Research News

Department of Kinesiology's Mason, Travers part of newly funded UW2020 projects

April 20, 2017

Funding for research projects that range from advancing wireless communications to developing a virtual dairy farm brain that will simulate actual farm management are among the 21 proposals recently selected for UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative awards.

The awards include eight infrastructure projects and 13 research projects that cross multiple divisions on the UW-Madison campus. And two of the projects include faculty members with the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology.

A total of 104 faculty from across the university reviewed the 119 submitted projects. The 16-member UW2020 Council then ranked the proposals. Final selections were made by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education leadership.

Andrea Mason
The 21 funded projects include 137 faculty from 10 schools and colleges. Projects are funded for two years with the average award totaling $372,923.

One of the projects is titled "Testing the Action Basis of Language and Language Production," which explores what is special about human language, what it means to be human and what sets us apart from other species. 

One of the co-principal investigators on this project is Andrea Mason, a professor with the Department of Kinesiology. This project is being led by principal investigator Maryellen MacDonald, a professor of psychology.

Similarly, Brittany Travers, an assistant professor with the Department of Kinesiology's Occupational Therapy program, is a co-principal investigator on a project titled: "The Human Microbiome in Health and Disease."

Brittany Travers
This project is led by Cameron Currie, a professor of bacteriology. The project will launch "two areas of research in microbiome science: using the human microbiome as a source of new drug leads and identifying metabolites that serve as biomarkers for early life diseases (asthma and autism) and aging diseases (such as Alzheimer's disease)."

The goal of UW2020 is to stimulate and support cutting-edge, highly innovative and groundbreaking research at UW–Madison and the acquisition of shared instruments or equipment that will open new avenues for innovative and significant research. 

To learn about all of this year’s recently funded UW2020 research and infrastructure projects from across campus, check out this University Communications news release.