans but causes algal biodiversity decline in streams as well.
  • Richard Timmons, chemistry, $63,850. Timmons' research will focus on development of inexpensive, organic semiconductors to achieve both improved mechanical flexibility and energy efficiency relative to materials currently available, which could lead to many new applications of digital technology.
  • Gaik Ambartsoumian, mathematics, $50,000. Ambartsoumian's research will develop new mathematical models that will substantially improve the image quality in several emerging medical imaging procedures that would help in early diagnosis of breast and lung cancers.
  • Yue Liu, mathematics, $24,100. Liu's research will develop a math tool to identify and locate moving targets using an image procedure.
  • Haiying Huang, mechanical and aerospace engineering, $197,202. Huang's research will develop an ultrasound sensing system that transmits data without requiring a local power supply, which will reduce maintenance costs, improve operation efficiency and ensure safe operations of aging infrastructures.
  • Kytai Nguyen, bioengineering, $196,460. Nguyen's research will develop a novel "bioactive liquid bandage," which can be easily applied to a wound while providing a suitable environment for tissue regeneration.
  • Gautam Das, computer science engineering, $50,860. Das' research will improve shared databases to provide better information to consumers while still protecting sensitive information on those databases.