Welch, MI, United States
Welch, MI, United States

Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti is 35 miles west of Detroit and eight miles east of Ann Arbor. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School. Today, the university is governed by an eight-member Board of Regents, who are appointed by the Governor of Michigan for eight-year terms. The school belongs to the Mid-American Conference and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Since 1991 EMU athletics has gone by the name "Eagles". Then in 1994, "Swoop" was officially adopted by the university as the school's mascot. Currently, EMU comprises seven colleges and schools: College of Arts and science, College of Business, College of Education, College of Health and Human Services, College of Technology, an Honors College, and a Graduate School. The university's site is composed of an academic and athletic campus spread across 800 acres , with over 120 buildings. EMU has a total enrollment of more than 23,000 students. Wikipedia.

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Texter J.,Eastern Michigan University
Macromolecular Rapid Communications | Year: 2012

Stimuli responsiveness in polymer design is providing basis for diversely new and advanced materials that exhibit switchable porosity in membranes and coatings, switchable particle formation and thermodynamically stable nanoparticle dispersions, polymers that provide directed mechanical stress in response to intensive fields, and switchable compatibility of nanomaterials in changing environments. The incorporation of ionic liquid monomers has resulted in many new polymers based on the imidazolium group. These polymers exhibit all of the above-articulated material properties. Some insight into how these anion responsive polymers function has become empirically available. Much opportunity remains for extending our understanding as well as for designing more refined stimuli-responsive materials. The anion or solvent stimuli responsiveness of imidazolium-based copolymers arises from dramatic solubility variations among particular anion-imidazolium ion pairs. These ion pairs can be tuned from solvophilic to solvophobic through anion exchange, and reversible poration, condensation, and stabilization are examples of concomitant properties. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Texter J.,Eastern Michigan University
Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2014

Aqueous dispersions of graphene are of interest to afford environmentally safe handing of graphene for coating, composite, and other material applications. The dispersion of graphene in water and some other solvents using surfactants, polymers, and other dispersants is reviewed and results show that nearly completely exfoliated graphene may be obtained at concentrations from 0.001 to 5% by weight in water. The molecular features promoting good dispersion are reviewed. A critical review of optical extinction shows that the visible absorption coefficients of graphene have been reported over the ranges of 12 to 66cm2/mg at various wavelengths. The practice of energetically activating graphene in various solvents with various stabilizers followed by centrifugation to isolate the "good" dispersion components is fine for producing samples amenable to TEM analysis and quantification, but cannot be expected to drive value added production of products on the kg or higher scale. Such approaches lack practical application and often involve 90-99% wasted graphene. However, alternative approaches omitting centrifugation are yielding dispersions 0.5 to 5% by weight graphene, with higher yields likely in the near future. These dispersions yield effective extinctions of about 49cm2/mg, in conformity with macroscopic optical analysis of single and few layer graphene. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PHYLOGENETIC SYSTEMATICS | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

One of the most important aims of evolutionary biology is to understand the processes responsible for speciation, and one of the best places to study species is on the island of Madagascar. The island is home to an extraordinary number of charismatic plant species and has been identified as an ideal region to investigate the processes of species diversification. This work will provide insight into how such a remarkable flora came to be. Though many ideas have been suggested as possible mechanisms for diversification on Madagascar, the evolutionary processes responsible for the islands botanical biodiversity remain poorly understood. This research will fill this gap in knowledge, test many existing hypotheses for the first time, and provide a much-needed synthesis of evolutionary process for plant diversity on the island. Powerful, new sequencing technologies and innovative analyses will be applied to a species-rich plant group, called Megistohibiscus, which has evolved exclusively on the island. Madagascar is also one of the highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation in the world and genomic data collected for this project have the potential to guide conservation decisions and help limit further losses of biodiversity. The research will provide research opportunities for female undergraduate students and underrepresented minorities at Eastern Michigan and provide important training in evolutionary genetics, systematics, bioinformatics, and conservation. One Malagasy graduate student will be involved in the research and a short course will be taught at the countrys major university to facilitate international scientific exchange and address the significant shortage of trained local scientists on Madagascar.

This research will synthesize findings from phylogenetic and phylogeographic investigations, information theory and ecological niche modeling to explore the mechanisms that have led to the extraordinary diversification of plants on Madagascar. Because multiple processes have likely contributed to the evolution of the flora, the work will evaluate a full range of evolutionary forces (and assess their relative contributions) in order to identify the most important processes. Speciation hypotheses will be rigorously tested for the first time in Malagasy plants and focus on a morphologically diverse, monophyletic and endemic clade (Megistohibiscus) in an important Malagasy plant family (Malvaceae; tribe Hibisceae). Analyses of genetic data collected via RAD tag Illumina sequencing will identify mechanisms promoting diversification at the species and population level. This research specifically aims to: I) Infer patterns and timing of diversification in Megistohibiscus; II) Integrate phylogenetic, geographic and temporal information to explicitly test models of speciation; III) Explore phylogeographic histories in three endemic genera (Humbertiella, Megistostegium, and Perrierophytum); and IV) Identify, rank and compare demographic processes responsible for population diversification. The resulting taxonomically complete and resolved phylogeny of Megistohibiscus will help delimit species boundaries, revise taxonomy, and provide insights into relationships of the Malagasy flora. A Malagasy Plant Evolution Working Group will be assembled to assess and strategize ways to inspire the future execution of speciation studies in other endemic plant clades to uncover comprehensive patterns of Madagascars floristic diversity. American undergraduate students and a student from Madagascar will be trained at Eastern Michigan University, an RUI Institution, in all aspects of the research.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: LONG TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH | Award Amount: 40.97K | Year: 2015

Understanding how landscapes change following human disturbance is increasingly important. Large portions of the Northeastern and Midwestern parts of the US were formerly cleared of native vegetation to support agriculture, and many of the resulting farms were subsequently abandoned. This cycle of modification and abandonment continues. This project will capitalize on planned restoration of abandoned agricultural land in Michigan to establish long-term experiments. These experiments can be used by diverse researchers, including the investigators on this project, to understand how native communities and native biodiversity are restored. The research will engage citizens who are active in butterfly, bird, and plant monitoring programs, along with local K-12 teachers, undergraduate students, and graduate students. The project will strengthen a collaboration among research scientists, the Michigan Division of Natural Resources, and local land owners, who will be engaged in project development. Results from the study, including the experimental plots, will be used as exemplars for future community and private land restoration efforts.

The relationship between species diversity and community and ecosystem processes is of fundamental importance in the fields of community and ecosystem ecology. Recent research includes genetic diversity and its influence through potential feedbacks between genetic and species diversity. The large-scale and long-term experimental manipulations that will be established through this project will provide a unique testing ground for understanding the relationships between species and genetic diversity and how these aspects of biodiversity affect population, community, ecosystem, and evolutionary processes under realistic field conditions. To date, most studies have been small in scale and short in duration. Twelve former agricultural fields will be restored to native prairie and experiments will be established that manipulate both species and genetic diversity. This is a unique opportunity to overlay experimental treatments on large-scale restoration. Short-term results will test questions about how genetic diversity affects species diversity in newly assembling communities and how species and genetic diversity interact to affect the establishment, growth, and extinction of focal populations. Although rarely applied in genetic diversity-species diversity work, population demography and evolutionary ecology approaches hold great promise for identifying mechanistic links driving feedbacks between genetic diversity and species diversity. Over the longer-term these experiments will be available to diverse researchers to pursue wide-ranging ecological questions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ITEST | Award Amount: 1.57M | Year: 2014

The GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education (GRACE) project builds upon a recent NSF-funded project, the Mayors Youth Technology Corps (MYTC), that developed a model of geographic information systems and technology (GIS/T) based education. MYTC developed a model of purposeful applications of GIS/T-based education for STEM careers in the workplace that provided youth in economically disadvantaged communities experience using and applying GIS/T to real world situations. In the GRACE project, Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and Michigan Virtual University (MY), in collaboration with Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN), Michigan Communities Association of Mapping Professionals (MiCAMP), and Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA), take the MYTC model to students and teachers in grades 8-12 across the State of Michigan through a three-tiered learning process (Explorer phase, Investigator phase, and Intern phase). The Explorer level introduces students to GIS/T through an online system that builds students basic understanding of GIS/T and stimulates student curiosity. The Investigator level leverages students curiosity and interest and prepares them to work with GIS/T lesson modules that are designed to emphasize science and engineering aspects and align with standards for teaching the subjects. The Intern level provides students with professional GIS/T training and opportunities to gain work experiences in local organizations as Interns. Professional development activities for teachers who will use GIS/T in their classes are tightly integrated with this progressive learning process so that the teachers are given adequate instructional support and technical mentoring as they work with the participating, and future, students.

The five educational and community organizations that comprise the GRACE team will: 1) expand and disseminate the model across Michigan and report on the ensuing challenges and successes; 2) demonstrate how to unite GIS/T organizations and volunteers with schools, students and teachers to integrate authentic GIS/T applications in curricula and provide a foreseeable career incentive for students to enthusiastically participate in STEM learning, especially for rural and underrepresented communities; 3) study motivations and hindrances of integrating GIS/T into science and social studies classrooms; and 4) develop an effective delivery model - the use of online and blended learning to transform the speed, ease of replication, and consistency of delivering instruction that is customized to increase motivation and achievement for students. GIS/T is applicable to many current career paths; GRACE will afford students in disadvantaged communities opportunities to engage in GIS/T they otherwise might not have. The expansion and dissemination of the model will affect 5,000 Explorers, 2,500 Investigators, and 300 Interns - 120 teachers, and 40 schools will receive GIS/T training, integrate GIS/T in teaching in STEM and social studies, and apply GIS/T to solve real-world problems. A statewide learning community of teachers who are interested in adopting GIS/T as instructional technology will be formed and supported, while a statewide consortium of schools and community organizations will be established to provide professional mentors and workforce experience opportunities for students through paid or volunteered internships.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Cellular Dynamics and Function | Award Amount: 297.38K | Year: 2016

The subject of this research project is selective autophagy, a cellular clean-up and recycling process used by animals, plants and fungi to maintain cellular function. This project will improve Americas competitiveness by contributing to the education of a diverse and technically literate workforce. It will create a research-rich learning environment for biochemistry students at Eastern Michigan University, a primarily undergraduate institution that serves a racially and socioeconomically diverse population of students. It will do this by supporting a cutting-edge research program that will directly engage ~10-12 undergraduate and Masters level students in mentored scientific research projects as well as creating semester-long guided research experiences for ~30-36 additional undergraduates as part of a research-based senior-level biochemistry lab. Multiple studies have shown that the most effective way for students to learn science is by participating in authentic scientific research. Therefore, this project will not only advance our fundamental understanding of the natural world but also train the next generation of scientists.

Selective autophagy targets damaged or unwanted cellular components, such as toxic protein aggregates or malfunctioning mitochondria, and delivers them to the vacuole/lysosome where they are destroyed and their constituents recycled. This research focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms of selective autophagy in the model organism bakers yeast. One of the key proteins that guides the process of selective autophagy is Atg11, which interacts with a number of other autophagy proteins and organizes them into a functional protein complex. This research will explain how Atg11 organizes this complex by determining the characteristics of Atg11s interactions with its protein partners. Specifically, it will determine whether Atg11can bring together all of its partners at once, in the manner of a scaffold, or whether it interacts with them one at a time, in the manner of an assembly line. This information will help us to understand how selective autophagy actually occurs, not only in yeast but also many other organisms that share a similar machinery, including humans.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: I-Corps | Award Amount: 50.00K | Year: 2015

Recent reports have stressed that students need to develop an integrated understanding of science throughout their education; particularly with a focus on core concepts in science. In recent years there has been growing concern regarding science education in the United States. The current United States education system falls short when compared to international programs; this is particularly prevalent at higher-grade levels and in scientific subjects. While some success has been achieved in increasing student achievement in reading and writing over the past few years, achievement in science has remained shockingly low. It is clear from these results that new tools and technologies are needed to engage students in science learning in meaningful ways.

The proposed project, Gulliver Innovative Learning (GIL) is a scalable educational technology that engages students in modeling scientific phenomena in a fun and exciting way, while at the same time helping students to better understand such phenomena. This project has the potential of substantially enhancing student success in introductory level STEM courses and of influencing scientific literacy among individuals to broaden student participation in such courses. GIL provides a powerful and memorable learning experience that will give students confidence in their ability to tackle STEM subjects. The GIL platform can be extended to teach many scientific concepts including medical phenomena. Through these engaging participation-based activities, students will develop a better understanding of the underlying concepts. Furthermore, through instant analysis of the usage data, instructors will receive feedback regarding the progress of their students, leading to knowledge of gaps in understanding and resulting in ways to further instruct difficult concepts. As a result, instructors will be able to use this information to help students make a better connection between interrelated ideas. The team expects to use the customer discovery process to identify a product-market fit and to explore different pricing and revenue models.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SPECIAL PROJECTS - CISE | Award Amount: 238.67K | Year: 2014

The modernized electric grid, the Smart Grid, integrates two-way communication technologies across power generation, transmission and distribution, in order to deliver electricity efficiently, securely and cost-effectively. On the monitoring and control side, it employs real-time monitoring offered by a messaging-based advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), which ensures the grid?s stability and reliability, as well as the efficient implementation of demand response schemes to mitigate bursts demand. The efficient implementation of these features presents a number of challenges, but also opportunities for technology development in engineering, networking, and data analytics.

The intellectual contributions include the development of a framework that encompasses fast signal processing and machine learning algorithms, together with multi-sensor information to assess the health of the network. Specifically, the study will investigate algorithms for adaptive detection over streaming, high-dimensional and potentially missing value data. Furthermore, the project, via industry collaborators and power provisioners, will provide a comprehensive empirical evaluation with real-world data; this includes an open-source proof-of-concept prototype for quickly inferring nefarious activity in home-area networks, and a cloud-based testbed for examining realistic scenarios in a wide-area setting.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ECOSYSTEM STUDIES | Award Amount: 111.59K | Year: 2015

Freshwater wetlands provide many valuable ecosystem services, including the provision of food and habitat for wildlife, improvement of water quality, flood protection, and defense of lake shorelines from erosion. These attributes make wetlands a significant environmental, recreational, and economic resource for our nation. In freshwater wetlands, tall plants emerging from the water, such as cattails, often account for a large fraction of the plant matter produced. These plants exhibit prolific rates of growth and absorb large amounts of nutrient contaminants, improving water quality in the process. Most of this plant matter is not directly consumed by animals, but instead dies and is decomposed by microorganisms (bacteria and fungi). During decomposition, nutrients trapped within plant tissues may be released via the activity of bacterial and fungal decomposers. Bacteria and fungi growing on decaying plants also serve as a key food resource for many invertebrate animals, and form a link in the flow of energy and nutrients up the food chain (to fish and waterfowl, for example) in wetland habitats. As a consequence, the productivity, nutrient uptake, and decomposition of emergent plants will profoundly affect nearly all aspects of wetland function. This research project will measure the importance of bacteria and fungi in wetland plant decay, and investigate how their potential interactions with algae affect rates of plant matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. Microorganisms are key players in the circulation of nutrients on Earth. This circulation, often referred to as biogeochemical cycling, includes all of the biological, geological and chemical factors that are involved. Understanding the ecology of microorganisms is essential for us to meet the major challenges facing human society, such as conservation and management of natural ecosystems and mitigation of climate change. In addition to training a postdoctoral scholar, this research will train undergraduate and graduate students through a collaborative, multifaceted effort to understand a key ecosystem process, decomposition. Through these efforts researchers will also participate in a series of existing university programs and coordinated outreach activities aimed at recruiting underrepresented groups into the sciences and strengthening science education at the elementary through university levels.

The overarching goal of this project is to understand the nature of metabolic interactions among algae, bacteria, and fungi in decomposing plant litter, and to quantify how these interactions influence plant litter decomposition and carbon cycling in wetlands. Photolysis of dissolved and particulate organic matter is widely accepted as an important abiotic decomposition process in aquatic ecosystems. In contrast, enhanced decomposition via algal stimulation of litter-associated heterotrophic microbes has only recently been considered. Prior research by this team has documented rapid metabolic responses of heterotrophic microbes to algal photosynthesis in natural decaying plant litter, thus establishing the potential for algal priming effects on microbial-mediated litter decomposition, yet, the relative importance of algal priming and photolysis in facilitating litter decomposition in aquatic ecosystems remains unknown. This project will involve a series of field and laboratory experiments in marsh ecosystems, investigating three key questions centered on photostimulation of litter decomposition: 1) What is the relative importance of algal photosynthetic priming vs. photolysis in facilitating microbial-mediated organic matter decomposition? 2) What is the influence of photolysis and autotroph-heterotroph interactions on ecosystem-scale carbon cycling 3) What are the mechanisms mediating autotroph-heterotroph interactions in decaying plant litter?

University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University | Date: 2015-08-04

The invention relates to plasminogen activator-1 (PAI-1) inhibitor compounds and uses thereof in the treatment of any disease or condition associated with elevated PAI-1. The invention includes, but is not limited to, the use of such compounds to modulate lipid metabolism and treat conditions associated with elevated PAI-1, cholesterol, or lipid levels.

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