NSF grants to boost homeland security research

May 28, 2002

A series of new grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support research related to the terrorism and anthrax incidents of Fall 2001 and will contribute to homeland security objectives.

The university-based teams will use the federal funds for research in areas such as detection and decontamination of biological or chemical warfare agents, cybersecurity, and continuing social responses to September 11.

See a sampling of the new grants below. For more information on these grants, and for a more complete list of related NSF grants, see: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/media/01/nsf_response.htm


Marc Parlange of Johns Hopkins University, Md., will measure emissions and transport of particles from the World Trade Center site in order to forecast aerial paths for particle transport.

Roxane Silver of the University of California-Irvine will explore how people learned to cope with the attacks and how mental health professionals may use this information.

Peter Bearman of Columbia University, N.Y., will interview New York residents to learn how their oral histories contribute to a common understanding of the World Trade Center tragedy.


Omowunmi Sadik of the State University of New York-Binghamton will use gas chromatography and polymer sensors ("electronic noses") to identify chemical warfare agents.

Terrence Collins of Carnegie Mellon University, Penn., will explore the use of activated hydrogen peroxide to destroy chemical and biological warfare agents on contaminated surfaces.

Mirat Gurol of San Diego State University, Calif., will develop guidelines to use ozone as an alternative to toxic chemicals to decontaminate spaces contaminated with anthrax.

Ernest Blatchley of Purdue University, Ind., will examine disinfectants such as ultraviolet and gamma irradiation for decontaminating anthrax from objects in closed spaces.

Patrick Dennis of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston will attempt to find inhibitors of "anthrax lethal factor" (a lethal toxin produced by anthrax bacteria and responsible for inhalational anthrax fatalities), which can help develop novel anthrax drugs.

Curtis Olsen of the University of Massachusetts at Boston will investigate the environmental impact of 9/11 by studying the chemistry and mineralogy of sediments of New York Harbor.


Marjory Blumenthal of the National Academy of Sciences will review trends in cyber security research and identify problems that need to be addressed in the national cyber security research agenda.
For more information contact: Amber Jones or Bill Harms, (703) 292-8070/aljones@nsf.gov or wharms@nsf.gov

National Science Foundation
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