Department of Education Supports Middle Eastern Studies Program, Instructor

Wesleyan University received a grant worth $177,918 from the U.S. Department of Education to help establish a Middle Eastern Studies Certificate Program at Wesleyan. The grant will be applied over two years.

Bruce Masters, the John E. Andrus Professor of History, says he and other interested faculty will propose to the Educational Policy Committee an interdisciplinary cluster of courses that will allow interested students to graduate with a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies, in addition to their departmental/program major.

The grant, along with a commitment from Academic Affairs, is supporting a long-term contract adjunct instructor in Arabic language.

MacQueen Awarded $746,997 NIH Grant

Amy MacQueen, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, received a $746,997 grant from the national Institute of Health for her research titled “Regulation of Synaptonemal Complex Assembly During Meiosis in S. cerevisiae.” The grant, awarded Aug. 21, will be applied over three years.

NSF Funds Lane’s Research on Gene Regulation

Robert Lane, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, received a grant from the National Science Foundation/American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for this research titled “Cross-Disciplinary Science & Investigation of Olfactory Receptor Gene Regulation.” The award, worth $299,955 will be distributed over two years.

Horst Receives Grant for Study on the Cognitive Psychology of Religion

Steven Horst

Steven Horst

Steven Horst, professor of philosophy, received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation on July 9.

The award, worth $55,000, will be applied over five years for his research on “Cognitive Psychology of Religion: Philosophical Implications.”

Horst’s areas of expertise are philosophy of mind, cognitive science, philosophy of psychology and moral psychology.

Bank Foundation Supports Etherington Scholarships

The Etherington Scholarship Program received a grant worth $2,000 from the Liberty Bank Foundation on July 6. The Etherington Scholarships offer outstanding students from Connecticut community colleges a chance to attend Wesleyan.

Burke Awarded NSF, NIH Grants

Ann Burke, associate professor of biology, received a three-year, $395,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the development and evolution of the shoulder girdle using transgenic mice, frog and salamander. She also received a two-year $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use the same amphibian systems (salamander and frog) to develop a model system for understanding body wall defects in humans.The grants will provide funds for a team of researchers at Wesleyan working with Burke on these projects, including a postdoctoral fellow, graduate students and undergraduates.

Perkoski ’10 Awarded Terrorism Research Grant

Evan Perkoski ’10 is a recipient of a 2009-10 Undergraduate Research Program grant sponsored by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

Perkoski, who is majoring in government, will study “Counterterrorism and ETA in Spain.” His faculty advisor is Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor of government.

Undergraduate Research Program recipients are actively engaged in critical research related to the study of terrorism and responses to terrorism, consistent with the mission of START. Each recipient is paid $3,000 to enhance his/her START research and professional development and receives funds to attend the 2010 START Annual Meeting in College Park, MD.

Dierker, Rose Receive NIH Grant for Smoking Study

Lisa Dierker, associate professor of psychology, and Jennifer Rose, research associate professor of psychology, received a grant worth $521,938 from the National Institute of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse on May 14. The grant was issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Dierker and Rose are researching “Individual Differences in Smoking Exposure and Nicotine Dependence Sensitivity.” The grant will be applied over two years.

Shusterman Receives NSF Grant for Child Development Study

Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, received a grant worth $716,227 from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program on June 1. Shusterman’s project is titled “The role of language in children’s acquisition of number concepts.” The grant will be applied over five years.

Plous Awarded NSF Grant for Psychology Network

Scott Plous, professor of psychology.

Scott Plous, professor of psychology.

Scott Plous, professor of psychology, received a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the Social Psychology Network. Plous founded the web-based presence in 1996.

The grant will be used to transform the site into a full featured social networking service for visitors and its approximately 2,000 members across the world. For more information read the accompanying article in The Wesleyan Connection.

Naegele Receives Major Conn. Stem Cell Grant

Janice Naegele, chair and professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, has received a $499,988.00 grant from the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee for her study titled: “Brain Grafts of GABAergic Neuron Precursors Derived from Human and Mouse ES Cells for Treating Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.”

The four-year grant will begin in July 2009, and will support research in laboratories in Wesleyan’s biology department and neuroscience program. The research is directed toward generating inhibitory interneurons that we will transplant into the hippocampus of mice that have temporal lobe epilepsy. The goal of the project is to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of these embryonic stem cell derived neuron grafts for repairing damage to the brain and suppressing seizures.

The award is part of Connecticut’s $100 million Human Embryonic Stem Cell Initiative. Naegele’s co-investigators on this study will include Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, and Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science in Society, professor of biology.

Grant Supports Green Street’s Community Mural Project

The Green Street Arts Center received a grant worth $10,000 from Citizens Bank and the Citizens Bank Foundation to support the Community Mural Project, an 18 month-long art program that will culminate in a large public mural, to be installed in the spring of 2009 on the corner of Main and Green Streets in the North End of Middletown. Led by mural artist Marela Zacarias, the project’s participants are a diverse group of Middletown children, their families, professional artists, Wesleyan students, and other community members.