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The University of Georgia ranked 14th on a list of 2020 Best Big Colleges in the U.S., according to a ranking by the website Niche. (Photo/Jason Born)

The University of Georgia announced seven interdisciplinary projects were awarded seed grants in a Jan. 9 UGA Today news release. The release did not specify how much funding the projects will receive.

The projects span 15 colleges, schools and other units, according to the release. These research initiatives represent the second round of UGA President Jere Morehead’s Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant program, which was announced in January 2017. UGA awarded grants to 12 winners in April of that year, according to past Red & Black coverage.

“I am pleased to provide this additional opportunity for UGA faculty to learn from one another and inspire new ways to approach complex problems,” Morehead said in the release. “The Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants program is proving to be an effective means to strengthen our university’s research enterprise and greatly expand our faculty’s impact.”

David Lee, the UGA vice president for research, and Jennifer Frum, the UGA vice president for public service and outreach, led a group of faculty and administrators who reviewed 72 applications for the grants, according to the release.

The projects selected for the second round of grants were:

“Establishing a New Animal Model to Assess Influenza-Tuberculosis Co-Infection and Vaccination.”

Led by Fred Quinn, a UGA Athletic Association professor, the head of the infectious diseases department in the College of Veterinary Medicine and an adjunct professor in the microbiology department of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

“Building a National Center of Excellence for Nature-Based Infrastructure Solutions.”

Led by Brian Bledsoe, a UGA Athletics professor in resilient infrastructure in the College of Engineering.

“Mitigating Emerging Disease Impacts in Fisheries: Adaptive Strategies to Ensure a Safe, Healthy Seafood Supply.”

Led by Jeb Byers, a Meigs Distinguished Teaching professor of ecology and the associate dean for research and operations in the Odum School of Ecology.

“Overcoming Physical Distances with the Virtual Family Room: Virtual and Augmented Reality Communication Platforms for Deployed Military Families.”

Led by Sun Joo “Grace” Ahn, an associate professor of advertising and the director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“Creating a Healthier Georgia through Diabetes Prevention.”

Led by Alison Berg, an assistant professor and extension nutrition and health specialist in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“Anticipating the Regional and Global Impacts of Next-Generation Vehicle Engine Technologies.”

Led by Rawad Saleh, an assistant professor studying aerosols and air quality in the College of Engineering.

“Impact of the School and Surrounding Environment on Implementation of Georgia’s Statewide Childhood Obesity Policy.”

Led by Janani Thapa, an assistant professor of health policy and management and the director of the Economic Evaluation Research Group in the College of Public Health.

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