University at Buffalo Assistant Professor Appointed to National Science Foundation Review Panel for Mathematical Biology Program

Published April 23, 2015

Rachael Hageman Blair, PhD, assistant professor in the department of biostatistics at University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, was recently appointed to and served on a grant proposal review panel for National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Mathematical Biology program within the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS).

The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress to promote the progress of science, advance the nation’s health, prosperity and welfare, and to secure the national defense.  The NSF is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities and each year, the approximately 40,000 proposals for research, education and training projects are submitted to NSF for review.
The NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) supports a wide range of projects aimed at developing and exploring the properties and applications of mathematical structures.

Due to her expertise in the area of mathematical modeling, Hageman-Blair was appointed to the eight person grant review panel and was the most junior faculty member selected. As a review panel member, she was tasked with reviewing proposals submitted to the Mathematical Biology program in areas such as genomics, proteomics and networks, and other related areas.

“I was asked to review about eight to ten proposals, prepare written reviews and panel summaries.  I participated in panel discussions that ultimately lead to recommendations for funding,” explains Hageman-Blair.  “It was a humbling experience to see the other side of the process as a reviewer.  A great deal of effort goes into not only the review itself, but also in communicating the review and discussion of the panel to the PI in a sensitive and meaningful way”.

Hageman-Blair’s research interests focus on modeling complex social and biological systems.  She was a 2013 recipient of a NSF DMS grant to develop mathematical models of cancel cell metabolism, a project that embeds probabilistic graphic models of gene networks into traditional deterministic models of cellular metabolism.

The UB School of Public Health and Health Professions offers graduate degree level programs and is the home to five departments; biostatistics, exercise and nutrition sciences, community health and health behavior, rehabilitation science and epidemiology and environmental health. It is one of only a few schools across the country that includes health-related professions as an integral component of the public health educational and research system. The SPHHP is located on the South Campus of University at Buffalo in Kimball Tower.  For more information about the school, visit