Research Insider June 2022

Office of Research and Scholarship


Photo of Dr. Shawana TabassumThe UT Tyler College of Engineering received a $21,963 subaward from Iowa State University for research that will be conducted by Dr. Shawana Tabassum, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. The two-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation Program, started March 15, 2022, and is entitled “A Fiber-Optic Sensing System for Multiplexed Gas Detection.” It will be led by principal investigator Dr. Ratnesh Kumar at Iowa State University. Dr. Tabassum will lead graduate and undergraduate students in developing the fiber-optic sensor and in analyzing data from agricultural fields. She will also take part in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps and mentor participating graduate and undergraduate students in the customer discovery process and author manuscripts and patents resulting from the project.

Dr. Shawana Tabassum has also been awarded a $35,000 Research Publication Grant in Engineering, Medicine, and Science for a one-year project starting July 1, 2022, entitled “Integrated Fitness Tracker for Plant Stem Toward Next Generation of Smart Farming” from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She will develop a new kind of implantable device for use in plant stems to efficiently monitor the stress levels of horticultural crops in field conditions.

Photo of Stephanie SimmonsThe UT Tyler Health Science Center received a $842,080 competing continuation award from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) for a three-year project beginning on September 1, 2022. The project will be led by Stephanie Simmons, PsyD, assistant professor of Clinical Psychology and program director for the Health Science Center’s Psychology Internship Program. The project, entitled “Expanding Behavioral Health and Substance Use Services in Northeast Texas” will improve the doctoral psychology internship program’s capacity to train psychology interns in behavioral health, trauma-informed care, and substance use prevention and treatment. Specifically, funding will be used to train 12 additional interns during the grant period.

Photo of Dr. Ayman HamoudaThe UT Tyler Fisch College of Pharmacy received a National Institutes of Health R16 grant award of $588,000 for a four-year research project entitled, “In vitro pharmacology and in vivo neuroprotective effects of CMPI analogues in an optimized Zebrafish model of Parkinson’s disease.” Dr. Ayman K. Hamouda, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Health Outcomes will serve as the principal investigator. The long-term goal of this research project is to develop positive allosteric modulators of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that possess neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and precognitive properties that counteract the underlying derangements of Parkinson's disease. The research project will also optimize a zebrafish model for screening novel compounds for these beneficial properties and thus facilitate the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of motor symptoms and cognitive decline problems associated with Parkinson's disease. Dr. Brent Bill, associate professor in the Biology Department in the College of Arts Photo of Dr. Lance Williamsand Sciences will serve as a co-investigator for the project.

The UT Tyler Biology Department received an $18,862 contract from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Dr. Lance Williams, professor, and chair of the Biology Department will serve as the principal investigator for the one-year project that will investigate the genetic relationship between the Calcasieu painted and the Teche painted crayfish to determine if the two are valid subspecies of Faxonius hathawayi or if they have diverged into two separate species. Dr. Matthew Greenwold, assistant professor, and Marsha Williams, lecturer and research associate; both in the Department of Biology will serve as co-PIs on the project.

Photo of Dr. Catherine RossCatherine E. Ross, Ph.D., associate professor of English in the Department of Literature and Languages in the College of Arts and Sciences has written a book entitled, Training for the Writer’s Life that will be published by the University of Liverpool Press. The book will be part of a series entitled, Romantic Reconfigurations: Studies in Literature and Culture 1780-1850 that aims “to present new groundbreaking approaches to the period in which Romantic writing was produced and consumed.” Liverpool University Press is the UK’s third oldest university press and has been publishing research since 1899.

UT Tyler has received a subaward of $34,000 from Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Photo of Dr. Mena SoulimanMechanical College (LSU) for Dr. Mena Souliman, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering to participate in a project entitled “Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)” led by LSU principal investigator, Dr. Marwa Hassan. The 18-month project which began on April 1, 2022, is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Dr. Souliman will serve as the principal investigator for UT Tyler’s part of the project that is entitled “SMARTP3M: Smart Pavement Monitoring, Management, and Maintenance.” The project will implement and proof-test a concept for data integration and a software system for pavement management, pavement condition monitoring, and early pothole/distress detection. Dr. Samer Dessouky, Professor of Civil Engineering with The University of Texas at San Antonio will also participate as a principal investigator for the project.

The UT Tyler Athletics Department received an Ethnic Minorities and Women’s Internship Grant award for $30,000 to support hiring an athletics administrative intern for a 10-month appointment starting July 15, 2022. This position will be responsible for supporting, developing, and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and programing within the Athletic Department as well as athletic game day events. James Bonnette, assistant athletic director of compliance, will oversee daily performance of the intern and provide support to ensure this individual’s professional development. The proposal was co-written with members of the Human Resources Department, Gracy Buentello, associate vice president of Human Resources and Hadley Gasser, manager of culture and diversity in Human Resources. They will both serve as mentors for the intern.  

Photo of Dr. Jeffrey LevinThe “NIOSH COVID-19 Interprofessional Agreement Program: Expanding Occupational Health and Safety Expertise Through External Partnerships” team was awarded the 2022 Bullard-Sherwood Award for Research to Practice - Honorable Mention, Intervention Category, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for its invaluable contribution to the health and safety of workers. Team members include Dr. Jeffrey Levin, professor of occupational and environmental medicine, Jesse Jones distinguished professor of occupational health sciences, and provost emeritus; Dr. Dalia Nessim, associate professor and occupational medicine residency program director; Dr. Vanessa Casanova, associate professor of occupational health sciences; Dr. Cynthia Ball, associate professor of occupational and environmental health sciences; and Dr. Kevin Moore, assistant professor of occupational and environmental health sciences; all at the UT Tyler Health Science Center.

UT Tyler Designated a Title III/V Institution

David Barron, associate vice president for University Enrollment Management, announced on May 24, 2022, that UT Tyler now carries a Title III/V institution designation which makes this institution eligible for Higher Education Act (HEA) Title III and V grant programs. These grant programs are designed to bolster postsecondary institutions whose student populations include a high percentage of low-income and minority students. Each year the Office of Postsecondary Education automatically pulls data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and uses this data to determine an institution’s eligibility for Title III or Title V programs.

UT Tyler will now be eligible to apply for the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) which provides funds for planning, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management, and the development and improvement of academic programs also are supported. Other projects include joint use of instructional facilities, construction and maintenance, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative, customized, instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion, which may include remedial education and English language instruction.

Institutions that are eligible for Title III and Title V funding are also eligible for a waiver of their cost-sharing requirements under some categories of the Federal Work Study (FWS) and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs. Without a waiver, institutions are generally responsible for supplying 25% of any earnings through these federally-sponsored student work opportunities.

Required Disclosures When Submitting a Grant Proposal

Certain collaborations and/or affiliations with foreign as well as domestic entities or individuals must be disclosed in proposals and reports to federal sponsors. When submitting grant proposals to federal sponsors, these disclosures must be provided in Biosketches, Current and Pending/ Other Support, and Facilities forms, depending upon the agency. Dr. Anna Kurdowska, Associate Vice President for Research and Compliance Officer, has compiled a list of disclosures required for federal grant proposals. Questions regarding required disclosures can be directed to Dr. Kurdowska at 903-877-7738 or

Congress Strengthens NIH’s Ability to Address Harassment in NIH-funded Activities

By Mike Lauer and Marie Bernard

The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2022 includes “Section 239,” which requires NIH grant recipients to notify NIH when their senior key personnel are removed from their position or are otherwise disciplined due to concerns about harassment, bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions. This is a major step in NIH’s continued effort to change the culture of harassment in biomedical science. Read more.

Offices of Research and Scholarship and Sponsored Programs

The staff in the Office of Research and Scholarship (main campus) and Office of Sponsored Programs (HSC campus) are here to help you develop and submit proposals to external sponsors and manage your grant and contract awards. Please contact the Office of Research and Scholarship at or the Office of Sponsored Programs at to let us know how we can help you.