31 Husker researchers named NSRI Fellows

Thirty-one University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers are part of the inaugural cohort of NSRI Fellows.
May 20, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. —The National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska has launched NSRI Fellows to amplify the university system’s research contributions to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with national security missions.

The inaugural interdisciplinary cohort includes 74 researchers from across the NU system, 31 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Together, NSRI Fellows will contribute their expertise, talent and foresight to build multidisciplinary teams that develop solutions for complex problems across the spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) threats.

“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 retired Maj. Gen. 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.”

The announcement of the faculty fellows program follows last week’s launch of the NSRI Collaborative Biosecurity Laboratory, which will bring together researchers from NSRI and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Researchers from both institutes will collaboratively address agricultural and natural resources security, defense and countermeasures and other issues related to the safety and security of the global food supply. The lab will be housed in the Morrison Life Sciences Research Center on East Campus.

Since it was established in 2012, NSRI has conducted and facilitated 124 projects through $180 million of contracts and grants with NU and the federal government. In September 2020, its UARC status was renewed by its sponsor, U.S. Strategic Command, with a $92 million contract vehicle.

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 at Nebraska. “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.”

NSRI Fellows from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln:

  • Craig Allen, School of Natural Resources
  • Mark Bauer, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • David Berkowitz, Chemistry
  • Justin Bradley, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Ed Cahoon, Biochemistry
  • Carrick Detweiler, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Eric Dodds, Chemistry
  • Brittany Duncan, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Patrick Dussault, Chemistry
  • Tomas Helikar, Biochemistry
  • Terry Howell, Food Science and Technology
  • Scott Johnson, Engineering
  • Rebecca Lai, Chemistry
  • Sy-Hwang Liou, Physics and Astronomy
  • Dustin Loy, Veterinary Medicine, Microbiology
  • Elsbeth Magilton, College of Law
  • Rupal Mehta, Political Science
  • Martha Morton, Chemistry
  • Rod Moxley, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Ben Riggan, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mark Riley, Biological Systems Engineering
  • Mario Scalora, Psychology
  • Daniel Schachtman, Agronomy and Horticulture
  • Mark Svoboda, School of Natural Resources
  • Ben Terry, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • Don Umstadter, Physics and Astronomy
  • Liz VanWormer, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Shari Veil, College of Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Brian Wardlow, School of Natural Resources
  • Tyler White, Political Science
  • Craig Zuhlke, Electrical and Computer Engineering

This is the inaugural class of NSRI Fellows, who were nominated by NU campus leaders and NSRI directors. Nominations can be sent to NSRI from NU and NSRI leadership any time.

NSRI Fellows are led by 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.”

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