Collaborative Research Projects

USC National Research Center Affiliations and Associated Funded Projects

In addition to the independent research projects in which CORE is participating, there are national research centers at USC with which CORE has a research role:

Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems Engineering Research Center

The Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems Engineering Research Center (BMES ERC) brings physicians, biologists, and engineers together from USC, UC Santa Cruz, and California Institute of Technology to develop microelectronic systems that interact with living human tissues. Through this initiative researchers hope to develop technologies that will assist those suffering from conditions such as blindness, loss of neuromuscular control and cognitive functioning, and paralysis. The BMES ERC has an active interest in improving engineering education through a variety of initiatives associated with the Center’s research. Projects include: a collaborative outreach program, pre-college outreach to students in local middle and high schools, and outreach to local public school science teachers to participate in a summer research project on campus that includes a curriculum design component. CORE is involved in both university education and outreach projects with the ERC.

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Funding Amount: $17,000,000
Principal Investigator/Director: Mark Humayun
Deputy Director: James Weiland
Multidisciplinary Project with numerous Co-PIs and thrust leaders
CORE Affiliation and Role: Gisele Ragusa, Associate Director of Education (University and Precollege) Assessment and Evaluation

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC)/Optimize Participation Through Technology

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC)/Optimize Participation Through Technology (OPTT) Initiative is working with a goal of bettering the lives of those with physical motor difficulties related to aging and disability through the research and development of new technologies, a cross-disciplinary team of experts from the fields of clinical rehabilitation, gerontology, engineering, education, and various technology partners and disability advocates collaborate in the context of the OPTT-RERC in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Funding Agency: US Department of Education
Funding Amount: $8,000,000
Principal Investigator/Director: Carolee Winstein and Phillip Requejo
Multidisciplinary Project with numerous Co-PIs
CORE Affiliation and Role: Gisele Ragusa, Co-PI and Director of Assessment and Evaluation

The USC Center for Research Excellence in Minority Health

In 2007, the Keck School of Medicine at USC received a grant from The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to launch its Center of Research Excellence in Minority Health. The Center seeks to learn more about the dietary and physical activity habits of Latino and African-American youth in Los Angeles. CORE is primarily involved in the project that intends to develop high school student leaders focused on community health issues. These teen leaders will develop culturally appropriate projects that aim to engage local urban communities in reducing childhood obesity and associated diseases. Using a Frierian model of youth empowerment, the project includes two phases: a weeklong summer camp training, and a project development and implementation phase taking place over the course of nine-months.

Funding Agency: National Institute of Health (NCMHD)
Funding Amount: $7,500,000
Principal Investigator: Michael Goran
Multidisciplinary Project with numerous Co-PIs
CORE Affiliation and Role: CO-PI: Gisele Ragusa

Mobile Device Bio-Monitoring to Prevent and Treat Obesity in Underserved Minority Youth:An NIH Supplement

For this Supplemental Project in the USC Center of Research Excellence in Minority Health, fifty teens have been recruited to wear a medical sensor for three non-consecutive weeks that will communicate in real time via wireless technology data concerning students’ physical activity, blood pressure, sleep, heart rate, galvanic skin response, and blood glucose levels. A group of medical professionals will access and interpret this data while simultaneously testing the effectiveness and usefulness of the web interface that receives the sensor information. CORE will evaluate this project from the standpoint of the scientists, engineers, teen users and practitioners.

Funding Agency: National Institute of Health
Funding Amount: $948,348
Principal Investigator: Michael Goran
Multidisciplinary Project with numerous Co-PIs
Project Director: Donna Spruijt-Metz
Co-PI/Evaluator: Gisele Ragusa

Center for Emerging Materials for Solar Energy Conversion and Solid State Lighting

This National Center funded by the Department of Energy has as its goals to demonstrate new technologies based on emerging nanostructure and organic materials that will enable photovoltaic energy conversion to become a significant portion of the world’s electricity infrastructure and solid state light emitting devices to become the dominant lighting technology in the world. To accomplish this, collaboratively, USC, the University of Illinois, and the University of Virginia will develop materials and devices that will lead to photovoltaic efficiencies exceeding 50% in optimized cells, which can be manufactured on large scale and produce electricity at a cost competitive with current power plants. CORE will direct all education and outreach efforts for this national center.

Funding Agency: US Department of Energy
Funding Amount:~ $21,000,000
Principal Investigator: Daniel Dapkus
Multidisciplinary Project with numerous Co-PIs
CORE Affiliation: Gisele Ragusa, Director of Education and Outreach

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