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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Nagarajaiah receives Simmons Family Foundation grant

Satish Nagarajaiah, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is one of six Rice faculty members have been awarded grants from the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation Mini-Collaborative Research Fund to work with physicians and scientists at Texas Children’s Hospital and/or Houston Methodist Research Institute on studies ranging from chronic infection and immunotherapy to disease factors in cancer and heart disease.

Nagarajaiah is collaborating with Carlos Mery and Christopher Broda, both of Texas Children’s, on “Intelligent Pulmonary Artery Band for Patients with Congenital Heart Disease.”

Each collaborative team will receive a mini-seed grant of up to $25,000 for its interdisciplinary research program.

The five other Rice researchers to receive grants are:

Michael Diehl, associate professor of bioengineering and of chemistry, who is collaborating with Emily Mace of Texas Children’s on “Visualizing Mechanisms of Human Natural Killer Cell Maturation.”

Jane Grande-Allen, the Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering and director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, who is collaborating with Sundeep Keswani and Charles Duncan Fraser Jr., both of Texas Children’s, on “Shear Forces Regulate Endothelial and Fibroblast Cross-Talk via Inflammatory Cytokines To Produce Fibrosis in Discrete Subaortic Stenosis.”

Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry, of bioengineering, of physics and astronomy, and of materials science and nanoengineering and director of the Smalley-Curl Institute, who is collaborating with Alessandro Grattoni of Houston Methodist on “Radiotherapy Enhancement with Sustained Gold Nanoparticles Delivery.”

Marek Kimmel, professor of statistics, who is collaborating with Katherine King of Texas Children’s on “Effects of Chronic Infection on the Number and Diversity of Hematopoietic Stem Cells.”

Jordan Miller ’08, assistant professor of bioengineering, who is collaborating with Min Kim of Houston Methodist on “Investigating Circulating Tumor Cells in Microfabricated Substrates and Within a Novel Cellular Matrix Model.”

L.E. Simmons, a namesake of the supporting foundation, is a Rice trustee emeritus, a trustee at Texas Children’s and a board member of Houston Methodist.

This grant opportunity was announced on Rice’s Creative Ventures Funds website, which Provost Marie Lynn Miranda established to alert faculty about resources to support their creative scholarship and research.

More funding opportunities can be found at https://creativeventures.rice.edu/.

— B.J. Almond, Rice University Public Affairs