Aug. 24, 2001

Lab garners 8 of 11 UC campus-lab collaborative projects and exchanges

Laboratory researchers have been awarded eight of UC’s 11 recently announced research projects and exchanges to be carried out collaboratively between laboratories and university campuses.

Among the projects, researchers will probe a pathogen implicated in respiratory, heart and Alzheimer’s diseases, develop a laser approach to diagnosing breast cancer non-invasively, and explore new ways to use gamma ray detectors developed for astronomy in medical imaging.

"Programs like this really show UC’s commitment to the scientific vitality of the Laboratory. It is a great benefit of the University being our manager," said Laura Gilliom, director of the Lab’s University Relations Program. "UC takes some of the management fee DOE pays and puts it into collaborations like this. We had a number of strong proposals and we did well."

The projects and exchanges were chosen competitively and will be funded at a level of $1.5 million total per year.

"The campus-labs collaboration process is a great opportunity to start projects which strengthen the research environment at the campuses and labs by an exchange of scientists and students, and which can have direct benefits to society," said Harry Radousky, director of Laboratory Collaborations in UC’s Office of the President.
"We aim to jump-start and sustain very promising research in areas like health care that can pay off in a big way but may be difficult to fund through standard funding sources."
Five research projects were ultimately chosen from 60 proposed, and six exchanges were chosen from 17 proposed. The collaborations are the latest in a six-year program that was founded in 1995.

Following are the five projects selected, their funding levels for two years and principal contacts:

• A program controlling the optical, magnetic and electronic properties of semiconducting materials to create novel devices for information processing and storage. $400,000 per year. Principal contacts: D. N. Bassov, UC San Diego, and P.C. Hammel, Los Alamos.

• A study of how low levels of unwanted radiation exposures that occur near a tumor during radiation therapy affect the genes and proteins in nearby healthy tissue. $240,000 this year, $160,000 next. Z. Goldberg, UC Davis, and Christine Hartmann-Siantar, Lawrence Livermore.

• Development of techniques to measure the carbon-14 content of individual amino acids isolated from oceanic organic matter. This innovative approach will provide unique insights into marine ecology, ocean upwelling and global climate processes. $250,000 this year, $120,000 next. P.L. Koch, UC Santa Cruz, and Thomas Guilderson, Lawrence Livermore.

• Development of non-invasive techniques for the diagnosis of breast cancer using optical lasers. $270,000 this year, $160,000 next. Robert C. Brasch, UC San Francisco, and Stavros Demos, Lawrence Livermore.

• Development of new capabilities in medical imaging using gamma ray detectors that were originally developed for astronomy. $240,000 this year, $160,000 next. S.E. Boggs, UC Berkeley, and William Craig, Lawrence Livermore.

Following are the six exchanges, their one-year funding for relocation and related expenses, and their principal contacts:

• A materials science study with a range of applications: for example, to radiation damage, solid oxide fuel cells and ceramic reactor fuels. $60,000. Principal contacts are Alexandra Navrotsky, UC Davis, and R. Putnam, Los Alamos.

• A study, in hopes of leading toward a vaccine, of the pathogenic characteristics of the bacteria chlamydia, which has been implicated in a range of illnesses from respiratory infections to heart disease, stroke, attacks on the central nervous system and Alzheimer’s. $30,000. Elena Peterson, UC Irvine, and Vladimir Motin, Lawrence Livermore.
• Development of catalytic flow technology for very small, long lasting fuel cells to provide power for telemetry and other remote applications. $70,000. Costas Grigoropoulos, UC Berkeley, and Jeff Morse, Lawrence Livermore.

• A study, using a technique called accelerator mass spectrometry, of the means by which carbon can be stored in or released by the soil and the implications for climate change and global warming. $72,000. Caroline A. Masiello, Lawrence Livermore, and O. A. Chadwick, UC Santa Barbara.

• Development of targeting agents to make cancer cells more susceptible to damage by radiation and thereby improve the effectiveness of therapy using injected radiopharmaceuticals. $30,000. S.J. DeNardo, UC Davis, and Mike Colvin, Lawrence Livermore.

• An integrated modeling study to promote smart growth in urban areas by taking into account emergency planning issues such as wildfires and storm runoff. $30,000. K. Clarke, UC Santa Barbara, and S. Rasmussen, Los Alamos.