Funding opps, awards, and recent news about UMSL researchers & innovators
Funding opps, awards, and recent news about UMSL researchers & innovators

September 2021 Newsletter

AWARDS REPORTS 
External Awards, Monthly Report: July 2021
External Awards, Annual Report: FY2021
RESEARCHER SPOTLIGHT
Carl Bassi, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor and director of research, College of Optometry

From Psychology to Optometry:

Vision Research Through a Different Lens

Now an optometry professor, researcher, and inventor, Dr. Carl Bassi didn’t follow a traditional path to vision science and care. He earned his Ph.D. is in psychology from Vanderbilt University.
While at Vanderbilt, Bassi worked in a lab that conducted vision research. His work included experiments on how changes in the structure of goldfish eyes affected their vision, which led to an underlying question that has shaped his approach to research – how does structure impact function?
With that approach over the years, Bassi has developed new clinical methods, created tools to better detect eye diseases and track treatments, and helped determine how the visual system behaves. It probably also shaped his consulting work where he used laser-embedded balls on a practice green to test a golf ball designed to improve putting accuracy.

After Vanderbilt, Bassi chose the Doheny Eye Institute at UCLA for his post-doctorate work, which included studying the optic nerve in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In 1988, Bassi joined the UMSL faculty to work with other investigators involved in AD research but soon branched out to vision-related areas of inquiry such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and amblyopia.
With two co-inventors, Bassi created the Q3D (“quantitative three dot”), a highly sensitive device that detects visual suppression, the dysfunction associated with amblyopia ("lazy eye") early.  This condition occurs when the brain suppresses or ignores the vision of one eye and favors the other, weakening the suppressed eye. It can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated and often goes undiagnosed. In fact, amblyopia is the most common cause of vision loss in children, affecting up to 4% of youth. 
Importantly, the Q3D can detect suppression in children early enough for successful treatment while current devices available on the market do not detect suppression until it is advanced beyond the point of being treatable. The device, validated in a large clinical trial at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, is a quick and easy test that can be performed with minimal training. For example, school nurses could be given the capability of catching many normally undiagnosed cases early enough to treat. The University is seeking a commercial partner to license the patent rights for this device (U.S. Patent No. 7,686,452) and bring it to market to help those in need.
With the same innovative drive behind the development of the Q3D, Bassi is now looking at ways to measure asymmetry in the brain. One idea came about rather serendipitously. To teach online classes last year, he brought home an optical bench and positioned it on his dining room table. In this new environment, Bassi saw it and its component lenses in an entirely new way. Inspired, he and his research team began work on a new type of lens that quantitatively measures brain asymmetry, an innovation that could significantly improve the screening and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Whether it's goldfish eyes, the optic nerves of AD patients, lazy eye, or TBI-induced brain asymmetry, Bassi's approach to research and has resulted in important new knowledge and innovations. In recognition of this, 
Bassi was named UMSL's Innovator of the Year in 2020. 

Beyond research and inventions, Bassi enjoys teaching and interfacing with students. He is inspired especially by students in the Optometry Scholars Program, a program he helped develop that pairs incoming optometry students interested in research with key faculty who serve as research mentors. He also is deeply committed to serving the campus community, as is partially illustrated by his many years as chair of the UMSL Institutional Review Board (IRB), which reviews human subjects research protocols.

Below are a few links through which you can find out more about Bassi’s research interests and work:
Bassi collaborates across disciplines with researchers at UMSL and beyond. If you are interested in working with him, contact him via his faculty webpage.
NEWS & EVENTS

Effort Verification Reports

Attention Grant-Paid University Employees: EVRs Due Sept. 17

Everyone paid from external grants between 1/1/2021 and 6/30/2021 received an email from "UMSL, ORA" on Aug. 26 asking such employees to review and approve an Effort Verification Report (EVR), which are due on Sept. 17.

Revised NSF Guide Effective Oct. 4

Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

The updated NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG 22-1) is applicable for all proposals submitted or due on or after Oct. 4, 2021. For a comprehensive list of changes and clarifications that are new to the guide, download the PAPPG 22-1 and view the first several pages.

Monthly Speakers to Help Faculty Navigate the Full Life Cycle of Research 

UMSL Research Development invites you to attend a new monthly brown bag workshop series featuring expert speakers on a variety of topics of interest every first Friday at noon in Woods Hall 101. The first session of the series is Friday, Sept. 3.
Event Flyer
Information & Registration

Sept. 24, 2021 – Woods Hall 101

Join your colleagues for a slice of pizza and practice pitching your projects to defense funding program officers.  This is a safe place to practice pitching your research and get valuable feedback from your colleagues on content and presentation. Space is limited and the session is restricted to those submitting defense proposals.
Event Flyer
Information & Registration

NSF SBIR/STTR Interactive Workshop

RESCHEDULED!

Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. & Oct. 6, 8:30-11:30 a.m. via Zoom

This day and a half workshop is designed to assist technology start-ups and existing businesses in learning how to apply for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) to fund their R&D. This hands-on workshop is led by Dr. Veronika Redmann, a consultant/grant writer, entrepreneur, and NSF reviewer. It is an extensive “how to apply” course developed for companies that have a unique breakthrough technology that is NSF-grant worthy. This course will offer specific directions on how to prepare a competitive NSF Phase 1 submission including how to articulate your technology as it relates to customer problem solving, necessary market research, project team make-up, crafting a strong technical approach, and budget considerations. The workshop includes breakout sessions so that participants can apply these principles.
Fee: $99  |  Register  |  View Agenda

Early Career Research Symposium, Oct.8 

Mark your calendar and plan to join us for the 4th annual Early Career Research Symposium on Oct. 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the JCPenney Summit Lounge. This fast-paced event celebrates the research of UMSL early-career faculty. Following the presentations, attendees can connect with colleagues and future collaborators at the networking reception.
Register Online to Attend: https://forms.gle/JTf1Rj2wFrNsoRNbA
FEATURED FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

UMSL Junior Faculty Travel Grant Competition

The Junior Faculty Travel Grant competition, designed to strengthen faculty research and creative activities with awards up to $1,000, is open to full-time, untenured, tenure-track faculty members. Proposals are due Oct. 12, 2021.  
www.ResearchEnabled.org

Your Source for Industry-Sponsored Research and Collaboration Opportunities 

Find industry research challenges in your areas of expertise and make sure to post your own projects and ideas on the portal as "investigator-initiated projects" (IIPs) for companies to review for potential collaborations. 
Watch for information about an upcoming event this fall in collaboration with Nidec Motor Corporation!
Nidec representatives will walk university researchers through funded research challenges that will be available on ResearchEnabled.org. The event will be accessible to all researchers across the UM and SIU Systems via live-streaming and/or recordings. Plan to join us and submit your proposed research solutions to Nidec! 
Contact Tomy Ames (Tomy@ResearchEnabled.org) with questions about Research Enabled.
Research Enabled is a collaboration between the University of Missouri and Southern Illinois University systems and is funded in part by a grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. 

ABOUT US

The Office of Research and Economic & Community Development research units strive to enhance the campus research enterprise, from maintaining an investigator-focused infrastructure and streamlining research processes to facilitating and diversifying investigators' avenues for funding and commercializing research discoveries. Please feel free to stop by (341 and 346 Woods Hall) to find out more about how we can help you succeed. Or visit umsl.edu/research, email ora@umsl.edu or call 314-516-5899. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Research Development, Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA), and Research Compliance units administer grants and contracts for sponsored research and other activities at UMSL. Staff can assist you with many aspects of both internal and external funding, including the following:
  • funding opportunity identification
  • grant writing
  • research compliance
  • pre-award budgeting and submission
  • post-award financials
  • project close-out
To find your pre- or post-award accountant, download the Staff Responsibilities chart.
The Office of IP Management & Commercialization, also known as "Technology Transfer" or the "TTO," assists faculty in protecting and bringing their research discoveries and inventions, whether patentable or copyrightable, to market. 
So, why do universities engage in Technology Transfer? Watch this quick video by the Association of University Technology Managers:
Video: About Technology Transfer
Your tech transfer staff work to analyze the technology regarding intellectual property protection and the market need to determine whether patent applications should be filed and/or copyrights should be registered. For those inventions that can be protected (and even some that cannot), we then look for potential industry partners, which could include established companies and/or startup ventures, to license and commercialize the discovery.
We also process all Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), and research-related fee-for-service agreements, among others, for UMSL. 
Please visit our website for more information or to disclose an invention. Feel free to visit us at 346 Woods Hall. Email: wilgerst@umsl.edu