Research Grants and Funding

Title: ADVANCE Adaptation: ASPIRED: Adaptations for Sustainable Policies and Increased Recruitment Excellence in Diversity

Principal Investigator: Esra Ozdenerol (Earth Sciences)

Co-Principal Investigators:

  • Stephanie S. Ivey (Herff College of Engineering)
  • Firouzeh Sabri (Physics and Materials Science)
  • Craig Stewart (Department of Communication)
  • Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw (Instructional Design and Technology)

Timeline: Start Date: 08/15/2020  /  End Date: 07/31/2023

Amount: $1,000,000

Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation


Adaptations for Sustainable Policies and Increased Recruitment Excellence in Diversity (ASPIRED) at the University of Memphis, under the leadership of Dr. Esra Ozdenerol, will adapt evidence-based strategies from other ADVANCE institutions to change the institutional climate at the University of Memphis (UM) and increase gender equity in recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement in STEM. UM needs a strategic institutional investment in recruitment and retention activities, coordinated initiatives across the institution, and improvement of institutional processes to foster a culturally and gender inclusive environment that promotes the advancement of STEM women faculty, especially URMs (Underrepresented minority). Full Details >

Title: Single exosome protein profiling with surface enhanced Raman scattering imaging

Contact principle investigator: Xiaohua Huang (Chemistry)

Principle investigator: Thang Ba Hoang (Physics and Materials Science)

Co-Investigators: Yongmei Wang (Chemistry) and Hongmei Zhang (Public Health)

Timeline: Budget Period: 07/01/2020 – 06/30/2023
Project Period: 07/01/2020 – 06/30/2023

Amount: $415,740

Sponsor: NIH, National Cancer Institute


The goal of this project is to develop a single vesicle technology based on surface enhanced Raman scattering imaging to quantitatively analyze surface protein markers on individual exosomes in biofluids. The developed technology will be applied to discover new biomarkers based on exosomes to diagnose breast cancer at different stages with a focus at early stages. The research will make major impact in developing next generation liquid biopsy for cancer diagnostics and monitoring. Undergraduates will be trained in a variety of aspects in biomedical research such as nanomaterial synthesis, bioconjugation, 3D printing, optical imaging, optical spectroscopy, cell culture, exosome biology, and cancer biomarker detection.

Project Title: MRI: Acquisition of a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer as a Regional Resource for Research and Education

Principal Investigator: Xuan Zhao 
Email: xzhao1@memphis.edu

Co-Principal Investigator: Charles M Garner
Email: cgarner7@memphis.edu

Co-Principal Investigator: Timothy P Brewster
Email: tbrwster@memphis.edu

Co-Principal Investigator: Kensha Clark
Email: kclark17@memphis.edu

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Award Date: 08/10/2020

Award Period of Performance: Start Date: 08/15/2020 End Date: 8/14/23

Awarded: $251,990.00


This award is supported by the Major Research Instrumentation and the Chemistry Research Instrumentation programs. The University of Memphis is acquiring a single crystal X-ray diffractometer equipped with a copper source to support the research of the PIs' and other colleagues from Arkansas State University, University of Central Arkansas and Rhodes College. This instrument will be an integral part of teaching as well as research and training of undergraduate and graduate students in chemistry, biochemistry and other engineering fields at the University of Memphis and regional partners in the Memphis area.

$310,000 from UofM Research Foundation

Dr. Kathryn Howell, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and clinical director of Child and Family Studies Research, was awarded $310,000 from the University of Memphis Research Foundation with the Urban Child Institute for her projects "Promoting Health and Well-being in  Children and Families: Evaluating a Prenatal Intervention Program and Promoting Resilience in Memphis: An Outcome Evaluation of iIMPACT Services for the Health and WellBeing of Urban Children." 

$150K Grant to Reduce Drinking Water By-Products

The UM Dept of Chemistry congratulates Drs. Gary Emmert, Paul Simone, and Michael Brown on their awarded grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation and the City of Spencer entitled "Spencer, TN Task Force to Reduce Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products." This work is part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's WIIN grant program and the State of Tennessee's TDEC is the first national recipient of this award. This UM project totals nearly $150k.

$50k Grant part of joint UofM/UTHSC seed funding initiative

The UM Dept of Chemistry congratulates Drs. Xioahua Huang and Yongmei Wang (along with UTHSC collaborators Drs. Kui Li and Lu Lu) on award of their CORNET grant to study "Host Genes, Immune Response and Susceptibility/Resistance to SARS-CoV-2". A small fraction of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals develop life-threatening disease while a majority exhibit mild or no symptoms. A team of UM & UTHSC scientists will work together to investigate factors that regulate pathogenesis & outcome using mouse models and nanotechnology. This $50k grant is part of a joint UM/ UTHSC seed funding initiative designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration on novel and innovative research that will lead to larger, national grants.

Prof. Lan Wang Leading $825K NSF-funded mGuard Project in Collaboration with MD2K and UCLA

Posted on 2020-08-04: Professor and chair Lan Wang (PI) is leading the new mGuard project with co-PIs Prof. Santosh Kumar and Prof. Lixia Zhang from UCLA. mGuard aims to address two major data access challenges encountered by the NIH Center of Excellence for Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) in its pursuit to share mobile health (mHealth) data among researchers who investigate a wide range of health and wellness issues. Additional information can be found on the Computer Science Website.

New $5.9M Grant from NIH for AI-Based Mobile Health

Posted on 2020-07-17: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $5.9 million grant for establishing the mHealth Center for Discovery, Optimization, and Translation of Temporally-Precise Interventions (mDOT). mDOT will be headquartered at the MD2K Center of Excellence at the University of Memphis, under the direction of Prof. Santosh Kumar. Additional information can be found on the Department of Computer Science Website.