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.

Findings is the Office of Research’s newsletter, which began in October 2017. It delivers monthly updates to faculty, staff, students, and community partners about impactful research, initiatives, partnerships, events, and opportunities at the University of Cincinnati. To view current and previous issues of the newsletter, go to the Findings page.

Announcing the Collaborative Research Advancement Program: Pilot Grantees for 2024

Announcing the Collaborative Research Advancement Program: Pilot Grantees for 2024

The Collaborative Research Advancement Program Pilot Grants, as part of the Office of Research’s goal to seed interdisciplinary collaborative research, provide support for high-potential team research and creative activities. The program aims to help teams develop their research and increase their competitiveness and capacity for major external awards and funding opportunities.

Each year, following a two-stage application and evaluation process, up to eight $25,000 grants and up to two $25,000 space-specific grants are awarded.

Congratulations to this year's awardees!



Andres Flores Hidalgo

Image of Andres Flores Hidalgo

Associate Professor


College of Medicine

A Molecular Approach To Unveil The Microenvironment Elicited By Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders.

Despite progress in the understanding of basic mechanisms involved in malignant transformation and substantial improvements in molecular diagnostics, there is no single marker or a panel of markers available, yet that allows for reliable prediction of malignant transformation of oral lesions with early malignant chances; the most significant predictor of oral cancer morbidity and mortality is still late-stage diagnosis. The immune microenvironment of oral mucosal premalignant lesions is a dynamic and intricate network involving immune cells and inflammatory molecules. We believe this project can contribute to further elucidating these immune interactions, which is necessary for unraveling oral cancer pathogenesis, predicting early malignant transformation, and developing targeted therapeutic strategies.



Joan Garrett

Image of Joan Garrett

Associate Professor

Pharmaceutical Sciences

College of Pharmacy

Investigating mechanisms of non-muscle myosin IIa signaling in HER2+ breast cancer

The in vivo studies could potentially lead to the development of ROCK/NMIIA inhibitors specific to cancers with the potential to be investigated in clinical trials. Successful completion of the proposed project could potentially lead to optimal treatment of HER2+ breast cancer in the clinic and contribute to the eventual eradication of breast cancer.




Brian Grawe

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Orthopaedic Surgery

College of Medicine

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Soccer Players

The societal impacts of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, particularly prevalent among athletes, are significant due to the large number of occurrences, especially among female athletes who are more susceptible. Despite ongoing research identifying potential biomechanical and hormonal factors, there remains uncertainty regarding specific risk factors, particularly among young athletes under 19. As youth sports participation increases and women's sports expand, a deeper understanding of these factors is crucial for informing injury prevention strategies and rehabilitation protocols, benefiting athletes, coaches, trainers, and healthcare professionals alike.



Sara Khoshnevisan

Image of Sara Khoshnevisan

Assistant Professor

Civil & Architectural Engineering & Construction Management

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Enhancing Subgrade Soil Compaction Assessment Through Roller-Integrated Image Processing

The integration of non-destructive, unmanned soil testing into geotechnical engineering marks a significant leap forward, with the power to revolutionize traditional practices. This research leverages sophisticated image processing for an ongoing soil compactness evaluation, providing engineers with a more profound comprehension of soil properties. The immediate advantages include enhanced infrastructure reliability, but the applications extend far and wide, potentially redefining site assessment and construction design methodologies.



Yeongin Kim

Image of Yeongin Kim

Assistant Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Hydrogen production

Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water. The energy per weight of hydrogen (119.93 MJ/kg) is higher than those of batteries (9.0 MJ/kg) and even gasoline (46.4 MJ/kg). Our proposed project will help reduce the cost of hydrogen production based on renewable energy sources and therefore, will contribute to achieving the UN’s SDGs.


Eric Nauman

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Biomedical Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Methods for Preserving Macronutrient Content of Expressed Human Breastmilk

For infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), proper nutrition is crucial to successful short-term and long-term clinical outcomes. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining breastmilk and refrigerating, freezing, and thawing it can cause a dramatic loss of nutrients. Our goal is to analyze the process from an engineering perspective and develop techniques to preserve the nutrient content delivered to neonates.



Daniel Sun

Image of Daniel Sun

Associate Professor

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

College of Medicine

Restoring hearing to individuals with long term deafness: using magnetic resonance imaging to understand changes in central auditory pathways

This award will support work to develop a novel magnetic resonance imaging technique – diffusion tensor imaging – for patients with severe hearing loss. By gaining a deeper understanding of how the brain changes due to severe hearing loss, we hope to find more effective ways of improving hearing for patients and apply hearing rehabilitation technologies such as cochlear implants, in a more precise way.



Meifeng Xu

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

College of Medicine

Exosomes in neurofibroma

This pilot grant will help us to establish new partnerships between UC and CCHMC, and to seed collaborative research endeavors to develop research project to the point where external funding can be obtained. We anticipate that the results generated from this pilot grant will provide solid preliminary data to support our upcoming new multiple-PI R01 grant application.




Orlando Hoilett

Image of Orlando Hoilett

Assistant Professor

Biomedical Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Infant Carrier with Integrated Physiological Sensors and Thermal Monitoring to Augment Kangaroo Mother Care

Premature births are prevalent in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) with a frequency of over 15-30% of all pregnancies. NeoWarm will reduce neonatal deaths due to hypothermia, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for good health and well-being and reduced inequalities.



Aaron Murnan

Image of Aaron Murnan

Assistant Professor

Population Health

College of Nursing

Assessing the impact of sex work decriminalization on the health of women in the sex trade and victims of sex trafficking: A multi-disciplinary, international collaboration between New Zealand officials and UC faculty.

We will seek to assess the effects of New Zealand’s legalization of sex work on the health and well-being of individuals who sell and trade sex, with specific emphasis on healthcare and social service access and utilization; health outcomes; exposure to violence; and overall well-being. Findings from this study stand to directly inform discussions within Ohio regarding potential legislation reform.



Andrew Steckl

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Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Nanofiber Membranes for Controlled Release of CuO Nanoparticles and Inhibition of Tumor Initiating Cells

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and a highly aggressive brain tumor with a deadly prognosis. Treatment for GBM has had only marginal improvement in median survival over the past 1-2 decades. We believe that our multi-faceted therapeutic approach will result in significant improvements in the fight against this disease.




Lindsey Romick-Rosendale

Image of Lindsey Romick-Rosendale

Associate Professor

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

College of Medicine

Unraveling the Cosmic Secrets: Why Metabolomics is Essential for Space's Newfound Bacteria?

The presence of specific genes, proteins and small metabolites, as is the goal of our study, in these novel microbial species underscores their adaptive capabilities and potential resistance mechanisms against a variety of environmental challenges, including exposure to antibiotics. Our study of novel microbes and predicted bioactive compounds contributes to our understanding of the microbial ecosystem on the International Space Station (ISS) and lays the groundwork for further investigation into the potential implications of these novel species for the health and well-being of the ISS crew and provides us with new approaches to limit microbial resistance of pathogens in our society.