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The Post Research Groundbreakers: Spotlighting Hatter, Li and Pu for their research work at the U

Research Groundbreakers: Spotlighting Hatter, Li and Pu for their research work at the U

The University of Utah has a rich research history. Thanks to its students, faculty, staff and shareholders, research at the U will only continue to grow, bringing innovations and discoveries to our society.

With this in mind, the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) and Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) are showcasing different researchers to spotlight our university’s studies and potential breakthroughs. Here are some of the U’s Research Groundbreakers.

Dr. Jane Hatter — Musical Women in Visual Culture of Early Sixteenth-Century Italy: Gender, Sexuality, and Knowledge

Dr. Jane Hatter, Associate Professor of Musicology in the School of Music, College of Fine Arts, was awarded a residential fellowship at Villa I Tatti for the 2023/24 academic year. This fellowship has allowed her to relocate to Florence at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies while searching for archival materials for her new book project on visual representation of female musicians in the decades around 1500. Not only did this give her easier access to the museums, libraries, and architectural spaces necessary for pursuing this challenging program of study, it also placed her within the diverse intellectual community of scholars at I Tatti and the resources of Harvard’s Biblioteca Berenson, a collection founded by one of the most important art historians and critics of the early 20th century and dedicated to advancing comprehensive scholarship on the Italian Renaissance.

“In this project I seek to use knowledge of sixteenth-century musical practices to enhance understanding of representations of women musicians, and conversely to use visual culture to increase understanding of female musicality in early sixteenth-century Italy,” said Hatter. “Key to this process is the reunification of images in diverse media—oil paintings, wall and ceiling frescos, and printed engravings or woodcuts—with the repertoire, practices, and soundscapes that would have informed and surrounded their creation and presentation in the early sixteenth century. In placing these aspects of visual culture into the original soundscapes of these women’s lives, I hope to restore and to hear again the echoes of their voices.”

Dr. Ying Li —Awarded S10 Instrumentation Grant from the National Institutes of Health to purchase new Promethion system

The Metabolic Phenotyping Core (MPC) was recently awarded an S10 Instrumentation Grant to purchase a “Promethion Core Mouse Metabolic System” for advanced mouse phenotyping studies. The S10 grant program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds the acquisition of state-of-the-art research equipment to maintain cutting-edge research infrastructure in eligible institutions. Dr. Ying Li, the director of MPC and the grant application author, stated that this equipment will elevate the capabilities of the metabolic research group to a new level.

“Our Metabolic Phenotyping Core serves as a pivotal resource for researchers seeking to characterize intricate metabolic phenotypes across diverse model systems and disease contexts,” said Li. “With its multitude of services that enable a comprehensive understanding of fuel utilization in cultured cells, tissue biopsies, and intact organisms, the core helps investigators unravel the elegant and nuanced complexities of metabolic regulation. The new Promethion system will serve at the heart of the core’s capabilities, which facilitates the precise determination of whole animal energy expenditure.”

Dr. Zhaoxia Pu — Improving Weather Forecasting Through Enhanced Data Assimilation Methods

The Consortium for Advanced Data Assimilation Research (CADRE), a six-institution consortium, was funded with $6.6 million by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve weather forecasting through enhanced data assimilation methods. The CADRE team includes the University of Oklahoma, Colorado State University, Howard University, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Utah. Dr. Zhaoxia Pu, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences, is the principal investigator of the University of Utah for CADRE.

Data assimilation combines observational data sources like satellite, surface, air, and ocean measurements with numerical weather prediction models to generate comprehensive analyses of evolving weather systems. This blending of information better estimates atmospheric states and corrects numerical models in real-time, thus enhancing the prediction of weather extremes such as storm paths, intensities, and precipitation.

“We are pleased that our research efforts have made the University of Utah a part of CADRE. By improving data assimilation techniques, we can help make more accurate weather forecasts. Specifically, CADRE will focus its efforts on advancing the data assimilation components of NOAA’s Unified Forecast System (UFS), a community-based, coupled, comprehensive Earth-system model,” said Pu. “Data assimilation is a comprehensive scientific topic involving various types of data, data science, and numerical modeling strategies. We look forward to interactions and collaborations with the CADRE team, NOAA, and UK institutions.”