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A&S Second Century Initiative (2CI) Programs

Georgia State University's Second Century Initiative (2CI) aims to bring 100 high-impact faculty to Georgia State within five years. The primary goal of the initiative is to build nationally recognized scholarly strength and critical mass around common research themes in order to enhance Georgia State University's overall excellence, interdisciplinary richness, and competitiveness.

Second Century programs based in Arts and Sciences include the following:

  • Bioinformatics: Bioinformatics research has grown exponentially in the last decade in response to the deluge of data generated by biotechnology advances. The computer science department will bring in an eminent scholar in the area to bring national and international recognition to GSU in the field. Contact: Yi Pan, chair, Department of Computer Science.
  • Chinese Studies: The College of Arts and Sciences and the Robinson College of Business have established an inter-college research cluster in Chinese Studies. The program involves Chinese language studies,  Chinese politics and relationships between politics and economics, and Chinese business. Contact: Gayle Nelson, professor, Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL; Coordinator of International Programs, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Diagnostics and Therapeutics: The departments of chemistry and biology are collaborating on a Diagnostics and Therapeutics research cluster. The program will focus on probe development, biomarkers and sensors. This initiative builds on GSU's extraordinary existing strength in the field of biomedical research. Contacts: Binghe Wang, professor and GRA Eminent Scholar in Drug Discovery, Department of Chemistry; Julia Hilliard, professor and GRA Eminent Scholar in virology, Department of Biology.
  • Obesity Reversal: The Department of Biology, Division of Nutrition (Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions) and the Neuroscience Institute have formed an Obesity Reversal 2CI to study the basic and applied mechanisms that underlie the reversal of obesity to a leaner state. Research, training and course work will emphasize neural and hormonal factors promoting obesity reversal that impact food intake and well as energy expenditure/exercise. Obesity prevalence is on a sharp rise worldwide, and is associated with chronic disease sequellae that are stressing health systems; therefore, specifically trained researchers will be in high demand. A&S Contact: Timothy Bartness, Regents’ Professor, Department of Biology; Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions Contact: Dan Benardot, Professor, Division of Nutrition.
  • Human Neuroimaging: The departments of psychology and neuroscience have established a Human Neuroimaging research cluster focusing on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other neuroimaging paradigms. With the new GSU/GT Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Georgia State has the facilities to become a world-class center for functional neuroimaging. Contact: Tricia King, associate professor, Department of Psychology, and Diana Robins, associate professor, Department of Psychology.
  • Microbial Pathogenesis:  This cluster focuses on the complex interactions between host cells and medically important pathogens, like viruses, or microbial toxins, with an impact on preventing and treating diseases. This cluster also collaborates with the existing Molecular Basis of Disease focus, the Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection, and the Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics. Contact: Margo Brinton, Regents' Professor, Department of Biology.
  • Neuroethics: This cluster focuses on the emerging ethical and legal issues raised by neuroscience, the neuropsychological processes involved in moral cognition and behavior, and the implications of neuroscientific discoveries for moral theory. The faculty involved administer a neuroethics concentration within the university’s existing neuroscience Ph.D. Participating departments include the Department of Philosophy, the Neuroscience Institute, the Department of Psychology and the College of Law. Contact: Eddy Nahmias, associate professor, Department of Philosophy and Neuroscience Institute.
  • Neurogenomics: The Neuroscience Institute, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Biology are collaborating on this program, which will conduct research in an area of neuroscience research that seeks to understand how genes regulate neural circuits and interact with the environment - leading to better insights into disorders like Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and schizophrenia. The faculty and doctoral fellows will both increase understanding in the nervous system's role in social behaviors at the genetic and molecular levels, and will also identify new routes to create therapies for disorders like mental illness.  Contact: Walt Wilczynski, professor and director, Neuroscience Institute.
  • New Media: The Welch School of Art & Design, the School of Music and the departments of communication and English are collaborating on a research cluster centered on new media. The initiative will focus on new media production, interactive media design, digital sound design and digital literacy. Contact: David Cheshier, chair, Department of Communication.
  • Primate Social Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior: This research cluster will complement the longstanding efforts of GSU's Language Research Center (LRC), where studies of primate behavior have increased knowledge of the origins of language and other behaviors. Contact: David Washburn, professor and director. LRC.
  • Stellar Astrophysics and Astroinformatics: GSU's astronomy and computer science programs are joining forces to learn more about stars in their environments using tools such as Georgia State's Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy Array, where new faculty will create high-resolution images of stars, mine large-scale databases, and develop models of stars and their distribution in space. Contact: Hal McAlister, Regents' Professor, Physics and Astronomy.
  • Therapeutics:  Building on an earlier 2CI cluster in diagnostics, this program focuses on drug discovery based on biomarkers or interventions on the cellular or molecular level for human diseases. These diseases include cancer, infection and immune diseases.  Participating departments include the Department of Chemistry, the Neuroscience Institute, and the Department of Biology. The cluster will aid in the success of the current Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics. Contact: Jenny Yang, professor, Department of Chemistry.
  • Trans-cultural Conflict and Violence: In this cluster, led by the departments of Communication, Computer Science, Religious Studies, and English, in cooperation with the Middle East Institute, faculty and doctoral fellows will examine trans-cultural conflict and violence. The initiative will focus on signal and imaging processing, Middle Eastern visual culture, and contemporary violence and religion. Contact: Carol Winkler, professor, Department of Communication; associate dean for humanities.

Additional 2CI Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences participates in the following programs led by other GSU units:

  • Atlanta Census Research Data Center: The Department of Economics, the Institute of Public Health and the Department of Sociology have established a research cluster focusing on health policy, health disparities and risky behaviors in conjunction with the 2011 arrival of the Atlanta Census Research Data Center. The ACRDC is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau and a consortium of area institutions led by Georgia State. This program will be lead by Barry Hirsch, professor, and James Marton, associate professor, both in the Department of Economics. A&S Contact: Erin Ruel, associate professor, Department of Sociology.
  • Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Achievement for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: This cluster focuses on malleable factors leading to improvements in the linguistic and literary skills of deaf and hard of hearing children, as they learn to read and read to learn. The effort is a collaboration of the Educational Psychology and Special Education Departments in the College of Education and the Psychology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences, with support from College of Computing at Georgia Tech.
  • Eliminating Health Disparities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities from Diverse Backgrounds: This program focuses on communication disorders, psychology and public health to address health disparities among individuals with developmental disabilities. This program will be led by Daniel Crimmins, professor of public health.
  • Shaping the Future of Cities: The focus of this program is the design of cities, which includes both their physical footprint and social infrastructure, which is shaped by housing policy, transportation policy, and urban amenities such as green space.