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UC researchers continue to blaze new trails in science, medicine, business, education, engineering and the arts — literally transforming the way we live, work and learn.

Check out how these first-year faculty researchers hit the ground running

Findings Staff Report | Feb. 9, 2021

Here at the Office of Research we want all of our new faculty to succeed from day one.

That’s why the Research Launch Award program was created three years ago.

Open to full-time faculty in their first year, the program offers faculty development dollars to researchers who have attended at least 10 of the OoR’s Professional Development Series events in their first academic year.

Each year, awardees say it’s about far more than the money and several program alumni have gone on to become powerhouse Bearcat researchers.

“The Research Launch Award and events sponsored by the OoR provided me with important information and guidance on improving the overall research process and helped me improve my grant writing skills,” says College of Engineering and Applied Science hire Riccardo Barrile. “As a result, I have applied for two NIH funding opportunities and multiple fellowships for early-career faculty.”

Another awardee called the program the “cherry on top” of his first year at UC, helping him settle into the UC research community with more ease.

Meet our newest awardees and hear about their research in their own words:

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Riccardo Barrile
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science

"My current research focuses on combining patient‐derived stem cells and bioengineering to create a predictive invitro model of the human neurovascular unit; an enabling platform designed for investigating the contribution of cerebrovascular inflammation to the insurgence of neurological disorders."

Mohamed_Elwakil@UCBA

Mohamed Elwakil
Professor of Computer Science, Department Math, Physics and Computer Science, UC Blue Ash

"The primary focus of my research is to develop formal methods and supporting tools to aid modeling, analysis and debugging of high-performance computer software. In particular, I am working on deterministic replay and trace-based predictive analysis of message-passing concurrent programs. My work has appeared at many conferences and workshops and in journals such as Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems, a publication of the Association for Computing Machinery. My projects have been supported by the National Science Foundation and Office of Naval Research."

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Jayme McReynolds
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Systems Physiology, College of Medicine

"The overall objective and goals of my research are to understand how stress influences the brain and behavior. My research program is focused on identifying the neurobiological mechanisms and circuitry that underlie the ability of stress to facilitate or exacerbate pathological brain states and behavior, such as addiction, in rodents."

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Jun Wang 
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine

"The overall goal of my research is to solve airborne pollutant exposure issues in ambient and occupational environment. There are many objectives to achieve that include mission measurement, exposure monitoring, toxicity evaluation, engineering control development, etc. I am working on a wide range of topics such as roadside dusts, particulate matters and aerosols. Recently, I have been collaborating with CCM and UC Health to study potential exposure to SARS‐CoV‐2 during musical education and trauma surgery, respectively."

Check out all of our past recipients, since 2018, here.