University of Idaho scientists working to develop COVID-19 cure
MOSCOW, Idaho - Scientists at the University of Idaho are currently working to identify a cure for COVID-19.
According to U of I, the Department of Biological Sciences team expects to finish preliminary tests within a year. Researchers will also develop a pipeline for identifying drugs that can block viruses from infecting human cells.
The project was funded through a $100,000 National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant issues to U of I physics professor Marty Ytreberg.
“Funding agencies are giving leeway to researchers with existing grants to shuttle resources toward the COVID pandemic,” Ytreberg said. “We decided this was a good investment, because it has the potential to lead to a therapeutic and fits within the theme of the grant.”
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New Visiting Tribal Scholars Program at UI Aims to Create a New Generation of Scientists
A new Visiting Tribal Scholars Program at the University of Idaho will connect Native American students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with Indigenous scientific methodology providing high impact mentorship that will pave a way for native student success.
The aim of the program is to increase completion rates for Native American students by providing culturally responsive support in the form of mentoring to Indigenous students, Indigenizing curricula in the affiliated programs, and by providing direct linkages to regional tribes to engage in research or projects of mutual interest to the scholar and college. The intention is that visiting scholars might also model the value of STEM training for Indigenous students in regional communities to increase enrollment.
The Program, which receives partial seed support for visiting scholars from the Idaho Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), funded by the National Science Foundation, will implement activities aligned with Idaho EPSCoR's current research initiative, the GEM3 program.
Visiting scholars shall be recognized for their professional contributions in a natural resources or environmental science field and will be appointed to a term of up to two years, starting fall 2020.
For more information and application details, please view the full flyer.
Idaho EPSCoR Statement: Guidance and Restrictions during COVID-19 emergency.
During this COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which is likely to extend for some time in Idaho and the U.S., I want to assure all GEM3 personnel that we will work with you to accommodate changes to your personal, work, and study arrangements as is necessary. The health and wellbeing of you, your family, your friends, and colleagues are paramount and are the first priority at this time. Any GEM3 project needs, deadlines, or work will necessarily become a secondary priority.
For all GEM3 project work please refer to and observe the COVID-19 guidance and restrictions issued by your institution. Guidance from each of Idaho’s public research universities can be found at these respective links: University of Idaho, Boise State University, and Idaho State University. These links will include guidance on social distancing, restrictions on travel, and restrictions on in-person classes, meetings, and gatherings. ...
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Idaho Diversity Network Regional Mentoring Conference, April 27
Due to COVID-19 concerns and current U of I safety policies, we will be canceling the upcoming Idaho Diversity Network Regional Mentoring Conference, originally scheduled for April 27, 2020. In the near future, however, we plan to provide online mentor training opportunities that will incorporate mentoring strategies for diverse populations from across the state. We encourage you to participate in our future online mentor training opportunities which will be posted to IdahoDiversity.org within the next month so please stay tuned. Thank you!
The Idaho Diversity Network will be holding a 1-day conference on Monday, April 27th, 2020 which will focus on providing professional development for faculty and students on effective strategies for mentoring students from under-represented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and related fields.
Topics will include discussion on importance of establishing a culture of mentorship, understanding implicit bias, and the science behind effective mentoring strategies. We will also discuss mentoring structures and hear from faculty, administrators, and students from the region regarding current mentoring practices and strategies for success.
Deadline to register is Friday, April 17th, 2020.
See the flyer for more information.
[EVENT CANCELLED] NSF Program Officer to host online seminar to discuss EPSCoR Funding Opportunities, March 23
Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, NSF Program Officer, Dr. Timothy VanReken is unable to travel to Moscow for the planned March 23 visit. The scheduled virtual platform for his presentation on NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1, Track-2, and Track-4 programs as well as new cross-cutting initiatives has been canceled, but we hope to offer this seminar sometime next academic year. Please note that we are in the process of finalizing virtual one-on-one meetings with Dr. VanReken for those that have registered.
Please contact RFD (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions regarding this event update.
ISU Grad Receives Editor's Choice Award
Former ISU geosciences graduate student, Chris Tennant (PhD, 2018), has received an Editor's Choice Award by the journal of Water Resources Research. Tennant, formerly funded under a NSF EPSCoR Track-1 award Water Resources in a Changing Climate and a Track-2 award for the Western Consortium of Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico is being recognized for his research paper that uses data collected by lidar imaging to better measure snowpacks in Western U.S. mountains.
2018 Shreeve Award
Colden Baxter, Idaho State University biological sciences professor, is the recipient of the 2018 Jean'ne M. Shreeve NSF EPSCoR Research Excellence Award. The award was announced at the 2018 Idaho EPSCoR Annual Meeting in Sun Valley.
Baxter first participated in NSF EPSCoR in Idaho as a junior faculty member upon joining ISU in 2004. This prestigious award is for the research accomplishments resulting from his productive career, assisted by early involvement in NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement programs.
New EPSCoR RII Award!
The new NSF EPSCoR research program seeks to understand how genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity affect species response to environmental change, shaping both population response and adaptive capacity. Two focal taxa will be under study: one aquatic (redband trout) and one terrestrial (sagebrush). These taxa are integral to ecosystems in the American West, and are central to land-use management decisions that drive the economy of the region.
Linking Genome to Phenome to Predict Adaptive Responses of Organisms to Changing Landscapes
Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 Award (2018-2023)
This award will advance fundamental knowledge on the mechanisms that rule genome to phenome pathways to predict how species adapt to external stressors and a changing environment. It will help translate this knowledge into evidenced-based resource management policies and practices for more adaptive and resilient species and landscapes.
Idaho's approach is through Genes to Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms, and Mapping (GEM3). This statewide project combines research strengths in bioinformatics, complex modeling, ecology, fisheries science, genomics, geospatial science, remote sensing, and social-ecological systems (SES) science to contribute to one of the most compelling and contemporary national challenges of our time – understanding the "Rules of Life: predicting phenotypes from what we know about the genome and environment".
NSF 2026 Idea Machine
NSF 2026 is one of the Foundation's 10 Big Ideas. It will invest in bold foundational research questions that are large in scope, innovative in character, originate outside any particular NSF directorate, and require a long-term commitment. NSF 2026 will cross boundaries in innovative ways, fill recognized gaps, or take advantage of new opportunities. This Big Idea is framed around the year 2026 in order to tie into the Nation's 250th anniversary. It will ensure continuous exploration at the frontiers and risk-taking in areas that might not fit inside the "box" of any particular NSF program.
NSF 2026 invites the community to help set the Foundation's long term STEM research and education agenda by participating in the NSF 2026 Idea Machine, a prize competition to identify new directions for future research. Key points about the Idea Machine:
- Entrants suggest "grand challenge" questions for future research, first in narrative form and then a subset via video pitches.
- The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on entries.
- Authors of the best ideas will receive public recognition and/or cash prizes
Research Highlights Paths to the Well-being of Mid-sized Cities
A new collaborative research study by MILES researchers at Idaho State University, Boise State University, and University of Idaho, was recently published in "Urban Ecosystems" in June 2018.
The article, "A comparative study of urban fragmentation patterns in small and mid-sized cities of Idaho," examines the impact of urbanization on ecological function and its effect on the provisioning of ecosystem services. This collaborative study, which could help to inform and balance urban growth within and around Idaho's mid-sized cities, has the potential to minimize fragmentation, increase property values, and create communities that highlight the ecosystem services that are important to the residents.