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Jul 03 2013

NYIT Announces Internal Grants for Research

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (July 3, 2013) — An intergenerational community garden, a method to monitor and educate children with autism, smartphone security measures, and a study that could help scientists develop a vaccine for diarrhea are among the New York Institute of Technology faculty projects funded with the latest round of research, creativity, and technology grants.
The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research recently announced the 24 grant awards totaling about $225,000 to support a variety of projects and studies conducted by solo researchers and cross-disciplinary teams.
“This is an investment that NYIT makes in its faculty with the idea of stimulating innovation that results in faculty performing pilot studies to be able to secure external funding and continue their efforts,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rahmat Shoureshi, Ph.D.
In the case of the anti-diarrheal vaccine, Principle Investigator Lisa Runco, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, hopes to use synthetic biological methods to “re-code” an E. coli toxin to mimic a natural infection that causes a protective immune response to the bacteria. Runco’s project will support experiments by student researchers and its data will be used for larger research proposals.
“This project not only has a possibility of high scientific impact, but will also expose the students to a project of global significance by integrating synthetic biology, microbiology, vaccine construction, and immunology,” Runco noted in her proposal.
The autism monitoring project, a joint endeavor between researchers at the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences and the School of Education, seeks to conduct pilot studies of a wearable device that integrates and builds on current tools used to understand behavior patterns of children with autism. 
“We are proposing an interoperable platform that combines the technologies and can offer a smart environment for continuous monitoring and educating children with autism spectrum disorder,” said Aydin Farajidavar, Ph.D., the principal investigator.
Two projects with previous success at the New York State Business Plan Competition were also awarded grants to advance their development. The SodaBIB roofing grant will enable designers to build prototypical recycling stations on NYIT campuses to collect plastic bottles that will be used to construct roofing systems that can be used in developing nations or areas hit by disaster. A separate grant for a team of six faculty members will help create a three-dimensional interactive virtual ecosystem to help students learn about endangered species around the globe. The work builds on the GreenKids Media project, led by Adjunct Professor Lynn Rogoff and Associate Professor Joanne Scillitoe, that captured the business plan competition's "People's Choice Runner Up" award in 2012.
“The emphasis is on a realistic and experiential learning modality,” the team wrote in its proposal. “The user learns by making decisions as to what sequence of actions to take in order to save a given species.”
Grants were awarded to faculty members from all seven of NYIT’s schools and colleges. Read more about the awardees and their projects.
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit
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