Faculty & Staff Accolades: Summer 2017

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The following accolades were published for the summer (May – August) of 2017.

Mark Anders, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-published a paper titled “Unreciprocated sedimentation: the decoupled shelf and slope of offshore Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, U.S.A.” in Marine and Petroleum Geology.

Harbir Antil, Mathamatical Sciences, was awarded $15,472 by Sandia National Laboratories for his work on Fractional Differential Operators for Features Detection in the Subsurface.

Dieter Bilitza, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $216,920 by the Catholic University of America for his work on Science support for NASA’s Space Physics Data Facility.
Zafer Boybeyi, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co- published an article titled “Investigation of aerosol effects on the Arctic surface temperature during the diurnal cycle: part 1 – total aerosol effect” in the International Journal of Climatology. He was awarded $2,500 by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration for the George Mason Conference on AT&D Modeling 2017.

Natalie Burls, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was awarded $60,000 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a Sloan Foundation Fellowship.

Martha Buckley, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Science was awarded $291,273 by the Cambridge Climate Institute for her work on Changes in the subpolar North Atlantic: from the 1990s salinification to the 2015 cold blob.

Robin Couch, Chemistry, was awarded $303,880 by the U.S. Department of the Army for his work on MEP Pathway Inhibitor Development.

Liping Di, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, was awarded $701,823 by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for his work on Understanding changes in agricultural land use and land cover in the breadbasket area of the Ganges Basin 2000-2015: A socioeconomic-ecological analysis. He was also awarded $58,000 by Open GIS Consortium, Inc. for his work on OGC Innovation Program Testbed 13 Initiative. In addition, Di was awarded $120,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his work on USDA/NASS Online Geospatial Applications CropScape and VegScape Systems Maintaining, Hosting and Enhancement of NASS Operation.

Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-authored a paper titled “Moisture origin and transport processes in Colombia, northern South America” in Climate Dynamics.

Maria Emelianenko, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $9,100 by the U.S. Department of Commerce for her work on SURF Boulder: Experience for Mason Undergraduates – Lucas Bouck.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, served on a NASA Postdoctoral Program Review Committee in Astrobiology; and he was recently ranked #43 among astronomers in the world on Twitter, surpassing 12,000 followers, averaging 10 tweets per day.
Ramin Hakami, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $72,017 by Integrated Biotherapeutics, Inc. through the Department of Health and Human Services for his work on Infection Site Targeted Antitoxin Antibody (ISTAb) against Bacillus anthracis.

Paul Houser, Geography and Geoinformation Sciences, was awarded $10,225 by the National Park Service for his work on Furthering Student Career Development, Partnerships, and Community Engagement. He was also awarded $60,000.00 for his work on by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for Next-Generation Large-Scale Fractional Freeze/Thaw Analysis.

R. Christian Jones, Environmental Science & Policy, was awarded $167,481 by Alexandria Renewal Enterprises for his work on An Ecological study of Hunting Creek 2017. He was also awarded $70,213.00 by the County of Fairfax for An Ecological Study of Gunston Cove: 2017-18.

Cing-Dao (Steve) Kan, Computational and Data Sciences, Collision Safety & Analysis Center, was awarded $300,000 by Hyundai Motor Company for his work on Development of New Crash Performance Indices for the next USNCAP. He was also awarded $31, 200 by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., for his work on Research Support Task for Honda R&D.

Fatah Kashanchi, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $50,488 by the University of Tennessee through the National Institutes of Health for his work on Exosomes in tobacco-and HIV-mediated neurotoxicity.

Kylene Kehn-Hall, Biology, was awarded $75,600 by the Prince William County Government for her work on Mosquito Pool Testing for viruses through qRT-PCR – 2017-2018.

Dmitri Klimov, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $150,000 by Parabon NanoLabs, Inc. through the U.S. Army for his work on Computational screening platform for predicting protein-DNA binding interfaces.

Ryun Young Kwon, Physics & Astronomy, was awarded $41,749 by the Catholic University of America through NASA for his work on Multi-spacecraft Observations and Modeling of Solar Energetic Particle Events.

Lance Liotta, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $152,000 by the U.S. Department of the Army for his work on Novel biomarkers for lung field cancerization predict risk of lung cancer to guide prevention and early diagnosis. He was also awarded $10,000 by George Mason University for the inaugural Beck Family Medal for Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award presented by President Cabrera at the 2017 Commencement. In addition, Liotta also received  $1,000 by the George Mason University Foundation for Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP).
Thomas Lovejoy, Environmental Science & Policy, was awarded $17,300 by the Conservation International Foundation for his work on Research Patterns, trends, causes, and impacts of protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) in Amazonia.

David Luther, Biology, co-published the following articles: “The relative response of songbirds to shifts in song amplitude and song minimum frequency” in Behavioral Ecology and “Evidence of suboscine song plasticity in response to traffic noise fluctuations and temporary road closures” in Bioacoustics.

Robert Meier, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $59,125 by Virginia Tech for his work on The Ionospheric Connection Explorer.

Yuri Mishin, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $340,758 by the National Science Foundation for his work on Thermodynamics of Interfaces: Theory to Atomistic Modeling. He was also awarded $100,000 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for his work on Neural Network Interatomic Potentials.

Kim de Mustert, Environmental Science & Policy, was the corresponding author of a paper titled “Using ecosystem modeling to evaluate trade-offs in coastal management: Effects of large-scale river diversions on fish and fisheries” in Ecological Modeling.

Aarthi Narayanan, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases was awarded $44,938 by Leidos Inc. for her work on Development of Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) that include Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) glycoprotein as an EEEV vaccine platform. She was also awarded $22,500 by Caerus Discovery, LLC for her work on Generation of monoclonal antibodies for the neutralization of Zika Virus. In addition, Narayanan was awarded $456,000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her work on Proteomics of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus nsP3 protein.

Chris Parsons, Environmental Science & Policy, was appointed the convener of a new working group to coordinate science related to conservation for the International Whaling Commission. Parsons also published articles titled “Recent advances in whale-watching research: 2015-2016” in Tourism in Marine Environments, “The State of the Cetacean Environment Report 2016” in the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, and “Improving captive marine mammal welfare in the United States: science-based recommendations for improved regulatory requirements for captive marine mammal care” in the International Journal of Wildlife Law & Policy.

Emanuel Petricoin, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $400,000 by Virginia Biosciences Health Research for his work on Development of Novel peptide drug for treatment of acute myocardial infarction. He was also awarded $39,597 by Leidos Inc. and the National Cancer Institute for his work on CaSix-Proteomics, and he was awarded $10,000 by Regents of the University of California through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for his work on Treatment-induced Changes in Molecular and Pathway Dynamics as Determinants of Non-Response. In addition, Petricoin was awarded $25,000 by the University of Southern California for his work on The Development of Novel Targeted Therapeutic Approaches for Breast Cancer Metastasis to Brain.

Peter Plavchan, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $79, 659 by the NASA- Goddard Space Flight Center for his work on Earthfinder: A diffraction-Limited Precise Radial Velocity Observatory in Space. He was also awarded $363,452 by the National Science Foundation for Precise Near-Infrared Motion Velocities of Stars.

John Qu, Geography and Geoformation Science,  Environmental Science and Technology Center, was awarded $60,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his work on Assessing the Impacts of Large Wildland Fires on Land Surface Properties in the North America using Satellite Remote Sensing Units.

Matthias Renz, Computational and Data Sciences, was awarded $24,000 by Innovative Discovery, LLC for his work on Text Mining for Litigation documents.

Philip Rubin, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $248,394 by the National Science Foundation for his work on IRES at CERN: Science and Engineering at the World’s Largest Accelerator Facility.

Timothy Sauer, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $329,954 by the National Science Foundation for his work on Computational Methods for Hierarchical Manifold Learning.

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded the following grants by the U.S. Department of Navy : $118,982 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 198, $5,000 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 198, $118,982 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 277, $5,000 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 277, $101,760 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 412, $50,880 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 414, and $156,556.00 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 415.

Padmanabhan (Padhu) Seshaiyer, Mathematical Sciences, (Jennifer Suh, CEHD –  temporary PI)  was awarded $282,320 by the Virginia Department of Education for his work on Transitions: Transforming Mathematics Instruction Through Mathematical Modeling, Algebraic Thinking and Proportional Reasoning: Teaching and Assessing Virginia’s 2009 Grades 5-9 Mathematics SOL – 2017-2018.

Daniel Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded the Mason 2017 Career Connection Faculty Award. This award is an annual award celebrating Mason faculty and staff who make a positive impact on student’s career goals, employment plans, or graduate school preparation. Recipients are those who go above and beyond the expectations of their role and devote extra time and energy helping students prepare for life after Mason. Nominations are made by students in the early part of each spring semester. Other College of Science faculty award nominees were J. Reid Schwebach, Cynthia B. Smith, Deborah Polayes, Ernest Barreto, Fatah Kashanchi, Gerald L. Roberts Weatherspoon, Gwendolyne Fondufe, Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, Jim McNeil, Joseph C. Weingartner, Joseph Marr, Juthapathra Dechanupong, Kelly Knight, Maria Lopez, Pritha Roy, Randolph McBride, Rebecca Forkner, and Valeriu Soltan.

Cristiana Stan, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $137,995 by Pacific Northwest National Lab for his work on YTMIT-CalWater2015 Atmospheric Rivers and their Teleconnections.

Anthony Stefanidis, Georgios Lamprianidis, Jacek Radzikowski, Dieter Pfoser, Arie Croitoru, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Center for Geospatial Intelligence, Paul Delamater, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Andrew Crooks, Computational and Data Sciences, Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Emily Vraga, Communications and  Kathryn H Jacobsen, Global and Community Health (CHHS), co-authored a paper on “Zika in Twitter: Temporal Variations of Locations, Actors, and Concepts,” published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Public Health and Surveillance. 

David Straus, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-published the following articles: “Rossby Wave Breaking in press” in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences and “Circulation Response to Fast and Slow MJO Episodes” in Monthly Weather Review on the Madden-Julian-Oscillation. Straus is also a co-author of “Review of Nonlinear methods for circulation analysis” in the Reviews of Geophysics.” He was a lead author of one of the chapters of the book on Circulation Regimes in Cambridge University Press.

Mark Uhen, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, presented at the Secondary Adaptations of Tetrapods to Life in the Water conference in Berlin, and at the Digital Data in Paleontology workshop in Berkeley, CA.

Monique van Hoek, School of Systems Biology, was selected as a STEM Research Exemplar by the Research Exemplar Project. This project sought to honor and learn from individuals doing high-quality, high-impact, federally-funded research who also maintain an impressive reputation for professionalism and integrity in their work. van Hoek was also awarded $981,091 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for her work on Blood Brain Barrier Advanced Fundamental Research. In addition, she was awarded $100,000 by the Center for Innovative Technology for her work on Development of DRGN1, a Komodo dragon-inspired peptide for wound care.

Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, Environmental Science and Policy, co-published the following articles: “Mainstreaming biodiversity in economic sectors: An analytical framework. Biological Conservation,” “The Sustainable Development Goals and REDD+: assessing institutional interactions and the pursuit of synergies in International Environment Agreements, “Synergies among social safeguards in FLEGT and REDD+ in Cameroon” and “A reality check on the landscape approach to REDD+: Lessons from Latin America” in Forest Policy and Economics.

Patrick Vora, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $150,000 by the National Science Foundation for his work on EAGER: Exploring Neuromorphic and Spintronic Behaviors in Ternary Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Alloys.

Robert Weigel, Physics & Astronomy, was awarded $32,080 by the George Mason University Foundation for the Yu Yuen Kit Physics and Astronomy Graduate Fellowship Fund.

Julia Wulfkuhle, Center for Applied Proteomics & Molecular Medicine, was awarded $20,000 by the Van Andel Institute for her work on RPPA based protein pathway activation profiling of cancer cell lines.

Chaowei (Phil) Yang, Geography & Geoinformation Sciences, was awarded $20,000 by the U.S. Department of State for his work on Spatiotemporal Innovation Centers for the Secondary Cities Project – I/UCRC.

Chi Yang, Physics & Astronomy, was awarded $600,000 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for her work on Development of a Methodology for Simulation-Based Design of Ship Hull Forms.

Ruixin Yang, Geography and Geoinformation Sciences, was awarded $9,300 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his work on Support for the sixth International Conference on Agro-Informatics.

Peter Young, Physic and Astronomy, was awarded $36,343 by the Catholic University of America through NASA for his work on Operations and science data support for the IRIS mission: 2017-2018.

Kim Younsung, Environmental Science and Policy, presented her paper “Assessing Firms’ Support for Mandatory Climate Regulations: The Role of Organizational Resources & Capabilities” at the 78th Annual Meeting of American Society for Public Administration in Atlanta, Georgia. She was also invited to the “Workshop on Adapting Climate Change: Actions, Implementations, and Outcomes” held at the University of Norte Dame where she presented her research on “Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities: Information Provision as a Policy Tool.”

Jie Zhang, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $28,432 by the Catholic University of America and NASA for his work on Solar and Heliospheric CAN with CUA and NASA/GSFC, sub-task: Research on Coronal Mass Ejections – Sub 3. He was also awarded $75,584 by the Catholic University of America through NASA for his work on Research for the Center for Research and Exploration in Solar-Heliospheric Science Sun Award – Sub 6. In addition, Zhang was awarded $16,057 by the Catholic University of America through NASA for his work on Solar and Heliospheric Science CAN with CUA and NASA/GSFC Task – Sub 4.