In this issue of Oregon Research: New academic year, Phillips sabbatical, META Symposium and more!

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From the office of the Vice President

Welcome to the new academic year. It’s been a busy couple of months in the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation with a number of recent highlights, including the news of an outstanding new interdisciplinary research award, a pair of cutting-edge symposiums and the release of our report on sponsored funding for fiscal year 2014.

The 2013-2014 sponsored research numbers underline the extraordinary work of UO faculty members who successfully responded to an increasingly competitive federal climate by expanding research activity and submitting the highest volume of sponsored research proposals ever. In fiscal year 2014, UO researchers submitted 1,070 research proposals, a 16.3 percent increase from FY13.

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Brad Shelton
Interim VP Research & Innovation / Vice Provost Budget & Planning
(541) 346-2090


Phillips steps down as AVP to pursue Paris sabbatical

UO Biology professor Patrick Phillips joined the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation three years ago as the UO’s co-associate vice president of research. Now Phillips is stepping down from that role as he prepares to spend a year in Paris on a sabbatical.

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Cresko named Associate Vice President

Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation Brad Shelton announced that William Cresko accepted the position of associate vice president for research in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.

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Research News

Brad Shelton

META symposium explores a final frontier, the one inside us

It’s an exciting time to be a microbiologist says the UO's Karen Guillemin, a professor in the Department of Biology and the Institute of Microbiology who directs the UO’s META Center for Systems Biology and organized the successful META Center Symposium on Host-Microbe Systems Biology last month.

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NILI pioneers new educational method

The Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) at the University of Oregon is developing a new approach to the problem of "historical trauma" among Northwest tribes.

“Almost every tribe in the United States has suffered relocation, forced assimilation and the loss of parts of their cultural heritage,” says NILI Director Janne Underriner. “As English and shared media have become more prevalent, maintaining a link to the rich cultural traditions that define them as a people has become increasingly difficult.”

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RAIN Eugene Accelerator takes off

The Oregon Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network—Oregon RAIN—launched in Lane County this summer with the opening of the RAIN Eugene Accelerator. A joint program operated by the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation at the University of Oregon and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, the accelerator provides mentorship, guidance and an intensive 12-week development program for startup companies.

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Big data conference opens doors for graduate students

An Aug. 8 conference on Big Data brought students, faculty, private industry partners and others interested in this hot button topic together under one roof, but UO Graduate Students reaped some of the greatest rewards from the Big Opportunities With Big Data conference.

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Postlethwait receives $2.5 million NIH grant to research new drug treatments

Biology professor John Postlethwait recently received a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to research a new method of drug testing, which uses small fish rather than mice as test subjects. Postlethwait is the leader of a team that includes researchers in Texas, Missouri and Germany.

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UO heads climate-change study of native Northwest prairie plants

University of Oregon-led research in prairies of the Pacific Northwest could be a roadmap for the conservation of native plants facing stresses from projected climate changes and invasive species. Project leader Scott D. Bridgham, professor in the Department of Biology, director of the Environmental Science Institute and member of the Institute for Ecology and Evolution, oversaw research conducted under a four-year $1.8 million grant awarded in 2008 from the U.S. Department of Energy. Under a new $2.3 million, five-year grant (No. 1340847) from the MacroSystems Biology program of the National Science Foundation, another four years of data will be gathered.

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UO team to study impacts of climate change on pesky forest insect

Christopher Bone, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, and his research team plan to use the power of computing to help better inform the response to the pine mountain beetle epidemic, thanks to a $1.3 million award from the National Science Foundation (No. 1414041).

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Creating an interactive history of modernist publishing

Helen Southworth, associate professor of literature in the Robert D. Clark Honors College, is part of an international team of researchers recently awarded an Insight Development Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada to develop a new open-access resource that will trace the influence of publishing companies on the development and distribution of modernist literature throughout the 20th century.

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Meyer receives NSF GROW Award

Kirstin Meyer, a Ph.D. student in the Oregon Institute for Marine Biology (OIMB), came to the University of Oregon to work with Craig Young, OIMB Director. Now Meyer is headed to Norway after receiving the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) Award, which provides support to recipients of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships to conduct collaborative research abroad.

We caught up with Meyer to discuss her experiences at the University of Oregon and her future plans before she departed to begin her project.

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August 2014 Research Award Tallies

Researchers at the University of Oregon were awarded more than $19 million in grants, contracts and awards during the month of August. To view a list of all the awardees, including the granting organizations and the award amounts, please visit our August 2014 Awards page. For a monthly breakdown of awards received since September 2013, visit our Summary of Monthly Awards page.

See all of the August 2014 Awards →

Upcoming Events

Exploring Complexity Conference
Nov. 19-20

See the schedule of events →
Workshop: Writing Winning Grant Proposals
Friday, March 20, 2015
Time/Location TBD

Opportunities abound for 2014-2015

The grant administration continuing education calendar has been updated for the 2014-15 academic year to include workshops on more than 30 grant and contract related topics. More topics of interest to UO principal investigators and department grant administrators are being developed so don't forget to check back frequently for new opportunities. For more information, contact Carrie Chesbro at (541) 346-4613,

View the calendar →

Making Headlines

UO R&I made steady gains in FY 2014

Researchers at the University of Oregon submitted a record number of proposals for research funding during the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to numbers released by UO’s Sponsored Projects Services.

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CAMCOR microscope provides key evidence

CAMCOR Instrument Manager Joshua Razink used the UO's state-of-the-art Titan microscope to positively identify and characterize nano-sized diamonds from 32 sites in 11 countries. The research supports a theory that a cosmic explosion 12,800 years ago triggered the ice age. Razink was a co-author on a study that appeared in the Journal of Geology.

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Hibbard makes Thomson Reuters list

The UO's Judith Hibbard made 2014 World's Most Influential Scientific Minds list published by Thomson Reuters. A professor emerita, Hibbard has made headlines with her research examining "patient activation." Her team developed the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) system, the industry-leading standard for assessing patients' levels of engagement in their health care.

See the list →

ISE examines wildfires, community resilience

The Institute for a Sustainable Environment's Ecosystem Workforce Program released several publications from its Community Wildfire Resilience Project. The research explores how pre-fire conditions affect community resilience following large wildfires. Working papers, fact sheets and policy briefing papers on the main findings are available on the project website.

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'Do not be afraid'

The Latin title of Jessica Green's graphic novel "Noli timere" translates to “do not be afraid,” which Green says fits her story well.

"It invites the reader to flip their perspective and embrace microbes as an essential part of themselves & humanity," she explains.

Green recently returned from a year in France working on research funded by her 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship Award and serving as a Blaise Pascal International Research Chair.

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Research findings to spark new line of peptoid nanosheets

Research findings by former UO doctoral student Ellen Robertson and chemist Geraldine Richmond, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences detail a new platform for synthetic proteins. The paper describes a new line of "peptoid nanosheets" that can be used in a broad range of applications, including improved chemical sensors and separators, and safer, more effective drug-delivery vehicles.

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LISB makes 'amazing' science building list

Science labs are often energy hogs, but in recent years, many universities have created structures that are environmentally respectful and more energy efficient. The UO's Lewis Integrative Science Building appears on a new list of labs that successfully showed leadership in application of sustainable technology, outstanding visual aesthetics and a general commitment to sustainable building practices.

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Slovic explains 'dread factor' of Ebola outbreak

UO professor of psychology Paul Slovic spoke to NPR for a story examining the fear factor surrounding the recent Ebola outbreak.

"Uncontrollability, catastrophic potential, fatal consequences and involuntary exposure — these are the elements that kind of go together to make up what we call the dread factor," Slovic told NPR's Rob Stein.

Listen to the story →

Parting Shot

Interim Vice President Brad Shelton (center) meets with Ken Prehoda (left), director of the Institute of Molecular Biology, and Janne Underriner (right), director of the Northwest Indian Language Institute. Over the summer Shelton toured UO Research Centers & Institutes. He met with two directors at a time from distinctly different centers and institutes. The cross-campus exchanges provided directors with new perspectives and resulted in some lively conversations.
Copyright © 2014 Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI), All rights reserved.

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