Texas Tech Names Recipients of Research Grant Competition
September 18, 2008
University provides funding to enhance two research projects.
Two Texas Tech University scientists have received funding to enhance their research
Shan Bilimoria, in the Department of Biological Sciences, will receive $294,998 to
study new ways to fight boll weevils and aphids in cotton. Brian Nutter, in the Department
of Electrical Engineering, will receive $480,928 to devise an innovative way to model
the human brain.
“Increasing our research capacity is vitally important to our university,” said Guy
Bailey, Texas Tech president. “Increasing research creates new knowledge and new solutions
for the issues facing our state and our country.”
The projects were selected from 22 applications submitted by Texas Tech researchers.
Independent experts reviewed the proposals and made recommendations to Texas Tech’s
Office of the Vice President for Research.
“These research projects exemplify the excellent research going on at Texas Tech,”
Bailey said. “And this grant competition sends the message that research is important
and we will find ways to support the efforts of our researchers.”
The grant money comes from the Research Development Fund, which was created by the
Texas Legislature to support research activities in higher education.
Bilimoria’s project looks at novel, environmentally acceptable control methods for
boll weevils and aphids. The pests do an estimated $3.5 billion in damage annually
to cotton crops in the United States. Bilimoria and his team are looking at what new
insecticidal proteins can breed cotton plants to control boll weevils and aphids.
The grant will allow that testing. Because boll weevil may not be reared on the Llano
Estacado due to a state quarantine, the testing will be done at the Cotton Entomology
Laboratory in Weslaco.
Nutter’s team is looking at ways to improve magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) use to
study the structural and functional characteristics of the human brain. With traditional
MRI, it takes intensive computer work to see precise locations of some pathways in
the brain. Nutter proposes to change the way data are used to model the brain. His
work would have significant impact on the knowledge of normal aging and could improve
diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and neurosurgery.