SC EPSCoR announces 2020 Grants for Exploratory Academic Research (GEAR) Program recipients

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2020

(Columbia, SC) The SC EPSCoR State Office is pleased to announce the grant recipients of the 2020 Grants for Exploratory Academic Research (GEAR) Program.

The goal of the Grants for Exploratory Academic Research (GEAR) Program is to encourage faculty researchers at South Carolina colleges and universities to compete effectively for research funding to support the research clusters associated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track 1-Award entitled Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina (MADE in SC).

GEAR awards were awarded to collaboration teams of two investigators from South Carolina’s three comprehensive research universities (Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina Columbia) that were a research collaboration in two of the MADE in SC research clusters (Multi-scale Modeling and Computation Core, Thrust 1 – Optical, Electrochemical and Magnetic Materials, Thrust 2 – Stimuli-responsive Polymeric Materials, and Thrust 3 – Interactive Biomaterials), with preference given to a collaboration made between a senior faculty member (those who are at the full professor level or who have been at the associate professor level for more than two years) and a junior faculty member.

Six awards with a maximum budget of $60,000 each have been made to:

  • Dieter Haemmerich, The Medical University of South Carolina (PI) and Marek Urban, Clemson University (Co-PI): Heat triggered polymeric nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery
  • Thompson Mefford, Clemson University (PI) and Rachel Getman, Clemson University (Co-PI): Computationally directed synthesis of substituted ferrites for enhanced energy transfer
  • Ying Mei, Clemson University (PI) and Michael Yost, MUSC (Co-PI): Computational modeling guided biomaterials development for therapeutic vascularization
  • Ulf Schiller, Clemson University (PI) and Rajendra Bordia, Clemson University (Co-PI): Integrated experiments and 3D simulations of transport in hierarchical porous electrodes for high capacity Li ion batteries
  • Morgan Stefik, University of South Carolina (PI) and Olga Kuksenok, Clemson University (Co-PI): Fluorophobic Control of Nanoparticle Dispersions within Block Polymers
  • Sheryl Wiskur, University of South Carolina (PI) and Vitaly Rassolov, University of South Carolina (Co-PI): Asymmetric Catalysis with Polymers: Understanding the Relationship between Polymer Backbone Polarity and Selectivity

The vision of MADE in SC is to discover and establish new and sustainable approaches for the design and assembly of hierarchical materials at multiple relevant length scales that service South Carolina’s STEM research, education, and workforce needs and invigorate economic development. The focus of this initiative is to discover and develop new intelligently designed optical, electrochemical and magnetic materials, stimuli-responsive polymeric materials, and interactive biomaterials, all supported by a newly-created Multiscale Modeling and Computation Core.

MADE in SC is supported by the National Science Foundation Award #OIA-1655740.