Posted August 26, 2010

Seed grants reward interdisciplinary research at Temple

  • Credit: Zilan Munas Among the projects supported by 2010 seed grants is a film produced and directed by Associate Professor of History Howard Spodek (left) and Professor of Film and Media Arts Warren Bass (foreground), shown on location in Ahmedabad. The film highlights the city’s approach to wide-reaching urban planning and renovation, which could benefit cities facing similar problems.

For the third year, the Office of the Provost has awarded seed grants to faculty teams in the sciences for multi-disciplinary and clinical translational research, and in the arts and humanities for multi-disciplinary research and creative collaborations.

This year, 21 grants were awarded, each totaling as much as $50,000, representing 59 scholars from 12 schools and colleges at Temple, and three campuses, including Temple University Japan.

“The seed grants continue to encourage new university collaborations and expand the depth and breadth of our interdisciplinary research and creative works, helping us advance Temple’s goal of ‘Research Excellence’ that benefits society,” said Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education Ken Blank. “These grants are important vehicles for helping faculty bring additional grant funding and recognition to Temple.”

One of the recipients, Associate Professor of Physiology Laurie Kilpatrick, is pleased to have received an award not only because it it enables her group to obtain data they need for a research grant proposal, but also because of the opportunity it presents her as a new faculty member. “It got me started collaborating with my colleagues,” she said.

Kilpatrick, whose expertise is immunology, is working with Professor of Radiology Linda Knight and Professor of Pulmonary Medicine Steven Kelsen to find a solution for a major health problem — acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) — a leading cause of death in intensive care units.

Another 2010 seed grant project that addresses an issue with far-reaching implications is a film about Ahmedabad, India, All the World is Urban, produced and directed by Professor of Film and Media Arts Warren Bass and Associate Professor of History Howard Spodek. Documenting change in this dynamic, large city could benefit cities worldwide facing pollution, gridlocked transportation, overcrowding, poverty and more. The project directly fulfills Temple’s Academic Compass goals of “Metro Engagement” and “Global Commitment.”

“We are interested in the human dimensions of this story, particularly what happens to millions of poor people,” said Bass. “Who gets to be heard, who gets to decide, and will confrontation or collaboration win out?”

A look at one of last year’s seed grant projects, under the direction of Chemistry Professor Stephanie Wunder and Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor Marc Ilies, further demonstrates the power of the awards. Since receiving the grant in 2009-10, along with furthering their research to develop nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle for gene therapy, Ilies and Wunder have advanced another primary Compass goal, “Opportunities for Success,” by creating research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

“Students got the chance to learn something new and benefit from the collaboration between the two schools,” said Wunder.

As to the progress of the overall project, Ilies said, “When you apply for a grant, you need to be precise and know what is most likely to work for promising research strategies. The seed grant has helped us do that.”

Ilies and Wunder have submitted one NIH grant based on work completed as the result of the seed award and are working on a second. As for all recipients, their seed grant was just the beginning.


2010 Seed Grant Recipients

“All the World is Urban: Planning in the Developing World”

Warren Bass, SCT

Howard Spodek, CLA


“The Art of Salvation in Upper Egypt: The Red and White Monasteries, Past, Present and Future”

Elizabeth Bolman, Tyler

Susan Moore, Tyler

Nicholas W. Kripal, Tyler

Gerald D. Silk, Tyler


“Assessing Informality: Understanding Informal Settlements Using Participation Post-Occupancy Evaluation Techniques”

Scott Shall, Tyler

Nancy E. Morris, SCT


“Characterization of the Effects of Hypertension on Adult Brain Neurogenesis”

Tinatin Chabrashvili, Medicine

Servio Ramirez, Medicine


“Community Collaborations: Temple University and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s PhilaPlace Project”

Christopher Harper, SCT

Christine Woyshner, Education

Edward Trayes, SCT


“Curricular and Faculty Development for the Center for Urban Bioethics and Humanities”

Kathleen Reeves, Medicine

Keith Gumery, CLA


“DEAR: Dance and Engineering in Augmented Reality”

Li Bai, Engineering

Luke Kahlich, Boyer


“The Effects of Music Therapy on Entrainment on Reported Pain, and Bowel Function of Cancer Outpatients Experiencing Chronic Pain”

Cheryl Dileo, Boyer

Joke A. Bradt, Boyer

Robert B. Raffa, Pharmacy

Rachel Clark-Vetri, Pharmacy


“Genetic Variations in Inflammation-Related Genes in Patients with Pelvic Pain Syndrome”

Michel A. Pontari, Medicine

Evgeny Krynetskiy, Pharmacy


“GRID + Flow: Philadelphia and Beyond Mapping and Reimagining Urban Ecologies through the Arts and Humanities”

Alan C. Braddock, Tyler

Peter P. d’Agostino, SCT

Andrew Isenberg, CLA


“An Innovative Strategy for the Fabrication of Nano-Based Multijunction Solar Cells”

Svetlana Neretina, Engineering

Bradford Wayland, CST


“Inside-Out: A Sustainable Growth”

Lori Pompa, CLA

TL Hill, Fox


“International Law and International Relations: Taking Stock, an Interdisciplinary Research Group Proposal”

Jeffrey L. Dunoff, Law

Mark Pollack, CLA


“Language Contact, Maintenance and Revitalization in the Guatemalan Highlands, an Interdisciplinary Approach”

Jonathan Holmquist, CLA

Hana Muzika Kahn, CLA


“Multimedia Reporting on Urban Centers in Asia and Africa”

Ron Carr, SCT

Irene Herrera, SCT

Jean-Julien Aucouturier, CST


“Nanoconjugates for Targeted Treatment of Acute Lung Injury”

Laurie Kilpatrick, Medicine

Linda Knight, Medicine

Steven Kelsen, Medicine


“Neural Effects of Acute Traumatic Brain Injury”

Iyad Obeid, Engineering

Darvish Kurosh, Engineering

Mary F. Barbe, Medicine

Joseph Picone, Engineering


“Place-Based Interventions for Public Health: A Cross Disciplinary Approach to the Study of Policing in Philadelphia”

Jennifer Wood, CLA

Jerry Ratcliffe, CLA

Jennifer Ibrahim, CHPSW

Elizabeth Groff, CLA

Nina Gentile, Medicine


“Queer, Get Used to It”

Peter Reynolds, SCT

Scott Gratson, SCT


“Relationships of Histochemistry to Muscle Activity in the Child with Cerebral Palsy”

Richard T. Lauer, CHPSW

Mary F. Barbe, Medicine


“Role of Dorsotriatal Glutamatergic Signaling in the Regulation of Cocaine Induced Synaptic and Behavioral Plasticity”

Vinay Parikh, CLA

Ellen Unterwald, Medicine

Scott Rawls, Pharmacy


“Targeted Multidrug Delivery System to Overcome Chemoresistance in Breast Cancer”

Bin Wang, Engineering

Mohan P. Achary, Medicine