Grants Roundup: College of Engineering Receives $1.7 Million in Grants in Q2

Villanova University’s College of Engineering added $1.7 million in anticipated grant funding to its portfolio in the second quarter of 2022-2023, bringing the total award amount to nearly $7 million for the fiscal year. The awards, provided by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, will support three projects led by members of the Villanova Engineering faculty.

Meltem Izzetoglu, PhD

Meltem Izzetoglu, PhD
Electrical and Computer Engineering
National Institutes of Health: $1,171,812
Collaborative Research: SCH: Early Assessment of Cognitive Decline using Multimodal Neuroimaging with Embedded Artificial Intelligence

In this project, we will develop an integrated platform for the assessment of mild cognitive impairments (MCI) in older adults using multimodal neuroimaging information obtained from functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG) with advanced signal processing and data science methods including cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) techniques. Developing a mobile application that combines a comprehensive cognitive testing battery sensitive to MCI together with fNIRS-EEG on one platform that could be used in less expensive and restrictive testing environments to determine functional brain alterations in older adults with MCI is very innovative. The findings of this project can lead to a transformation in early detection and monitoring of cognitive decline in older adults at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Learn more.

Laura Bracaglia, PhD

Laura Bracaglia, PhD
Chemical and Biological Engineering
National Institutes of Health: $742,050 (total anticipated funding)
Tailored siRNA delivery to human endothelium to inhibit and reverse inflammatory damage following ischemia reperfusion injury in the kidney

Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) causes endothelial inflammation and microvascular rarefaction that leads to adverse kidney graft outcomes in organ transplant. Direct treatment of endothelial cells (EC) can reduce the impact of IRI on the health of the graft, but there is a lack of EC targeted therapies that can effectively intervene and alleviate the various modes of dysfunctional endothelial response. The goal of this work is to develop a therapeutic strategy that addresses the two key modes of endothelial damage in response to IRI: dysfunctional inflammation in ECs and damage to capillary networks, in a site-specific and temporary manner. Learn more.

Alfonso Ortega, PhD

Alfonso Ortega, PhD
Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2)
National Science Foundation: $50,000
Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Energy Smart Electronic Systems: Phase III

Dr. Ortega’s most recent grant supports research conducted within the Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems, a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) established to develop methodologies, tools and systems that will maximize energy efficiency for the operation of electronic systems, including data centers, “from the chip to the cooling tower.”