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UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative winners include CALS-led projects

UW2020 project story
Billions of people worldwide lack clean, safe water. Novel electrodes, at the heart of a UW2020 project co-led by UW–Madison soil scientist Joel Pedersen and chemist Robert Hamers (above), could enhance methods to inexpensively and efficiently inactivate bacteria and viruses in water. Photo: Jeff Miller/UW-Madison.

Fourteen research and infrastructure projects – including four with CALS participants – have been selected by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education for support from the UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative. The four projects with CALS participants are listed below.

The winning projects were selected from among 134 proposals from across the UW–Madison campus. Underwritten by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), UW2020 will support selected projects with an average award of about $300,000 over two years.

The projects were reviewed by faculty from across the university, ultimately involving 87 reviewers. Reviewers identified ambitious, early stage research ideas and infrastructure investments in an effort to jump-start innovative interdisciplinary research projects. Final selections were made by the UW2020 Council, a group of 16 faculty from all divisions of the university. They evaluated the merits of each project based on the reviews and their potential for making significant contributions.

The 14 funded projects include 72 faculty and academic staff investigators from eight schools and colleges. For more information, read the full UW-Madison announcement.

Anticipating Abrupt Ecological Change in the 21st Century
Co-PI: Christopher J. Kucharik Professor Agronomy and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

Novel Electrodes for Hydroxyl Radical Production to Enable Low-cost Water Treatment
PI: Joel A. Pedersen, Rothermel Bascom Professor, Departments of Soil Science, Chemistry, and Civil & Environmental Engineering

Systematic Functional Annotation of Orphan Proteins by High Throughput Mass Spectrometry Profiling
Co-PI: David J. Pagliarini, Investigator and Director of Metabolism, Morgridge Institute for Research, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Full-Range Imaging Spectrometer Enables an Innovative Linkage of Genetic, Plant Trait and Remote Sensing/Spectroscopy Data
PI: Phil Townsend, Professor, Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Co-PIs:
Eric Kruger, Professor, Forest and Wildlife Ecology
Paul Bethke, Associate Professor, Horticulture/USDA

Co-investigators:
Amy Charkowski, Professor, Plant Pathology
Shawn Conley, Professor, Agronomy
Rick Lindroth, Professor, Entomology,

Collaborators:
Natalie de Leon, Associate Professor, Agronomy
Claudio Gratton, Professor, Entomology
Randy Jackson, Professor, Agronomy
Shelley Jansky, Associate Professor, Horticulture/USDA
Shawn Kaeppler, Professor, Agronomy
Chris Kucharik, Professor, Agronomy
Felix Navarro, Research Manager, Hancock Agricultural Research Station

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