February 2015


Office of Research Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 2

The chart above and the story below are a reprint from ENGAGED, the official Tumblr of CSU.

Table of Contents

CSU's R&D Expenditures Up 371% Over Five Years

New Faculty Member Secures External Funding

Over $390,000 Funds Engineering Research

Workshop on the Logistics of Proposal Development

CSU Scholar News

Red5 Pharmaceuticals Receives Another $60,000

Announcing a New Funding Opportunity - MIRP

Deadlines Approaching for FRD, FSI, and DRA

Summer Research Award Proposals Under Review

Meet CSU's New
Research Faculty

Featured Researcher
Video Series

NIH News - New Biographical Sketch Format

Web of Science-Google Scholar Collaboration

News from the Technology Transfer Office

CSU's Research and Development
Expenditures up 371% Over Five Years

Cleveland State University has advanced nine places to No. 174 in the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development Survey. This marks the third consecutive year that CSU ranks among the top 20 percent of universitiesin the United States for R&D.

The new ranking is based on CSU's overall R&D expenditures of $67.4 million for the 2013 fiscal year covered by the latest NSF survey, which is the primary source of information on R&D spending at higher-education institutions.

Adjusted for inflation, higher education R&D increased by less than 0.5 percent in 2013, according to the NSF. In stark contrast to the national trend, CSU's R&D expenditures increased by more than 10 percent between 2012 and 2013 - and by 371 percent from 2009 to 2013.

"Our steady growth in R&D expenditures can be attributed to the efforts of our faculty and students, and reflects the University's growing commitment to research and scholarship," said Jerzy Sawicki, Ph.D., vice president for research at CSU. "Strong productivity has also allowed us to increase our share of competitive dollars while the trend in research expenditures across the nation is flat."

Among all public and private universities in Ohio, the NSF currently ranks CSU at No. 7 in R&D expenditures, ahead of the likes of Ohio University, Wright State University, Miami University, Kent State University and Bowling Green University.

New Faculty Member Secures External Funding

Dr. Ungtae Kim

As covered in the December issue of the Office of Research Newsletter, CSU's new faculty are actively pursuing external funding. One of these new faculty members, Ungtae Kim, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, recently secured funding from the Strategic Environmental Research Development Program (SERDP) managed by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

DoD supports environmental research programs to improve the DoD's environmental performance, reduce costs, and enhance and sustain mission capabilities. Thousands of military sites have been identified as contaminated with hazardous compounds. Research by Dr. Kim and his colleagues is aimed at developing and testing a methodology to periodically assess and optimize remediation systems, and to monitor the DoD's contaminated sites.

Over $390,000 Funds Engineering Research

Dr. Jerzy Sawicki

Vice President for Research, and D.E. Bently and A. Muszynska Endowed Chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jerzy Sawicki, has received over $390,000 in research funding from the University Space Research Association (USRA).

This research is focused on application of various nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques on advanced materials and components such as polymer and ceramic composites as well as advanced metallic materials to identify manufacturing related flaws as well as damage and degradation due to in-service conditions. Results of this work can then be used to improve material processing techniques and improve material models. Another aspect of this research is related to structural health monitoring techniques to predict existing anomalies and faults in turbine engine hot section rotating components.

Call for Participation - Workshop on the
Logistics of Proposal Development

The Office of Research offered a new workshop, Logistics of Proposal Development, during the Fall 2014 semester, which was open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty interested in developing proposals for external research funding. This workshop will be offered again this semester, on Friday, April 10 from 1:00-4:00pm in PH 104.

For more information, including how to register by the deadline of 5:00pm on March 25, 2015, please read the complete Call for Participation.

CSU Scholar News

Dr. Valentin Börner

A groundbreaking study led by Dr. Valentin Börner, associate professor in the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES), reveals how cells turn chromosome breaks from challenge to opportunity. Chromosomes store all our genetic information. The danger of losing genetic material makes chromosome breaks particularly hazardous. Causes for chromosome breaks include radiation and toxins. Genome instability is also observed in many solid tumors, as well as at the origin of birth defects and miscarriages. Not surprisingly, cells have powerful ways for repairing chromosome breaks. This response is orchestrated by master regulators called checkpoints. Checkpoints function in two ways: First, they stop cell divisions to prevent inheritance of fragmented chromosomes. Second, they activate enzymes that can repair chromosome breaks. However, chromosome breaks are not always bad. Take meiosis, the special cell division that halves the diploid chromosome set when eggs or sperm are formed. As meiosis gets started, cells gradually inflict an ever larger number of breaks on their chromosomes. These self-inflicted breaks are used to link maternal and paternal chromosomes and ensure their distribution in the meiosis cell division.

A team of scientists at Cleveland State University's Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) and the Department of BGES has discovered a new, ultrasensitive checkpoint system that controls chromosome break repair, specifically, when there are only a few breaks per cell. Previously, it was assumed that two checkpoints called ATM and ATR perform overlapping functions during meiosis. The researchers now report, in a study published in the journal Molecular Cell (appeared online on Feb 5th), that only ATM activates chromosome break repair when break levels are low. Molecular Cell is a companion to Cell, the leading journal of biology and the highest-impact journal in the world.

"Meiosis really poses a unique challenge to cells," says Dr. Valentin Börner. "They have to decide: Are these the bad kind of breaks that threaten the genome, or are they the good ones that help in chromosome segregation? This led us to a simple question: When do cells stop treating self-inflicted breaks as damage instead using them for chromosome segregation?"

The answer surprised the scientists: The more breaks there are, the better cells get in using them. "It's ironic: Only when you inflict lots of breaks on your genome they start becoming useful for chromosome segregation," says Dr. Börner. The fact that cells monitor break numbers has wide implications. Outside the germ line, ATM and ATR are important guardians against cancer. Patients carrying mutated copies of the ATM gene are highly radiation sensitive and have a 100-fold increased cancer risk. Dose-dependent responses to chromosome breaks may be shared between meiosis and somatic cells, potentially providing novel insights into how cells battle harmful genome damage. This study may have wide implications for radiation therapy and cancer treatment.


Please share with us important news or updates on your research, scholarly, or creative activities. Updates may be related to a paper that has been accepted for publication in a high-impact journal, a book you've just published, your work that will be exhibited at a prominent institution, or other updates you wish to share with our office. Send details to j.yard@csuohio.edu and c.mclennan@csuohio.edu.

Red5 Pharmaceuticals Receives Another $60,000

Congratulations to Red5 Pharmaceuticals for receiving $60,000 in funding from the Ohio Third Frontier Foundation. As announced in the June issue of this newsletter, Red5 was previously awarded $25,000 in funding from GLIDE. Both awards are based on work from a Faculty Innovation Fund award to CSU Professor Anthony Berdis, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Red5 Pharmaceuticals, LLC, and a member of CSU's Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD).

New Funding Opportunity - MIRP

Up to $75,000 for Successful Multidisciplinary Teams of Eligible Faculty

The Office of Research is pleased to announce the Multi-College Interdisciplinary Research Program (MIRP), which provides funding for broad and collaborative research activities that are interdisciplinary and involve faculty from multiple colleges across CSU. A comprehensive list of guidelines for MIRP are available here.

Each application must designate a team that includes one Principal Investigator (PI) and at least two co-Principal Investigators. At least three colleges must be represented between the members of the proposing team and the involvement of each member including the PI and Co-PIs should be specifically described.

Applicants should contact Dr. Conor McLennan in the Office of Research at c.mclennan@csuohio.edu or via phone 216-687-5171, prior to submitting a proposal, to receive confirmation that the proposed research is consistent with the goals of the program.

There is no specific due date for proposals. Instead, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the Office of Research will coordinate the continuous review of all submitted proposals until September 30, 2015, or upon commitment of all available funds, whichever occurs first.

Deadlines Approaching for FRD, FSI, and DRA Applications

Don’t forget to submit your Faculty Research and Development (FRD) and Faculty Scholarship Initiative (FSI) proposals -- and to encourage your doctoral students to submit a Dissertation Research Award (DRA) proposal. FRD proposals are due to Deans by March 6, 2015; FSI proposals are due to the Office of Research by March 6, 2015; and DRA proposals are due to Doctoral Program Directors by March 6, 2015.

Undergraduate Summer Research Award Proposals Under Review

Fifty-eight proposals were received from six colleges with requests totaling $450,397. Proposals are currently under review, and award decisions are expected by March 13, 2015. The Office of Research would like to thank all of the faculty members who are currently working hard to provide thoughtful, quality, and timely reviews.

Meet CSU's New Research Faculty

Dr. Christopher Boyd

Dr. Christopher Boyd, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, joined CSU in fall 2014. Dr. Boyd's research is inspired by the tremendous importance, in synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, and medicine, of the molecule nitric oxide (NO). NO is a toxic gas in large quantities, but it is essential to living things in low concentrations, as it serves as a signaling molecule.

Much of the vital biochemistry of NO is due to its ability to bind - or coordinate - to transition metal atoms or ions present in proteins. The binding of NO to synthetic transition metal compounds to form products known as nitrosyl complexes has also been widely explored by inorganic chemists. In contrast, comparatively little work has been done on the coordination chemistry of nitroso compounds, organic molecules containing NO as one part of a larger molecule. Dr. Boyd's research focuses on the exploration of the reactivity of nitroso compounds with transition metals, and the application of this fundamental chemistry to practical problems.

Featured Researcher Video Series - Jeff Karem


Dr. Jeff Karems's research is the focus of the latest installment of the Featured Researcher Video series. Dr. Karem is a Professor of English at Cleveland State University. His research focuses on the contributions of immigrant writers to American literature. We encourage you to learn about Dr. Karem's work, and to take a look at our previous Featured Researcher Videos.

NIH News - New Biographical Sketch Format

NIH will require a new biosketch format for applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. Researchers can read about this new format in a recent article in Nature, and in this NIH announcement.

Learn About the Web of Science-Google Scholar Collaboration

As many researchers know, the Web of Science is based on published, peer-reviewed content, and Google Scholar incorporates a larger set of citations, including from preprints and theses. Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Google Scholar began a collaboration, which was rolled out approximately one year ago. Researchers are encouraged to read more here, and to consider registering for an upcoming one-hour webinar on March 4, 2015 aimed at informing researchers how to get the most out of this collaboration.

News from the Technology Transfer Office

EVENT: Biomaterials Innovation: Selections and Considerations for Successful Product Development. Learn about the latest trends and innovations in biomaterials, while gaining insight from experts on how to select the proper raw material and the challenges and considerations to be aware of at the start of product development. Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 from 8:00am - 11:00am. Location: Corporate College East, 4400 Richmond Road, Room 203, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128. Click here to register for this event.


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The Office of Research


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