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Synergy Award Winners Promote Cooperation among Utah Researchers

June 16, 2006 — The Office of the Vice President for Research today announced the 2006 Synergy awardees. Synergy is a new program designed to stimulate discovery of new opportunities bringing research groups together in new ways. To be eligible for any of the 1 million dollars in grant money, applicants had to submit research proposals from at least two different University departments. Preference was given to inter-college collaborators.

The awardees were selected from a total of 82 proposals submitted and the eight winners were awarded up to $100,000 in research money for new and innovative research ideas involving different departments. Ray Gesteland, vice president for research says the entire process will help researchers to collaborate and innovate. “The overwhelming response to this call for projects that bring diverse talents together in new ways is an eye opening tribute to the breadth and depth of U of U research. The new scientific and technical areas that will be developed through the eight funded proposals will open up new opportunities for federal funding of the ongoing research. The pump is primed,” said Gesteland.

In order to be considered for the funding, the researchers were required to secure preliminary data for their projects with proof-of-concept or simulation results. They were also asked to submit a clear plan for future external funding.

The Synergy winners are:

Urban Systems Research (USR) Center
Craig Forster, Barbara Brown, Philip Dennison, James Ehleringer, Philip Emmi, Rod Larson and Eric Pardyjak

Neuroimaging of Frontal-Subcortical Brain Circuits in Response to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Treatment of Panic Disorder
Edward W. Hsu, William Marchand and Esther Rashkin

Plasmonic Lattices in Exotic Metals with Applications in THz Optoelectronics and Light Emitting Devices
Ajay Nahata and Valy Vardeny

High Resolution Spectroscopy & Microscopy Studies of the ESCRT Machinery Reconstituted on Planar Membranes
Markus Babst, John Conboy and Jordan Gerton

Computational & Experimental Approaches to Understanding HIV Capsid Assembly & Cyclophilin A Mechanism
Greg Voth, Wesley Sundquist and Chris Hill

Measuring the Strength of Protein Interactions Using Single Molecules
Joel Harris and Eric Jorgensen

Molecular & Chemical Biodiversity Research Team
J. Michael McIntosh, Gregory Clark, Alan Light, Eric Schmidt, Baldomero Olivera and Steve White

Development of Technology for Personalized Medicine
Bruce Gale, Carl Wittwer, Steve Blair and Karl Voelkerding