Momentum Funds 2022 Seeding Grant Awardees

Seeding Grants, which provide up to $25,000 per year, support significant and innovative scholarship by individual or small groups of faculty at all ranks at the University of Pittsburgh. In constructing each year’s portfolio of awards, attention is given to supporting early career faculty or areas where opportunities for extramural funding are extremely limited. Proposals are reviewed in four tracks: Creative Arts, Performing Arts and Humanities; Engineering, Technology, Natural Sciences, and Mathematical Sciences; Health and Life Sciences; and Social Sciences, which includes business, policy, law, education, and social work. Congratulations to this year's awardees! 

Functional heterogeneity at the level of an individual neurotransmitter release site at the adult neuromuscular junction
Yomna Badawi, Neuroscience

Manipulation of sensory-motor coupling during speech production
Jason Bohland, Communication Science & Disorders

T-box transcriptional control of Drosophila wing development
Deborah Chapman, Biological Sciences

Modernizing through Electronic and Digital Media: Transnational Evangelicalism and Indigenous Cultures in the Andes
Diego Cortes, Broadcast Communications, Pitt-Bradford

Modeling Driver Situational Awareness in Highly Automated Driving
Na Du, Informatics & Networked Systems

Agricultural Adaptations in Response to Environmental Stress in the Tropics
Claire Ebert, Anthropology

Data Mining Approach to Understand Tensor Properties in Turbulent Cascade
Lei Fang, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Beyond graduation rates: Conceptualizing liberatory educational outcomes for colleges and universities
Gina Garcia, Educational Foundations, Organizations, & Policy

Making Skeletons of Shapes Dance
Paul Gartside, Mathematics

Adaptive stochastic optimization via trajectory cues
Oliver Hinder, Industrial Engineering

The Politics-­Psychology Nexus and the Future of Public Service
Gary Hollibaugh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs 

Taking Off the Cape: Removing the Cloak of Invincibility to Support BIPOC Graduate Students
Alicia Johnson, Aliya Durham, Yodit Betru, Toya Jones, and Deborah Robinson; Social Work.

Developing a Holistic Measurement Plan for Transition to Adulthood 
Traci Kazmerski, Pediatrics, with additional colleagues Andrew McCormick, Pediatrics; Ming-Te Wang, School of Education; Tomar Pierson-Brown, Law; Marlo A. Perry, Social Work; and Loreta Matheo, Pediatrics.
This project aligns with the 2021-2022 call for projects investigating the social determinants of health.

Situated Task-Driven Multimodal Intent Modeling and Applications
Adriana Kovashka, Computer Science, with additional SCI colleagues Diane Litman, Malihe Alikhani, and Rebecca Hwa.

Digital Resistance
Olga Kuchinskaya, Communication
This project is aligned with the themes of the Year of Data & Society.

Taiwan Rising: A Year in the Life of a Forbidden Nation
Michael Meyer, English

Elucidating variable immune responses regulation through non-coding RNA-target interactomes
Olanrewaju Morenikeji, Biology, Pitt-Bradford

Understanding PFAS Interactions with Kidney Function in Health and Disease
Carla Ng, Civil & Environmental Engineering
This project aligns with the 2021-2022 call for projects investigating the social determinants of health.

Would That
Diana Khoi Nguyen, English

Causal Moderation and Mediation Analyses in Multisite Randomized Trials
Xu Qin, Health & Human Development

Socially Responsible Data Collection and Network Intervention Codesigns
Amin Rahimian, Industrial Engineering
This project is aligned with the themes of the Year of Data & Society.

HBCU Voices: A Digital Storytelling Project
Khirsten Scott, English

Q-GPU: A Recipe of Optimizations for Quantum Circuit Simulation Using GPUs
Xulong Tang, Computer Science

Carbonic Anhydrase-Catalyzed Carbon Dioxide Sequestration in Seawater
Meng Wang, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Improving Health Equity by Analyzing Social Determinants of Health from the Electronic Health Records
Yanshan Wang, Health Information Management
This project aligns with the 2021-2022 call for projects investigating the social determinants of health.

Highly Scalable and Efficient Deep Learning Accelerator Enabled by 3D Photonic Integration
Nathan Youngblood, Electrical & Computer Engineering