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Island University Professors Receive TRDF Program Grants for Innovative Research

September 21, 2015


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Nine Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi scholars were each awarded a 2015-2016 Texas Research Development Fund (TRDF) Grant. The TRDF reviewers and the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach carefully selected each project to receive $20,000, which will be used to develop the winners’ research and apply to larger, external funding opportunities.

TRDF grants are internal funding programs, funded by the state of Texas and distributed by the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach. The division is focused on cultivating research activity based on the academic community’s research interests, identifying research funding sources and providing administrative support for researchers preparing funding proposals.

The following scholars were given grants for their projects:

  • Dr. Theresa Garcia, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Dr. Sara Baldwin, Associate Professor of Nursing, in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, for “Hispanic Grandparental Influence on Childhood Body Mass Index.”
  • Dr. Lei Jin, Assistant Professor of Statistics, and Dr. Andreas Fahlman, Assistant Professor of Biology, in the College of Science and Engineering for “Statistical Analysis of Physiological Data from the Respiratory System in Cetaceans.”
  • Dr. Stephen Lenz, Assistant Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology, in the College of Education for “Pilot Study of Trauma-Focused Therapy for Treating PTSD Symptoms and Affecting Neurocortical Changes in a Community Population.”
  • Dr. David Portnoy, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, Dr. John Gold, Harte Research Institute Endowed Chair for Genetics and Biodiversity, in the College of Science and Engineering, with the help of post-doctoral student, Dr. Jonathan B. Puritz, for “Impacts of Sewage Effluent on Genomic Diversity and Connectivity of Marine Intertidal Communities.”
  • Dr. Brandi Reese, Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology, in the College of Science and Engineering for “A Novel Approach to Understanding Carbon Cycling in Marine Deep Subsurface Sediments through the Integration of Metabolomics and Transcriptomics.”
  • Dr. Jeffrey Turner, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, in the College of Science and Engineering for “Tracking Microbial Evolution in the Age of Plastics.”

Grant reviewers were Dr. Bunny Forgione, Associate Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Science; Dr. Frank Lucido, Associate Dean of the College of Education; Dr. Peter Moore, Professor of History and Department of Humanities Chair; Dr. Elwin Myers, Associate Dean of the College of Business; and Dr. Michael Wetz, Associate Professor of Marine Biology in the College of Science and Engineering.

The new research from the award recipients will broaden the scope of investigation at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and help further the University's goal of becoming an emerging research institution.