2007 Press Releases-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

2007 Press Releases

Monday, December 17, 2007

Neuronal Circuits Able To Rewire On the Fly To Sharpen Senses

Researchers from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, have for the first time described a mechanism called "dynamic connectivity," in which neuronal circuits are rewired "on the fly" allowing stimuli to be more keenly sensed. MORE
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Students To Participate In "Nationwide Science Experiment"

Beginning next fall, a group of Carnegie Mellon University students will be among the first freshmen to take a nationwide genomics course in which they will conduct authentic research and possibly impact human health and the environment.      MORE
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Students To Be Honored By ARCS® Foundation at Scholar Awards Dinner

The Pittsburgh chapter of the ARCS® Foundation, Inc. (Achievement Rewards for College Students) will award $70,000 as this year's portion of a $230,000 funding commitment to 14 outstanding American doctoral students majoring in science and engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, seven of whom are receiving the funding for the first year. MORE
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MCS Alumni Ray Baughman and Mia Markey Receive University Alumni Awards

Two MCS alumni will be honored with Alumni Awards. Ray Baughman (S ’64), the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and Director of the NanoTech Institute of the University of Texas at Dallas, will receive a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association. Mia K. Markey (S ’98), assistant professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Biomedical Informatics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, will receive a Recent Alumni Award. MORE
Monday, October 22, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Receives $25 Million Gift for Life Sciences Initiatives

Carnegie Mellon University will receive $25 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the largest private foundation grant in the university's history. The grant will be invested in life sciences initiatives, with a particular focus on research and educating the field's next generation of leaders. MORE
Thursday, October 18, 2007

Richard D. McCullough Receives 2007 Pittsburgh Award from ACS

Richard D. McCullough, Ph.D., vice president of research and professor of chemistry, has been selected to receive the 2007 Pittsburgh Award from the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award, established in 1933, recognizes McCullough's “innovation and research prowess combined with his leadership skills and contributions to the local economy.” MORE
Friday, October 12, 2007

McCarl honored by the Society of Research Administrators International

Sharon McCarl has been named a Distinguished Faculty by the Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International. MORE
Thursday, September 20, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Establishes Ray and Stephanie Lane Center for Computational Biology

Carnegie Mellon University announced today that it has received a $5 million gift from Ray and Stephanie Lane to establish the Ray and Stephanie Lane Center for Computational Biology. The gift will also endow a professorship and provide support for doctoral and post-doctoral training in this field. Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Professor Robert F. Murphy will direct the new center and has been appointed the first Ray and Stephanie Lane Professor of Computational Biology. The chair recognizes Murphy's exceptional leadership in computational biology research, education and administration. MORE
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Scientist Uses Mass Spectrometer To Weigh Heavy Virus Particle, von Willebrand Factor

With unprecedented sensitivity, Carnegie Mellon University's Mark Bier has characterized large viral particles and bulky von Willebrand factors using a novel mass spectrometer. These exciting results may lead to new biological discoveries and represent a step closer to rapid disease diagnosis using mass spectrometry. MORE
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Scientists Investigate Initial Molecular Mechanism That Triggers Neuronal Firing

Carnegie Mellon chemists have solved a decade-long molecular mystery that could eventually help scientists develop drug therapies to treat a variety of disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Using intensive theoretical and computational calculations, Carnegie Mellon researchers have modeled the initial molecular changes that occur when the neurotransmitter glutamate docks with a receptor on a neuron, which sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in the neuron firing an electrical impulse. MORE
Monday, August 20, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Scientists Develop Nanogels That Enable Controlled Delivery of Carbohydrate Drugs

Scientists in Krzysztof Matyjaszewski's laboratory have developed tiny, spherical nanogels that uniformly release encapsulated carbohydrate-based drugs. The scientists created the nanogels using atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), which will ultimately enable the nanogels to deliver more drug directly to the target and to dispense the drug in a time-release manner. MORE
Friday, July 27, 2007

Trying Grad School on for Size

Retail stores offer a great service: you can buy a pair of shoes, for example, take them home, test them out a bit, and — if they don’t suit you — return them. What if you could do the same sort of thing with graduate school? Thirteen undergraduate students from across the country are doing just that this summer at Carnegie Mellon University’s Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute. MORE
Monday, July 23, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Scientists Find Key HIV Protein Makes Cell Membranes Bend More Easily

Carnegie Mellon University scientists have made an important discovery that aids the understanding of why HIV enters immune cells with ease. The researchers found that after HIV docks onto a host cell, it dramatically lowers the energy required for a cell membrane to bend, making it easier for the virus to infect immune cells. The finding, in press in Biophysical Journal, will provide vital data to conduct future computer simulations of HIV dynamics to help further drug discovery and prevent deadly infections. MORE
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Appoints Fred Gilman Acting Dean of Its Mellon College of Science

Carnegie Mellon University has appointed Fred Gilman acting dean of its Mellon College of Science (MCS), effective Sept. 1. Gilman, the Buhl Professor of Theoretical Physics and head of the Physics Department, succeeds Rick McCullough, who was recently appointed vice president of research at the university. MORE
Friday, July 6, 2007

Rick McCullough Named Carnegie Mellon's VP of Research

Rick McCullough, dean of the Mellon College of Science (MCS), has been named as Carnegie Mellon University’s new vice president of research. In this new senior leadership position, McCullough will nurture interdisciplinary research initiatives and oversee sponsored research, technology commercialization and a number of cross-college research centers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Leads International Team in Conducting Most Detailed Cosmological Simulation to Date

By incorporating the physics of black holes into a highly sophisticated model running on a powerful supercomputing system, an international team of scientists has produced an unprecedented simulation of cosmic evolution that verifies and deepens our understanding of relationships between black holes and the galaxies in which they reside. MORE
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Advance Organic Semiconductor Processing

Any machinist will tell you that a little grease goes a long way toward making a tool work better. And that may soon hold true for plastic electronics as well.   Carnegie Mellon University chemists have found that grease can make some innovative plastics vastly better electrical conductors. This discovery, published June 25 in Advanced Materials, outlines a chemical process that could become widely adopted to produce the next generation of tiny switches for transistors in radio frequency identification tags, flexible screen displays, and debit or key cards. MORE
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Membrane Curves Make the Difference in Capturing Proteins

To go about its work, a cell constantly remodels its fluid membranes. Ultimately, a cell membrane somehow curves and proteins coalesce into pockets that separate from the main membrane. But elaborating the dynamics of vesiculation has proven vexing until now, according to Markus Deserno, a molecular biophysicist with the Max Plank Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany who is joining the Physics Department at Carnegie Mellon University this fall. MORE
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fred Gilman co-organized a conference on high energy particle physics in Beijing, China

Fred Gilman, Head of the Department of Physics, was co-organizer with Chen Hesheng, Director of the Instituteof High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, of a conference in Beijing on June 11–12. MORE
Friday, May 11, 2007

MCS Staff Awards, 2007

On April 19, faculty, staff and administrators gathered in the Mellon Institute to honor MCS staff members for their dedication and service to the Mellon College of Science. MORE
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Students Earn Education and Research Awards

The Mellon College of Science’s (MCS) awards for education and research were presented during the college’s Annual Faculty Meeting on April 30. Winners included Andrea Benvin, Rafael Porto, Matthew Szudzik and Claire Tomesch. MORE
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Schwartz, Urban Awarded Eberly Career Development Professorships in Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon University assistant professors Russell Schwartz and Nathan Urban have received Eberly Family Career Development Professorships in Biological Sciences. The Eberly family's philanthropy has supported Carnegie Mellon and other colleges and universities through scholarships, professorships and other educational initiatives. MORE
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bayer Foundation Awards Graduate Student Fellowships In Chemistry, Chemical Engineering to Carnegie Mellon

The chemistry and chemical engineering departments at Carnegie Mellon University have received $725,000 from the Bayer Foundation to continue the successful Bayer Graduate Fellows Program. The graduate fellowships will support two Ph.D. students conducting interdisciplinary research in chemical engineering and chemistry, particularly in the areas of polymer characterization and complex fluids, and one Ph.D. student doing research in solid-state materials.    MORE
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Carnegie Mellon University Scientists Identify Genes Activated During Learning and Memory

Researchers have long recognized that for learning and memory to take place, certain genes must be activated to alter neuron activity inside the brain. Disruptions in normal gene expression within these neurons can lead to alarming consequences, such as seizures and epilepsy. But identifying and cataloging all the genes involved in learning is a daunting task. In the March 13 issue of BMC Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University scientists show how an innovative computational approach can provide a rapid way to identify the likely members of this long sought-after set of genes.   MORE
Monday, April 16, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Research Shows How Sensory-Deprived Brain Compensates

Whiskers provide a mouse with essential information to negotiate a burrow or detect movement that could signal a predator's presence. These stiff hairs relay sensory input to the brain, which shapes neuronal activity. In a first, studies of this system by Carnegie Mellon scientists show just how well a mouse brain can compensate when limited to sensing the world through one whisker. Published April 4 in the Journal of Neuroscience, the results should help shape future studies of sensory deprivation that results from stroke or traumatic brain injury, say the authors.  MORE
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Alumnus Bruce McWilliams Establishes Graduate Student Fellowship

Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Bruce McWilliams, chairman, president and CEO of Tessera Technologies; and his wife, Astrid McWilliams, have given the Mellon College of Science (MCS) more than $1 million to establish an endowed fund for the Astrid and Bruce McWilliams Fellowship in the Mellon College of Science. The fellowship will support MCS graduate students conducting leading-edge research in emerging fields such as nanotechnology, biophysics and cosmology. MORE
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Nobel Laureate To Discuss "Future of Physics" In Carnegie Mellon's Buhl Lecture, April 26

David Gross, a leading theoretical physicist who won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, will deliver the annual Buhl Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. Gross will give his talk, "The Future of Physics," at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 26 at the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Oakland. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception in the Mellon Institute lobby. MORE
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Iron Man: ACS Honors Chemistry Professor Eckard Münck

Eckard Münck, professor of chemistry, has received the 2007 Alfred Bader Award, the highest award in bioinorganic and bioorganic chemistry given by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Münck will receive the award at ACS’s National Meeting later this month in Chicago. MORE
Monday, March 19, 2007

John Mackey, Stuart Staley and Jonathan Minden Receive the Mellon College of Science’s Awards for Education

John Mackey, Stuart Staley and Jonathan Minden — the winners of The Mellon College of Science’s awards for education — will be recognized at the University Celebration of Teaching ceremony on April 5. Their accomplishments will be further celebrated at the Mellon College of Science (MCS) annual meeting on April 30. MORE
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chemistry Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski Receives the first Herman F. Mark Senior Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society

Polymer chemist Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has received the first Herman F. Mark Senior Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Matyjaszewski, the J.C. Warner Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, received the award in recognition of his excellence in basic and applied research and leadership in polymer science. MORE
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chemistry Professor Terry Collins Receives Distinguished Alumni Award From his Alma Mater, The University of Auckland

Terry Collins, Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, The University of Auckland. The annual awards honor alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions, to their communities and to the nation. Collins is noted for his scientific contributions to green chemistry, his dedication to education and his public advocacy for use of green chemistry to achieve a sustainable civilization. MORE
Monday, March 12, 2007

Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh Receive Training Grants From National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have received three grants totaling more than $7 million from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Science Foundation to support programs that train undergraduate and graduate students in basic neuroscience, computational neuroscience, multimodal neuroimaging and other interdisciplinary endeavors. The programs will be offered through the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), which is jointly run by the universities.   MORE
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Down with Physics: Giant CMS Magnet Goes Underground at CERN

Scientists from Carnegie Mellon and 38 countries around the world have announced that the heaviest piece of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) particle detector has successfully completed the 10-hour journey into its experimental cavern 100 meters underground in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. MORE
Monday, March 5, 2007

Award-Winning Author, Scientist Jared Diamond To Receive Carnegie Mellon's Dickson Prize

Carnegie Mellon University will award its annual Dickson Prize in Science to Jared Diamond, scientist and best-selling author of "Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed." Diamond will give the Dickson Prize Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 26 in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center on the Carnegie Mellon campus.  
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Urge Regulators To Rethink Strategies for Controlling Soot Emissions

Carnegie Mellon University researchers say government officials need to adopt new ways of measuring and regulating the fine particles of smoke and soot so endemic to serious health problems and the global warming crisis. In a March 2 article published in the journal Science, professors Allen L. Robinson and Neil M. Donahue report a new conceptual model for how microscopic particles behave in the atmosphere that raises new questions about current regulations.
Monday, January 29, 2007

Carnegie Mellon Receives $2.1 Million For Center for Nonlinear Analysis

The Center for Nonlinear Analysis (CNA) at Carnegie Mellon University has received a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to renew its research to identify and address cutting-edge mathematical questions in diverse fields.  
Friday, January 26, 2007

DNA Gets New Twist: Carnegie Mellon Scientists Develop Unique "DNA Nanotags"

Carnegie Mellon University scientists have married bright fluorescent dye molecules with DNA nanostructure templates to make nanosized fluorescent labels that hold considerable promise for studying fundamental chemical and biochemical reactions in single molecules or cells. The work, published online Jan. 26 in The Journal of the American Chemical Society, improves the sensitivity for fluorescence-based imaging and medical diagnostics. MORE
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Theoretical Physicists Develop Test for String Theory

For decades, many scientists have criticized string theory, pointing out that it does not make predictions by which it can be tested. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University; the University of California, San Diego; and The University of Texas at Austin have developed a test of string theory. Their test, described in the Jan. 26 Physical Review Letters, involves measurements of how elusive high-energy particles scatter during particle collisions. Most physicists believe that collisions will be observable at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is set to turn on later this year at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, commonly known as CERN. 
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Carnegie Mellon University Hosts Series of Environmental Talks

Carnegie Mellon University will host a series of speakers this spring who will explore how toxic chemicals impact the environment and human health. "Endocrine Disruption: Extending Rachel Carson's Legacy," part of the University Lecture Series and the Distinguished Lecture Series in Environmental Science, will feature three separate talks on the powerful ways that small molecules called endocrine disruptors interfere with normal development in the reproductive, neurological and immune systems of animals and humans. MORE
Monday, January 8, 2007

Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh Launch Joint Doctoral Program in Structural Biology and Biophysics

Since its completion in 2003, the Human Genome Project has resulted in the discovery of myriad new proteins and pathways, creating a pressing need for researchers who are able to decipher the structure and function of these vitally important molecules. To meet the demand for this new scientific work force, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh are launching a joint doctoral degree program in structural biology and biophysics.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Genetics Society of America has bestowed its first “Excellence in Education Award” to Elizabeth Jones, Head of Biological Sciences

The Genetics Society of America (GSA) has bestowed its first “Excellence in Education Award” to Elizabeth Jones, Head of Biological Sciences, University Professor and Dr. Frederick A Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences. The award recognizes “individuals who have had a significant impact on genetics education from kindergarten to post-graduate level.” MORE

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