Climate change is one of the many areas of research that will benefit from a record amount of grant money received by the University of Colorado.
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Over the past year, the four campuses comprising the University of Colorado received $1.2 billion in sponsored research funding, a record 15% higher than the previous year, and the fourth consecutive year surpassing $1 billion.

“CU’s record-setting research funding demonstrates the high quality of our faculty, whose work in discovery and innovation improves lives, saves lives and addresses some of the most pressing issues facing society,” CU President Mark Kennedy, wrote in a statement announcing the benchmark. “Their work not only enhances the educational experience for our students but also makes our world a better place.”

Of the total sum, The University of Colorado Boulder received $631 million, a 20% increase over last year. That money will help fund research on climate change, aerospace technology, biomedical research and sustainable energy solutions.

Sponsored research funding also helps pay for research-related capital improvements, scientific equipment, travel and salaries for research and support staff and student assistant help.

Jennifer Balch, the director of CU Boulder’s North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center and Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences will use the $4.5 million grant she received from U.S. Geological Survey to fund resource management research at the science center.

Most recently the center completed studies on the increasing threat of drought in the Mancos Watershed in Southern Colorado and the effects of climate change on the storage capacity of aquifers around the continental U.S.

Lori Peek, a professor of sociology and the director of CU Boulder’s CONVERGE Research Center and Natural Hazard Center, will use a $3 million grant to train and coordinate researches across disciplinary lines so that they may improve our understanding of the impacts of natural disasters.

“We know that disaster losses are going continue to increase as we see more of billion-dollar disaster events and that those issues cannot be solved isolation,” she said. “The funding to start the CONVERGE Center has allowed us to bring together hazard and disaster researchers across various disciplines and get them trained and coordinated so that when the big one happens, they’re ready to do their best research.”

For example, soon after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas the engineers who arrived to assess the structural damage of the buildings found there was a large population of undocumented immigrants living there. Thanks to the CONVERGENCE Center, they were able to get in touch with sociologists who were capable of studying the situation and learning how to better respond in the future.

Of the $553.5 million received by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Kathleen Barnes, director of the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, is using $2.5 million in grants to identify genetic determinants associated with asthma in people of African ancestry, who suffer disproportionately compared to white patients with asthma.

Of the $23.4 million received by the University of Colorado Denver, Esther Sullivan, assistant professor of sociology, as well as Andrew Rumbach and Carrie Makarewicz, assistant professors of urban and regional planning, will use a $440,000 grant from The National Science Foundation to study the recovery of manufactured homes after natural disasters.

At the The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, which received $8 million in grants, Guy Hagen, a senior research associate, and Kathrin Spendier, an assistant professor of physics, are using a three-year, $432,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop, improve and use super-resolution microscopy to study the molecular basis of allergic responses, which affect more than 50 million Americans each year.

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