Round 3: X-Grants Program Provides Funding for Eight Interdisciplinary Projects

July 2, 2020

COLLEGE STATION – Eight interdisciplinary research projects will share $7 million in funding from Round 3 of Texas A&M University’s X-Grants program, an initiative of the 10-year, $100 million President’s Excellence Fund.

The Round 3 funded projects represent 80 faculty members and other researchers from eight colleges—agriculture and life sciences, architecture, engineering, geosciences, medicine, pharmacy, science and veterinary medicine; the Texas A&M Health Science Center and the Qatar and Galveston campuses.

“These interdisciplinary projects have the potential for significant advances in areas such as cancer and COVID-19 therapies, natural disaster response and mitigation, novel space management, mental health, migration behaviors, water quality and improvements to the efficiency of current technologies,” said Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau. “It is noteworthy that half the selected project teams are not led by tenured faculty.  This demonstrates the caliber of the researchers that Texas A&M has attracted in recent years, as well as their capacity for innovation and leadership. It bodes well for the future as researchers across the institution work together to develop creative solutions for the benefit of the global community.”

Titles and team leaders for each of the eight projects are:

  • “Electroceuticals as AI-based Smart Therapies for Brain Disorders,” D. Samba Reddy, professor, Department of Neurosciences & Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine.
  • “Engineering Nanomedicine for Non-invasive Cancer Therapy,” Shiren Wang, associate professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, jointly operated by the colleges of science and engineering.
  • “A Multidisciplinary Platform for the Identification of Cancer and COVID Therapeutics,” Wenshe Liu, professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science.
  • “Disaster City Digital Twin: Integrating Machine and Human Intelligence to Augment Flood Resilience,” Ali Mostafavidarani, assistant professor, Zachry Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering.
  • “Texas A&M Lunar Surface Experiments Program,” Jeffery Bullard, professor, Zachry Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering.
  • “Developing a SmallSat Mission to Track Global Movement of Water, Carbon, and Sediment Across Landscapes,” George Allen, assistant professor, Department of Geography, College of Geoscience.
  • “Integrated Nanophotonics for Next-Generation Internet of Things (IoT),” Zi Jing Wong, assistant professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering.
  • “Identifying the Neuronal Basis for Magnetosensation and Orientation in Insects,” Alma Fernández González, research scientist, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

There were 142 one-page proposals submitted to the program, 43 of which were chosen to submit preliminary proposals resulting in 22 selected to submit final proposals. After oral presentations and reviews by three reviewers each, a review panel met and chose eight proposals for funding.

About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including in science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M generated annual expenditures of more than $952 million in fiscal year 2019. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the most recent National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development survey based on expenditures of more than $922 million in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit Research@Texas A&M.