Use-Inspired Research for Today’s Global Challenges
Northeastern is a wellspring of innovation, with multidisciplinary research teams focused on solving the complex problems of our society. In recent years, the University’s research funding from federal agencies—including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Veterans Administration, and others—has risen dramatically (see reverse for details). This success stems from Northeastern’s use-inspired research model that aligns with three national imperatives: health, security, and sustainability.
Five Faces of Northeastern Research
Hortensia Amaro, associate dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences and of Counseling Psychology, director of the Institute on Urban Health Research, member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine
Research focus: Substance abuse, mental health, violence, HIV prevention, health disparities, and women’s health.
Recent grants: $4.4 million from the Boston Public Health Commission’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA) for Project LAUNCH, an integrative approach to child health and mental health services; $3 million from SAMHSA to develop an intensive outpatient treatment program for women; $2 million from SAMHSA to create a family-focused approach to treatment for pregnant and postpartum women; $1.2 million from SAMHSA for a community re-entry program for incarcerated women; and $1.2 million from SAMHSA for a family-centered system of substance abuse treatment for men in recovery.
Albert-László Barabási, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Biology and Computer and Information Sciences; director of Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research
Research focus: The emerging field of network science, which looks for patterns amidst complexity in biological, technological, and social networks.
Recent grants: $2.5 million from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to support the Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance, focused on network-enabled warfare and counterinsurgency; $1.2 million from the National Institutes of Health to examine gene patterns in human disease; $1 million from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency to study patterns in social response to emergency.
Ahmed Busnaina, William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor of Engineering; director of the National Science Foundation–funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN)
Research focus: Nanoscale manufacturing with applications in energy storage, such as advanced nanotube batteries, electronics, and nanobiotechnology products used for biomedical applications like early cancer detection.
Recent grants: $12.6 million renewal grant from the National Science Foundation to support CHN’s nanotechnology research; $2 million from the John Adams Innovation Institute to help commercialize nanotechnology.
Lisa Barrett Feldman, distinguished professor of psychology
Research focus: Studying the nature of emotion from both psychological and neuroscience perspectives, to understand how age, disease, sex differences, language, and context influence emotion perception.
Recent grants: $3.9 million from the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award to study how emotions are constrained by cognitive and conceptual processes; $2 million from the National Institute on Aging to examine the neural mechanisms of social decision-making during the aging process; $400,000 from the National Institute of Mental Health to analyze the utility of threat detection in generalized social anxiety disorder; $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to examine how negative emotional responses to environment can impede mental processes.
Graham Jones, chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology, associate director of Northeastern’s Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis
Research focus: Jones is investigating targeted ways to deliver antitumor drugs. He also testified in November 2010 at a U.S. Food and Drug Administration hearing on “biosimilars,” giving Northeastern the opportunity to participate in shaping public policy around this fast-growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry.
Recent grants: $1.8 million from the Department of Energy to look for more rapid ways to test drugs at the preclinical stage; $500,000 from the National Institutes of Health to develop a line of chemical agents that target certain tumors that are typically difficult to treat.
This past fall, Northeastern joined the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), a pioneering consortium of teaching hospitals, research laboratories, and engineering schools in the Boston area. Northeastern’s excellence in use-inspired research across multiple areas of scientific discovery will advance the consortium’s mission to make a profound impact on grand challenges in health care through engineering solutions.
“The greatest innovations are born from the collaboration of scientific discovery, technological breakthrough and commercial implementation,” said Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun, who is joining CIMIT’s executive committee. “Northeastern’s ambitious research portfolio in areas of health, nanotechnology and engineering will be critical to the success of the innovations created by this partnership.”
Other Major Grants
- $13 million over five years from the National Cancer Institute to establish the Center for Translational Cancer Nanomedicine.
- $9.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to explore the links between environmental contamination and preterm births.
- $9 million from the Department of Homeland Security to detect explosives-related threats.
- $9 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop technology for real-time assessment of road and bridge infrastructure.
- $8.4 million from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to the Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology (NUCRET) for renewable energy research.
- $5.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to identify ways to treat antibiotic-resistant infections.
- $3.4 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs to apply engineering processes to improve the accuracy and efficiency of health care throughout New England’s eight VA medical centers and 37 outpatient clinics—and ultimately to the nation’s entire private health-care system.
- $3.1 million from the National Science Foundation to build upon the success of the University’s innovative Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) nanomedicine program.
- $2.4 million from the National Science Foundation in support of an Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in Intelligent Diagnostics.
For more information about research at Northeastern, visit northeastern.edu/research or northeastern.edu/governmentrelations, or contact Tim Leshan, vice president for government relations, 617.373.8528, email@example.com.