The Vaughnie Lindsay New Investigator Awards are made to tenure-track SIUE faculty members in order to recognize and support individual programs of research or creative activities. These awards recognize faculty members whose research or creative activities have the promise of making significant contributions to their fields of study and to SIUE in general. Please congratulate with us Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt and Dr. Jason (Jake) Williams for their selection as the 2011 (FY 2012) Vaughnie Lindsay New Investigators.
|Dr. Hildebrandt received her Ph.D. with a specialty in Tebeto-Burman languages in 2003 from the University of California Santa Barbara. She continued her work with a postdoctoral research position at the Universität Leipzig, Germany (2003-2005) and a lectureship at the University of Manchester, England (2005-2008) before joining SIUE in 2008. Dr. Hildebrandt's specific interests lie within the field of Sino-Tibetan/Tibeto-Burman tonology, and she has pursued efforts to map the linguistic structures of Himalyan-area languages, particularly those of Manang and Nepal. As a young investigator she has already begun to establish herself as an expert in her field with publications in top peer-reviewed journals and with internal and external funding. Her projects have intercultural and interdisciplinary dimensions with her most recent work touching on areas related to linguistics, anthropology, geography, and cognitive science.
Dr. Hildebrandt's Vaughnie Lindsay project called "Phonation Types and Laryngeal Classes in the Indic Languages" uses phonetic analysis to test phonetic theories as they are applied various languages of the Indian subcontinent. At root, the project considers how the knowledge that people have about the pronunciation of speech sounds is represented in the mind, and at what levels speakers are able to differentiate meaningful sound variation. Hildebrandt will study various sound patterns unique to the languages on the Indian subcontinent, focusing specifically on the "voicing" of certain consonant patterns. The aim is to describe various sound articulation patterns between different Indian languages and to reach an understanding of how these patterns are represented differently in the language and by phonetic theorists. But ultimately, Hildebrandt hopes that her study will allow researchers to consider how different sound variations ultimately affect the way humans perceive and organize concepts.
|Dr. Jason "Jake" Williams joined the SIUE faculty in 2009. Having received his Ph.D. at Miami University in 2005, he also briefly served as the Interim Manager of the Nevada Genomics Core Facility at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and he received a postdoctoral fellowship from 2005-2009 at the same institution. His work to date has included the study of oxidative and environmental stress on the metabolism and other vital functions of insects. Dr. Williams has received considerable recognition for his work as a young investigator, including the President's Research Award from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health.
Williams' Vaughnie Lindsay project, entitled "The effect of exercise induced oxidative stress on muscle mass, ROS production, oxidative capacity," proposes an innovative strategy to study how oxidative stress and intensive exercise can be tied to muscle damage and aging. Using honey bees as a model organism, Dr. Williams explores the link between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other potential negative effects of oxidative stress over the course of an animal's life span. Such a link between metabolically-intensive exercise and the accumulation of muscle damage over time are rare, as is the use of a honey bee as a model organism. According to Williams, honey bees serve as excellent models for this type of study because "they produce the highest mass-specific metabolic rate measured in the animal kingdom during flight." Furthermore, their activity levels and age can be easily measured through colony manipulation, allowing comparison between colony workers (who don't fly) and foragers (who do fly). The study offers a unique chance to link cellular effects of oxidative damage due to repeated activity and/or aging with muscle decline. Furthermore, the study promises to open the door to new understandings about the nature of muscle aging in humans and muscular diseases.