10 CAS faculty named inaugural National Strategic Research Institute Fellows

Photo Credit: NSRI Fellows
Wed, 05/19/2021 - 10:27

Ten faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln are among 74 researcher systemwide who have been named National Strategic Research Institute Fellows, established to amplify the university's research contributions to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with national security missions.

NSRI Fellows will contribute their expertise to build multidisciplinary teams that develop solutions for complex problems across the spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNe) threats. They were nominated by campus leaders and NSRI directors.

  • David Berkowitz, chemistry
  • Eric Dodds, chemistry
  • Patrick Dussault, chemistry
  • Rebecca Lai, chemistry
  • Sy-Hwang Liou, physics and astronomy
  • Rupal Mehta, political science
  • Martha Morton, chemistry
  • Mario Scalora, psychology
  • Don Umstadter, physics and astronomy
  • Tyler White, political science

"As a DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center, it is our responsibility to continue to look ahead to the next threat and the next solution," said Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI interim executive director. "NSRI Fellows will bring our institute even closer together with the experts across the university system, so we can continue to deliver on our core competencies and maintain the research and development expertise, capabilities and technology the nation needs today — and will need tomorrow."

Established in 2012, NSRI has conducted and facilitated 124 projects through $180 million of contracts and grants with the university and the federal government. Several of the appointed fellows have led or contributed significant deliverables to these projects that help reach the nation's national security objectives, including leadership and contributions toward developing American forces' next-gen pharmaceutical defenses and oxygenated microbubbles for a life-saving solution to traumatic lung injury.

"We are exceptionally proud of what Nebraska can contribute to the national security of our country," said Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. "This faculty cohort represents a wide range of expertise from some of our leading scholars. The diversity of this group demonstrates the importance of working across disciplines to solve our greatest challenges."

The group is led by Dr. Neal Woollen, NSRI senior research strategy officer.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is a vivid example of how CBRNe threats impact all of society," Woollen said. "It emphasizes the need for broad, inclusive and effective countermeasures to enhance readiness, deny effects, protect service members and society, make society more resilient and deter intentional use. NSRI Fellows are another mechanism NSRI will employ to contribute to these objectives. We have the expertise through the University of Nebraska, and we must continue to find new ways to leverage it."