Connecting the Rutgers Research Community                                    March 31, 2020
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A Virtual Graduation as a Response to the Pandemic


Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) announced that  its 192 final-year medical students will have a virtual graduation in the next weeks to make them available to begin their residencies and provide critical healthcare to victims of COVID-19.   Our best wishes of safety and health to the new doctors going to the front lines to join their fellow heroes - our healthcare professionals and researchers.
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Rutgers Researchers Step Up in Time of Need to Fight COVID-19
Watch David Alland's interview on  WABC News

At a time when a virus reminds the world that collaboration is vital to humanity, our researchers have   stepped  up to find solutions and give us hope. The coronavirus is moving fast and our teams and leadership have moved rapidly, too, putting Rutgers' strengths at the service of our nation and the world.

Rutgers researchers' expertise, technologies and inventions  have helped with the development and validation of rapid tests and contributed to finding solutions during this pandemic. Here are some examples: 
  • David Alland , director of the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) at New Jersey Medical School, along with colleagues Padmapriya Padmapriya Banada and Sukalyani Banik, evaluated and validated an innovative point-of-care test developed by  Cepheid  to detect COVID-19 in under 45 minutes. 
  • The latest test to receive the FDA's emergency use authorization, developed by Abbott, uses molecular beacons technology developed over many years by researchers at PHRI. The technology provides fluorescently labeled probes that are one of a suite of technologies required to assemble the entire molecular diagnostic assay. Among the inventors are Principal Investigator Sanjay Tyagi, Salvatore Marras, and Fred Kramer, who all share a laboratory at PHRI, and David Alland.
  • A new Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (CCRP2), sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development, was established as an institutional research hub for COVID-19 research activities and information dissemination to fight SARS CoV-2 and other emerging pathogen threats.
Rutgers  will keep responding to this pandemic with excellence, dedication and commitment. For university COVID-19 updates, visit For research-related COVID-19 updates, visit


The core facility team at ORED, led by Vince Smeraglia as the new executive director of University Core Facility Support, is launching a grant program to provide  core facilities with support funding up to $100K. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from March 31 to December 31, and funding decisions will made on a rolling basis within 90 days of submission. All core facilities across all chancellor units at Rutgers are eligible. The  funding will begin by  July 1, 2020

Joining many companies contributing to combat the COVID-19 crisis, Qiagen has lifted license restrictions for its bioinformatics software, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), and several other software suites for work related to SARS-CoV2/COVID-19. Please observe their request.  Instructions for existing and new users are available on the Office of Advanced Research Computing website. 

Request from Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steve K. Libutti, MD, FACS

Researchers who have viral transport media and are willing to donate it to support a COVID-19 clinical trial, please respond to Dr. Libutti directly. Also, please pass the message on to any other colleagues who may be able to help as well.

The Hillman Emergent Innovation Program provides $50,000, one-year grants to accelerate the development of bold, nursing-driven interventions targeting the needs of vulnerable populations, including the economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, people experiencing homelessness, rural populations, and other groups that encounter barriers to accessing quality health care services. They seek creative, early stage (untested or minimal-evidence) innovations that address health and health care problems in new ways. Letters of intent are due by  April 27

Limited Submission Opportunity: NSF Partnerships for Innovation

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program offers researchers the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit. The Research Partnerships (PFI-RP) track seeks to support complex, multi-faceted technology development projects that are typically beyond the scope of a single researcher or institution and require a multi-organizational, interdisciplinary, synergistic collaboration. A PFI-RP project requires the creation of partnerships between academic researchers and third-party organizations such as industry, non-academic research organizations, federal laboratories, public or non-profit technology transfer organizations or other universities. Research Partnership proposals are limited to one per chancellor unit. Pre-proposals must be submitted through the Rutgers   Limited Submission process . Pre-proposals are due by May 13  

The Department of Defense (DOD) has released the broad agency announcement for the Fiscal Year 2021 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), as part of the larger University Research Initiative aimed at institutions of higher education. The MURI program remains one of the signature DOD research programs for the university  community and stands as the benchmark for building a defense-oriented research capability on campus. The MURI program addresses high risk basic research and attempts to understand or achieve something that has never been done before. The MURI program supports research teams whose research efforts intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline. For a list of research topics DOD is interested in funding through MURI, see Section II of the FOA. Typical annual funding per grant is in the $1.25M to $1.5M range.  White papers are due by  June 1
to the following researchers for their recently-awarded grants:

Kristen McQuinn - School of Arts and Sciences
Michael L. Lahr Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy
Albrecht M. Koppenhöfer - School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

Learn about their research under  Grant Announcements.

We know, we understand. It happens. Your kids could be having a wrestling match in the background of your web conference. Or your pets might suddenly call for your attention in funny ways or even join your meeting. Maybe you haven't had time for a hair-do or a nice shaving. But here some tips on best practices when it comes to web conferencing that could make working remotely more successful. 

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