2008-2009 CAFA Faculty Development Grants


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The Robert T. Poe Faculty Development Grant

Chia-en Angelina Chang -- Modeling of the Ligand-Receptor Association

Professor Chia-en Angelina Chang is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside. The proposed project aims to develop reliable and efficient tools for modeling molecular recognition. The new methods will enable detailed calculation of ligand-receptor binding kinetics and thermodynamics and will speed the discovery of new medications. Funds are requested to purchase computer hardware and software that are required for this research. Dr. Chang received her Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from University of Maryland, College Park. She competed her postdoctoral training at the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSD.


The CAFA Faculty Development Grant

Min-Ming Wen -- Credit Default Swaps: Risk Management or Risk-Taking for Insurance Industry

Professor Min-Ming Wen is an Assistant Professor at the College of Business and Economics, California State University, Los Angeles. This project aims to thoroughly investigate whether the use of credit default swaps (CDS) can effectively hedge risks or potentially motivate insurers to take more risks. This objective is particularly relevant and interesting, since the recent financial crisis has been attributed to the heavy use of credit default swaps, and has drawn the attention of regulators to the practice of CDS in insurance industry. Funds are requested to support the travel expenses and the purchase of NAIC reports that are required for this research. Dr. Wen received Ph.D. degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut.

Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien -- PDGF signaling in new coronary blood vessel formation during zebrafish heart regeneration

Professor Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien is an Assistant Professor at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. The proposed research project aims to determine how PDGF signaling regulates the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of epicardium that contributes to new coronary blood vessel formation during zebrafish heart regeneration. Funds are requested to purchase supplies and materials that are required for this research and to support Dr. Lienís participation in the Weinstein Cardiovascu39lar meeting. Dr. Lien received her Ph.D. degree in Genetics and Developmental Biology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Childrenís Hospital of Boston.


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