By A.J. Hostetler
Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation
This year’s recipients of Presidential Research Quest Fund awards demonstrate Virginia Commonwealth University’s commitment to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to supporting a wide range of scholarly research among the school’s faculty.
Sixteen research projects were awarded $438,498 from the fund (and received additional funds from faculty schools and departments). VCU Engineering faculty are investigators on three of the awarded projects.
The Presidential Research Quest Fund supports faculty projects that specifically align with the goals and key strategies presented in VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan. The fund’s goal is to allow faculty an opportunity to win internal funding to support new, emerging or continuing research.
“Fund recipients for this year represent a diverse community of educators, researchers and creators who are dedicated to discovery, creation and the improvement of the human condition,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “Their breadth of knowledge and inquisitive nature will broaden horizons for all of us for generations to come. I look forward to witnessing the impact of their research, and I am grateful they are part of the VCU community.”
Engineering-affiliated Presidential Research Quest Fund projects:
Project: “Epidemiology and Evolution of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and the Human Microbiome”
Principal Investigator: Gregory Buck, Ph.D., professor, School of Medicine, affiliate in VCU Engineering’s Department of Computer Science
Tomasz Arodz, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, is modeling the data.
Project: “Device-Free Wi-Fi Sensing Based Occupancy Detection in Buildings”
Principal Investigator: Eyuphan Bulut, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science
Project: “Electroconductive Scaffolds for Regeneration of Skeletal Muscle”
Principal Investigator: Vamsi Yadavalli, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering