The University of San Francisco: Office of Sponsored Projects
Karentz, Austin Gajewski
Austin Gajewski collecting samples in Antarctica under the guidance of NSF-funded Professor/Researcher Deneb Karentz.
Castro-Karney_MitchellSantander
Undergraduate researchers with Claire Castro/William Karney present posters on their work at regional and national conferences. Project funded by the National Science Foundation.
Castro-Karney_PhuongNguyen
Undergraduate researchers with Claire Castro/William Karney present posters on their work at regional and national conferences. Project funded by the National Science Foundation.
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Teacher Resident, Carrie Sanderson, at work in the classroom under the guidance of Prof. Peter Williamson. Projects funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and AmeriCorps.
Spencer with students
USF students Carolyn Tu & Cendy Valle Osegura harvesting cells in centrifuge in the NIH-funded lab of Prof. Juliet Spencer.

Recent Grant Awards

Peter Honigsberg

Peter Honigsberg, School of Law, received $40,000 from the Levinson Foundation to support the Witness to Guantanamo project. Its purpose is to collect and share the stories of Guantanamo detainees and other witnesses to document and expose human rights and rule of law violations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 9/11. The project offers the public and policymakers the rare opportunity to witness how Guantanamo's presence has impacted countless lives through moving and intense conversations with former detainees and their families; prison guards; chaplains; interrogators; habeas and JAG attorneys; interpreters; FBI and CIA agents; medical personnel; psychologists; high-ranking government and military officials. The project has currently filmed interviews with 121 people in 18 countries.Additionally, this project is also supported by grants from the Sigrid Rausing Trust who awarded a three-year grant for approximately $482,640 in October 2014, the Samuel Rubin Foundation who awarded another $5,000 in March 2014, and the Annita Roddick Foundation who awarded $57,967 on July 2014.

Juliet SpencerJuliet Spencer, Biology, has been awarded a two-year grant of $300,000 from The Avon Foundation. Dr. Spencer will ​examine the role of a cytokine from human cytomegalovirus that will lay the groundwork for a possible new diagnostic screen that could save lives and improve treatment options for breast cancer patients. This grant provides a valuable opportunity for USF students to participate in cutting-edge research and use state-of-the-art equipment.

Richard Callahan

Richard Callahan, School of Management, has been awarded a $22,000 grant from the Sierra Health Foundation as part of a $160,000 grant, to be co-director of their upcoming Leadership Program. He will direct the design and deliver the program with Dr. Kenneth Kizer, Director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement and Professor in the Medical School of the University of California, Davis. USF Dean Judy Karshmer is scheduled to be one of the expert leadership presenters. The leadership program is for 12 days over six months for 20 nonprofit health leaders and emerging leaders. It will focus on improving health access and health equity in the 26 county northern California Region served by the Sierra Health Foundation.

Judith KarshmerJudith Karshmer, School of Nursing and Health Professions, along with the Veterans’ Affairs of Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS), has been awarded a five-year federal grant funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. The grant will enable SONHP to provide priority admission to ​​veterans who are clinically ready to begin an undergraduate BSN program. The VA Nursing Academic Partnership will provide a sustained flow of baccalaureate-prepared nurses at all 11 sites within VANCHCS. Dean Karshmer expects that 20 students will be admitted in fall 2014 and 20 students each fall for the next four years. SONHP will receive $232,000 to support 2.5 faculty positions this year. Funding will increase to support five faculty positions in the subsequent four years.

Wanda BorgesMary Kate WoodWanda Borges and Mary Kate Wood, School of Nursing and Health Professions, have received a Nursing Faculty Loan Program award of $209,972 from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The award will support 20 scholarships in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Recently, USF's DNP program was ranked first among non-HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) for having an excellent program in place for minority students. SONHP expects that these scholarships will enable them to recruit underrepresented students for the doctorate.

Gretchen CoffmanGretchen Coffman, Environmental Sciences, has been awarded a one-year grant from the National Geographic Society for her project "Restoration of Critically Endangered Cypress Trees of Laos" in the amount of $19,532. Dr. Coffman was invited to apply for this grant. It will support her team of international researchers and USF students. They will locate living stands of cypress within a national protected area in Laos and collect seeds to propagate the trees and restore wetland ecosystems. The team will work with wildlife protection authorities and villagers to educate them about the value of conserving these trees for their community.

Yaniv StopnitzkyYaniv Stopnitzky, Economics, received $99,999 from the BASIS project at the University of California, Davis, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. He and his colleagues from partner institutions--the University of Dar Es Salaam and the University of Alaska--will test a novel approach to improving the way that small-scale fisheries are managed. Over 18 months, the team will implement experimental games as a pedagogical tool for training individuals and communal organizations in how to participate effectively in local fishery management. The project will reduce overfishing and improve the well-being of the many fishing-dependent, rural communities in Tanzania. 

Juliet SpencerJuliet Spencer, Biology, has been awarded a three year NIH grant in the amount of $424,783. With funds from this NIH grant, Dr. Spencer and her student researchers will be studying the molecular interactions between human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and the immune system. This will aid in the future development of an HCMV vaccine and could also identify new anti-viral drug targets. This is Dr. Spencer's fourth consecutive NIH grant.

Richard WatersRichard Waters, School of Management, has been awarded a $9,950 grant from The Public Relations Society of America Foundation. Dr. Waters will research issues of diversity and practitioner identity in public relations. Public relations diversity studies have mostly focused on gender; one of the most cited industry studies concluded that public relations does a great job of talking about diversity’s value, but that organizations are not as successful in demonstrating a commitment to diversity. His study will expand the discussion to include examinations of career roles, motivations, and satisfaction of practitioners from different racial/cultural backgrounds as well as different sexualities. The voices of these populations will help in creating industry-wide efforts to reach out to those considering public relations as a career.

William KarneyClaire CastroClaire Castro and William Karney, Environmental Science and Chemistry,received the first year of funding from the National Science Foundation for a grant that will total $197,748. This funding will enable them to continue their research in dehydroannulenes, phenylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The three-year grant will provide training for undergraduate students in many aspects of computational organic chemistry and will benefit underrepresented groups in science. This is the third NSF grant for the Castro-Karney research team.

John CallawayJohn Callaway, Environmental Studies, has received a $10,779 subcontract from Point Blue Conservation Science. This award, from the National Estuarine Research Reserve Science Collaborative, promotes scientific research that is closely linked to decision-makers and users of scientific information. The project will develop a standardized protocol for measuring suspended sediment concentrations in tidal wetlands and use these data to improve simulation models of long-term marsh sustainability. Dr. Callaway will be coordinating the scientific aspects of the protocol development and modeling. He will oversee a post-doc and research technician who will complete field work and lab analyses to develop the methods and improve existing models. San Francisco State University is also a collaborator on this project.

David UminskyDavid Uminsky, Mathematics, has received an NSF grant for three years for $149,994 for his project "Dynamics and Pattern Formation of Non-local Collective Motion and Assembly." This is a Research for Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) award in partnership with Dr. James von Brecht at UCLA. They will be studying pattern formation and related phenomena that occur in systems with a large number of "particles" driven by non-local collective motion laws. The math of these particle systems pervades many disciplines, appearing in models in physics, chemistry and biology to control theory and engineering. Two undergraduate students will contribute to the research and participate in summer study at UCLA.

Sami RollinsSami Rollins, Computer Science, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support students at U.S. institutions who will attend the 4th Networking Networking Women (N2Women) Workshop. The conference will be held at the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication in Chicago in August 2014. Student participants will consist of underrepresented graduate students who will be exposed to state-of-the-art research and have the opportunity to interact with leading researchers and fellow graduate students. She also has a three year NSF grant of $179,863 for a project to encourage broader adoption of renewable energy sources which is key to minimizing our dependence on the electric grid and fossil fuels. The project will provide an improved understanding of energy consumption and generation in homes, particularly green homes. Dr. Rollins, along with her collaborator, Dr. Nilanjan Banerjee at the University of Arkansas, will conduct a broad study of 15 homes which are both grid-tied and off-grid, and powered by a variety of renewable sources. They will study energy generation and how it is consumed and ;conduct research critical to encouraging the adoption of more environmentally responsible practices in the home.

Quayshawn SpencerQuayshawn Spencer, Philosophy, has received a $21,514 grant from the National Science Foundation to support “The Race Debate...from Philosophy to Biomedical Research,” a one day conference that will enable philosophers of race to have an extended conversation with biomedical researchers. A novel strategy will be implemented for promoting interaction by assigning particular positions to invited guests to argue for or against points of view. The guests will be comprised of racially and ethnically diverse participants and the conference will be held at the University of San Francisco in Spring 2014. The presenters' papers will be collected and published at the conclusion of the conference.

Alessandra CassarAlessandra Cassar, Economics, has received a $60,000 grant from the Levi Strauss Foundation. This invitational grant is to pilot a field experiment in Italy to identify optimal asset building products for poor populations. Dr. Cassar will study financial exclusion of the poor and their lack of access to products to the to help them save their way out of economic and social marginalization. The field experiments are designed to measure the demand, use and impact of three formal savings devices and to investigate the combination of flexibility and commitment offered by these service to poor borrowers.

Janice Dirden-CookJanice Dirden-Cook, School of Education. The University of San Francisco has been awarded two Upward Bound Math & Science grants from the US Department of Education. Both grants are effective September 1. The first grant of $262,500 funds the first year of a five year award for $1,312,500 to support the college preparation services for 63 students from the following SFUSD high schools: John O'Connell, Phillip & Sala Burton, Thurgood Marshall, and International Studies Academy.The second grant of $250,000 funds the first year of a five year award for $1,250,000 to serve 50 students from the following three additional SFUSD high schools: Mission, June Jordan, and The Academy of Arts and Sciences.The services provided by these grants are designed to prepare participants, from families with low-incomes in which neither parent has a college degree, for college majors and careers in the STEM fields.

Peter Williamson

Peter Williamson, Teacher Education, has been awarded the third year of funding for the Transition to Teaching grant which will total $2,451,961 for five years. This Department of Education grant supports the goals of the San Francisco Teacher Residency program (SFTR). SFTR is a partnership among USF, Stanford University, the San Francisco Unified School District, the United Educators of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Education Fund. Through SFTR, more than 150 highly skilled teacher candidates will be recruited and prepared to teach in San Francisco's public schools in high-need subject areas such as math, science, and bilingual education. The program integrates masters' level courses with a year-long apprenticeship under the guidance of highly skilled demonstration teachers. The grant will support many of the fieldwork, induction, and research components of the program.

Deneb KarentzDeneb Karentz, Biology and Environmental Science, received an NSF grant for $229,625 for "Collaborative Research: Functional Genomics and Physiological Ecology of Seasonal Succession in Antarctic Phytoplankton: Adaptations to Light and Temperature," This project wil investigate the genomic basis of the physiological and ecological transition of Antarctic marine phytoplankton from a cold dark winter to a warmer, brighter spring. During a field season, functional genomics and in situ fluorometry will be integrated with classical ecological methods to investigate photosynthetic adaptation that occurs during phytoplankton species succession. She is collaborating with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Nevada.On April 2014, she was awarded a supplemental fund of $8,588 from the NSF to enable her to attend the 2014 and 2015 meetings of the Committee on Environmental Protection as a private sector advisor to the US government delegation. The CEP is an advisory group to the Parties of the Antarctic Treaty, providing science, policy advice and recommendations to implement the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty System. This funding brings Dr. Karentz's total award to $241,813.

Courtney KeelerCourtney Keeler, School of Nursing and Health Professions, has been awarded the first year of funding through a subaward from the University of California, San Francisco. She will receive $56,275 over a three year period for her participation on an NIH grant entitled the "Economic Impact of Tobacco Taxes in the African American Community."

 

John Sullivan newJohn Sullivan, Biology, just received a ;two year grant from the National Institutes of Health for $296,713. He is researching the disease schistosomiasis, which afflicts approximately 200 million persons in developing countries. The disease is caused by several species of schistosome blood flukes which develop in compatible species of freshwater snails. Compatibility between schistosomes and their snail intermediate hosts is determined in part by the outcome of the interaction of the larval parasite with the host's innate immune system, and in incompatible snails the larval schistosome parasites are attacked and killed by immune cells. As in other innate immune systems, that of the vector snail Biomphalaria glabrata is thought to rely on recognition of common pathogen-associated molecules by receptors on these immune cells. The specific aims of the proposed research are to identify one or more specific pathogen-associated molecules to which the innate immune system of B. glabrata responds, and then to characterize this response at the molecular level.

David WolberDavid Wolber, Computer Science, has been awarded an NSF grant entitled "Collaborative Research in Computational Thinking through Mobile Computing". This collaborative project involves MIT, Wellesley College, the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and Trinity College, and is for three years in the amount of $565,836.USF's award is for $94,839. The goal is to motivate more students to learn the fundamentals of computing by enabling them to build apps for phones and tablets. The project leverages App Inventor, a new visual programming tool for building mobile apps and will focus on the creation of on-line, Khan Academy-like teaching resources.

Christian ThompsonChristian Thompson, Kinesiology, has been awarded a seventh year of funding in the amount of $50,733 from On Lok Day Services, a non-profit social service organization. He is participating in a citywide health promotion program for San Francisco seniors to enhance their well-being and health at 2 different senior centers. Dr. Thompson offers both fall prevention maintenance, wellness trainer workshops and outreach activities through the Always Active community program. This grant is funded by the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Aging and Adult Services.

Megan BolithoMegan Bolitho, Chemistry, has been awarded a two-year grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The grant, the Single Investigator Cottrell College Science Award, provides $35,000 to faculty in the first three years of his or her academic career. This grant is centered around quorum sensing (QS), a means of communication utilized by bacterial cells to coordinate group behaviors. Because virulence is often a QS-controlled behavior, QS inhibition has the potential to mitigate disease caused by bacterial pathogens that communicate in this way. Small molecule inhibitors will be developed through both rational design (organic synthesis) and computational screening methods.

Nancy GlennNancy Glenn, Training Director for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), has received a grant from the American Psychological Association in the amount of $25,036. The purpose of the grant is to provide financial support for the pursuit of APA accreditation of USF's well-established internship program in the local Bay Area. This will enable the internship program to achieve national recognition and attract a more diverse range of applicants. With accreditation status, graduating interns will have access to a wider range of professional opportunities.

 

Click here to view previous grant awards.