NSF Track-1 Award

National Science Foundation (NSF)
EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 Awards:
2020-2025 NSF EPSCoR Track-1 Cooperative Agreement, $20 million, Award Number 1946202
Principal Investigator (PI): Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE; NDSU
Co-PIs: John Mihelich, Ph.D.; UND and Jean Ostrom-Blonigen, Ph.D., CPA; ND EPSCoR

New Discoveries in the Advanced Interface of Computation, Engineering, and Science

ND-ACES: New Discoveries in the Advanced Interface of Computation, Engineering, and Science (ND-ACES), ND EPSCoR’s most recent NSF cooperative agreement, is a five-year cooperative agreement that carries an 80/20% federal/state match.

Participant Institutions

  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC, located in Fort Totten, ND)
  • Dickinson State University (DSU, located in Dickinson, ND)
  • Mayville State University (located in Mayville, ND)
  • Minot State University (located in Minot, ND)
  • North Dakota State University (NDSU, located in Fargo, ND)
  • Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC, located in New Town, ND)
  • Sitting Bull College, (SBC, located in Fort Yates, ND)
  • Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC, located in Belcourt, ND)
  • University of North Dakota (UND, located in Grand Forks, ND)
  • Valley City State University (VCSU, located in Valley City, ND)

Impact

Building on strategic NSF and ND investments made since ND EPSCoR began, ND-ACES is:

  • Working collaboratively within the Center for Cellular Biointerfaces in Science and Engineering (CCBSE).
  • Fostering critical research infrastructure.
  • Integrating research, education, and human resources with workforce development initiatives to strengthen the state’s overall research competitiveness. The collective impact has been active involvement in research, outreach, education, and broadening participation activities throughout the state. PROSPER (PROmoting Sustainable Partnerships in Education and Research) is the broadening participation arm of ND-ACES and is fully integrated with the corresponding efforts of the CCBSE.

The ten participating institutions include one master's college/university (MCU), three primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI), four tribal colleges/universities (TCU), and two research universities (RU).

Center for Cellular Biointerfaces in Science and Engineering (CCBSE)

ND-ACES will expand capacity be leveraging investments to generate new knowledge and increase North Dakota's competitiveness in biosciences by working collaboratively within the Center for Cellular Biointerfaces in Science and Engineering (CCBSE). The CCBSE has three pillars of scientific inquiry: materials design at biointerfaces; cellular systems at materials interface; and computation, machine learning, and predictive modeling. The CCBSE is also linked to ND-ACES outreach arm, Promoting Sustainable Partnerships in Education and Research (PROSPER). The CCBSE is co-led by NDSU University Distinguished Professor Kalpana S. Katti, Ph.D., F. AIMBE and UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Colin K. Combs, Ph.D.

Materials Design at Biointerfaces Pillar

Co-led by Sanku Mallik (NDSU) and Julia Zhao (UND). Team members: Austin Allard (TMCC), Mikhail Bobylev (Minot State), Khwaja Hossain (Mayville State), Kalpana Katti (NDSU), Mike Parker (CCCC), Mohi Quadir (NDSU), Brent Voels (CCCC), and Wenjie Xia (NDSU).

The Materials Pillar objective is to progressively increase CCBSE researcher knowledge and application in the area of biomaterial scaffolds relevant to tissue engineering, particularly in the area of design methodologies of biologically inspired materials for diverse 3D tissue architectures.

Cellular Systems at Materials Interface Pillar

Co-led by Archana Dhasarathy (UND) and John Wilkinson (NDSU). Team members: Colin Combs (UND), Nicholas Galt (VCSU), Amanda Haage (UND), Kerry Hartman (NHSC), Kalpana Katti (NDSU), Jiha Kim (NDSU), Joshua Steffan (DSU), and Hilde van Gijssel (VCSU).

The Cellular Pillar objective is to increase the capacity and expertise of the CCBSE researchers in basic and translational use of in vivo-like 3D cell cultures, which will ultimately (long-term outcome) allow the team to partner with regional health care providers to serve as a resource
for personalized medicine approaches to cancer.

Computation, Machine Learning, and Predictive Modeling Pillar

Co-led by Dinesh Katti (NDSU) and Tao Yu (UND). Team members: Deniz Cakir (UND), Jerome Delhommelle (UND), Svetlana Kilina (NDSU), Lu Liu (NDSU) and Wenjie Xia (NDSU). Support for this pillar will come from the high performance computing centers at NDSU (Dane Skow) and UND (Aaron Bergstrom).

The Computation Pillar objective is to enhance connected learning, knowledge, and application across multi-scale modeling, machine learning platforms, and experimental biomaterials and cellular data, which will result in an evolutionary in-silico platform to predict tumor growth. Increased knowledge and understanding of 3D systems can lead to future therapeutic/mitigation alternatives.

 

PROmoting Sustainable Partnerships in Education and Research (PROSPER)

PROSPER, the broadening participation arm of ND-ACES, will provide education and experiences designed to build a diverse workforce, enhance partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders, and inform ND’s residents. The four components of PROSPER include:

Education and Workforce Development

Led by Rachel Navarro and Sarah Sletten (both UND) and co-led by Shireen Alemadi (ND EPSCoR), this initiative supports faculty professional development, student training, and K-12 student bioscience, engineering, and computational exposure. Ryan Summers (UND) completes this team.

This initiative supports faculty professional development, student training, and K-12 student bioscience, engineering, and computational exposure. Ryan Summers (UND) completes this team.

Broadening Participation

Led by Van Doze (UND) and co-led by Scott Hanson (ND EPSCoR), this initiative supports American Indian students along the biosciences pathway. Team members include the TCU NATURE Coordinators: Austin Allard (TMCC), Chris Dahlen (CCCC), Kerry Hartman (NHSC), and Mafany Ndiva Mongoh (SBC).

Partnerships and Collaborations

Led by Kelly Rusch (NDSU) and co-led by John Mihelich (UND) and Jean Ostrom-Blonigen (ND EPSCoR), this initiative builds research infrastructure and strengthens ND’s research competitiveness through industry partnerships and other collaborations. Team members include the CCSBE leadership.

Communication and Dissemination

Led by Zoltan Madjik (NDSU) and co-led by Cailin Shovkoplyas (ND EPSCoR), this ND-ACES wide initiative keeps all stakeholders informed; supports the harmonious interactions of all ND-ACES groups; assists research and programmatic participants in disseminating their work to legislative, scientific, and citizen stakeholders; and develops materials for consumption by lay audiences.


Acknowledgment

The Track-1 is a federal-state partnership to manage a comprehensive research development plan. ND EPSCoR manages the Track-1 award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Current funding is provided by the State of North Dakota and NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1) Cooperative Agreement Award OIA #1946202