Intramural COVID-19 Research Awardees

The Office of the Chancellor at Rutgers University–New Brunswick is pleased to announce the biomedical and social science research awardees for COVID-related research at Rutgers.

Twenty-two projects were competitively selected from a diverse pool of over 150 applications to the Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. These projects are being generously supported by the provost and executive vice chancellor for research and academic affairs at Rutgers–New Brunswick and the senior vice president for research and economic development.

The Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (CCRP2) serves as an institutional hub for COVID-19 research activities and information dissemination. As part of the Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, CCRP2 was created to quickly respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic and to stimulate transformative solutions for challenges at the local, national and international levels.


Biomedical Research Awards

Computational Tools for COVID-19 Mpro Inhibitor Design and Precision Medicine
       - Darrin York (Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - David Case (Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Democratizing Joint Multiscale Modeling of Movement, Policy, and Spread of Infectious Diseases
       - Mubbasir Kapadia (Computer Science, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Benedetto Piccoli (Mathematics, Rutgers–Camden)
       - Sarah Allred (Psychology, Rutgers–Camden)

The essential role of protein motions in therapeutic design: understanding how dynamics regulate SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD-ACE2 interactions
       - Jean Baum (Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Evaluation of a brief, telehealth intervention to support emotional distress of autistic adults during COVID-19
       - Vanessa Bal (Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology)
       - Brian Chu (Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology)

Fragment based ligand discovery against SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease
       - Nilgun Tumer (Plant Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Sagar Khare (Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine)
       - Xiao-Ping Li (Plant Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Genetic analysis of susceptibility to and severity of COVID-19 infection
       - Tara Matise (Genetics, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Steven Buyske (Statistics & Biostatistics, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Modifying protein conformational dynamics to improve the adaptive immune response: an orthogonal approach to generate a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
       - Stephen Anderson (Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Elliot Campbell (Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine)
       - Lisa Denzin (Child Health Institute of New Jersey; Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
       - Derek Sant’Angelo (Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Biomedical Engineering, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Child Health Institute of New Jersey)

Monitoring of the COVID-19 outbreak in sewage
       - Nicole Fahrenfeld (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Novel Antibody Phage Display to Find Antibodies Specific to SARS-CoV-2
       - William Belden (Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences)

Structural and Small-Molecule Binding Studies of SARS-CoV-2 Polyproteins and Proteins
       - Edward Arnold (Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine; Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Jason Kaelber (Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine)

Super-effective face masks with internal decontamination of virus particles
       - Joachim Kohn (Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Sanjeeva Murthy (Biomaterials, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Kim-Phuong Le (Biomaterials, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Transdermal Delivery of DNA Vaccine for SARS-CoV-2
       - Hao Lin (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Jonathan Singer (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Jerry Shan (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Jeffrey Zahn (Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - David Shreiber (Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Biju Parekkadan (Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Social Science Research Awards

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Pandemics, and Mental Health
       - Vivek Singh (Library & Information Science, Computer Science, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Vincent Silenzio (Urban-Global Public Health, School of Public Health)
       - Sara Pixley (Cognitive Science, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Brief Scaleable Mental Health Intervention for College Students
       - Shireen Rizvi (Clinical Psychology, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology)
       - Evan Kleiman (Psychology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

COVID-19 and New Jersey Prisons
       - Brittany Friedman (Sociology, Criminal Justice, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Paul Hirschfield (Sociology, Criminal Justice, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Alexis Karteron (Rutgers Law School-Newark)

The impact of COVID19 on Families and Caseworkers in NYC
       - Cassandra Simmel (School of Social Work, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Darcey Merritt (New York University)

K-12 Teacher Response to COVID-19-Induced Emergency Transition to Remote and Online Teaching and Learning in the State of New Jersey
       - Rebecca Reynolds (Library & Information Science, School of Communication and Information)
       - David Shernoff (School Psychology, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology)

Migrant Detention, Deportation, and COVID-19 Transmission:  Public Health and Safety Challenges in New Jersey / Putting Stories to Work
       - Ulla Berg (Anthropology, Latino & Caribbean Studies, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Emily Purcell (Anthropology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - K. Sebastian León (Criminal Justice, Latino & Caribbean Studies, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Sarah Tosh (Sociology, Anthropology, Latino & Caribbean Studies, Rutgers–Camden)
       - Cati Coe (Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Joanne Gottesman (Rutgers Law School-Camden)
       - Leslie Kay Jones (Sociology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Catherine Lee (Sociology, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Randi Mandelbaum (Rutgers Law School-Newark)
       - Domino Morel (Political Science, Rutgers–Newark)
       - Tim Raphael (Arts, Culture & Media, Rutgers–Newark)
       - Louisa Schein (Anthropology, Women's & Gender Studies, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

Mitigating the Impact of Parental Substance Use, Parenting Stress, and Child Maltreatment During the COVID-19 Epidemic
       - Emily Bosk (Sociology, School of Social Work)

A Population Health Perspective on Risk and Resilience at the Municipal Level in Response to COVID-19
       - Emily Greenfield (Social Work, Rutgres–New Brunswick)
       - Sarah Allred (Psychology, Rutgers–Camden)

Social Science Research on Impact of Covid-19 on policy and service delivery for mental health and substance abuse
       - James Walkup (Clinical Psychology, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology)
       - Stephen Crystal (School of Social Work)
       - Amesika Nyaku (Medicine, New Jersey Medical School)
       - Jamey Lister (School of Social Work)

Society and Covid-19, an interdisciplinary response to the social contradictions and historical trends exposed by the pandemic
       - Sadia Abbas (English, Rutgers–Newark)
       - Sean Mitchell (Sociology & Anthropology, Rutgers–Newark)
       - Samah Selim (Arabic Language and Literature, Rutgers–New Brunswick)
       - Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo (Political Science, Rutgers–Newark)
       - Andrew Perrin (University of North Carolina)
       - Paul Amar (University of California, Santa Barbara)
       - Raza Rumi (Ithaca College)
       - RA Judy (University of Pittsburgh)