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Research @ Home Webinar
Unraveling the mysteries of tornadoes using next-generation radars and computer simulations

Featuring Dr. David Bodine, Research Scientist at ARRC

Date: Friday July 10, 2020 12:00 p.m.
Location: Online via Zoom

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Research @ Home Webinar
Searching for Graves from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacres

Featuring Dr. Scott Hammerstedt, Senior Researcher @Oklahoma Archeological Survey & Dr. Kary Stackelbeck, State Archaeologist of Oklahoma @Oklahoma Archeological Survey

Date: Friday July 24, 2020 12:00 p.m.
Location: Online via Zoom

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Research News

July 8, 2020

OU Shatters Record for Sponsored Research


The University of Oklahoma announced a record-high $255.6 million in research awards earned through grants and external funding by OU researchers on the Norman campus. The fiscal year 2020 total surpasses the previous benchmark of $218 million for the 2019 fiscal year.

“Achieving a record-setting year for research is a testament to the remarkable enthusiasm and talent of our Norman campus research enterprise,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “These extraordinary accomplishments, spearheaded by OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, reflect the growing confidence of our external partners in the university’s ability to translate our research efforts into real-world impacts.” 

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July 7, 2020

OU Researcher Receives Department of Defense Young Faculty Award

Justin Metcalf

Justin Metcalf, assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma,  has received a Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In recent years, commercial and military demand for using the electromagnetic spectrum has exploded. Mobile devices, digital audio and streaming platforms compete with military needs for communications and intelligence. Metcalf’s research project explores how the electromagnetic spectrum has become critically congested.

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July 2, 2020

Interim Executive Director of the Office of Research Services Named

Andrea Deaton

Many of you know Andrea Deaton from her role as an Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships and Executive Director of the Office of Research Services (ORS). Since becoming the Executive Director in 2006, Andrea has been responsible for ensuring the continuity of daily operations of all pre-award functions related to the administration of sponsored research and creative activities for the Norman campus and related programs on the Tulsa campus. Andrea will be retiring effective August 31, 2020, but her last day in the office will be July 15.

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June 25, 2020

Julian Sabisch Joins the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory

Julian Sabisch

Julian Sabisch will join the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory (SRNML) in July as a transmission electron microscopy and imaging research scientist. Sabisch will operate, maintain, supervise and provide research-related training principally on transmission electron microscopy and related equipment in the core light/electron imaging facility.

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June 23, 2020

OU Researcher Receives Department of Energy Early Career Award

Bayram Saparov

Bayram Saparov, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences, was selected for a 2020 Early Career Research Award from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. 

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June 18, 2020

The Measles Virus May Be Older Than Previously Believed

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that despite being vaccine-preventable still imposes a tremendous burden on human health. Like many human diseases, measles originated in animals. A spill-over of a cattle-infecting virus, the common ancestor to both measles virus and its closest relative, rinderpest virus, likely gave rise to the disease. The timing and circumstances of this important host switch, however, are still debated.

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June 17, 2020

Chelsea Julian receives OU Distinguished Performance Award

Chelsea Julian

Chelsea Julian, who at the time of her nomination was a marketing and public relations specialist in University Libraries, was selected to receive a Distinguished Performance Award from the Informational Staff Association.

“Chelsea is an amazing advocate for the work of the library's staff,” said Jenny Watson, University Libraries head of storage and delivery, in her nomination letter. “She makes sure that a University Libraries employee is highlighted in the Weekly Update that is sent to UL staff and other interested parties across campus so that we can learn more about our coworkers and their work. She works one-on-one with staff and faculty to find the best way to advertise their upcoming events and workshops –through the electronic signage, the UL website, local and national media, and social media.”

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June 15, 2020

OU Calls for Proposals to Study Inequities in Academic Research, Creative Activities

NSF Logo

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships announces a call for proposals that address inequities in academic research and creative activity.

“We live in a time when social injustice continues unabated,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for research and partnerships. “Unfortunately, such injustices and inequities are ever present in the world of academic research, with what to most observers would appear to be little to no progress over the last few decades or projected for the future.”

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June 3, 2020

Oklahoma Research Team Receives $20 Million National Science Foundation Grant

NSF Logo

A new $20 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, administered by the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), will support interdisciplinary research to benefit Oklahoma.

During the five-year award, a team of 34 researchers from Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, University of Tulsa, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Langston University, East Central University and Noble Research Institute will develop and test science-based solutions for complex problems at the intersection of land use, water availability and infrastructure. 

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June 3, 2020

Fighting Malaria with Moldy Cereal


Regents’ Professor and the director of the Institute for Natural Product Applications and Research Technologies, Robert Cichewicz, with Debopam Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Central Florida, recently received a $3.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to use fungus-derived compounds to develop better treatments for malaria.

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June 3, 2020

Missing Mayflies


As the name suggests, mayflies typically begin hatching in May, but you might be seeing less around than in previous years. Increasingly, research is documenting the effect of climate change on grasshopper and other insect populations. Now, rising temperatures may also be a reason for a nearly 50% decrease in a mayfly population studied by OU researchers.

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May 27, 2020

Strategic Research Advisory Board Discusses Research Goals, Outlook in May Meeting


One of the hallmarks of higher education is the meeting of expert minds from diverse fields to explore solutions to and overcome challenges. Now, with the campus just beginning to reopen, one such gathering began online to share perspectives on how to safely resume research and creative scholarship on the Norman campus.

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May 20, 2020

OU Physicists Awarded Department of Defense Research Grant to Investigate Applications of Einstein’s “Spooky Action at a Distance”

OU professor Arne Schwettmann works on a laser-cooling apparatus

University of Oklahoma professors Arne Schwettmann and Grant Biedermann recently received a research award to investigate applications of what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” from the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program within the Department of Defense. The $584,814 grant will be awarded over three years starting in the fall.

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May 18, 2020

Two Graduate Students Receive NSF Fellowship

Morgan Schneider and Colton Ross

Morgan Schneider, a graduate student with the Advanced Radar Research Center and the School of Meteorology, received an National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. 

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May 14, 2020

OU Pilots Testing Program for Research Personnel Returning to Campus

Charles B. Goddard Health Center personnel collecting samples for PCR testing of the SARS-COV-2 virus.

The University of Oklahoma announced a pilot testing program to restart research and creative activity operations on the Norman campus. The program begins with a voluntary cohort of researchers who will complete a health screening and COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

“In this opt-in ‘Phase 1,’ all OU employees who have been approved to return to campus will undergo a PCR test for the SARS-COV-2 virus and complete health screenings developed by physicians at the OU Health Sciences Center,” OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia said. “Employees will undergo further testing and contact tracing during the summer, and those found to be positive for the virus will be asked to quarantine. Throughout the pilot program, our first priority is to ensure the public health of our community and the well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

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April 30, 2020

Essential Equipment Prototyped and Manufactured at OU Donated to OU Medicine

OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub staff unload small isolation boxes to be used during intubation procedures at OU Medical. These isolation boxes will help mitigate the possibility of droplet transmission of COVID-19 during intubation procedures.

The University of Oklahoma is leveraging its expertise and resources to alleviate the shortage of protective gear and critical equipment for health care workers. Recently, more than 300 face shields and 11 isolation boxes, manufactured at OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub, were donated to OU Medical Center.

The equipment is part of the broad university effort to develop, prototype, validate and offer recommended essential equipment designs. For several weeks, a task force of over 40 engineers, designers, occupational health and safety experts, doctors and specialists from OU’s three campuses has been evaluating prototypes and iterating designs in an effort to find the designs that are safest and most effective.

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April 29, 2020

Researchers awarded NASA grant to improve forecasting

The CopterSonde drone is being flown next to a meteorological tower

As a part of a team led by Oklahoma State University, the Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling and the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms at the University of Oklahoma received a NASA grant to develop improvements for low-altitude weather forecasting. It is one of five university teams nationwide selected to examine a range of technical areas in support of NASA’s aeronautics research goals.

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April 20, 2020

Physicists Develop Approach to Increase Performance of Solar Energy

Solar Panels

Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells. 

Solar cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity and are the main component of solar panels and many types of electrical devices as broad-ranging as satellites and calculators.

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April 17, 2020

Data Science and Visualization Expert Joins OU

David Ebert

Four months after accepting the offer, we are thrilled to announce that David Ebert will join OU in June as an Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships and Gallogly Chair in Engineering. Previously, Ebert was the Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, Director of the Purdue Integrative Data Science Initiative and Director of the Visual Analytics for Command Control and Interoperability Center (VACCINE).

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April 16, 2020

OU Researchers Receive Internal Funding to Study Impacts of COVID-19


Ten research projects led by University of Oklahoma researchers will receive funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients were selected from 72 proposals submitted in one week.

As specified in the call for proposals, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships on the OU Norman campus is funding these Rapid Response Research Seed Grants for short-term projects that position OU faculty and their collaborators to effectively compete for significant external funding opportunities related to COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, diagnosis, treatment, social factors and disparities, risk assessment and decision-making, and societal impacts.

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April 15, 2020

Multidisciplinary OU Team Unites to Prototype, Test and Validate Essential Equipment Designs

As the nation works to alleviate the widespread shortage of protective gear and critical equipment for health care workers and first responders, the 3D printing community, manufacturers and hobbyists are stepping in to help. With countless blueprints to choose from, identifying the safest and most effective designs is essential. 

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April 3, 2020

OU Researchers to Study the Impact of False Information on the Public’s Response to COVID-19

Four months ago, the existence of COVID-19 was unknown. Now, the disease has spread rapidly to almost every country disrupting society on an unprecedented scale in modern times.

As the world grapples to understand and contain the virus, a team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma received a $200,000 National Science Foundation award to study in real time how Americans perceive COVID-19 and how false information shared through social media influences their behavior.

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April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Kits Now Available Due to Public-Private Partnership

It’s no secret that there is a shortage of kits to test for COVID-19. 

One local company, IMMY, develops, manufactures and distributes diagnostic tests for pathogens and has been assisting with COVID-19 testing. IMMY president and CEO Sean Bauman contacted University of Oklahoma researchers for help.

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March 30, 2020

In New Book, OU Professor Presents New Theory on LGBTQ Stigma

Merideth Worthen

In a new book, Meredith G. F. Worthen, professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma, presents a groundbreaking theory of LGBTQ stigma – the first-ever theory about stigma that is both testable and well-positioned in existing stigma scholarship. 

In Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies: An Intersectional Examination of LGBTQ Stigma, Worthen introduces Norm-Centered Stigma Theory, which stresses the importance of the interplay between social norms, norm violations and social power. 

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March 30, 2020

COVID-19-Related Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals due April 6


The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) at the OU-Norman Campus, in close partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research at OUHSC, is accepting applications for an unprecedented Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 6, 2020.

Read the full memo

March 19, 2020

Unprecedented Preservation of Fossil Feces from the La Brea Tar Pits: A 50,000-year-old Snapshot of Los Angeles Trapped in Asphalt

La Brea Tar Pit

While Rancho La Brea, commonly known as the La Brea Tar Pits, is famous for its thousands of bones of large extinct mammals, big insights are coming from small fossils, thanks to new excavation and chemical techniques.

Today, a team of researchers from La Brea Tar Pits, the University of Oklahoma and the University of California Irvine report the first coprolites – or fossil feces – ever discovered in an asphaltic – or tar pit – context. These hundreds of fossilized rodent pellets were found during the excavation of a parking garage for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Hancock Park in 2016, which had also yielded the more traditional La Brea fossils, such as extinct mammoths, dire wolves and saber-toothed cats.

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March 10, 2020

Why Taller Grass Can Be Bad News For Grasshoppers


In northeastern Kansas, there's an open-air ecological laboratory called Konza Prairie. Scientists like Ellen Welti go there to study plants, insects, and big animals. "In the spring it has a lot of beautiful flowers, it has bison; everybody should go visit and check it out for themselves," says Welti, who is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oklahoma.

In this landscape, grasshoppers play a crucial role. They eat the grass; birds eat them.

Welti and her colleagues noticed that data collected over the past two decades showed the number of grasshoppers declining. Yet it wasn't for lack of food. The amount of grass on this prairie actually has been increasing, which Welti found "kind of interesting."

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February 20, 2020

A Sub-Neptune Sized Planet Validated with the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder


A multi-university team of researchers has validated that a candidate planet signal originally detected by the Kepler space telescope is an exoplanet—a planet orbiting a star outside of our solar system. The planet, called G 9-40b, is about twice the size of the Earth and orbits its low mass host star (an M dwarf star) only 100 light years away, making it the second-closest transiting planet discovered by the K2 mission to date.

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February 6, 2020

OU Researchers Awarded NASA Grant to Study Emerging Disease Threats, Including the New Coronavirus


An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $730,000 grant from NASA to better understand emerging infectious disease threats in the region of Central Asia, including the 2019 novel coronavirus that is spreading from China. 

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January 31, 2020

OU Study Finds the Fingerprint of Paddy Rice in Atmospheric Methane Concentration Dynamics

Aerial photo of rice terraces

A University of Oklahoma-led study shows that paddy rice (both area and plant growth) is significantly related to the spatial-temporal dynamics of atmospheric methane concentration in monsoon Asia, where 87% of paddy rice fields are situated in the world. Methane is one of the major greenhouse gases. It has a lifetime of 12.4 years and its global warming potential is approximately 86 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

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January 31, 2020

Weather Radar Records Drastic Drop in Mayfly Populations


At the beginning of each summer, mayfly larvae emerge from bodies of water and shed their skin to become full-fledged mayflies, similar to how caterpillars become butterflies. Then, all at once, a swarm of these insects simultaneously takes flight to reproduce, acting as an important component in the food chain for birds. 

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January 14, 2020

OU Launches $9 Million Research Collaboration with Peruvian University

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia

The University of Oklahoma has entered an agreement to develop a $9 million program of joint research with Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, one of Peru’s largest and oldest public research universities. 

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January 14, 2020

U.S. HUPO Honors OU Researcher with New Investigator Award

Professor Si Wu

University of Oklahoma researcher Si Wu has been selected as a winner of the Robert J. Cotter New Investigator Award, presented by the U.S. Human Proteome Organization. 

The award is presented to individuals early in their careers in recognition of significant achievements in proteomics, or the large-scale study of proteins. 

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January 11, 2020

University of Oklahoma Research Team Helps Weather-Weary Ag Industry

summer storm clouds over wheat field

You don’t have to look far to find news, opinions and studies about our world’s changing climate and its effects on humans. But what is less accessible is how a changing climate impacts beef cattle production. A team of scientists and researchers from across the region set out to answer this and other questions during the Great Plains Grazing project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

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January 8, 2020

Cancer Researcher Receives OU’s First National Institutes of Health MERIT (R37) Award to Develop Precision Radiation Delivery Tool

cancer cells

The quest to conquer cancer is motivating a team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma to develop a 3D scanner capable of guiding the radiation treatment, dispensing just the right amount of radiation to just the precise location, making real-time adjustments as treatment is delivered. 

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