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University of Sydney and UC Davis announce first round research funding

1 May 2017
New research collaborations given the green light

Eight joint research projects have been selected to receive seed funding under the partnership agreement signed by the University of Sydney and UC Davis earlier this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, both institutions will contribute up to AU$100,000 annually for two years to support cooperative research projects and activities.

The awards are designed to catalyze scientific discoveries through collaborative engagement between researchers at the two universities by providing funding to support initiatives that foster international partnerships in research, teaching and learning, capacity building and other areas.

Professor Kathy Belov, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Sydney said: “What really stands out is the breadth and quality of the research that will receive funding. There’s a fascinating spread of projects that address global challenges in human, animal and planetary health, and in food security and energy. This is a great start for our partnership with UC Davis.”

Cameron Carter, interim Vice-Chancellor for Research at UC Davis, added: “This exciting new partnership with the University of Sydney combines the strengths of two world class public research universities and promises to generate multiple new lines of interdisciplinary research that will have a major global impact.”

Each principal investigator (PI) at the University of Sydney will receive up to $20,000 per year for two years, with equivalent matching funds for the American PI supplied by UC Davis.

Award recipients

Eight research projects were selected from a total of 22 applications covering a wide variety of disciplines. The recipients are:

  • Cameron Kepert (Faculty of Chemistry, University of Sydney) and Louise Berben (Department of Chemistry, UC Davis): CO2 capture and electrolytic conversion with covalently immobilized porous materials
  • Steven Meikle (Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney) and Simon R. Cherry (Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, UC Davis): Total-Body PET technology and methods for biological systems research in metabolic disorders and mental illness
  • Natasha Hamilton (School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney) and Carrie J. Finno (School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis): Secrets in the bones: How functional genomics will broaden our understanding of catastrophic breakdown in racehorses
  • Alex McBratney (Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney) and Thomas Gradziel (Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis): Digitally decommoditised agriculture: An almond example
  • Sergio Garcia (School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney) and Russ Hovey (Department of Animal Science, UC Davis): More MILC, less milking: Multidisciplinary Investigations into Lactose (secretion) in Cows
  • Paul Sheehy (School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sydney) and Amir Kol (School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis): Convergence of canine cellular reprogramming and 3D bioprinting technologies for the development of pancreatic β cell replacement therapies and disease modeling platforms
  • Thomas Maschmeyer (School of Chemistry and Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, University of Sydney) and Frank Osterloh (Department of Chemistry, UC Davis): Advanced semiconductor materials system for solar hydrogen generation
  • Robyn Alders (Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney) and Huaijun Zhou (Department of Animal Science, UC Davis): Tackling food insecurity in Tanzania: Harnessing genomics and vaccinology to control Newcastle Disease in African chickens

The two universities are planning to announce a second call for proposals later in 2017 to further enable researchers to work together on grand challenge-type projects of mutual interest.

For questions about the partnership or awards, please contact Matthew Louie (Partnerships Officer, Office of Global Engagement).