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Updated 11:00 AM April 19, 2004



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12 will receive research awards

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded ADVANCE program, in cooperation with the offices of the president and provost, has made 10 Elizabeth Caroline Crosby Research Awards and two Lydia Adams DeWitt Research Awards to advance the careers of women in science and engineering at U-M.

The awards totaling $232,975 were announced by Abigail Stewart, principal investigator on the NSF ADVANCE grant and associate dean in LSA.

"In the three years since its inception, the Crosby Fund has provided direct support to the careers of at least 57 U-M women and many men, including post-docs and graduate students who are collaborating with the faculty in their research," Stewart says. "Indirectly, if these women thrive at Michigan it will positively affect many more."

The DeWitt awards extend the same opportunities to women faculty on the primary research scientist track.

Both current and former award recipients collaborate on research, prepare papers, and present at national and international conferences. They develop pilot research evidence to support applications for external funding. They develop not only their own careers and recognition for them, but mentor and introduce students—including women students—to scientific and engineering fields of study.

In this way, the Crosby fund provides crucial support to women science and engineering faculty who in turn inspire young women and men students to seek academic and other research positions in science and engineering, Stewart says. Also, the Crosby grants support some of the family life demands that affect women more than men and can interfere with research-related activities, Stewart says. These include pregnancy and childcare as well as other kinds of caregiving.

Crosby proposals increased significantly this year, making the field extremely competitive. Proposals were judged on two criteria: the quality and significance of the scholarly activity and, equally important, its value in enhancing women's participation and advancement in science and engineering at the University. A panel of senior U-M scientists and engineers selected the winners.

2004 Crosby award winners

Kate Barald, Cell and Developmental Biology, "Cadherin Molecules and Morphogenesis of the Developing Vertebrate Inner Ear."

Susan H. Brown, Kinesiology, "Sensorimotor Contributions to Age-related Declines in Limb-Posture Coordination."

Laura Beretta, Microbiology and Immunology, "The Human Proteome Organization."

Lacey Knowles, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Zoology Museum, "Tests of the Role of Sexual Selection in the Rapid Diversification of Montane Grasshoppers."

Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni, Geological Sciences, "Structure and Evolution of the Earth."

Mathilde Peters, School of Dentistry, "Minimally Invasive Techniques for Caries Management."

Elizabeth Petty, Medicine and Human Genetics, "Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Breast Cancer."

Jing Sun, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, "Dynamic Reconfiguration and Adaptation of Integrated Power Systems for All-electric Ships."

Mimi Takami, Internal Medicine, "Neuroendocrine modulation of gastrointestinal physiology and pathophysiology."

Margaret Wooldridge, Mechanical Engineering, "The Chemistry of Particle Nucleation."

2004 DeWitt winners

Julie Kaflfikadis, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, "Variability of Atomic Oxygen in the Upper Mesosphere," and "Dynamical Effects in Stratospheric Aerosols."

Margaret Liu, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, "Tinman Activity in Heart Development."

The awards are funded by a five-year, $3.7 million grant from NSF, which was given to U-M to develop strategies that will improve opportunities for tenure-track women faculty in scientific and engineering fields. Additional funding was provided by the president's and provost's offices.

The Crosby Research Awards are named for world-renowned neuroanatomist Elizabeth Caroline Crosby (1888-1983), who was the first woman full professor of the U-M Medical School and the first woman to be awarded the Henry Russel Lectureship. She received the Henry Gray Award in Neuroanatomy in 1972 and the National Medal of Science in 1979. Although she retired in 1958, she served as a clinical consultant at U-M and the University of Alabama, and she remained active in scientific work until the end of her life.

The DeWitt Research Awards commemorate Lydia Adams DeWitt (1859-1928), a pathologist and research scientist known for her pioneering work in the chemotherapy of tuberculosis. She earned doctor of medicine and bachelor of science degrees from
U-M, and she taught and did research here for some 11 years following graduation. When she was rejected by U-M's all-male Faculty Research Club, she organized the Women's Research Club, serving for a time as its president.

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