UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  June 17, 2015

Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development


Back Issues of Newsletter: http://research.ucr.edu/vcr/newsletters.aspx

Grant Opportunity Search: http://pivot.cos.com


·         (FY) 2016 Department of Defense Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI)

·         Grants to Support the Hispanic Health Services Research Grant Program: 8/11/15

·         USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Workshop – 6/19, 1:30-3:30

·         Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Partnerships – Candidate Presentations 6/19, 9:30 & 6/23, 10:00

·         USDA NIFA AFRI Exploratory Research

·         Dr. Sally Rockey to Lead the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

·         Tech Coast Angels at UCR on July 6

·         Funded Collaborative Seed Grants

·         Western Tanager at the Jelly Feeder

(FY) 2016 Department of Defense Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI)


The Department of Defense has released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Department of Defense Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI). This program makes multi-year awards to multidisciplinary, typically multi-institution teams.


The topics of interest this year are:


1.      Sequence-Defined Synthetic Polymers Enabled by Engineered Translation Machinery

2.      Discovering Hidden Phases with Electromagnetic Excitation

3.      Modeling and Analysis of Multisensory Neural Information Processing for Direct Brain-Computer Communications

4.      Modular Quantum Systems

5.      Spin Textures and Dynamics Induced by Spin-Orbit Coupling

6.      Defining Expertise by Discovering the Underlying Neural Mechanisms of Skill Learning

7.      Media Analytics for Developing & Testing Theories of Social Structure & Interaction

8.      Fundamental Properties of Energy Flow and Partitioning at Sub-nanoscale Interfaces

9.      Active Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling: Mechanisms and Effects

10.  Attojoule Nanooptoelectronics

11.  4-D Electromagnetic Origami

12.  Radiation-Balanced Lasers – New Vistas in Optical Gain and Refrigeration Materials

13.  Quantum Many-Body Physics with Photons

14.  The Role of Epigenetics in Human Performance

15.  Realistic Dynamic Formalism for Advanced Cyber Interaction

16.  Synthetic Electronics

17.  Ultrahigh Thermal Conductivity Materials

18.  Characterization of Gas Transport through Biological Membranes

19.  Neural Basis of Symbolic Processing

20.  Prediction of Multi-Physics Sprays and their Control

21.  Dynamic Events in Solid Composite Materials at Ultra High Temperature and Pressure


Please see the detailed description of each topic area regarding team size and anticipated budget. Also, this year some topics are encouraging collaborations with UK institutions.


White papers (4 pp) are due September 8, 2015. Full proposals will be invited in late September and will be due December 7, 2015.


The solicitation is available at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=277226.


MURI full proposals have very complex budgets and arrangements with multiple universities. Research and Economic Development will support those selected for full proposals



Grants to Support the Hispanic Health Services Research Grant Program: 8/11/15


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are offering awards up to $215,000 for new faculty/new investigators conducting health services research to implement Hispanic health services research activities to meet the diverse needs of the CMS populations.


This grant program is designed to: 1) encourage health services and health disparities research impacting Hispanic Medicare, Medicaid and Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) health service issues; 2) outreach activities to apprise Hispanic researchers of funding availability for research-related issues affecting Hispanic communities to expand the applicant pool for grant funding; 3) to implement its mission focusing on health care quality and improvement; 4) support extramural research in health care for Hispanic communities; 5) promote research aimed at developing a better understanding of health care service issues for Hispanic populations, and 6) create a network for communication and collaboration regarding Hispanic health care issues.


More details can be found here:  http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=277117




USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Workshop – 6/19, 1:30-3:30


UCR and TriTech will host a workshop on how to get funding through the USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program on Friday, June 19 from 1:30p-3:30p in Genomics.   It will feature talks by Scott Dockum, USDA SBIR program coordinator, and Agenor Mafra-Neto, a local entrepreneur who has received multiple SBIR awards.


To encourage participation grant programs like this, UCR waives overhead on SBIR and STTR Phase I grants (when permitted by the agency). See http://research.ucr.edu/About/News.aspx?K=323.



Scott Dockum manages the day to day operations of the USDA SBIR Program. He supports the USDA SBIR portfolio of applied research and development projects supported by the program. Scott also leads SBIR outreach and commercialization activities within the program and coordinates SBIR activities, reporting and administrative  requirements as required by legislation and the Small Business Administration (SBA).


Agenor Mafra-Neto is a chemical ecology researcher and entrepreneur in the entomological field of insect chemical ecology. He is the CEO of ISCA Technologies, a company specializing in the development of semiochemical solutions for pest management, robotic smart traps and nanosensors. Dr. Mafra-Neto is the CEO and Director of Research and Development at ISCA Technologies, Inc. which he founded in 1996 in Riverside, California. ISCA Tecnologias, Ltda was founded in Brazil in 1997.


Faculty, Postdocs, Students, and outside collaborators are welcome to attend



Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Partnerships – Candidate Presentations 6/19, 9:30 & 6/23, 10:00


Two candidates will be interviewing for the AVC for Technology Partnerships in the next week.  They will be giving talks in the University Lab Building (ULB) 104 on Friday, June 19 at 9:30am and Tuesday, June 23 at 10am.


The AVC for technology partnerships will be responsible for Technology Commercialization (Including patenting, licensing and new company formation) and Corporate Relationships (including corporate contracts and corporate gifts).


All faculty are welcome and encouraged to attend.



USDA NIFA AFRI Exploratory Research


This Program Area Priority addresses the overall priorities of AFRI and provides support proof of concept for untested novel ideas. This includes “high-risk, high-impact” work that will lead to a significant change in US agriculture.


In FY 2015, AFRI invites Research Project applications for Standard Grant type relevant to the priorities of the Exploratory Program Area described below. Some areas are aligned with UCR strengths including Plant Health and Production and Plant Products, Food Safety, Nutrition and Health, Bioenergy, Natural Resources, Environment, Agriculture, Systems and Technology.


Letter of Intent Deadline – accepted anytime between March 1, 2015 and August, 31 2015


Program Area e-mail address for Submission of Letter of Intent – exploratory@nifa.usda.gov. Include the program area priority in the subject line of your email submission (i.e., A. Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; B. Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; C. Food Safety, Nutrition and Health; D. Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; E. Agriculture, Systems and Technology; and F. Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities).


Application Deadline – Full proposal submission is dependent on acceptance of the Letter of Intent and is required within 60 days, with September 30, 2015 being the final deadline for proposal submission.


Total Program Funds – Approximately $2 million


Proposed Budget Requests -

        Standard Grants must not exceed $100,000 total (including indirect costs) for project periods of up to 2 years and are not renewable.


Program Area Priority Contact – Ms. Charlotte Kirk Baer (202) 720-5280 or cbaer@nifa.usda.gov


Further instructions and Letter of Intent instructions and are in the RFA beginning on page 36 and 55 (LOI). http://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/FY2015%20AFRI%20Foundational%20RFA_revised_post_7.pdf


Other Program Area Priority Requirements:

        The project narrative is restricted to a maximum of 7 pages

        The proposal must include a clear description as to why it is appropriate for Exploratory Research Program Area Priority, and not appropriate for the existing program area priorities under AFRI.



Dr. Sally Rockey to Lead the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research


The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a private foundation formed by the 2014 Farm Bill to catalyze innovation in agricultural research, has named its first executive director.  Dr. Sally Rockey, the current deputy of extramural research at the National Institutes of Health, will lead the foundation starting in September.


This is a major milestone for the foundation, and the news was announced via this press release.  The foundation looks forward to exploring partnership opportunities as they establish research priorities.  Notices will be provided as opportunities arise


Dr. Rockey received her Ph.D. in Entomology from Ohio State University, and has spent the majority of her career in the area of extramural research administration and information technology. She leads or is active on a number of Federal committees related to science, research administration, and electronic government and collaborates closely with academic and scientific communities.  Among her many accomplishments, she managed the successful implementation of ARRA, led the focus on the biomedical research workforce, and greatly enhanced NIH’s partnership and dialogue with the extramural community, especially through social media and her “Rock Talk” blog where she shared information about NIH grants policy, extramural research activities, and data about NIH-extramural research.


Dr. Rockey visited UCR last October and was a speaker at TEDxRiverside.



Tech Coast Angels:  Monday, July 6 at 4:00PM


One way for UCR faculty or students to obtain funding to form a company is from angel investors.  Angels are high-wealth individuals who provide funds in exchange for equity (i.e., stock) in a private business (Occasionally funds are provided as loan, typically converted in equity at a later date).  Angel investors also typically provide advice on entrepreneurship and business. The Tech Coast Angels (TCA) are the largest angel investment organization in the U.S. with over 300 that have invested over $120 million in over 200 companies.  Investors affiliated with TCA funded a company I founded in 1999 (together with investors from a Silicon Valley group).


TCA will be hosting a meeting in the Alumni & Visitor center in which companies pitch for funding on Monday, July 6 from 4:00-6:00PM.  The goal of UCR hosting this event is not for students or faculty to pitch at this event but rather to watch the process and learn what interests investors and how to pitch for funding.    Those attending will have the opportunity to apply for funding at a later date.


If you would like to attend, please inform Linda Bejenaru (vcredadmin@ucr.edu) by July 1.



Funded Collaborative Seed Grants


I am pleased to announce funding approval for the following Collaborative Seed Grant Proposals:





David Lo, David Cocker, Michael Allen, Emma Aronson, Jeff Diez, Meera Nair, Monica Carson

BREATHE Center small scale environmental chamber


Ian Wheeldon, Phillip Christopher, Charles Wyman, Harvey Blanch

Drop-In Hydrocarbon Fuels through Novel Integration of Biological and Catalytic Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass-Derived Sugars


Chris Bardeen, Richard Hooley, Francisco Zaera

Chemical Methods to make Photocontrolled Surfaces


Jianlin Liu, Robert Haddon, Ming Liu

Developing Nanophotonics Research Program


Karine Le Roch, Stefano Lonardi, Frances Sladek

An in vivo system to monitor the 4D mammalian nucleome


Yadong Yin, Robert Haddon, Lorenzo Mangolini, Juchen Guo, Byran Wong

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for Next-Generation Rechargeable Battery Materials


Georgios Vidalakis, James Borneman, Wenbo Ma, Philippe Rolshausen, Caroline Roper

Utilizing the Endophytic Phytobiome to Manage Huanglongbing


Jenerette Darrel

Small Unmanned Airborne Vehicles for Ecological Research at UCR


Suveen Mathaudhu, Guillermo Aguilar, David Kisailus, Yasuhiro Kodera, Huinan Liu, Masaru Rao

Synthesis and Processing of Revolutionary Nanostructured Biomaterials


Richard Hooley, Wenwan Zhong

Detection of Post-Translational Modifications With Synthetic Receptor Based Sensors


Nathaniel Gabor, Vivek Aji

Probing the Structural Origin of Regulation in Bio-Inspired Quantum Photocells


Ashok Mulchandani, Russ Hille

Electroenzymatic Conversion of Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide to Formic Acid


Djurdjica Coss, Emma Wilson

Obesity-Induced Macrophage Brain Infiltration


Huiwang Ai, Prue Talbot

Redox Reporter-Modified Human Stem Cells for Assessing Environmentally Induced Oxidative Stress


Hideaki Tsutsui, Caroline Roper

Injectable Colorimetric Lateral Flow Biosensor in Food Crop Leaves


Chih-Cheng Tsai, Alexander Raikhel

The Molecular and Functional Characterization of Nulcear Receptor Corepressors


Jessica Purcell, Erin Rankin

Understanding the genetic basis of novel social phenotypes in damaging invasive wasps


Emma Wilson, Cindy Larive

Metabolism of T cells in infected brains


Khaleel Abdulrazak, Michael Adams

Novel Pain Suppression Mechanisms Operating in Predator-Prey Interactions: Pallid Bat vs. Venomous Scorpion


John Perry, David Martin

Anacardic Acid Analogues as New Leads to Treat Acute Myeloid Leukemia


Zhiyun Qian, Jang-Ting Guo

Analysis of costs and incentives of cyber misconduct


Carolyn Rasmussen, Amir Moradifam

Mathematical modeling of division orientation in plant cells


Ming Liu, Ruoxue Yan

An integrated ultrahigh-speed surface-plasmon optical modulator based on graphene


Chia-En Chang, Ian Wheeldon

Tuning Enzyme Kinetics through Designed Intermolecular Interactions


B. Hyle Park, Jin Nam

Early detection of cartilage defects by multi-modal optical coherence tomography


Masaru Rao, Hideaki Tsutsui

Ultrahigh throughput mechanoporation proof-of-concept study for adoptive cell transfer cancer immunotherapy


Xin Ge, Bryan Wong

Hybrid Structure Modeling / Quantum Mechanical Methods for Enzyme Engineering


Jory Yarmoff, Nathaniel Gabor

Surface Adsorption on Graphene


Haizhou Liu, Yadong Yin

Development of Magnetically Recyclable Photocatalytic Nanocomposites for Highly Efficient Water Treatment


Patricia Springer, Timothy Close

Understanding the control of leaf inclination under drought conditions in cowpea


Qi Zhu, Nanpeng Yu

Proactive Demand Participation of Smart Buildings in Smart Grid


Michael Pirrung, Huiwang Ai

Luciferin Engineering for Bioassays


Hamed Mohsenian-Rad, Fabio Pasqualetti, Amit Roy-Chowdhury

A Data-Driven Platform for Power Infrastructure Security Analysis


Valentine Vullev, Gregory Beran, Ming Lee Tang

Bioinspired electret multiscale materials for artificial photosynthesis


Erin Rankin, Christopher Clark

Pollination ecology of the Channel Islands and the evolution of year-round avian pollinators


David Reznick, Mark Springer

“The evolution of placentas in the fish family Poeciliidae”.




Western Tanager at the Jelly Feeder


Some western tanagers have been hanging around longer than previous years. Perhaps it's the jelly feeder.  Many people feed seed, but ordinary grape jelly is preferred by some birds including orioles and western tanagers.  My favorite jelly feeder story is that I once observed a gray catbird dip a grasshopper in jelly and then take it to feed its young.



(click to enlarge)







Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development 

Professor,  Computer Science & Engineering

University of California, Riverside

200 University Office Building

Riverside, CA 92521



Assistant:  Linda Bejenaru

Email: VCREDadmin@ucr.edu