NSRI awards $165,000 to NU researchers for independent research & development
August 12, 2021
The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska (NU) has selected seven projects developed by NU researchers to receive its first-ever independent research and development (IRAD) funding, totaling $165,000.
Ranging from developing an agent to protect from COVID-19 to understanding the neuroscience of national security decision making to building sensors for detection of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and more, the 2021 NSRI IRAD projects continue to prove University of Nebraska researchers and students have tremendous capacity for innovation and foresight in the realm of national security.
“Each of these projects will allow NSRI to move toward its mission in a new way,” said Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI executive director. “It is our aim as a University Affiliated Research Center to not only maintain essential scientific and engineering capabilities for use by the Department of Defense, but to be constantly seeking the next solution to the next potential threat. Our NU colleagues are on the leading-edge in their fields, and we are proud to spur their creativity through this program."
Principal investigators for the seven projects hail from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha. Disciplines include biology, political science, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, pharmacology and nursing.
Four students are already identified to be involved in the project work, a pride point for NSRI, which constantly seeks opportunities for immersive student experiences in defense research.
Each project aligns directly with a NSRI research focus area, ensuring movement toward key NSRI objectives across nuclear weapons enterprise support, chemical and biological threat detection and countermeasure development, medical countermeasures and response and threat-based training and exercise support.
"Our studies will provide the required knowledge to understand the permissibility of the [SARS-CoV-2] variants at these difficult times and help reduce transmission among first responders in hospital settings and the public to mitigate the overall spread of the disease."
Siddappa Byrareddy, professor, pharmacology & experimental neuroscience
University of Nebraska Medical Center
"This agent could be used by warfighters in areas with limited access to the vaccine, or who have withheld participation in the vaccine efforts. If successful, it will also reduce the risk of first responders and other healthcare providers to new viral variants."
Paul Davis, associate professor, biology
University of Nebraska at Omaha
"Understanding how the interaction between cognition, emotion and biology in combination with other environmental factors impact the complex calculus of nuclear decision-making can help American leaders respond successfully to strategic national security threats across multiple domains and adversaries."
Noelle C. Troutman, doctoral student
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Principal Investigators, Projects, Funding Amounts
Elizabeth Beam, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Educational Strategy Assessment for Improving Respiratory Protection Equipment Use
Siddappa Byrareddy, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Phenotypic & functional characterization of newly evolved SARS-CoV-2 mutant viruses
Michelle Black, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Multi-actor deterrence analysis methodology and laboratory
Paul Davis, University of Nebraska at Omaha
A safe, self-administered, rapid-acting anti-infective
Qing Hui, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Modeling and visualization of competing escalation dynamics
Eric Markvicka, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Personal, wearable sensor platform for detecting & localizing WMDs
Noelle Troutman, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Ideology and risk: How neuroscience can inform nuclear security
“Our university research partners have risen to the challenge once again with these selected projects as well as the others that were submitted — it was a competitive field, which was exciting to see,” said Joshua Santarpia, NSRI research director for chemical and biological programs, who leads NSRI IRAD. “Securing start-up funding for these types of projects at the university is exactly how we innovate toward NSRI's mission for the future.”
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. Read about our mission.