The University Record, June 25, 1996

Ten teams awarded funding in current round of Research Partnership Program

Stephen M. Pollack (right) and Barbara Rocci will research the link between sexual contact and urinary tract infections.

Photos by Bob Kalmbach

Ten faculty/student research teams have been awarded funding from the Research Partnership Program for two terms in 1996--97.

The Office of the Dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Provost created the program in 1987 to recognize creative research collaborations between faculty and doctoral students. Students receive a tuition waiver, health benefits and a stipend.

Awards were presented to projects of "extraordinary value and interest, with a focus on the significance of the intellectual endeavor and the character and quality of the interactiona and collaboration between the graduate student and the sponsoring faculty member." Preference was given to interdisciplinary projects.

Research topics and faculty/graduate teams by research area are:

Christin Carter-Su (right) and Liangyou Rui will research novel proteins in growth hormone's membrane receptor.


Biological and Health Sciences


Richard D. Alexander, the Theodore H. Hubbell Distinguished University Professor of Evolutionary Biology, and Anna Bess Sorin (biology) will study female dominance hierarchies in horses and grey kangaroos and how they may contribute to a broad understanding of mammalian social behavior. The researchers believe that social systems characterized by these female dominance hierarchies may contribute to understanding the selective background for several prominent social situations such as helpers at the nest and queen-worker sociality.

Christin Carter-Su, professor of physiology, and Liangyou Rui (molecular physiology) will use the yeast 2-hybrid system to identify novel proteins that bind to the phosphorylated tyrosines in the growth hormone's membrane receptor. Growth hormone is known to regulate body growth and metabolism, but the mechanism by which it does so is only now being deliniated. Identification of these proteins will provide insight into the mechanisms by which growth hormones and other cytokines that activate JAK kinases elicit their diverse and important effects in the cell.

John A. Williams, professor of physiology, Jack E. Dixon, professor of biological chemistry, and Matthew J. Wishart (physiology) will characterize a novel protein that appears to regulate the intracellular signaling in a unique way, by binding the substrates of dual-specificity phosphatases. To characterize this binding protein, the researchers will identify the cDNA isoforms encoding the protein, determine the subcellular localization of the protein products, and identify substrates/binding partners for this functionally unique molecule.

(From left) John A. Williams, Matthew J. Wishart and Jack E. Dixon will research a novel protein that may regulate intracellular signaling in a unique way.



Physical Sciences and Engineering


Peter L. Duren, professor of mathematics, and Alex Schuster (mathematics) will continue their research on sampling sets for Bergman Spaces. They will use the funds to attend a semester on Bergman Spaces and related topics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Stephen M. Pollock, professor of industrial and operations engineering, and Barbara Rocci (industrial and operations engineering) will conduct research to determine whether sexual contact patterns affect the spread of urinary tract infections.

Peter L. Duren (left) and Alex Schuster will do further research on sampling sets for Bergman spaces.



Social Sciences and Education

Jennifer A. Widner, associate professor of political science, and Owan C. Tulloch (political sciences/comparative politics) will design and analyze an exit poll in Uganda. They will use the poll to obtain data on variations in the perceived fairness of the Ugandan electoral process and to test theories to account for the patterns they observe. The Uganda elections monitoring unit will benefit from the analysis of the data done by the researchers.

Abigail J. Stewart (right) and Alyssa N. Zucker


Abigail J. Stewart, professor of psychology and of women's studies and director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and Alyssa N. Zucker (personality psychology and women's studies) will examine the psychological impact of the women's movement on the lives of contemporary women at three different stages of adulthood: young, mid-life and older. The project addresses the paradox that young women born after the most recent wave of the women's movement have benefited more than any generation from its successes, yet appear to resist identification with feminism.

Sheldon Danziger, professor of social work and of public policy, and Scott W. Allard (political science) will examine the impact of current welfare reform proposals on migration patterns, employment and welfare receipt.

Sheldon Danziger (left) and Scott W. Allard.

The researchers will study whether poor families move to states to receive higher welfare benefits or whether other incentives are more powerful. With 24 years of data on 5,000 families, the researchers will be able to control for structural economic and demographic shifts. In addition, they will assess the impact of state welfare policy changes on the decisions made by poor families to move, work and receive welfare.


Humanities and the Arts


Louise K. Stein, associate professor and acting chair of musicology, and Rose Pruiksma (musicology) will investigate modes of musical eroticism in works of musical theater and opera in the 17th and early 18th centuries, including works from several European traditions and from the Hispanic New World. The investigation will give insight into the musical culture of the Baroque era and into ways that music functioned as cultural discourse, in particular with reference to erotic subjects and expressions.

Paul Forage, assistant professor of history and of Asian languages and cultures, and Carole McGranahan (anthropology and history) will address whether Western categories of analysis such as race, ethnicity and nationalism are legitimate for use in China. By arriving at a historical and cultural understanding of these Chinese categories, the researchers will hypothesize a relationship between Chinese and Western concepts of sociopolitical difference.