Month: February 2016

InCHIP-Neag LOI Deadline Extension!

This is a notification that the deadline to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the InCHIP-Neag School of Education Dual-PI Seed Grant Competition has been extended by one week, from the original date of Friday, February 5, 2016, to a revised date of Friday, February 12, 2016. This extension is intended to account for a revision in the seed grant’s PI eligibility requirements; UConn Health PIs are now eligible to submit to this competition. This document will also be available soon at http://www.inchip.uconn.edu/chip-business-office/seed-grants-and-awards/.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this change, please contact Megan Zhou at megan.zhou@chip.uconn.edu, or at 860-486-5079.

Letter from the Director

As the new semester begins, I would like to announce a significant and exciting transformation of CHIP’s role at the University, and also to share some highlights from CHIP’s highly productive fall semester.

InCHIP Director Jeff Fisher
InCHIP Director Jeff Fisher

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Mun Choi recently approved CHIP to become a cross- campus health research institute. As the new Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy, InCHIP essentially will be a center of centers, UConn’s hub for interdisciplinary research collaborations and boundary spanning activities between centers that are focused on health, health behavior change, and health policy and that choose to affiliate across all UConn campuses.

Historically, UConn centers with an interest in health have functioned independently of one another. While past CHIP boundary spanning efforts have connected researchers in different departments and campuses for specific research projects, InCHIP Initiatives will also focus on creating major collaborations at the level of centers, a first at UConn. InCHIP Initiatives will help UConn to realize its health and wellness academic aspirations, to grow its research portfolio significantly, to increase collaborations between UConn and UConn Health, and to enhance the University’s national and international reputation as a leader in health and health behavior change research. InCHIP Initiatives will work across affiliated centers and campuses to organize and optimize research and scholarship in the areas of health, health behavior change, and policy, and to increase the efficiency and outcomes of the overall health research enterprise at UConn.

CHIP will cease to exist and will be replaced by InCHIP, and all current CHIP principal investigators (PIs) and affiliates will automatically become InCHIP principal investigators and affiliates, receiving all of the same benefits of membership and the same research support services they received at CHIP, with enhanced opportunities for research collaboration and support. Stay tuned for more information about InCHIP.

As the news about CHIP becoming InCHIP is late-breaking for this edition of our e-newsletter, the CHIP name and logo are still used throughout the rest of the newsletter, but our next edition will have a new InCHIP design.

Earlier during the fall semester, Biosensor Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, or BioCHIP as it is known, became a new center within InCHIP, joining the Rudd Center and soon, others. BioCHIP is the first academic center of its kind worldwide, bringing together a diverse range of UConn scientists for the development and application of biosensor-based e-health technologies. Under the direction of its Principal Investigator, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Diane Burgess, BioCHIP first will focus on the prevention and treatment of obesity and related conditions through bio-behavioral intervention packages pairing new metabolic and vital sign sensors with behavioral interventions. At the heart of BioCHIP is a fully implantable sensor developed by InCHIP Principal Investigator (PI) Professor Burgess and her collaborators, Chemistry Professor Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and InCHIP Affiliate and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Faquir Jain, to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetics. Their sensor now can measure a host of other metabolic markers and can be paired with an external heart rate monitor being developed by InCHIP Affiliate and Professor and Department Head of Biomedical Engineering Ki Chon. InCHIP behavioral scientists under the direction of InCHIP PIs Kim Gans, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and Amy Gorin, Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences, will work together with the sensor developers to make the 24/7 real-time medical data the sensors provide as useful as possible to future consumers of the e-health technologies and their medical teams, with the ultimate goal of promoting lasting health behavior change.

The Collaboratory on School and Child Health, a new partnership between UConn’s Neag School of Education, Office of Public Engagement and InCHIP, will connect relevant UConn researchers from a range of disciplines and unite them with the shared goals of conducting community-engaged research to inform healthy, safe, supporting and engaging environments for all children and translating their findings into improved policies, processes, and practices. Though a number of UConn researchers already work on these issues separately, the Collaboratory will bring them together under the InCHIP umbrella to focus on fostering health behavior change in children to improve their quality of life and ability to learn. The Collaboratory’s Co-Directors are Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Dean for Research Sandra Chafouleas, an InCHIP PI, and Professor of Nursing and Office of Public Engagement Director E. Carol Polifroni, an InCHIP Affiliate.

In addition to these new collaborations, InCHIP has launched several new joint Dual PI seed grant programs, with the Neag School of Education in the area of school and child health and also with the UConn Schools of Business and Dental Medicine. InCHIP and UConn Health’s Department of Psychiatry also are continuing the joint Dual PI seed grant program we began last year. More details can be found on the Seed Grants and Awards page of CHIP’s website.

At the same time InCHIP expands its reach into new health areas, the Institute will build on its longstanding research strength in HIV/ AIDS and foster even more collaborations and new lines of research in this area with the help of InCHIP PI and Professor of Psychological Sciences Seth Kalichman, Director of the Southeast HIV and AIDS Research and Evaluation (SHARE) project, who will be forming an HIV/ AIDS Research Interest Group at InCHIP. InCHIP already has research interest groups in the areas of cancer, e-health/ m-health, and obesity.

Finally, I recently made two international trips – to Cuba in November and to Jordan, Israel, and Oman in January – with InCHIP researchers interested in starting new health behavior change research collaborations with universities and other collaborators in those parts of the world. I expect to have more details to share about these outreach efforts soon.

Best Regards,

Jeff Fisher

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences

Director, Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP)