Faculty awarded Seeding Success Grants for spring 2022


Vanderbilt has awarded 14 faculty members with grants to support the early stages of pioneering research projects identified as likely candidates for further funding from federal, foundation and industry sponsors. The spring 2022 Seeding Success Grants are the second cycle of the internal early investment funding initiative. The grants, awarded to faculty spanning the university’s disciplines and schools, are available to all full-time VU faculty. 

“The Seeding Success Grants offer us a great strategy to further faculty innovation and scholarship as we continue to catapult Vanderbilt’s research reputation forward as a highest-caliber university. Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan plays such a key leadership role as we dedicate new resources and support for faculty research through funding programs like this one,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver said. “I congratulate the faculty who received this year’s awards and look forward to learning more about their groundbreaking discoveries.”

Recipients of Seeding Success Grants for the spring 2022 cycle are: 

  • Christopher Candelaria, assistant professor of public policy and education, Peabody College, for “Local Impacts of Washington’s McCleary Fix: A Study of Residential Sorting and Housing Markets” 
  • Marcelo Disconzi, associate professor of mathematics, College of Arts and Science, for “Neutron Star Mergers at the Intersection of Mathematics and Physics” 
  • Martin Egli, professor of biochemistry, School of Medicine Basic Sciences, for “Microcrystal Electron Diffraction (MicroEd) of RNA and RNA-Protein Interactions”  
  • Todd Giorgio, professor of biomedical engineering, School of Engineering, for “Biomaterials to Prevent Preterm Birth” 
  • Alfredo Gurrola, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, College of Arts and Science, for “Unveiling New Forms of Composite Matter from a New Force of Nature”  
  • David Hyde, assistant professor of computer science, School of Engineering, for “Advanced Cloud-based Data- and Visualization-integrated Simulation EnviRonment (ADVISER) for Ice Flow and Fracture Modeling” 
  • Jonathan Lane, assistant professor of psychology and human development, Peabody College, for “Children’s Detection of Social Bias” 
  • Ethan Lee, professor of cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine Basic Sciences, for “Development of Kras Inhibitors that Target a Newly Identified Protein Packet” 
  • Mulubrhan Mogos, assistant professor of nursing, School of Nursing, for “Pathogenic Memory T-cells as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Preeclampsia” 
  • Jeremy Neal, assistant professor of nursing, School of Nursing, for “Differences in Labor-associated Inflammation Following Spontaneous Labor Onset Among Low-risk Black and White Nulliparous Women” 
  • Robert Pitz, professor of mechanical engineering, School of Engineering, for “Study of Carbon-free Ammonia-air Flames in Tubular Burner” 
  • Yi Ren, assistant professor of biochemistry, School of Medicine Basic Sciences, for “Chaperone-mediated Regulation of PIKK Stability and Function” 
  • Jenny Schafer, research associate professor of cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine Basic Sciences, for “Upgrades to the Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) Zeiss Z1 Lightsheet Microscope to Increase Imaging Capabilities and Sample Compatibility” 
  • Lori Schirle, assistant professor of nursing, School of Nursing, for “The Feasibility of Incorporating Pain Sensitivity Testing into Total Knee Replacement Workflow” 

“I am delighted that these 14 distinguished faculty members will receive Seeding Success Grants to undertake ambitious new directions in their research, and I look forward to seeing them amplify the impact of their work with external funding in future,” said Raghavan, whose office has administered the program since its move from the Office of the Provost last year. “I am grateful to the Seeding Success Review Committee for their insights to select these worthy recipients out of the 37 highly competitive applications we received this cycle, and to our program coordinator, Charlotte Forstall, who stepped up to administer the program following its move.” 

Applications for the next cycle of Seeding Success Grants will be due on Sept. 7, 2022. The InfoReady application portal will be announced in MyVU during summer 2022 and will be available on the Seeding Success Grant webpage