President Meehan awards 4 faculty members sci-tech and creative economy grants

Grants include UMass Dartmouth research and outreach related to New Bedford's anti-slavery history, concussion-preventing materials, bio-degradable plastics for medical use, and partnership with Provincetown

Pamela Karimi portrait
Dr. Pamela Karimi

BOSTON-President Marty Meehan today announced $1,090,500 in grants for UMass science and technology research projects and arts and humanities/social sciences projects all aimed at improving the quality of live in Massachusetts and beyond. UMass Dartmouth faculty received four of the awards.

"With these grants, we are investing in the vision, expertise and commitment of faculty members from all five UMass campuses," President Meehan said. "We are supporting distinguished scholars who enrich us through their diligent pursuits."

"These awards demonstrate President Meehan's commitment to UMass Dartmouth's research agenda and the value of this work to the economic and social development of the region and the Commonwealth. The longer I am here, the more I appreciate the historic importance of this university and its talented faculty to our collective quality of life."

The President's Science & Technology Initiatives Fund will provide $834,000 in grants to nine projects across the UMass System that advance basic and applied research in areas of strategic importance to the Commonwealth. The grants will fund work in areas ranging from developing materials that could prevent brain injuries sustained in sports and military contexts, to creating a regional bio-manufacturing hub in the Northeast.

The UMass Dartmouth Science & Technology grants include:

Energy Absorbing-Materials for Mitigating Head and Other Impact Injuries
Principal Investigator: Yong Kim, Department of Bioengineering
The focus of this project is to develop a new research center for biomedical injury protection and mitigation structures. It is intended to have applications in both sports (e.g., football) and in the military to deal with traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Partners: UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School
Funding: $125,000

Bio-based, Bio-degradable Plastics with a Medical Focus
Principal Investigator: Christopher Brigham, Department of Bioengineering
The plan is to create bio-degradable plastics from waste materials such as lobster and crab shells as the basis for developing new bio-compatible polymers that can be used in surgical applications like sutures, implants, scaffolds, wound dressing, and drug delivery.
Partner: UMass Medical School
Proposed funding: $25,000 (planning grant)

Over the past 14 years, Science & Technology grants of $11.8 million have generated additional public and private funding of more than $200 million in areas including medical devices, nano-manufacturing, clinical and translational science, bio-manufacturing, data science, robotics and personalized cancer therapy.

"This program vividly demonstrates the impact that a public research university like UMass has in that it unlocks work of real scholarly significance and also produces a profound and enduring economic impact," President Meehan noted.

The Creative Economy Initiatives Fund will provide $256,500 to 11 projects across the UMass system, including the following grants to UMass Dartmouth:

Establishing a Strategic Partnership between UMass Dartmouth and Provincetown, MA
Michael Goodman, Public Policy Center, with David Panagore, Provincetown Town Manager
UMassD's Public Policy Center and the town of Provincetown will design and develop the initial phase of what is envisioned as an ongoing formal technical and strategic partnership that will support the town's recently launched effort to update its Local Comprehensive Plan and provide future applied research and technical assistance services.
Funding: $19,000

Black Spaces Matter: Exploring the Architectonics of an Abolitionist Neighborhood
Pamela Karimi, Department of Art History and Michael Swartz of Department of Visual Design
The seaport city of New Bedford, the home of many pre-Civil War fugitive slaves and abolitionists, provides a lens through which to explore the history of interracial urban zones in the US. This project will highlight the significance of city neighborhoods that were home to fugitives from the South, including the renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The program will include a lecture series, an architecture exhibition and a documentary film.
Funding: $25,650

Since it was created 10 years ago, the Creative Economy Initiatives Fund has awarded $2.75 million in grants.

Full press release on President's grant awards


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