Dierker Receives $50K for Addiction Research

Lisa Dierker, professor of psychology, has received a $50,000 research grant from the Peter F. McManus Charitable Trust. The award will support her work focusing on individual differences in the development of addiction. This research is aimed at identifying youth at greatest risk for dependence at various levels of alcohol and tobacco exposure.

NEA Grants Support Wesleyan Press, CFA

The Wesleyan University Press and the Center for the Arts have received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants in December 2008.

Wesleyan University Press received a $35,000 grant to help publish the work of the following poets: Kazim Ali, Rae Armantrout, Adrian Blevins, Kamau Brathwaite, Brenda Hillman, Ed Roberson, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Roberto Tejada and Tan Lin.

The Center for the Arts received $10,000 grant to help fund the “Breaking Ground Dance Series and DanceMasters Weekend.

Aaron Awarded $50,000 for Epilepsy Study

Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, received a $50,000 grant from The Epilepsy Foundation on Dec. 6 titled “STEP Regulation of Epileptogensis in the Hippocampus.”

Drugs prescribed to combat epilepsy can yield unwanted side effects. One reason that drugs have side effects is that they can affect almost every neuron in the brain, regardless of their roles in spreading seizures. Aaron will research ways target only the neurons that may be most important in stopping the spread of seizures. Previous work has shown that a certain protein, STEP, is found in select groups of neurons. One of those groups of neurons, the hilar interneurons of the hippocampus, is a crticial group with regards to epilepsy. By manipulating that protein, researchers can target that group of neurons, and hopefully gain traction in a selective therapy for preventing and curing epilepsy.

NASA Awards Grant for Venus Study

Martha Gilmore, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, received a grant from NASA on Nov. 18. The award, worth $212,000, will fund a study titled “Mapping and Structure Analysis of Fold Belts in Tessera Terrain, Venus.” Gilmore is conducting the study with Phil Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences.

GSAC Afterschool, Latino Series, Video Projects Supported

The Green Street Arts Center received a grant worth $12,500 from the Bissell Foundation in support of the GSAC AfterSchool Program; a $500 award for the Summer Video Project from the Middletown Commission on the Arts & Cultural Activities; and a $200 award from the New England Foundation for the Arts to support the fall 2008 GSAC Latino Series.

Chernoff Receives Nature Conservancy Grant

Barry Chernoff, professor of biology, Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, director of the environmental studies certificate program, received a $6,950 renewal award  to support his continued research of Fish and Benthic Invertebrate Assemblages-Zemko Dam from the Nature Conservancy.

Imai Receives FDIC Research Grant

Masami Imai, assistant professor of economics, assistant professor of East Asian Studies, received a research grant from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Center for Financial Research for a proposal titled “Real Effects of Finance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Japan” on April 30.

Naegele Co-Recipient of Fragile X Grant

Janice Naegele, professor of neuroscience and behavior, professor and chair of biology, is the co-recipient of a grant from the Fragile X Foundation worth $69,450 for the “Role of STEP in Fragile X Syndrome.” The grant was awarded May 1. Fragile X is the most common inherited cause of mental impairment and the most common known cause of autism. About 25 percent of children with Fragile X have seizures and epilepsy. The grant will support research on the causes and potential treatments for epilepsy in a mouse model of Fragile X. In addition to the grant, Professor Naegele and her collaborators were invited to participate in the FRAXA Research Foundation Investigators Meeting in September 2008 in Durham, N.H.

NIH Renews Biophysics Training Support

David Beveridge, the University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, professor of chemistry, received a National Institutes of Health grant renewal to support the Molecular Biophysics Training Program. Wesleyan is the only liberal arts college to have such a program. The grant will support the program for an additional three years.

Burke, Sultan Awarded Grant from Eppley Foundation

Ann Burke, associate professor of biology, and Sonia Sultan, professor of biology, received individual grants from the Eppley foundation for research. The Eppley Foundation for Research supports advanced post-doctoral work in the physical and biological sciences, computer science, social sciences, and educational programs. Burke’s grant, worth $32,442, will help to support her postdoctoral research fellow, Rebecca Shearman. Sultan’s grant, worth $25,000, provides support while she writes a book.