Five joint projects from U-M and Chinese university receive grants


Five teams from the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University are sharing $1 million in awards for research projects in the sixth round of funding of an ongoing collaboration between the two universities.

The winning projects in the latest round of annual grants through the U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Programs for Energy and Biomedical Technology were focused on nanotechnology and data science.

The nanotechnology projects are concerned with artificial photosynthesis, health-related tissue inflammation and cathodes for lithium ion batteries. The data science efforts address analysis of neuronal networks and improvement of low-dose CT scans.

The U-M/SJTU program convenes research teams with complementary perspectives and areas of expertise to tackle challenges in energy and health, among other fields, that transcend national borders.

The program funds projects that have commercial potential and are likely to attract follow-on research funding from the U.S. and Chinese governments, as well as industry.

The nanotechnology projects are:

Bio-Templated Hierarchical Nanostructures for Artificial Photosynthesis

Principal Investigators: Neil Dasgupta, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, U-M; Tao Deng, professor in the Institute of Composite Materials, SJTU.

Goal: Develop new processes for the design and fabrication of bio-templated hierarchical nanostructures, and demonstrate their unique properties for artificial photosynthesis, based on bio-inspired engineering principles observed in butterflies.

Read an executive summary of the project.

• Nanostructured Substrates for Elucidating Inflammatory Response in Health and Disease

Principal Investigators: Lola Eniola-Adefeso, associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, U-M; Chuanliang Feng, professor of materials science and engineering, SJTU.

Goal: Design biocompatible and compliant nano-scaffolds to treat inflammation associated with coronary artery disease.

Read an executive summary of the project.

• Mesoporous Carbon-Based Polyanionic Nanocomposite Cathodes for Lithium Ion Batteries

Principal Investigators: Christian Lastoskie, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, U-M; Junliang Zhang, professor of mechanical engineering, SJTU.

Goal: Develop novel and superior electrode materials for lithium ion batteries.

Read an executive summary of the project.

The data science projects are:

Ultra-Low Dose CT Image reconstruction Based on Big Data Priors

Principal Investigators: Jeffrey Fessler, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, U-M; Yong Long, assistant professor associate special research fellow, UM-SJTU Joint Institute.

Goal: Improve image quality ultra-low dose CT scans by developing, implementing and evaluating improved model-based image reconstruction methods using information extracted from a big dataset of existing clinical CT images.

Read an executive summary of the project.

Efficient Computational Approaches to Large Neuronal Networks

Principal Investigators: Daniel Forger, professor of mathematics, U-M; Adam Stinchcombe, assistant professor of mathematics, U-M; David Cai, chair professor, Institute of Natural Sciences, SJTU; Douglas Zhou, distinguished research fellow, Institute of Natural Sciences and Department of Mathematics, SJTU

Goal: Develop numerical methods to simulate large-scale networks of neurons able to be used in a wide variety of applications.

Read an executive summary of the project.

The research partnerships between U-M and SJTU are part of a broader relationship between the two schools. In 2005, U-M and SJTU formed a joint institute to manage and direct degree-granting programs offered by both universities to students of both nations.

The next call for proposals for the collaborative research awards is expected to be available in the spring.


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