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Your search matched 16 Projects
Dec 2019 - Nov 2022
Collaborative Research: Epidermal gland evolution and the origins of structural and chemical signaling diversity sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF)
This project will identify the pathways behind multiple events of convergent evolution of epidermal glands in lizards, while jointly exploring their function in chemical signaling and diversity across groups.
Combining transcriptomic tools, comparative phylogenetics, top-notch ultrastructural imaging, and spectrometry of chemical compounds, genetic and structural mechanisms behind chemical signaling will be elucidated and correlations between the evolution of chemo-signalers and environmental and ecological parameters will be traced. Surprisingly, the genetic machinery of epidermal glands remains completely unexplored, and their structural organization has been investigated only for a few taxonomic groups, although a growing number of studies have shown that chemical signaling is a critical component of squamate communication. The comparative analyses of South American, African, and North American lizard groups will ultimately allow us to elucidate the origins of multiple epidermal glands types and write a new page on the evolutionary history of chemical signaling.
Oct 2019 - Sep 2022
CNS Core: Small: Collaborative: Salvaging Commodity Operating Systems to Support Emerging Networking Technologies sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF)
Recent years have witnessed two significant trends in networking: 1) High-speed networkingtechnologies (e.
g., 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet) have been emerging to meet the ongoing demands forhigh-throughput and low-latency communication; 2) Network virtualization techniques (e.g., softwaredefinednetworking and network function virtualization) have been invented to satisfy the increasingneeds for flexible network management and low-cost, customizable networking stacks. Suchadvancements in networking, on the other hand, bring critical challenges to traditional systems softwarein processing packet efficiently: 1) The emerging, high-speed networking devices makes the overhead ofthe systems software more significant in end-to-end latency; 2) Virtualized networks, built upon a chainof conventional network stacks, further incurs more software overhead. The lack of a systematicoptimization makes existing systems software hard to achieve (even close to) the raw speed of fastnetwork devices, and well support the new scenario of virtualized networks.This project plans to revitalize commodity operating systems for efficient packet processing in light of theabove two networking treads: high-speed network devices and virtualized networks. It will systematicallystudy three types of critical bottlenecks including serialization, long critical path and idleness, andidentify the root causes of throughput loss, degraded average latency and spikes in tail latency. Based onthis thorough study, the project seeks to optimize packet processing under the current interrupt-based,asynchronous network stack, without undermining fairness and resource sharing in commodity operatingsystems. The solutions developed in this project will be validated by implementing working prototypeson an in-house data-center testbed cluster. The PIs will further evaluate the solutions in realistic datacenters by collaborating with industrial research labs.[Operating Systems] [Data Center Networks] [Scalability, Performance, Quality of service] [none] Intellectual Merit:The goal of this proposed project is to comprehensively investigate the major issues in commodityoperating systems in packet processing, propose new solutions to address these bottlenecks, and finallyvalidate the proposed solutions using real prototype implementations and through extensive evaluations.The key intellectual merit comprises of the following three thrusts. Thrust 1: to maximize packet-levelparallelism so as to eliminate/reduce queuing delays on a single core, the PIs will develop a novel stresstestingmethod to locate the serialization bottleneck in the critical path and design a new pipeliningprocess to parallelize packet processing in virtualized networks. Thrust 2: to improve the per-packetprocessing efficiency especially for small packets, the PIs propose a generic, multi-level packetcoalescing approach to optimize the processing path of the small packets, including three noveltechniques: soft-timer based IRQ coalescing, lossless packet coalescing, and caching-based softirqcoalescing. Thrust 3: to strike a good balance between parallelism and data locality, the PIs will design aholistic scheduling algorithm optimally multiplexing both in-kernel softirqs and user-level threads.Further the PIs will develop an advanced scheduling scheme for completed network services built withnetwork function virtualization. Broader Impacts:The broader impact of this research comprises of the following: (1) The experiences gained in thisresearch will help improve the key aspects of network performance for commodity operating systems,thus benefiting all systems and applications running on these systems. (2) Results of this research can bereadily transferred to industry by leveraging the PIs' collaborations with industrial research labs (e.g.,IBM Research and HP Labs). (3) Results of this research will be tightly integrated into courses such asoperating systems, computer networks and cloud computing to positively influence the pipeline thatproduces the next-generation computer experts, by deepening students' understanding of advanced realworldproblems and cutting-edge systems technologies. It will also provide training to graduate studentsand the PIs expect two Ph.D. theses to come out of this research. (4) The PIs will engage students fromunderrepresented groups in this research with efforts to attract, retain, and educate minority students.
Mar 2019 - Aug 2022
Sustainable Waste Management for Oromia Region, Ethiopia sponsored by Oromia Regional Government, Ethiopia
The objective of this research proposal is to conudct research on Sustainble Waste Management in Oromia Region, Ethiopia.
As part of the contract students from Oromia Region, Ethiopia will be admitted to work on this research project. OSU/The Oromia Regional Government agree to send between 3 to 5 fully funded PhD students per year to enroll at UTA to utilize UTA's exprtise to mentor, train and provide research experiences to the students (personnel) from both Oromia Regional Government Public Service and OSU. The first group of students is expected to enroll in the Fall 2019 semester. The following are the major focus areas of research: Sustainable Solid Waste Engineering and Management; Pubic Service Delivery and Tranformational Leadership, Public Management and Urban Governance, Urban Management and Leadership, Other Emerging Areas, as needed. 
Jun 2017 - Jun 2022
A novel wavelet neurovascular bundle for real time detection of injury in neonatal encephalopathy sponsored by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW)
Birth asphyxia constitutes a major global public health burden for millions of infants, and despite hypothermia therapy ,as many  as  half  of  affected  infants die or have poor neurologic outcomes.
As new trials of neuroprotection with EPO are being tested to improve outcomes, there is a critical need for real time surrogate markers of therapeutic success, to aid in patient selection and/or modification of the therapeutic intervention. A real time evaluation of the coupling of cerebral blood flow and neuronal activity or “neurovascular   bundle”   is   critically important  to differentiate the severity of injury and those that need added therapies in neonatal encephalopathy (NE). The applicant is an early stage investigator, who, supported by an NICHD K23 career award, has developed a “wavelet neurovascular bundle” which can quantify cerebral  hemodynamics (CHindex)  and neurovascular coupling (NVC) in real time across a wide unrestrictive range of time and frequencies. Preliminary data by the PI demonstrated that in NE, the wavelet analysis of impaired hemodynamics is associated with abnormal developmental outcomes following hypothermia.  The over-arching long-term goal is to demonstrate the utility of the wavelet bundle as a predictive outcome tool, to enhance patient selection for trials, and to quantify the physiologic responses to new interventions. The overall objective of this proposal is to validate the wavelet neurovascular bundle to 1) improve the ability to stratify the NE insult severity at birth, 2) assess neurovascular functions in real-time during a new randomized neuroprotection trial of EPO+Hypothermia vs. Hypothermia, and 3) provide the evaluation of responses to therapy and outcomes, thereby linking CHindex  and NVC, to brain structural and functional outcomes. The plan is to enroll 100 newborns with NE over 3 yrs. (30 non treated mild NE and 70 moderate or severe NE randomized to either EPO+ Hypothermia or Hypothermia alone). The neurovascular wavelet bundle is innovative as it integrates multisciplinary physiological and computational  approaches  to  allow  measurements  of cerebral  hemodynamics at the bedside.
Aug 2016 - Jul 2021
CAREER: Large Scale Learning for Complex Image-Omics Data Analytics sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF)
This proposal aims to develop computational tools for complex image-omics data analytics and educate the next generation workforce in big medical data analysis.
Image-omics data includes both image data (pathology images or radiology images) and omics data (genomics, proteomics or metabolomics) captured from the same patient. Recent technological innovations are enabling scientists to capture complex image-omics data from different views. However, the major computational challenges are due to the unprecedented scale and complexity of heterogeneous image-omics data analytics. To solve the key and challenging problems in mining such comprehensive heterogeneous image data, the PI proposes to develop novel large scale learning tools and explore ways to integrate features from multiple data sources for clinical outcome prediction. It will greatly support the Precision Medicine Initiative, which has become a national goal and was unveiled by the U.S. government as a research effort designed to enable physicians to select individualized treatments. The PI will make the developed computational methods and tools online available to the public. This project will facilitate the development of novel educational tools to enhance several current courses.   The PI proposes an integrated research and education plan based on the following three components: (1) big image analytics and feature extraction, in which novel sparse convolution kernels, sparse deformable models and quantitative topology measurements are proposed to extract local and global features to fully characterize whole slide images; (2) large scale feature learning, in which domain knowledge guided sparse feature learning models and non-convex sparse feature learning models are proposed for large scale image marker discovery; and (3) multi-source image-omics data integration, in which sparse multi-view learning and large scale learning with bipartite graph are developed for big image-omics data integration. This project will advance research in efficient feature learning from giga-pixel images, and in integrating heterogeneous image-omics data for outcome prediction and knowledge discovery. The success of this project will create a new paradigm for medical image informatics and big data.  For further information see the web site at:
Jun 2016 - May 2021
CAREER: Dopant-free conductive bioelastomer development sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF)
Overview This CAREER proposal will develop a novel family of unicomponent, biodegradable, dopant-free conductive elastomers to address challenges in complexity, biodegradation, stability and controllability of conductive biomaterials.
The education and outreach plans will be well integrated with the proposal research to underrepresented students with particular emphasis on challenge/interactive-driven projects and involvement of family and teacher.   Intellectual Merit: The intellectual merit is to bridge a gap between conductive polymers and biomedical applications by developing a novel biodegradable conductive polymer that is conductive itself without a dopant. Current biodegradable conductive materials are multicomponent composites, which require adding inorganic additives or dopants. These complex multicomponent systems have problems in stability, biodegradation, safety and controllability of the material, and difficulties in investigating the fundamental mechanism. However, none of the existing biodegradable polymers are conductive itself without additives/dopants. The proposed polymers and methods will address above challenges. The strong preliminary data and solid background in functional biomaterial development confirm that the PI is qualified to conduct the proposed work. Compared with the existing biodegradable conductive materials, the new polymer system has many innovative aspects. (1) This new polymer is conductive itself without additives and dopants, which increases controllability and stability of the material and also provides a simple system to understand structure-function relationship. (2) The conductive polymer is soft and elastic with tunable mechanical properties, degradation and conductivity as well as has good processability and cell compatibility. (3) The synthesis routine is simple and versatile, which allows to further expanding this polymer family with multifunction to meet needs from various biomedical applications. (4) The new methodologies can be broadly used to develop other new functional biomaterials. Broader Impacts: The proposed biodegradable dopant-free conductive bioelastomers will provide a new material platform to study fundamental material and biological science, and to develop new biomedical implants for human healthcare. These transformative conductive materials break through the bottleneck of conductive materials in biomedicine, which will broaden their applications in on-demand drug release, tissue regeneration and biodegradable electronics as well as other fields. The methods are versatile, and can be used to develop other new functional polymers. The proposed education and outreach activities will integrate with the proposed cutting-edge research. The elementary, high school and undergraduate/graduate students along with families and teachers will be involved. As one key part of this effort, the challenge/interactive driven projects about conductive materials and their applications will be proposed and then combined with the redesigned courses for undergraduate/graduate student teams. Another key part is to develop an Interaction-Enhanced Biomaterial Program to share the state-of-the-art research with elementary students in their school, and to invite high school students to visit the campus with lab tours. Involvement of student families and teachers will be emphasized, and the education outcome will be assessed by a survey. The interdisciplinary research/teaching plan will recruit the underrepresented (Hispanic) undergraduate/graduate students for this proposed research and the challenge/interactive projects. A “Conductive Biomaterials in Biomedicine” workshop will be organized for high school and undergraduate/graduate students. The research and educational activities in this CAREER proposal will provide learning opportunities for various groups, and are perfectly aligned with the PI’s long-term goals.
Apr 2018 - Mar 2021
Western Regional Noyce Alliance (WRNA): Texas WRNA Regional Meetings sponsored by San Francisco State University
The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) will host planned gatherings of Texas PIs and Noyce Scholars at the annual state science and mathematics teacher conferences.
These conferences are the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT), which is a chapter of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA); and Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching (CAMT) sponsored the Texas Chapter of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Future meeting dates and locations for CAST and CAMT are as follows.   CAST   Year 1 - 2018 Year 2 - 2019 Year 3 - 2020 Dates 11/1 – 11/3 11/21 – 11/23 11/5 – 11/7 Location Ft. Worth Dallas Houston CAMT Dates 7/16-7/18 7/8 – 7/10 TBD Location Houston San Antonio Dallas/Ft. Worth   The UTA team will host two gatherings at each CAST and CAMT annual meeting: 1) Pre-conference Meeting and Professional Dialogue, and 2) Post-conference Session Highlights Exchange Pre-conference Meeting and Professional Dialogue. The UTA team will invite and organize a gathering of Noyce Scholars from Texas to meet before each respective science (CAST) and mathematics education (CAMT) conference. We will host a reception or meal prior to the conference in the respective city. The 2 -3 hour gathering will begin with a plenary speaker who will focus on issues important to science or mathematics teaching and learning in high need schools. The topics/issues to be addressed by the plenary speaker will be provided to the UTA team in advance of the conference for planning breakout group topics. Immediately following the plenary session, Noyce Scholars will break into discussion groups to focus on a selected issue addressed by the speaker. The gathering will conclude with Noyce Scholar groups presenting the results of their discussion and providing directions and ideas to improve teaching and learning in high need schools for the future. Post-conference Session Highlights Exchange At the close of their respective conference, Noyce Scholars will gather for a 1-2 hour meeting/reception where they will share highlights of sessions they attended with other Noyce Scholars. The Noyce Scholars will discuss sessions that were particularly meaningful, thought-provoking, and/or controversial. At this final meeting, Noyce Scholars will be able to exchange contact information, and will be given instructions on joining the newly established Texas NSF Noyce Scholars Facebook account to continue to exchange ideas, lessons, teaching tips, and other professional development experiences with each other on an ongoing basis. 
Sep 2018 - Aug 2020
Single Molecule Fluorescence Imaging for a Background-Free Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay Search sponsored by Department of Energy (DoE)
The nature of neutrino mass is one of the fundamental open questions in nuclear and particle physics, with major implications across particle physics and cosmology, including a vital connection to the theory of leptogensis that may explain the matter/antimatter imbalance of the Universe.
The only known practical way to establish the neutrino as a Majorana fermion is via observation of a rare radioactive process called neutrinoless double beta decay (0???).  Deployment of a US-led, ton-scale 0??? experiment was identified as a top priority in the NSAC 2015 Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science.  Pursuing the physics associated with neutrino mass is also a Science Driver in the P5 Strategic Plan for US Particle Physics.  The performance of such an experiment will be limited by the achievable level of background b, quantified in units of counts per ton year in the ROI.  To achieve target sensitivities significantly exceeding 10^27 yr, an independent assessment commissioned by the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) concluded that background levels of b < 0.1 should be achieved.  This is extremely ambitious, with running experiments reporting b in the range 4
Sep 2017 - Aug 2020
A novel optical imaging probe system for assessing wound healing and infection sponsored by Progenitec Inc
This is a NIH SBIR Phase II application and UTA is one of the subcontractor on the proposal.
The PI is Wenjing Hu, Executive Director, Progenitec Inc. (1917 Parktree Drive, Arlington, Texas 76001, The NIH deadline is September 6th. However, subcontract deadline for Progenitec is on August 23.        Chronic non-healing wounds continue to pose great challenges to clinicians. It is estimated that there are 1.1-1.8 million new chronic wound patients each year and approximately 8 million Americans suffer from chronic wounds. To make the situation worse, chronic wounds often predispose the patients to infection. The problem is compounded by the lack of effective methods to monitor wound healing status and early diagnosis of wound infection. Taking advantage of the recent developments in optical imaging technology, the overall goal of this project is to develop an imaging probe system for assessing wound healing and infection in human. Specifically, many recent studies have shown that alkaline (pH > 7.4) wound environment is an indicator of chronic wound. It has also been shown that bacterial colonization is preferable in a chronic wound and alkaline environment. In addition, infection may delay wound healing and lead to non-healing wounds. Hence, we believe that the development of imaging probes to detect the wound pH changes and bacteria colonization would serve as powerful tools for early detection of non-healing wounds and wound infection. To achieve the goal, this proposed work is aimed at creating a non-invasive detection system. This system is composed of two components. First, a series of near infrared ratiometric pH probes and bacteria probes will be fabricated to measure pH changes and bacteria presence in the wound. Second, a hand-held optical device will be built to monitor subcutaneous and skin surface changes of sensors’ fluorescence intensities in vivo. The successful completion of this proposed work will help the development of a new platform of wound care technology which can be easily implemented for monitoring the extent of wound healing and the potential of infection in this process in patients. 
Sep 2017 - Aug 2020
EAGER: Data Analytics over Location Based Services sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF)
Overview: Location Based Services (LBS) are extremely popular, with millions of users making daily use of standalone mapping services such as Google Maps, Bing Maps, Nokia HERE, etc.
Besides these systems, features related to LBS are also integrated into numerous other systems, e.g., online social networks such as Twitter, WeChat, Sina Weibo and FourSquare. Users are typically offered a "local view" of the service, e.g., a kNN interface that enables search for hospitals, restaurants, and friends near a geographical location. The backend databases of LBS contain a gold mine of information for understanding POI quality, user behavior, and other "big picture" information about the underlying data. E.g., a nationwide distribution of Starbucks restaurants can be useful for analysts seeking to understand correlation of location with population demographics (coffee drinkers). However, such analysis requires complete "global view" access of the data, thus their impact has been largely confined to the LBS providers themselves in enriching their real-world applications. In contrast, the main thrust of this proposal is to show that it is also possible to perform interesting LBS data analytics with only local views. We seek to develop a suite of techniques that tap into LBS data for various data analytics and mining tasks. This research is expected to open the doors to numerous thirdparty clients who can leverage the technology for developing novel LBS applications. Aim I: Develop aggregate estimation techniques over LBS data under local view access. We shall consider time sensitive aggregates as well as certain novel types of path aggregates. Aim II: Enable data mining over LBS data, in particular dual mining under local view access. Aim III: Develop a LBS data analytics prototype and evaluate it over several real-world online databases as well as offline data. Keywords: location based services; data analytics; aggregation; sampling Intellectual Merit: The project will produce ground breaking algorithms and tools for understanding the opportunities and challenges of data analytics over location based services under local view access. It will deliver fundamental advancements to engineering by showing how to integrate theoretically-proven algorithms with application-specific details of real-world LBS. The transformative research will lead to new technologies in third-party LBS client applications. The PI has extensive research experience in exploration and analytics of web databases, as well as computational geometry, which are expected to be critical for this project. Broader Impacts: The proposed project has significant implications for the future of research and practice in the area of location-based services, and is expected to open the doors to numerous third-party clients who can leverage the technology; the combined creativity and efforts of numerous players is likely to result in very novel and disruptive applications in the LBS applications area. The project involves a minority serving institution (UTA), enabling the PI to make a strong effort to engage students from underrepresented groups. Proposed education and outreach activities span across K-12 to graduate education, including workshops organization and research dissemination. The project has compelling and exciting system design/development tasks that are very attractive for today?s students. The project fosters systematic development of a data analyses workforce