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Pitt Momentum Funds will support 29 projects this year, including community-based work with autistic adults, research on the formation of mountains, a study of racial disparities in psychiatric committals and an examination of how waves affect the swimming speeds of microorganisms in lakes and oceans.
“We want the University to continue to shine as a leader in research and discovery. But, most importantly, we want the work we do to impact the world around us. Projects like these look to solve today’s challenges with bold solutions and enhance the scholarly record for future thought leaders, creating unprecedented pathways,” said Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research. “Such significant accomplishments deserve to be celebrated.”
Momentum Funds, which are a collaboration between the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and the Office of the Provost, support high-quality research and creative endeavors. The funds’ three-tiered structure enables funding at all stages of the research cycle: Priming Awards help start projects. Teaming Awards help establish collaborative teams. Scaling Awards help projects do the detailed work necessary to pursue large external funding.
Teams of faculty, coordinated by members of the University Research Council and Pitt administrators, reviewed 68 proposals to select this year’s winners. The annual competition also welcomes proposals aligned with the University-wide annual themes developed by the provost, and five projects reflect the Year of Emotional Well-Being.
The Fueling Our Future showcase in September will highlight the Momentum Funds, with presentations and opportunities to meet the winners. Visit the Pitt Research website to learn more about the program and read about this year’s awardees.
Cesar Escobar-Viera, School of Medicine, with colleagues Xu Qin, School of Education, Robert W. S. Coulter, School of Public Health, Nadine Melhem, School of Medicine, Sophia Choukas-Bradley, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Marta Peciña, School of Medicine, Kar-Hai Chu, School of Public Health and Patricia Documét, School of Public Health
Shannon Wanless, School of Education, with Daniel Shaw, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, James Huguley, School of Social Work and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Rachel Robertson, School of Education, with colleagues Marissa Vogel, Open Up Pittsburgh, Caitlin Conner, School of Medicine, Carla Mazefsky, School of Medicine and Sally Sherman, School of Education
Ann Sinsheimer, School of Law, with colleagues Omid Fotuhi, Learning Research and Development Center and Ming-Te Wang, School of Education
Daniel Balderston, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Joshua Bloom, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Amanda Boston, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Caitlin Bruce, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, with colleagues Oreen Cohen, Independent Artist, Shane Pilster, Rivers of Steel and Max Gonzales, Rivers of Steel
Nicole Cade, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, with colleague Joshua Gunn, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
Rose Constantino, School of Nursing, with colleagues Willa Doswell, School of Nursing, Betty J. Braxter, School of Nursing and Mario C. Browne, School of Pharmacy
Laura Dietz, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Lei Fang, Swanson School of Engineering
Peng Gao, School of Public Health
Catherine Greeno, School of Social Work, with colleague Nev Jones, School of Social Work
Xin Gui, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Xiaowei Jia, School of Computing and Information, with colleague Hassan Karimi, School of Computing and Information
Bridget Keown, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Ryan Kerrigan, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Stephen Lee, School of Computing and Information
Hui Liu, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Gabriella Lukacs, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Tomas Matza, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Christina Ndoh, Graduate School of Public Health
Kaushik Seshadreesan, School of Computing and Information, with colleagues Gurudev Dutt, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Longfei Shangguan, School of Computing and Information
Brian Stewart, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences'
Wesley Transue, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Veena Vasudevan, School of Education, with colleagues Bea Dias, School of Education and Tinukwa Boulder, School of Education
Daniel Villarreal, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
— Patrick Monahan, photography by Tom Altany