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COVID-19 Research Planning

National Strategic Research Institute appoints 31 UNL researchers as ‘NSRI Fellows’

National Strategic Research Institute

Katelyn Ideus, May 18, 2021

National Strategic Research Institute appoints 31 UNL researchers as ‘NSRI Fellows’

The National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska  has launched NSRI Fellows to amplify the university’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 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 Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) 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.” 

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. “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, 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 Dr. 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.” 


National Strategic Research Institute