Toward a better world:
DU research takes on the great issues of the day
As the University of Denver works to leverage its intellectual capital against the great issues of the day, a number of professors and departments are earning notice from their peers and the public.
In fall 2010, Frank Ascione of the Graduate School of Social Work secured a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to conduct a four-year study following children who have witnessed animal abuse at home. Ascione, who holds the American Humane Endowed Chair, is known for his groundbreaking research into the dynamics of domestic violence and animal maltreatment. This grant, considered a breakthrough for scholars studying the human-animal connection, represents the first time that federal funding has been directed to this issue. Experts believe Ascione’s findings could inform government policies and lead to new interventions.
Meanwhile, across campus, biology Professor Todd Blankenship secured a five-year, $1.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to continue his examination of how emerging “programmed” cells line up in the correct places to make humans look like humans, dogs look like dogs, or fruit flies look like fruit flies. Blankenship’s research could someday help other scientists understand the ramifications of developmental malfunctions and perhaps unlock cures for diseases such as cancer.
Siavash Pourkamali, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, received a National Science Foundation CAREER grant—one of the organization’s most prestigious awards. It supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Pourkamali already holds several patents in the areas of silicon micro/nanomechanical resonators and filters and nanofabrication technologies.
At the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, a research entity affiliated with the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Assistant Professor Dan Linseman, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, continued his investigations into Lou Gehrig’s disease. Linseman hopes his work will lead to new drugs and better treatments for a debilitating illness that claims thousands of victims each year.