UofL to push for national prominence in three rising areas Projects tapped for enhanced funding through 21st Century University Initiative


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Proposals to build or enhance excellence in the areas of big data, metagenomics and social justice will receive up to $2.25 million in funding over the next three years as part of the University of Louisville’s 21st Century University Initiative.

    The proposals, which include nearly every school and college at UofL, were selected after an intense, months-long process that included internal and external review.

    The chosen proposals are:

      • Big Data Analysis in Medicine – developing new models and learning approaches to analyze and integrate multiple data types to aid clinicians in early diagnosis and identification of high-risk patients for human diseases and disorders
      • Program in Metagenomics and Health – identifying potential links between social determinants, microbiome and the prevalence and prognosis of select diseases
    • Cooperative Consortium for Transdisciplinary Social Justice Research – establishing a niche area of excellence in social justice transdisciplinary research while better coordinating the university’s existing research and creative activity in this area


    As part of the 21st Century University Initiative, UofL sought to enhance programs that show potential to address critical or emerging issues of national significance and that will help define the university as a national leader in these fields. Proposals also had to be interdisciplinary; be innovative and socially significant; provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research; and include financial support from the departments in which the proposal originated.

    “We were pleased with the quality and quantity of proposals,” Acting President Neville Pinto said. “These three proposals clearly stood out as emerging areas in which we can play a lead role on a national level. Also important, faculty and students from every corner of the university will have the opportunity to play a role in their success.”

    Each proposal will receive up to $250,000 per year for up to three years. Principal investigators will submit annual reports on the programs, which will be used to assess their development and determine future funding.

    The full reports are available at http://louisville.edu/graduate/news/winning-proposals-from-our-internal-rfp.


    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.