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reed magazine logoAutumn 2008

Five Reed Faculty Members Win Grants

The National Science Foundation has awarded a four-year grant of $350,000 to Suzy Renn, assistant professor of biology, and Albyn Jones, professor of statistics, to study the relationship between different forms of aggression in a species of African fish. The project, “Molecular Modules of Aggression: Maternal Behavior in the African Cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni,” asks whether male territoriality is “orchestrated by the same mechanisms as maternal aggression,” or whether these similar behaviors are the result of very different molecular and physiological mechanisms. Renn has also received a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research on a similar project, “Mechanisms for Environmental and Genetic Reversal of Gender Biased Behavior”—a study of complex social behaviors in African cichlid fishes. Both grants will provide summer research opportunities for students.

Jay Mellies, associate professor of biology, has also received NIH funding—a three-year Academic Research Enhancement Award of $235,000—for his project, “Ler control of EPEC virulence.” Mellies studies enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), an important source of acute diarrheal illness in infants; his current research seeks to understand how harmful Escherichia coli bacteria regulate genes necessary for causing disease. A main focus will be to identify the structure and function of the novel protein Ler. A summer research assistant will be hired for each year of the grant.

The Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation has awarded a two-year grant of $78,000 to Kristen Anderson, assistant professor of psychology, to study the social-cognitive features underlying decisions among youth entering college to drink hazardously and to evaluate the proposed developmental model of alcohol use decision-making.

Paul Gronke, professor of political science, has received additional support from the Pew Charitable Trusts to continue his work with the Make Voting Work initiative, a joint effort by Pew and the JEHT foundation to improve the voting process in the United States. Gronke oversees a number of Make Voting Work projects, including studies of new voter registration efforts and online training programs for poll workers. He is also the director of the Early Voting Information Center at Reed. The grant will support the work of Gronke, post-baccalaureate fellow James Hicks ’08, and research assistant Bailey Schreiber ’10 during the 200809 academic year.

reed magazine logoAutumn 2008