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Oklahoma State University

OSU grants encourage special research pairings

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wyatt Hoback, an assistant professor of entomology and plant pathology, will be mentored by a senior OSU professor as part of a new program from the Office of Vice President for Research to help junior faculty develop research programs.

The Oklahoma State University Office of the Vice President for Research has awarded grants of up to $20,000 to eight research teams that pair a seasoned researcher with a newer faculty counterpart on a specific project.

Known as the VPR Mentor/Mentee program, the effort is designed to foster collaborative research at OSU and, through the guidance of established faculty members, help assistant professors develop research proposals for external funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and others. The track record of senior faculty members in obtaining external funding was an important consideration in selecting the mentor and mentee teams.

“OSU is fortunate to have many talented and energetic early-career faculty who are poised to develop impactful research careers,” said Vice President for Research Kenneth Sewell. “By leveraging the experience and advice of more senior researchers, we expect to accelerate their success.”

The 2018 Mentor/Mentee grant recipients, departments and research projects (mentee listed first) are:

  • Daniel Lin, Nutritional Sciences, with Tyrrell Conway, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics -- “Carotenoid Metabolism Improves the Gut Microbiome in Type 2 Diabetes”
  • Megan Williams, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, with Michael Davis, Physiological Sciences -- “Naturally-Occurring Equine Obesity and Arthritis”
  • Wyatt Hoback, Entomology and Plant Pathology, with John Gustafson, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology -- “Proposal to Characterize Genes Involved in Burying Beetle Preservation of Meat to Improve Meat Storage”
  • McKale Montgomery, Nutritional Sciences, with Robert Matts, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology -- “HDAC inhibitors and P53 gene in cancer research”   
  • Mario Borunda, with Dave McIlroy, both Physics -- “Inverse Design of Advanced Materials for Catalysis”
  • Darren Hagen, Animal Science, with Astri Wayadande, Entomology and Plant Pathology -- “Decoding the Role of Small RNAs in Cross-Kingdom Communication”
  • Henry Adams, Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution, with Rodney Will, Natural Resources, Ecology and Management -- “Regional Assessment of Defenses Against Bark Beetle Outbreak in Loblolly Pine Plantations: The Influence of Climate Variability and Forest Management Across the Southeastern United States”
  • Cara Blake, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, with Michael Davis, Physiological Sciences -- “Importance of Obesity and Arthritis”
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