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Lay Nam Chang Dean's Discovery Fund

more than

$354,300

funded

The Virginia Tech College of Science Dean’s Discovery Fund was established by Sally C. Morton, former dean, in 2017 to catalyze important research advances and enable successful proposals for future research funding. The fund is made possible by the Lay Nam Chang Dean’s Chair, endowed by the College of Science Dean’s Roundtable.

Since the creation of these competitive faculty awards, more than $354,300 has been invested for pilot funding to kick-start new research ideas and support collaborative and vital research. 

The Dean’s Discovery Fund investments have laid the groundwork for additional external research awards of more than $3,850,000 to our College of Science faculty and their collaborators.

wide angle photo of Pylons as the sun sets
The Pylons, Campus Scenic, That I May Serve, sunset, dusk

2020 Awardees

Satoru Emori

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS

Title: Superconducting Thin Films for Dark Matter and Neutrino Detection

Amount: $18,000

Silke Hauf

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Title: Molecular Basis of (Ultra-)Low Gene Expression Noise

Amount: $10,000

Feng Lin

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

Title: Li-ion Batteries for Applications at Extreme Temperatures: an Exploratory Story

Amount: $10,000

Guoliang (Greg) Liu 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

Title: Next Generation Porous Carbon Fibers by Polymer Synthesis and Molecular Simulations

Amount: $20,000

Stephen Melville

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF biological sciences

Title: Solving an Important Enigma: How Do Gram-Positive Pathogenic Bacteria Excrete Toxins Across Their Cell Wall?

Amount: $5,000

Tatsu Takeuchi

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF physics

Title: Unraveling the Hidden Connection between Dark Matter and the Hubble Scale

Amount: $5,000

2019 Awardees

Pang Du

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF statistics

Title: Statistical Monitoring of Raman Spectral Data

co-PIs: John Roberston (BEAM), Ryan Senger (BSE)

Amount: $18,250

Benjamin Gill

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF geosciences

Title: New Perspectives of the Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction Event

Amount: $10,000

John Matson

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF chemistry

Title: Self-Assembling Peptide Nanocoils as Templates to Form Chiral Plasmonic Nanoparticles

Co-PI: Greg Liu (CHEM)

Amount: $18,100

Marc Michel

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF geosciences

Title: Inventing a Device for Determining Structure-Reactivity Relationships of Nanoparticles Found in Nature and Technology

Amount: $10,000

Ann Stevens

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF Biological sciences

Title: Studying an Important Bacterial Plant Pathogen: Inside Out

Amount: $10,000

2018 Awardees

Chris Franck

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF statistics

Title: Spatial Analytics Platform

Co-PI: Marco Ferreira (STAT)

Amount: $20,000

Bruce Friedman

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF psychology

Title: Long-Term Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Impacts of the Virginia Tech Shootings

Co-PI: Russell Jones (PSYC)

Amount: $20,000

Caroline Jones

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF biological sciences

Title: Microfluidic Tools to Quantify Immune Cell Decision-making in Septic Patients

Co-PI: Liwu Li (BIOL)

Amount: $20,000

Michelle stocker

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF geosciences

Title: Exploring the Early Evolutionary History of Late Triassic Vertebrates at High Latitudes

Amount: $10,000

2017 Awardees

Daniela Cimini

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF biological sciences

Title: Tetraploidy as a Driver of Tumor Evolution

Amount: $10,000

Carla Finkielstein

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF biological sciences

Title: 3D Engineered Scaffolds to Study Mechanotransduction in Tumor Dormancy

Co-PI: Rafael Davalos (BEAM)

Amount: $20,000

Jonathan Link

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF physics

Title: The CHANDLER Reactor Neutrino Detector

Co-PIs: Patrick Huber (PHYS), Camillo Mariani (PHYS), Ali Haghighat (ME)

Amount: $20,000

Honghu Liu

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF mathematics

Title: Stochastic Nonlinear Reduced Order Modeling of the El Nino Southern Oscillation

Co-PI: Traian Iliescu (MATH)

Amount: $11,133

Shaowen Liu

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF economics

Title: A Tale of Two Networks: Trade and Financial Linkages in the Global Economy

Co-PIs: Shyam Ranganathan (STAT), Sudipta Sarangi (ECON), Byron Tsang (ECON)

Amount: $19,390

Amanda Morris

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF chemistry

Title: Acquisition of a Micromeritics 3Flex Surface Area Analyzer

Co-PIs: Bob Moore (CHEM, John Morris (CHEM), Greg Liu (CHEM), Mike Ellis (ME), Richard Turner (CHEM)

Amount: $20,000

John Richey

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF psychology

Title: Mechanisms of Innate Immune Responses to Mindfulness Meditation

Co-PI: Coy Allen (CVM)

Amount: $19,682

Judy Riffle

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF chemistry

Title: Desalination of Water via Membrane Separations: Electrodialysis

Amount: $10,000

Birgit Scharf

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF biological sciences

Title: Identification of Cancer-Induced Bacterial Promoters and Discovery of New Cancer Targets Through Dual Transcriptome Analysis

Co-PI: Liwu LI (BIOL)

Amount: $20,000

Srijan Sengupta

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENT OF statistics

Title: Scalable Statistical Inference and Anomaly Detection for Large, Sparse Networks

Amount: $10,000