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Fellows Directory

In 2006, CESRI Program was able to provide eight grantees the opportunity to go to Central Europe to conduct their scientific research. The Fellows met IIE Staff, and each other, in Budapest for a one-week orientation prior to going to their host countries. Once in their host countries, they were able to conduct research in fields ranging from biology to computer science in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

2006 Grantee
CESRI Orientation, Summer 2006, Budapest
Left to Right: Kari Dilley (Czech Republic), Jenelle Bray (Czech Republic), Michael McQuinn (Germany), Grant Johnson (Germany), Vance Whitaker (Germany), Michael Walter (Austria), Lisa Marx (Austria), and Daniel Heller (Germany)


To learn more about what CESRI Fellows did in the inaugural and their projects, feel free to read the descriptions below.

Jenelle Bray

Home Institution: California Institute Technology (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Ms. Bray performed molecular dynamics simulations to study mutations that cause HIV protease to become drug resistant.

Kari Dilley

Home Institution:  Cornell University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: Institute of Chemical Technology Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: Ms. Dilley seeked to define the domains of the retrovirus structural protein that are important for determining the site of virus assembly in the cell.

Daniel Heller

Home Institution:  University of Illinois, Urbana (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: German Cancer Research Center, Division of Biophysics of Macromolecules
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description:  Mr. Heller's project involved single-molecule detection of DNA structural changes on carbon nanotubes.

Grant Johnson

Home Institution:  Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Department of Chemistry, Humboldt-University
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Johnson used computational chemistry techniques to predict the geometric and reactive properties of catalytically relevant bimetallic metal oxide cluster ions and to study their reaction mechanisms with carbon monoxide.

Lisa Marx

Home Institution:  Northwestern University (M.S.)
Host Country: Austria
Host Institution: University of Vienna, Institute of Ecology & Conservation Biology
Field of Study: Environmental Science
Project Description: Ms. Marx's research focused on preferential deposition of particular organic carbon on streambed sediments and its affects on microbial biofilm growth.

Michael McQuinn

Home Institution:  University of Illinois, Urbana (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: University of Dortmund
Field of Study: Computer Science
Project Description: The goal of Mr. McQuinn's project was to give scientists and engineers the ability to design and validate complex computer systems by exploiting symmetry in the system to reduce the size of the problem.

Michael Walter

Home Institution:  Portland State University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Austria
Host Institution: Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells (LIOS), Institute of Physical Chemistry, Johannes Kepler University Linz
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Walter investigated the construction and efficiency of an organic solar cell based on a conductive electropolymerized porphyrin polymer.

Vance Whitaker

Home Institution:  University of Minnesota (M.S.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Applied Genetics & Plant Breeding, University of Hannover
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: The goal of Mr. Whitaker's project was to find candidate genes for disease resistance in roses by identifying resistance gene anologues that are upregulated by rose plants in response to pathogen attack.

In 2007, CESRI Program provided ten grantees the opportunity to go to Central Europe to conduct their scientific research. The Fellows met IIE Staff, and each other, in Budapest for a one-week orientation prior to going to their host countries. Once in their host countries, they were able to conduct research in Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. With their in-depth projects - from Roman concrete, to the biological effects of acid rain on small stream communities, to making super-fast supercomputers work more efficiently - the ten Fellows made the most of their eight weeks in Central Europe.

2007 Grantees

CESRI Orientation, Summer 2007, Budapest
Left to Right: Cau Pham (Germany), Mike Wittie (Poland), Philip Brune (Austria), Bettina Weber (Germany), Elena Traister (Czech Republic), John Linford (Germany), Charity Flener (Germany / Slovakia), Eric Hayden (Hungary / Germany), Thomas Smagala (Poland), and Winnie Liang (Germany)

Philip Brune

Home Institution: University of Rochester (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Austria
Host Institution: Graz University of Technology
Field of Study: Engineering
Project Description: Mr. Brune conducted non-linear Finite Element Analysis on in Imperial Roman concrete to aid in devising a computer model to predict when and where cracks will appear.

Charity Flener

Home Institution: University of Illinois (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany / Slovakia
Host Institution: Phillips-Universitat / Slovak Academy of Sciences
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Ms. Flener's project involved creating computational on transition metal compounds, with an eye towards solid-state hydrogen storage.

Eric Hayden

Home Institution: Portland State University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Hungary / Germany
Host Institution: Collegium Budapest / Ruhr Universitat
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Hayden created and conducted computer simulations of a biochemical theory on how life first emerged on Earth, by determining the autoacatalysis of a self-constructing RNA enzyme.

Winnie Liang

Home Institution: Arizona State University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: GSF National Research Center
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: The objective of Ms. Liang's project was to evaluate the requirement of specific factors in dopaminergic neurogenesis in the developing midbrain, which may ultimately be applied in developing a potential therapeutic for neurodegeneration.

John Linford

Home Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute (M.S.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Forschungszentrum Juelich
Field of Study: Computer Science
Project Description: Mr. Linford's research focused on improving usage applications of supercomputers by implementing and verifying the Extended Controlled Logical Clock for use in the SCALASCA analysis toolkit.

Cau Pham

Home Institution: University of Louisville (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Phillip-Marburg Universitat
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: The goal of Mr. Pham's project was to find ways to counteract a corn pathogen, Ustilago maydis, by studying the molecular activities of its 14-3-3 and Rho1 proteins.

Thomas Smagala

Home Institution:  University of California, Davis (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Poland
Host Institution: Maria Curie-Sklodowska University
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Smagala modelled chains on surfaces in contact with electrolyte solutions using density functional theory, to improve the understanding of how these charged chains function.

Elena Traister

Home Institution:  University of New Hampshire (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: Czech Geological Survey
Field of Study: Environmental Science
Project Description: The goal of Ms. Traister's project was to determine the effects of past acidification on stream carbon cycling and, study the implications of these effects on biotic communities.

Bettina Weber

Home Institution:  University of Missouri-Columbia (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: Ms. Weber endeavored to determine the how structural forces affect the bone matter by developing an understanding of the mechanical properties of bone at the nanoscale level.

Mike Wittie

Home Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Poland
Host Institution: Politechnika Warszawska
Field of Study: Computer Science
Project Description: Mr. Wittie's project involved determining the ideal means of user traffic prioritization in wireless networks on the emerging 802.11e standard.

In 2008, CESRI Program provided seventeen grantees the opportunity to go to Central Europe to conduct their scientific research. After the one-week orientation in Budapest, they went to their host countries. Projects included:

Heather Carpenter

Home Institution: University of California, Davis (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: University of Bohemia
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: Ms. Carpenter used ISSR analysis to investigate the systematic relationships between various Cyperacea species, specifically focusing on Schoenoplectus californicus.

Ameerah Chowdhury

Home Institution: University of California, San Diego (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Hungary
Host Institution: Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Field of Study: Mathematics
Project Description: Ms. Chowdhury collaborated with the mathematicians in Hungary on complete solutions to the problems posed in my publication, "Colouring Lines in Projective Space."

Caroline Freitag

Home Institution: Northwestern University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Universitätsklinikum Jena
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: Ms. Freitag was involved in characterization of a novel antibody against the CXCR4 chemokine receptor using a paraffin-embedding immunohistochemical technique.

Erin Girard-Hughes

Home Institution: Stanford University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Friedrich-Alexander-University
Field of Study: Engineering
Project Description: Ms. Girard-Hughes investigated the reconstruction algorithms for motion correction in MRI using the heart model.

Alison Golinski

Home Institution: Rutgers University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: Charles University
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: Ms. Golinski examined the mechanistic causes of sex differences in trait expression though a compartive study of closely-related species of lizards that have evolved different patterns of sexually dimorphic traits.

Justin Greenough

Home Institution: University of New Hampshire (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Hungary
Host Institution: Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics
Field of Study: Mathematics
Project Description: The goal of Mr. Greenough’s project was to continue current work in: extending Deligne product of abelian categories to semisimple C-bimodule categories where C is a fusion category; and examining the relation between 1-category truncation of the 2-groupoid of invertible C-bimodule categories and the category of braided autoequivalences of the center of C.

Michael Hamilton

Home Institution: Colorado State University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Max Planck Society
Field of Study: Computer Science
Project Description: Mr. Hamilton’s project was to create and apply machine learning algorithms to problems in biology, namely proteomics with the goal of predicting protein interactions, characteristics, and functions.

Abigail Hubbard

Home Institution: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Universität Regensburg
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: The goal of Ms. Hubbard’s project was to further develop a novel chiral N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst and investigate its applications to cyclopropanation reactions.

Christopher Junker

Home Institution: Wake Forest University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Slovakia
Host Institution: Comenius University
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Junker explored the effects of ultrasound on silicon-substituted dienes in Diels-Alder cycloaddition reactions.

Yann LeCostaouec

Home Institution: Colorado School of Mines (M.S.)
Host Country: Poland
Host Institution: Instytut Informatyki Uniwersytet Jagiellonski
Field of Study: Computer Science
Project Description: The project Mr. LeCostaouec pursued investigated and developed computer graphics algorithms for acquiring feature points of tree-structured organs in CT scans and for finding the tree structures themselves.

Danielle Miller

Home Institution: Wright State University (M.S.)
Host Country: Slovakia
Host Institution: Technical University of Košice
Field of Study: Engineering
Project Description: Ms. Miller’s project is concerned with the development and characterization of an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene for use in total joint replacements.

Raymond Morales

Home Institution: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Friedrich Schiller University of Jena
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: The goal of Mr. Morales’s project was to study and characterize DNA topoisomerases within the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana.

Mary Nguyen

Home Institution: University of Texas (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: Humboldt University
Field of Study: Engineering
Project Description: Ms. Nguyen worked on development of a synthetic polymer as a biomimetic material with amino acid functionality and potential secondary self-assembly.

Daniel Richter

Home Institution: University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Germany
Host Institution: University of Cologne
Field of Study: Biology
Project Description: The goal of Mr. Richter’s study was to explore the biodiversity and life history of choanoflagellates, the most closely related unicellular relative of animals, in order to understand the evolution of sex and multicellularity.

John Roudebush

Home Institution: University of California, Davis (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Austria
Host Institution: Institute für Festkörperphysik TU Wien
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Roudebush worked on new synthetic routes to novel light element, environmentally benign, thermoelectric materials.

Greg Tener

Home Institution: University of Central Florida (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: Charles University
Field of Study: Computer Science
Project Description: Mr. Tener's project involved parallelization and development of visualizations for a graph isomorphism solution related to an existing problem.

Eric Tyo

Home Institution: Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.)
Host Country: Czech Republic
Host Institution: Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Field of Study: Chemistry
Project Description: Mr. Tyo undertook a gas phase investigation of magnesium salts with various counter ions, in particular acetate, to find a complex whose ions will separate due to solvation effects for application in the deposition of industrial catalysts.

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