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Library awarded NIH grant on human genetics

Margaret O. Little, director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and associate professor of philosophy, received $386,977 from the National Human Genome Research Institute/National Institutes of Health on behalf of the Bioethics Research library for the project, “National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics.” The project is focused on preserving, validating and updating intellectual work by the library on genetics resources. The project also works to make more available to Internet users information found in the GenETHX database. The database, developed by the library under the directorship of Doris Goldstein, is a collection of citations to literature on the legal, ethical and social implications of genetic and genomic research.

Allison C. Whitmer, associate dean of Georgetown College, and colleagues received an award of $258,400 from the National Science Foundation for “Urban Sustainability and Push-Pull Drivers of Residential Change: Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay.” The research investigates the relationships among urban sustainability policies, investments and outcomes; drivers of urbanization; and long-term dynamics of urban residential neighborhoods. Three themes will be used to examine these relationships – urban forests and open space, environmental quality and human health. These themes are considered in a framework that includes vulnerability to climate change and environmental justice.

Paola Barbara, associate professor of physics, is principal investigator on an $118,919 grant from the National Science Foundation for a joint project with fellow associate professor of physics Makarand Paranjape and the Russian Research Centre Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. The grant is to study the sensing mechanism in carbon nanotube devices. Carbon nanotubes consist of a layer of carbon atoms wrapped in the shape of a cylinder, with a diameter approximately 100,000 times smaller than that of a human hair. Electronic devices made with carbon nanotubes have extraordinary potential as nanoscale, highly-sensitive chemical sensors,” Barbara says. “However, to date, no systematic study has been done to understand the underlying response mechanism. This project will be a thorough experimental and theoretical investigation of this issue.”

Barbara Stowasser, professor of Arabic and Islamic studies, received grants for $235,500 and $310,104 from the U.S. Department of Education for the National Resource Center on the Middle East. Over the next four years, the center will work to increase knowledge of the Middle East and students’ expertise in the area and proficiency in Middle Eastern languages. The grants will also support several foreign language and area studies fellowships.

Victor D. Cha, director of Asian studies, received grants for $132,000 and $225,491 from the U.S. Department of Education for the National Resource Center for East Asian studies. The objectives of the center are to support community college teachers as well as secondary schools, enhance graduate programs in this area, advance the Public Health in Asia initiative, increase scholarly contributions by Georgetown faculty who study East Asia and enhance the East Asia library resources.

Angela Stent received grants for $316,500 and $235,657 from the U.S. Department of Education for the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, which she directs. The center will use the funds to increase outreach to K-12 and post-secondary teacher training as well as minority student involvement, create professional development opportunities and an evaluation process for programs, increase course offerings, especially through contributions of visiting Fulbright scholars and other researchers, and enhance library holdings.