Posted April 2, 2008

New seed grants awarded for interdisciplinary research


Nineteen interdisciplinary research projects conducted by groups of Temple faculty members have been awarded seed grants by the Office of the Provost.

The one-year seed grants, each totaling as much as $50,000, are part of a new initiative to expand two types of collaborative work at Temple: multidisciplinary research and clinical translational research.

Forty-six scholars representing 12 different schools and colleges at Temple will participate in research projects supported by the grants.

“These research projects tackle some of the toughest and most complex challenges facing humanity today, from cancer to urban violence — the kinds of problems that can only be tackled by a multidisciplinary approach,” said Lisa Staiano-Coico, Temple’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Ellen Tedaldi, a professor in Temple’s School of Medicine, received seed grants to support two different research projects: a five-faculty-member collaboration led by the School of Medicine’s Trisha Acri that will explore ways to improve the likelihood of patients sticking to their HIV medication therapies and a three-faculty-member collaboration led by Cheryl Dileo of the Boyer College of Music and Dance that will probe the effects of music therapy on cardiovascular disease in Latino women.

“Working together with researchers who have different voices, different experiences and different skill sets makes for a better project,” said Tedaldi, whose collaborators on Acri’s HIV project include a sociologist (Julia A. Ericksen), a psychologist (Donald A. Hantula) and a health psychologist (Bradley N. Collins). “The synergy is intellectually challenging and satisfying. It gives you a perspective you don’t normally have and broadens your approach as a researcher.”

According to the Office of the Provost, research eligible for seed grants may be theoretical or applied, and collaborations involving faculty members in the performing and studio arts are encouraged (three of the 2007-08 grant-winning projects involve performing or studio artists).

The seed-grant-supported collaborative clinical translational projects — research that begins with investigations at the molecular or cellular level before progressing to the clinical level, benefiting patients or the community — must include at least one clinician and at least one non-clinician, such as a biomedical, physical or social scientist.

A major goal of the program, Provost Staiano-Coico said, it to encourage pilot research that will help generate subsequent additional funding. Ideal seed grant projects demonstrate "synergistic interactions between collaborating faculty members" and a high probability that the research will continue beyond the seed grant period.

For information about the seed grant program, go to

2007-08 seed grant recipients

“Childhood obesity and tissue factor pathway of blood coagulation”
Gary D. Foster, Medicine
A. Koneti Rao, Medicine

“Design of approaches to examine gastroparesis in the diabetic patient”
Alan Cowan, Medicine
Swati Nagar, Pharmacy
Henry P. Parkman, Medicine

“Design of novel interventions to enhance adherence to medication therapy in patients with HIV”
Trisha Acri, Medicine
Bradley N. Collins, CHP
Julia A. Ericksen, CLA
Donald A. Hantula, CLA
Ellen Tedaldi, Medicine

“Development of a laboratory to explore multimodal control of orientation in space”
Kurosh K. Darvish, Engineering
Emily A. Keshner, CHP
W. Geoffrey Wright, CHP

“Development of a simulation platform to examine how individuals control reaching movements”
Joseph Barton, CHP
Iyad Obeid, Engineering

“Documenting the vibrant and fast changing urban history of North Philadelphia”
Eugene Martin, SCT
Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, SCT

“Evaluation of cleaved kininogen (HKa), HKa domain 5 (D5) and D5-peptide derivatives on growth and metastasis of human breast cancer cells”
Robert W. Colman, Medicine
Mohan P. Achary, Medicine

“Identifying calcium-signaling defects in the pathophysiology of asthma”
Donald L. Gill, Medicine
Steven Kelsen, Medicine

“Increasing the exchange value of social capital in low income communities: the role of institutions, individuals and research”
Barbara Ferman, CLA
Erin McNamara Horvat, Education

“The influence of music therapy on stress risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in Latino women”
Cheryl Dileo, Boyer
Sally E. Rosen, Medicine
Ellen Tedaldi, Medicine

“In Memory of: a multidisciplinary community arts program to bring awareness of the impact of violence on North Philadelphia”
Pepón Osorio, Tyler
Karen Turner, SCT

“J.P.: the second installment of a three-part documentary”
Michael L. Dorn, Education
Michele Masucci, CLA
Eran Preis, SCT

“Modulation of cannabinoid receptor activation using synthetic agonists: potential therapeutic approach for spinal cord injury”
Ronald Tuma, Medicine
Doina Ganea, Medicine
Jack Jallo, Medicine

“A novel method for identification of markers associated with different stages of breast cancer”
Frank Chang, CST
Parsaoran Hutapea, Engineering
Shriram Pillapakkam, Engineering

“Peptidomimetic surfaces for osteoblast differentiation”
George Baran, Engineering
Scott McN. Sieburth, CST

“Pharmacogenomic analysis of patients treated with domperidone for gastropharesis: screening for potential efficacy and side effects with salivary DNA”
Evgeny Krynetskiy, Pharmacy
Michael Jacobs, Pharmacy
Henry P. Parkman, Medicine

“Recording of harpsichord pieces based upon isorhythmic framework”
Paul Epstein, Boyer
Joyce Lindorff, Boyer

“Reliability and validity of turnout measurements comparing goniometric vs. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in dancers”
Gayanne Grossman, Boyer
Tracey C. Vlahovic, Podiatric Medicine

“Spatial components of homelessness: etiology, supports, and outcomes”
David Bartelt, CLA
Karin Eyrich Garg, SSA