Harry C. Kelly Memorial Fund Recent Projects

2018 Funded Project

“Sustainability at and Beyond NCSU: US-Japan Partnership – How to Accelerate the Use and Industrialization of Nanomaterials from Forest Biomass as Replacement of Fossil-based Materials?”

Dr. Nathalie Lavoine
NCSU College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Biomaterials

Buildings account for 40% of the total US energy consumption. The most simple and cheapest way to contribute to their energy efficiency consists in improving their thermal insulation by developing “green,” inexpensive, advanced functional materials as insulation panels. Conventional insulation materials such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) or phenolic foams (PF) have good insulation performances. However, these commercialized insulation materials are commonly made from fossil-based polymers or using toxic chemicals, and their ability to be recycled or combusted is a problem that causes significant environmental concerns. Greener insulation alternatives exist such as hemp, flax, or cellulose foams, but these materials have rather low insulation performances, a high density (i.e. a thicker material is needed for better insulation), and are sensitive to moisture and/or fungi. With growing attention towards energy and environmental issues, the market for eco-friendly, local and sustainable insulation materials, characterized by improved insulation performance and low embodied energy, as well as competitive sound insulation and fire retardancy, is rapidly growing.
To address these challenges, my research focuses on exploiting lignocellulosic biomass, for the
development of renewable, low-cost, and high value-added thermal insulating foams, with scale-up potential.
A grant from the Harry C. Kelly Memorial Fund has greatly assisted me with costs related to traveling to Japan and collaborating with complementary organizations that are at the cutting-edge of this field of study. I’d like to thank the Office of Global Engagement and the NC Japan Center for this support.

2017 Funded Project

“Novel Heavy-ion Radiation Treatment vs. Traditional Photon Radiation for Treatment of the Most Devastating Oral Cancer in Cats.”

Dr. Hiroto Yoshikawa
NCSU Veterinary Medicine, Radiation Oncology Unit

Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (FOSCC) is one of the most devastating diseases in veterinary medicine. Treatment outcomes after aggressive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these are still frustratingly poor, mainly due to local tumor recurrence. Radiation therapy with photons or electrons has been used to palliate clinical signs but is almost never able to extend survival rates.
Heavy ion radiation, especially heavy metal radiation such as carbon ion and iron ion radiation, is known to damage cancer cells much more efficiently in comparison to traditional photon or electron radiation. This therapy has been used for clinical and research purposes in a limited number of countries, but is not yet available in the U.S. Therefore, my preliminary research, supported by the Harry C. Kelly Memorial Fund under the Office of Global Engagement and the NC Japan Center, is designed to evaluate radiobiological responses of several cell lines of FOSCC in response to different types of radiation; specifically, photon and carbon ion radiation. We hope that this study helps us in ultimately improving treatment outcomes of cats with this devastating cancer by potentially giving us more treatment options, such as a combination, multimodality treatment regimen.