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Girls in Science Day at UT May 10

More than 140 sophomore high school girls will visit The University of Toledo Wednesday, May 10, when prominent female scientists and engineers across the region will introduce them to the exciting world of science and technology careers through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

The eighth annual Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on UT’s Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

UT faculty and industrial professionals from Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Spartan Chemical Co. Inc. will help inspire a passion for science careers by exploring the tools of the trade. The visiting high school students also will get to interact with female graduate students in the various areas in science, engineering and the health sciences.

The girls will carry out investigations in a number of areas, including physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology, engineering, pharmacy, and medicine.

Activities for students will include building solar cells; using liquid nitrogen to make objects float in the air; swabbing their cheeks for a DNA sample; building a motor; generating electricity on a bike; making biodiesel fuel; using patient simulators to practice patient interventions; and making lip balm.

During lunch in the Brady Center on the Engineering campus, the students will learn about coding and its importance for future careers in STEMM.

“Girls are just as interested in science and technology as their male peers, but the number of girls that make it to college to pursue a major and get a job in a STEMM field is not growing as we need it to do,” said Edith Kippenhan, senior lecturer in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, director of WISDOM, and past president of the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. “Women approach problems differently, and they come up with different, equally valid solutions. We need them in the workforce to better design products and solutions for the various problems facing our society and our planet.”

Students from Toledo Public, Washington Local and Oregon Schools, as well as from the Toledo Islamic Academy and Wildwood Environmental Academy, will participate in WISDOM at the University.

“It is our goal to show the students they have a real and doable pathway to their dream career in STEMM,” Kippenhan said. “It is our hope that a visit to UT for events such as WISDOM will inspire them to embrace science and technology, and turn their dreams into reality.”

The event is hosted by the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Sponsors include Marathon Petroleum Corp., Columbia Gas, Spartan Chemical Co., the Toledo Section of the American Chemical Society, the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, and the UT colleges of Engineering, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Distinguished University Lecturers named

Three Distinguished University Lecturers were recognized April 20 during a ceremony in Doermann Theater.

“Appointment to the rank of Distinguished University Lecturer is the highest permanent honor The University of Toledo can bestow on a lecturer,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said.

“Those named Distinguished University Lecturer have earned recognition and distinction as educators, advancing student learning, facilitating and supporting student success, and demonstrating a commitment to the University’s educational mission.”

The duration of the appointment as a Distinguished University Lecturer is unlimited, and the title may be retained after a lecturer has retired from the University.

The three Distinguished University Lecturers, holding their certificates from left, Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, Dr. Joseph Hara and Teresa Keefe, posed for a photo during the April 20 ceremony in Doermann Theater with, from left, Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs; President Sharon L. Gaber; and Dr. Jamie Barlowe, interim vice provost for faculty affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

Faculty eligible for the designation are assistant, associate and senior lecturers.

Named Distinguished University Lecturers were:

• Dr. Joseph Hara, senior lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages in the College of Arts and Letters. He has taught at UT since 1987, first as a Japanese instructor and then as a lecturer. He is the director of the Japanese Program.

“Dr. Hara developed a minor degree program in Japanese, now the second highest enrolled Japanese program in the state, following Ohio State University,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Hara is well-known for never saying no to a student who needs his support and for his promotion of study abroad, taking students to Japan each summer for cultural and language immersion, as well as developing exchange programs with Japanese universities, including Aichi University. Some UT graduates were able to successfully find jobs in Japan after their degree completion because of the programs that Dr. Hara established and continues to lead. His exemplary teaching evaluations also attest to the impact he has on the lives and the success of students. He received the University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002.”

• Teresa Keefe, senior lecturer in the Department of Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation. She has been teaching at UT 13 years. Keefe is the faculty adviser to the Association for Information Technology Professionals.

“She continuously develops new and innovative courses, incorporating new technologies, and providing active learning experiences for her students, including flipped classes and service learning, all contributing to student retention and graduation rates,” one nominator wrote. “Over my 37 years at the University, I have never seen the likes of Teresa in terms of teaching, service and dedication to the betterment of students.” A former student wrote, “If I was asked who outside my immediate family had the largest impact on my education and professional growth, without hesitation, ‘Teresa Keefe’ would be blurted out.” And another graduate noted, “I owe my success to Teresa Keefe. She is an exceedingly wonderful professor, mentor and friend. The amount of dedication that she pours into her passion daily is inspiring.”

• Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, associate lecturer in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She began teaching at the University in 2001.

“Dr. Nonekowski is often the earliest adopter of active learning methods such as clickers and Blackboard chat rooms; she won an Assessment Award in the college in 2014 and mentors other faculty who are incorporating assessment in their courses,” one nominator wrote. “She received an Innovations in Teaching Award in 2015, and she was nominated for a University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010.” A graduate wrote, “I believe that Dr. N. is truly in a league all her own when it comes to her teaching style, her abundant ability, and her academic perspective. She is not only compassionate and knowledgeable, but also a lecturer who makes learning interesting and fun.” A student wrote, “It is clear that the instructor really knows her stuff, and her passion and understanding for the material had a great impact on my learning.”

Deadline extended for new graduate programs proposals

Tuesday, May 30, is the deadline for campus community members to submit proposals for new graduate programs.


Earlier this year, the College of Graduate Studies issued a request for proposals for new graduate programs. 

“To date, we have received 10 proposals,” said Dr. Amanda C. Bryant-Friedrich, dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “We’re extending the deadline for proposals to allow those who are busy with end-of-the-year duties to participate in this process.”

Proposals will be accepted from all UT community members, including students, staff, alumni, administrators and faculty.

“As you know, the quality and prestige of graduate programs is dependent upon the availability of competitive, challenging and cutting-edge curricula that are of interest to today’s student,” Bryant-Friedrich said. “The University of Toledo has excellent offerings that attract highly qualified students from around the world, but there are some deficits in our portfolio. Please assist me in bringing new and modified programs online that utilize the existing expertise on our campus to support those in need of our instruction.”

The proposal is short and easy to complete: click here.

Thousands worldwide to march for science April 22

Scientists and science enthusiasts in Toledo are preparing to join colleagues in more than 400 cities across the globe in a March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

The Toledo Satellite March is being sponsored by the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science and Imagination Station.

In addition, several UT student groups, including the Biology Graduate Student Association, Careers in Science, the Environmental Graduate Student Association, Experimental Psychology Graduate Student Association, the Graduate Student Association, and the Rocket Subunit of the American Fisheries Society, will participate in the March and host activity tables.

Starting at 10 a.m., a rally will be held at International Park. Speakers at the rally will include Dr. Tom E. Brady, founder of Plastic Technologies Inc. and sponsor of the Brady Engineering Innovation Center at The University of Toledo; Dr. Cecelia M. Adams, retired assistant superintendent of Toledo Public Schools and member of the Toledo City Council; and Nick Dulaney, a UT junior studying physics who recently helped discover a new star and is the lead author in a published research paper.

After the rally, marchers will cross the Martin Luther King Bridge and walk to Imagination Station, where there will be a variety of hands-on activities and teach-ins meant to engage the public. Activities will include performing DNA isolation from check cells and making seed necklaces, giant soap bubbles and edible gummy worms.

WNWO NBC 24 Meteorologist Kimberly Newman will be there for some weather simulations. In addition, Imagination Station will have an egg drop inside the science center, which is free for children in Lucas County on Saturdays.

“Scientists, by and large, are driven to observe the natural world. We carefully record the what, when and where in order to understand the how and why of life’s mysteries. The scientific process is the tool we use to accomplish this,” Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, president of the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science and UT associate lecturer of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said.

“Unfortunately, science and scientific evidence is being used in ways that undermine its value. This has created a culture of mistrust and outright contempt for evidence-based research. This shift has perpetuated a new public attitude that any scientific evidence that disagrees with an individual’s personal beliefs should be ignored, discredited and most frighteningly, outright suppressed. It is this growing perception that science is based largely on personal opinion rather than reproducible scientific fact that has fueled the March for Science here and across the world.”

The March for Science is supported by more than 800 reputable, nonpartisan organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Public Health Association, Sigma Xi and Earth Day Network.

“Those participating in the march will come from all walks of life; all races, religions, gender identities and sexual orientations. They will have different political perspectives, different nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, they will be united in their support of science education and scientific research,” Nonekowski said. “Their love of science has led them to advocate for using scientific evidence to help guide public policies. The mission of the march is to share and highlight the contributions of science and to inspire future generations to uphold the values of curiosity, free speech, free inquiry and critical thinking.”

UT advocates for science research as Earth Day nears

As Earth Day 2017 approaches, The University of Toledo is hosting a series of events to connect with science enthusiasts and interested citizens of all ages about the vital role science plays in all lives.

The Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is co-sponsoring the March for Science in downtown Toledo along with Imagination Station this weekend to correspond with the national March for Science in Washington, D.C., in celebration of science’s contributions to society.

“Our love of science has led us to advocate for using scientific evidence to help guide public policies,” said Dr. Susanne Nonekowski, associate lecturer in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry and president of the AWIS Northwestern Ohio Chapter. “The mission of the march is to share and highlight the contributions of science and to inspire future generations to uphold the values of curiosity, free speech, free inquiry and critical thinking.”

The March for Science rally in Toledo will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at International Park. The march starts at 11 a.m. Participants will walk together across the Martin Luther King Bridge and end at Imagination Station. Interactive activities, which include UT student groups presenting Asian carp, algal bloom, physics, astronomy and chemistry research, will start at 11:30 a.m. at tables outside Imagination Station.

Speakers at the 10 a.m. rally include Dr. Tom E. Brady, founder of Plastic Technologies Inc. and sponsor of the Brady Engineering Innovation Center at The University of Toledo, and Nick Dulaney, a junior studying physics at UT who recently helped discover a new star and is the lead author in a published research paper regarding the discovery.

Several UT scientists are traveling to Washington, D.C., this weekend to participate in the national March for Science, including bird expert Dr. Henry Streby, UT assistant professor in the Environmental Sciences Department and ornithologist.

“This is a critical time for science in our country and around the world,” Streby said. “Ignoring or belittling science comes at a high cost to our society and our planet in the long run.”

UT will hold its 17th annual Earth Fest Tuesday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Centennial Mall.

The event, which is run by student organizations that include Building Ohio’s Sustainable Energy Future and the Society of Environmental Education, will focus on practicing sustainable habits and protecting the soil, water and air. Activities will include a bag and bottle swap, spring plant fair, giant Jenga, solar-powered boat races, a wind turbine, and prizes of Chipotle gift cards.

The UT Lake Erie Center will host an open house Thursday, April 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to experience live demonstrations, tours of the facility and a scientific poster show to learn about the wide variety of algal bloom and invasive species research being done by UT scientists. The UT Lake Erie Center is located at 6200 Bayshore Road, Oregon, Ohio.

“Water quality research at the Lake Erie Center is currently focused on the effects of excess nutrient runoff into the western basin of Lake Erie,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences, and interim director of the Lake Erie Center. “The excessive nutrients foster algae growth, some of which is toxic and known as harmful algal blooms, which is being studied by Dr. Tom Bridgeman. Dr. Daryl Dwyer’s lab works with a variety of agencies to engineer and build wetlands to remove excessive nutrients before reaching the lake.”

The UT College of Engineering will hold its Senior Design Expo Friday, April 28, from noon to 3 p.m. on the first floor of Nitschke Hall. Seniors in engineering will display and demonstrate their senior design projects.

The next Saturday Morning Science program will be Saturday, April 29, at 9:30 a.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100 and feature the topic, “From the Stone Age to Today: Why Do Humans Love Music?” The free event is open to the public.

The Saturday Morning Science lecture series presented by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics features presentations on a broad range of topics in science and technology.

Pharmacy camps to prepare high school students for future careers

Do you know a high school student with a strong academic background in science, who is considering a career in pharmacy? If so, the UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is offering the Pharmacy Summer Camp, sponsored by Walgreens, or the Shimazu Pharmaceutical Science Camp, sponsored by Shimadzu and supported by Amway.

The camps are targeted at juniors, but both sophomores and seniors may apply. The focus of the camps is to teach high school students more about their potential occupations through interactive and hands-on activities.

“We hope students learn about careers in pharmacy, and we encourage them to follow through on their goals,” said José Treviño, director of transfer services and recruitment for the College of Pharmacy. “The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences currently employs three faculty members who started their careers by attending our pharmacy camps.”

Programming for the four-day camps includes professional job shadowing, pharmaceutical science and formulation labs, faculty presentations, and student and career panels. When they are not learning about pharmacy, campers can spend their free time at the Student Recreation Center and touring the UT campus with camp counselors, who are pharmacy students.

The summer camp $400 fee covers all room and meal expenses, a T-shirt and backpack, as well as the camp programming. Those who demonstrate financial need may apply for assistance, the details of which are provided on the camp’s webpage.

The Pharmacy Summer camp sponsored by Walgreens will hold two sessions:

• Sunday, June 11, through Wednesday June 14, and

• Sunday, June 18, through Wednesday June 21.

The Shimazu Pharmaceutical Science Camp will take place:

• Sunday, June 18, through Wednesday June 21.

For more information about the camps and for the application, click here.

Physician/author to discuss health and race

Being black can be bad for your health — Dr. Damon Tweedy wrote about hearing that as a first-year medical student at Duke University in 1997.

His book, “Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine,” became a New York Times Bestseller and was one of Time magazine’s top 10 nonfiction books in 2015.

Tweedy

“From the beginning of life to the very end — and everywhere in between — African Americans continue to experience disproportionately worse health outcomes,” Tweedy said. “You can name pretty much any disease, and you’re likely to find that it’s either more common in black people; black people who get the disease have a worse course; or both of these conditions. There are a lot of factors involved with this, and I explore many of them in my book.”

Tweedy will discuss race and health disparities Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1200.

For several years, the assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center has written and lectured on race and medicine. His articles have been published by The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, as well as by several medical journals.

In his book, he wrote, “Whether it is premature birth, infant mortality, homicide, childhood obesity or HIV infection, black children and young adults disproportionately bear the brunt of these medical and social ills. By middle age, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure and cancer have a suffocating grip on the health of black people and maintain this stranglehold on them well into their senior years.”

“I wanted to put a human touch to these issues of racial health disparities — examining how this impacts real people in everyday life,” Tweedy said. “Many people are more likely to engage in these issues when they are presented as stories rather than simply as statistics.

“I also wanted to explore some of the unique challenges faced by African-American doctors — a largely unexplored perspective in popular medical narratives,” he added.

His free, public talk is sponsored by We Are STEMM, a UT organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring students from underrepresented populations who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. Led by faculty and staff, the group celebrates and supports diversity in several UT colleges: Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Engineering; Medicine and Life Sciences; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Health and Human Services.

“I found Dr. Tweedy’s book to be inspirational. While it reveals a story often heard in the community of underrepresented groups pursuing higher education, I think he has been able to deliver many aspects in a manner that may be enlightening and perhaps more palatable to those freed from this ‘experience,’” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and chair of We Are STEMM.

“In contemporary society, there is the perception that history can be wiped clean with a single piece of new legislation — no need to deal with lasting psychological scars inflicted by past overt and covert policies or the entrenched social norms that are retained and vigorously guarded for generations in spite of new laws,” Quinn continued. “Dr. Tweedy brings out the adverse and lasting impact that discriminatory practices can have on individuals and society long past the time of those who initially implemented them.”

Tweedy’s talk is one of the University’s events scheduled for Black History Month.

UTMC sets path forward to serve health-care needs of community

After a thorough review during the past year, The University of Toledo leadership has determined that the UT Medical Center will continue to operate as a teaching hospital, serving the community in South Toledo.

utmc-still-copyIn addition to reviewing UTMC operations, service lines, efficiencies and its customer base, UT leaders studied the rapidly evolving health-care market to determine the most viable path forward for the medical center. They also took into account the change going on at the University, in the industry and in local communities.

“In a rapidly changing industry such as health care, it was imperative that we take the time to thoroughly review our operations, the community we serve, and the dynamics of the health-care market. We needed to be sure we could successfully adapt to the changing environment we live in and continue to serve our 80,000 neighbors effectively,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We have confidence in our team, and we appreciate the patience everyone exhibited while we worked toward determining this path forward.”

A letter sent to the UT community Jan. 24 from Gaber and Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs Christopher Cooper noted the hospital’s financial strength and stated UTMC was operating at full or near-full capacity, and together with its clinics served nearly 300,000 people last year.

“The financial health of UTMC played a key role in our analysis, and we want it to be clear that the hospital remains viable only if it continues to enhance its productivity and efficiencies going forward,” the letter stated.

UTMC will continue to be a teaching hospital for UT’s colleges of Medicine and Life Sciences; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Nursing; and Health and Human Services.

In addition, the path forward will include gradually adding more primary care and behavioral health options at UTMC to meet the evolving health-care needs of the community and to strengthen the University’s training programs.

“We are committed to evolving in a way that keeps our hospital strong, and as we do so, to communicating with you ahead of any changes,” the letter stated.

UTMC leaders are meeting with employees throughout the week to provide more information and answer questions. The schedule for information meetings is:

Tuesday, Jan. 24
• UTMC employee meeting at noon in Health Education Building Room 100

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences faculty meeting at 5 p.m. in Health Education Room 100

• UTMC employee meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105
• UTMC employee meeting at 7:45 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105


Wednesday, Jan. 25

• UTMC employee meeting at 7:45 a.m. in the Pinnacle Lounge

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences students and residents meeting at noon in Health Education Building Room 100

Thursday, Jan. 26
• UT Physicians employees meeting at 11 a.m. at Glendale Medical Center

Additional information is available online on the myUT portal under the new UTMC tab.

To submit questions or comments, email UTMCquestions@utoledo.edu or call 419.383.6814.

Distinguished educator to deliver commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, will present the keynote address at the UT fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Snyder, who will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, will address 2,066 candidates for degrees: 93 doctoral, 584 master’s, 1,346 bachelor’s and 43 associate’s degrees.

Snyder

Snyder

The ceremony will be streamed live at http://video.utoledo.edu.

Snyder is a distinguished American educator and academic administrator whose career includes success as a computational mathematician, musician, published scholar, lecturer and podcaster. He attended Toledo Public Schools and graduated from UT in 1981 with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and mathematics. Additionally, he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from UT in 1983.

Snyder also holds a second master’s degree, as well as a doctoral degree, in computational mathematics from Princeton University.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Timothy Snyder return to his alma mater as our fall commencement speaker,” said UT President Sharon L. Gaber. “His career is proof that goals can be multidirectional, and success follows people who work hard to make lasting contributions, no matter what career paths they choose over a lifetime.”

In 2014, The University of Toledo Alumni Association recognized Snyder with its College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Outstanding Alumnus Award.

“I return to my hometown with pride and excitement to deliver the keynote commencement address. My educational path and career were profoundly shaped by my years at UT,” Snyder said. “I continue to resonate with UT’s mission to improve the human condition and advance knowledge, among its other values. I hope to inspire graduates to pursue their life goals with creativity and integrity.”

Snyder has held academic positions at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at Georgetown University, where he was chair of the Department of Computer Science and its first dean of science. Additionally, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut and vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland. In 2015, Snyder was appointed the 16th president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

He has published and presented widely on his research, which includes computational mathematics, data structures, design and analysis of algorithms, geometric probability, digital signal processing, computer music, and the education of the millennial generation. More recently, he has been researching risk assessment in commercial airline safety, as well as HIV and its prevention.

A musician most of his life, Snyder was lead singer in the touring rock-and-punk band Whirlwind from 1976 to 1983. His music can be found on iTunes and SoundCloud. He is also active in social media through his Twitter handle @LMUSnyder.

The University’s fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Innovation, Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Services, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Additionally, UT’s College of Engineering will hold graduation ceremonies for its undergraduate and graduate candidates Friday, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

UT awarded federal innovation grant to invest in academic researchers throughout northwest Ohio

The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded The University of Toledo $500,000 to help launch startup companies, move ideas to market, and spur job creation through faculty research.

Nearly $15 million was given to 35 organizations from 19 states through the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program. 

Business Hlogo 1c BlackThe total available to researchers in the northwest Ohio region is nearly $1.3 million after the University matched the i6 Challenge grant with an additional $767,903 through the Rocket Fuel Fund.

Researchers from academic and other nonprofit institutions are eligible to receive funding.

“This is an incredible opportunity for UT faculty and academic researchers throughout the northwest Ohio region to apply for this funding and help move their new technologies toward commercialization, including women and minorities who are typically underrepresented in innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Anne Izzi, licensing associate at UT’s Office of Technology Transfer. 

The selected recipients of Rocket Fuel grants will be awarded between $5,000 and $50,000 each to enhance the scope or patentability of inventions and improve market potential through targeted research, customer discovery, and development of a prototype and business model.

“The Regional Innovation Strategies program advances innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country by addressing two essential core components that entrepreneurs need to take their ideas to market: programmatic support and access to capital,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said. “As America’s Innovation Agency, the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the visionaries and job creators of tomorrow. Congratulations to today’s awardees who will make U.S. communities, businesses and the workforce more globally competitive.”

Dr. William Messer, professor in the UT Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, plans to apply for i6 Challenge grant funding as his lab creates a drug to help autism patients make new patterns of behavior to live a more normal life. 

“There is a lot of work to do, but we would like to move this compound into clinical trials to see if it can help treat restricted and repetitive behaviors associated with autism,” Messer said. “We are exploring a number of options to obtain the funding needed to develop the patented technology, and the i6 Challenge grant represents an important new source of funding at the local level.”

A total of 215 organizations applied for the grant funding; these included nonprofits, institutions of higher education and entrepreneurship-focused groups.

“The 2016 Regional Innovation Strategies grantees will reach a variety of communities and help entrepreneurs gain the edge they need to succeed,” said Jay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “The diversity in programs and regional representation proves that innovation and entrepreneurship are igniting all corners of the country and is a recognized tool for economic growth and resilience.”