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Investigator Spotlights

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Dartmouth researchers were awarded $16.9 million during April, including $9.2 million in new and competing awards. Click here to view the complete list of awards, as reported by the Office of Sponsored Projects. Here, Vox spotlights three investigators and their work.

Kristina Lynch, associate professor of physics and astronomy

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dartmouth Greencube 2 (1-year award)

Kristina Lynch
(Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

What: "GreenCube is a student-run small-spacecraft development project," says Lynch. The group is developing a preliminary version of the infrastructure for a spacecraft (a "cubesat"), which will eventually be launched from sounding rockets or satellites. In the meantime, she says, they use meteorological balloons to fly the payload of scientific instruments across New Hampshire, to altitudes of 30 km.

Student-directed: GreenCube, Lynch notes, allows the students who work in her own Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) to have a project under their own direction. The JPL began supporting GreenCube in 2007. "For this new round of funding," she says, "we will use two GreenCubes to measure gravity waves in the upper atmosphere."

Teamwork: Dartmouth's Robyn Millan, and Tony Mannucci, of JPL, are also part of the GreenCube project. "Parker Fagrelius '08, who led the project last year, now works at JPL," adds Lynch.

Brian Pogue & Keith Paulsen, professors of engineering sciences

 

Brian Pogue
Brian Pogue (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
Keith Paulson
Keith Paulsen (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
National Institutes of Health; Optical Imaging Fused with Tomosynthesis for Improved Breast Cancer Detection (10-Month award)

Goals: "The overall goal of the grant is to create a new clinical prototype imaging system for breast cancer diagnosis using X-ray tomosynthesis," says Pogue, "which is a hybrid between X-rays and near-infrared spectroscopy developed by Hologic Inc." Professor Keith Paulsen is co-investigator.

A better system: Hologic's X-ray tomosynthesis method is already being evaluated for approval by the FDA for imaging dense breast tissue. This grant supports the creation of a prototype that could provide high accuracy in characterizing tumor tissue through the combination of X-rays and near-infrared light imaging.

Teamwork: The project is a joint effort of Dartmouth, Hologic Inc., and X-ray imaging researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Nina Pavcnik, associate professor of economics

Nina Pavcnik
(Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox)
World Bank; Export-Led Growth, Business Registration, and Labor Market Informality: Evidence from Policy Changes in Vietnam (4-month award)

Evidence on Exports: Lack of access to export markets in rich countries is often cited as a constraint on economic growth in poor nations, says Pavcnik, but there is little evidence on the impact new export opportunities have. This study will examine how Vietnamese producers were affected by increased export opportunities following the 2001 U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement.

Detailed Data: Pavcnik will be using nationally representative data for Vietnam that follows individuals, household enterprises, and larger firms over a period of a trade policy change. "It's a unique opportunity to study the importance of the access to export markets for living standards in poor economies," she says.

Collaboration: Pavcnik's main collaborator is Brian McCaig, of the Australian National University. "We also hope to collaborate with the Centre for Analysis and Forecasting in Vietnam to improve the data infrastructure and enable further research," she says.

By KELLY SEAMAN

Last Updated: 1/12/10