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Recognitions, June 9

A Supreme Court opinion has cited the work of UT Professor Judy Cornett in Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part in BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell.

Maxine Davis, assistant vice chancellor for student life, will retire on June 30 after 35 years of service to the university. Ashley Blamey, currently serving as director of the Center for Health Education and Wellness, will assume the role of assistant vice chancellor for student life on July 1.

Thomas Zacharia, who built Oak Ridge National Laboratory into a global supercomputing power, has been selected as the laboratory’s next director by UT-Battelle, the partnership that operates ORNL for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Haslam College of Business has named Chad Autry the first FedEx Corporation Endowed Professor. Autry believes the endowment will assist in the department’s goal to become the top-ranked supply chain program in the country. U.S. News & World Report and Gartner currently rank the undergraduate supply chain management program at Haslam third in the country.

UT recently received national recognition for its Master of Fine Arts program in theatre, with The Hollywood Reporter ranking the program 20th among the 25 best drama schools for an acting degree.“We are proud to be ranked among the best master’s degree in theatre programs in the country,” said Jed Diamond, associate professor of acting.

Funding Opportunities, June 9

Limited Submission Opportunities

Find information about limited submissions on the Limited Submissions Opportunities page.

NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) – Instrument Acquisition or Development: NSF 15-504

The MRI Program is intended to assist with the acquisition or development of a single research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. An instrument provided through the MRI program is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period.

Proposals must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2), and must be for only a single instrument or for equipment that when combined serves as an integrated research instrument.

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UT Gathers Regional Scientists to Address NIH Grand Challenges

Taylor Eighmy, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, opens the conference.

As part of its aggressive pursuit of new collaborations and deeper knowledge, UT’s Office of Research and Engagement recently brought together more than 100 researchers from a dozen institutions across the Southeast for a regional conference focused on solving major health crises.

Kimberly Eck, Director of Research Development, and panelist Bob Davis, Director of Center in Biomedical Informatics at UTHSC and UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair in Biomedical Informatics.

The impetus for the conference was the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the US Congress in 2016. The act authorized $6.3 billion in funding, much of which went to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pursue important research questions and challenge the nation’s scientists to rise to the occasion of solving major health crises. Among the major pillars of the act were the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain), the Cancer Moonshot (aimed at accelerating cancer research and making more therapies available to more patients while improving our ability to prevent and detect cancer at an early stage), and the Precision Medicine Initiative (aimed at generating scientific evidence necessary to move the concept of precision medicine- an emerging approach for disease prevention and treatment that takes into account individual variations in genes, environment, and lifestyle- into clinical practice).

Nitesh Chawla, the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) at the University of Notre Dame.

The 21st Century Cures: Southeast Conference at UT explored those initiatives and their intersections with big data, materials and sensors, and biology.

The conference featured an evening keynote by Nitesh Chawla of the University of Notre Dame and a morning scientific keynote by UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Molecular Biophysics Jeremy Smith. Guests attended sessions led by NIH leaders as well as faculty researchers funded by NIH. Topics ranged from specific research studies to broader sessions on topics such as peer review and rigor and reproducibility.

“Partnerships are critical for us here in the Southeast in order to tackle these and many other grand challenges,” said Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement. “It was wonderful to see such interest in collaboration and engagement on these major questions from our attendees, both from the University of Tennessee and our regional partners.”



Jessie Holder Tourtellotte (,  865-974-1019)

Wood Named Fellow by American Nuclear Society, Coble Honored

Professor of Nuclear Engineering Richard Wood of the Tickle College of Engineering has been selected as a 2017 fellow of the American Nuclear Society, one of the highest honors a nuclear engineer can achieve.

Jamie Coble, assistant professor of nuclear engineering, is also being honored by the society with its early career award for her work with nuclear safety.

Richard Wood

Given in response for what the group called his “significant contributions to nuclear engineering,” Wood’s award will be presented during the ANS annual conference in San Francisco June 11–15.

“We are extremely happy for Richard and for this recognition of his years of innovative work,” said Wes Hines, head of the department. “His selection is validation of the contributions he has made to the field, to our department, and to our university.”

As part of his recognition, the ANS pointed out that Wood alone is responsible for having developed or revised one-third of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s codes and guides.

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Recognitions, May 26

The Occupational Therapy Department at UTHSC will award a posthumous degree to Rachel Kay Stevens, who died in 2015. In life, Rachel wanted to help children as an occupational therapist. After her death, her teachers and classmates are ensuring her wish is fulfilled with the establishment of the Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center. The awarding of a posthumous degree is a rare occurrence.

Three students have been awarded scholarships to travel abroad to study critical languages that are imperative to the United States’ future security and stability. Katie Plank, a May graduate in ecology and evolutionary biology, will be studying Chinese in Dalian, China. John “Harrison” Akins, a PhD student in the Department of Political Science focusing on international relations, comparative politics, and public policy, will be studying Urdu in Lucknow, India. Jonathan Hubbard-Shaw, a senior in linguistics, will be studying Indonesian in Malang, Indonesia.

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