Connecting the Rutgers Research Community                                      April 15, 2020
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Can we farm multiple species together? Yes. 
Photo from lead author 
Michael P. Acquafredda
It seems to work on shellfish aquaculture. A study in a laboratory setting at Rutgers' New Jersey Aquaculture Innovation Center in North Cape May, tested the feasibility of farming multiple bivalve species in close proximity to each other. The researchers found virtually no differences in growth or survival for any of the four species. 
How do you translate your curiosity into 
success? Share your 
ideas with us! 

Molecular beacons
Amid the continuous need for COVID-19 test kits, Rutgers technologies once again prove invaluable to the fight against the pandemic that is sweeping the nation and the world. A recent COVID-19 rapid test that received FDA emergency use authorization includes molecular beacons technology that was invented by Rutgers researchers.
Molecular beacons are highly specific, fluorescently labeled probes that identify and light up COVID-19 genomic RNA if it is present in a clinical sample. These probes are employed in the Abbott Laboratories ID NOW COVID-19 assay , which takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and runs on more than 18,000 assay instruments that are distributed throughout the United States. These clinical tests -  which will be used in about 50,000 tests  produced per day -  utilize a "Nicking Enzyme Amplification Reaction" (NEAR), which is an exponential nucleic acid amplification method developed by Abbott's subsidiary, Alere, Inc. 
Molecular beacons technology was invented and perfected over a ten-year period by Rutgers faculty members Sanjay Tyagi, Fred Russell Kramer, Salvatore Marras and David Alland and by researchers Paul Lizardi, Cesar Guerra, Jacqueline Vet, Hiyam El-Hajj, Hilda Lomeli and Amy Piatek

Sanjay Tyagi, professor of medicine, PHRI, NJMS
"As molecular diagnostic researchers, it is gratifying when you can help improve lives in a meaningful way, especially during times like these amid a global pandemic." Fred Kramer, professor of microbiology, biochemistry & molecular genetics, PHRI, NJMS

The coronavirus pandemic has had a  major impact on biomedical research and created challenges for research-intensive institutions. It has also affected what investigators can do to maintain some level of research while keeping coworkers and trainees safe and engaged. S.  David Kimballsenior vice president for research and economic development, and Jeetu Eswaraka assistant vice president for ORED's Animal Care unit p ublished an article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation earlier this month. The article is co-authored with: Bishr Omary, senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, RBHS; Prabhas Moghe, provost and executive vice chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs, Rutgers-New Brunswick; Rey Panettieiri, vice chancellor for Translational Medicine and Science; and Kathy Scotto, vice chancellor for Research, RBHS.

The NCURA Region II Fall Meeting organizers are calling all research administrators to submit suggestions and ideas for workshops, concurrent sessions, and discussion group topics for its meeting in October. There are nine tracks: departmental, pre-award, post-award, medical/clinical, senior, PUI, federal, general and the How-To Track.  Submit your ideas by May 1st to the Program Committee for consideration, even if you do not want to be the presenter or you are looking for colleagues to co-present. 

RAPSS Maintenance Scheduled For Coming Weekend

The Research Administration and Proposal Submission System (RAPSS) needs a configuration update to address a disk space issue. The system will be offline for maintenance from Friday, April 17 at 6:00 p.m.  until Sunday, April 19 at 6:00 p.m . Make sure to save all your work and exit the site before the downtime begins.  Even if the site is intermittently available, it is not safe to begin using it again until the downtime window is over.

eRA Information: eRA Modules to Migrate Modules and Data

eRA is planning to migrate its modules and data to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud from Friday, April 17 at 8:00am to Monday, April 20 at 8:00pm The affected systems are all eRA modules (eRA Commons, ASSIST, IAR, iEdison, etc.) and all eRA informational websites (, etc.).  Any affected due dates will be covered under NIH's late application policy due to COVID-19 , which allows all late applications submitted late for due dates between March 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020, to be accepted through May 1, 2020 will continue processing applications during the migration window.  Applications received via will be put in a queue, and then eRA will process them on Monday night, April 20. The standard two-day viewing window for successfully submitted applications will be applied.

The core facility team at ORED, led by Vince Smeraglia as executive director of University Core Facility Support, has recently launched a grant program to provide  core facilities with support funding up to $100K. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until  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 is expected to begin by July 1, 2020.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Bloomberg School of Public Health is redirecting part of their grant program to help accelerate the discovery of mechanisms, medicines and vaccines for COVID-19. Their goal is to centralize information and stimulate funding of the development of non-animal, human biology-based models to help coordinate and accelerate response to current and emerging pandemics. This new initiative is the Fast-track grant for research on non-animal approaches to investigate mechanisms, medicines, and vaccines for coronaviruses. Applications are by April 30.

The Department of Defense (DOD) U.S. Army Contracting Command released a funding opportunity announcement for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Educational Outreach Programs. The FOA is seeking applicants that can engage and improve STEM skills in grades K-12 and beyond to increase STEM professional development to meet long-term national defense needs. Specifically, applicants should be able to provide "in person training, support, assessment, and evaluation services sponsored by the DOD and other federal agencies in partnership with local DOD laboratories, STEM education organizations, professional societies, and local education activities." Applications are due by  May 1 8 .

The Columbia Bank Foundation is committed to serving the needs of its local communities. The Foundation actively seeks and focuses on innovative programs that provide a measurable impact in the communities that it serves. Charitable contributions from the Foundation will be granted in the following major areas: Affordable Housing, Community investment and economic development, Financial literacy and education, Health and human services, Food pantries, and the Arts. In 2020, the Board expects to award, under its Large Grant Program, approximately three grants up to $100,000 each. Applications for the Large Grant Program will be due by June 30, 2020. P roposals are limited to one applicant per Rutgers. Pre-proposals must be submitted through the Rutgers   Limited Submission process . Pre-proposals are due by May 19
to the following researchers for their recently-awarded grants:

Stephanie Cronenberg - Mason Gross School of Arts
Brandon Williams Mason Gross School of the Arts
Hee-Sook Kim - New Jersey Medical School
Cecilia Feeley Center for Advance Infrastructure and Transportation

Learn about their research under  Grant Announcements.
"Well, now that you are working from home, I confess that this is my favorite place: where I'm not supposed to be."
Nothing like a Hellebore to signal that spring is here. Goodbye winter blues!
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