2014 Press Releases-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

2014 Press Releases

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

International Research Effort Gives Neuroscientists Better Feeling About Sense of Touch

Our sense of touch is one we often take for granted, until our leg falls asleep and we aren't able to stand, or when we experience acute pain. The sense of touch also has been taken for granted in neuroscience, where it's the sense scientists know the least about. An international group of researchers, including Carnegie Mellon University's Alison Barth, is changing that.  MORE
Thursday, December 18, 2014

Six Carnegie Mellon Faculty Members Elected Fellows of American Physical Society

Six Carnegie Mellon faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). This represents the largest group of APS Fellows Carnegie Mellon has had in a single year. MORE
Friday, November 7, 2014

Media Advisory: Nalo Hopkinson to Present Carnegie Mellon's Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Lecture Nov. 15

Carnegie Mellon University and Parsec, Pittsburgh's premier science fiction and fantasy organization, will host young adult author Nalo Hopkinson as she gives the second lecture in the Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Lecture Series.  MORE
Friday, November 7, 2014

Princeton's Neta Bahcall To Present Bennett-McWilliams Lecture in Cosmology on Nov. 11

Prominent astrophysicist Neta Bahcall, who was the first head of the Hubble Space Telescope's Science Program Selection Office, will present Carnegie Mellon University's third Bennett-McWilliams Lecture in Cosmology at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11. MORE
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mellon College of Science Professors to Discuss 2014 Nobel Prizes on Oct. 20

A panel of experts from Carnegie Mellon's Mellon College of Science will discuss the science behind the 2014 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine, Chemistry and Physics at 5pm, Monday, Oct. 20 in Doherty Hall.   MORE
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh Celebrate 20 Years of Advancing Brain Research Through Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC)

The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) — will celebrate its 20th anniversary Oct. 17-18 with a series of events held on both universities’ Pittsburgh campuses. The CNBC, which now benefits from Carnegie Mellon's BrainHub initiative and the Unversity of Pittsburgh's Brain Institute, integrates Pitt’s strengths in bioengineering, math, psychology, and basic and clinical neuroscience with Carnegie Mellon's strengths in psychology, computer science, biological sciences and statistics to investigate the neural mechanisms that give rise to human cognitive abilities. The center also trains the next generation of neuroscientists through an interdisciplinary graduate and postdoctoral training program and fosters close collaborations between faculty.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pittsburgh Business Leader Henry L. Hillman Provides $5 Million Gift for Carnegie Mellon's New BrainHub(SM) Initiative

Carnegie Mellon University has received a $5 million gift from renowned Pittsburgh philanthropist Henry L. Hillman to stregnthen the university's global brain research intiative, BrainHubSM. MORE
Monday, September 29, 2014

Viral Infection Might Just Be a Phase...Transition

Many double-stranded DNA viruses infect cells by ejecting their genetic information into a host cell. But how does the usually rigid DNA packaged inside a virus' shell flow from the virus to the cell? In two separate studies, Carnegie Mellon University biophysicist Alex Evilevitch has shown that in viruses that infect both bacteria and humans, a phase transition at the temperature of infection allows the DNA to change from a rigid crystalline structure into a fluid-like structure that facilitates infection.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Team Awarded NSF Grant to Combine Biophysical and Statistical Models of Neuronal Computation

Nathan Urban, interim provost and the Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences, and Robert Kass, professor of statistics and machine learning, have received a $930,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to apply biological and statistical neuroscience approaches in order to create a better overall understanding of how neurons encode information.  MORE
Monday, September 22, 2014

Department of Chemistry Student, Alumni Recognized at the 248th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society

A graduate student and two Ph.D. alumni of Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Chemistry were recognized at the 248th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society. MORE
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology Receives $3.1M From DSF Charitable Foundation To Develop Synthetic Nucleic Acids

The DSF Charitable Foundation has given $3.1 million to Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology (CNAST) to enable the multidisciplinary center to apply synthetic chemistry solutions to real-world problems, including the diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease, neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. MORE
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chemistry Graduate Student Named a James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow

Mellon College of Science graduate student Matharishwan Naganbabu was selected by the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a 2014 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow. MORE
Monday, September 15, 2014

Paul Glasserman To Present Carnegie Mellon's Nash Lecture in Quantitative Finance

Paul Glasserman, Columbia University business professor and adviser to the U.S. Treasury's Office of Financial Research, will present Carnegie Mellon University's seventh Nash Distinguished Lecture in Quantitative Finance. His lecture, titled "Systemic Risk and the Risk Management Paradox," will be held at 4:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6 in McConomy Auditorium on Carnegie Mellon's Oakland campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. MORE
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NSF Authorizes Agreement for the Construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has authorized a cooperative agreement with the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which will digitally image the sky for a decade.  The LSST will be built through an NSF and Department of Energy (DOE) partnership. NSF will provide $473M for the telescope, site, data management, education and outreach, and the DOE will provide about $165M for the 3.1 billion pixel camera and related instrumentation. MORE
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Launches Global Brain Research Initiative, Leveraging Strengths in Computation and the Brain Sciences

Coalescing its strengths in computer science, neuroscience, psychology and engineering, Carnegie Mellon University today announced the launch of CMU BrainHubSM, a new initiative focusing on understanding how the structure and activity of the brain give rise to complex behaviors. MORE
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a novel method for creating self-assembled protein/polymer nanostructures that are reminiscent of fibers found in living cells. The work offers a promising new way to fabricate materials for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications.  MORE
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Weighing the Milky Way

A study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by an international group of researchers, including Matthew Walker of Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology, demonstrates a new, more accurate method for measuring the mass of galaxies. Using this method, the researchers have shown that the Milky Way has only about half the mass of its neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. MORE
Friday, July 25, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Physicist Shirley Ho Wins Outstanding Young Researcher Award From International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers

Shirley Ho, assistant professor of physics and a member of the McWilliams Center for Cosmology at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named a co-winner of the 2014 Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers. The Macronix Prize, which is given to young, ethnic Chinese physicists or astronomers working outside of Asia, recognizes Ho for her leadership in large, international collaborations that have resulted in the most precise measurement of cosmic distances and contributed to the understanding of the nature of the expansion history of the universe. MORE
Monday, July 14, 2014

MCS Alumnus and Undergraduate Student to Conduct Research in Germany

A recent Mellon College of Science (MCS) graduate and an MCS undergraduate have landed competitive international research experiences in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) fields through the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, or DAAD for short). MORE
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Physicist Markus Deserno Appointed to the Editorial Board of the Biophysical Journal

Markus Deserno, associate professor of physics, has been appointed to the editorial board of the Biophysical Journal, the leading international journal for original research in molecular, cellular, and systems biophysics. MORE
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Diego Pafundo Receives Grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation

Diego Pafundo, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences, has received a $60,000 Career-Starter Research Grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to investigate a new treatment strategy for amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye.” MORE
Friday, June 20, 2014

Obituary: Carnegie Mellon Alumna and Hall of Fame Inventor Stephanie Kwolek Dies at 90

Kwolek, who earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from CMU in 1946 and an honorary degree from the university in 2001, spent her 40-year career as a research chemist in the Textile Fibers Department at the DuPont Company's Pioneering Research Laboratory. She invented Kevlar®, the essential ingredient in body armor. MORE
Friday, June 13, 2014

John Woolford Named Acting Head of Biological Sciences

John Woolford, professor of biological sciences, has been named acting head of the Department of Biological Sciences. Woolford will take leadership of the department as Nathan Urban, the Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences and current department head, assumes the position of interim provost July 1. MORE
Friday, May 30, 2014

Chemists Identify Key Mechanistic Step in Biosynthesis of Carbapenem Antibiotics

A team of researchers, including Carnegie Mellon University's Yisong Guo, have revealed a key mechanistic step in the biosynthesis of carbapenems, a class of antibiotics used to treat some of the most serious drug-resistant bacterial infections. Understanding the chemical pathways that underlie the natural production of these molecules could help researchers develop new variants of antibiotics. MORE
Thursday, May 15, 2014

International Group of Researchers Shows Emissions From Forests Influence Very First Stage of Cloud Formation

Clouds play a critical role in Earth’s climate. Clouds also are the largest source of uncertainty in present climate models, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Much of the uncertainty surrounding clouds’ effect on climate stems from the complexity of cloud formation. New research from scientists at the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) experiment at CERN, including Carnegie Mellon’s Neil Donahue, sheds light on new-particle formation — the very first step of cloud formation and a critical component of climate models. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mathematical Sciences Student Receives 2014 Judith A. Resnik Award

Shannon Gallagher, who who will graduate this May with a B.S. in mathematical sciences, will receive the Judith A. Resnik Award during commencement weekend. The award honors Carnegie Mellon alumna and space shuttle Challenger astronaut Dr. Judith A. Resnik. MORE
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Robert Swendsen Wins Ashkin Teaching Award

For his unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching undergraduate students, Physics Professor Robert Swendsen has been named the recipient of the Mellon College of Science's Julius Ashkin Teaching Award. MORE
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MCS Students Earn Education and Research Awards

The Mellon College of Science presented its awards for education and research during the college’s annual faculty meeting on Monday, May 5. Winners included Michael Gamalinda, Kelsey Hallinen, Emily Daniels Weiss, Anindita Das and Qin Gao. MORE
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Graduate Students Receive McWilliams Fellowships

Graduate students Anindita (Dia) Das and Qin Gao have been awarded McWilliams Fellowships in recognition of their outstanding creativity, dedication and commitment to carrying out leading-edge research.  MORE
Monday, May 5, 2014

MCS Staff Awards, 2014

On May 1, 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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mathematical Sciences Professor Irene Fonseca Named University Professor

Irene Fonseca, the Mellon College of Science Professor of Mathematics, is one of five professors to receive the elite distinction of University Professor, the highest academic accolade a faculty member can achieve at Carnegie Mellon. The rank of University Professor recognizes a faculty member for representing the intellectual leadership of Carnegie Mellon through their expertise and accomplishments in their respective fields of study. MORE
Monday, April 21, 2014

Marion Oliver Receives University's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Advising

When Marion Oliver (S'72) arrived at Carnegie Mellon as a graduate student in 1967, he probably had no idea that nearly 50 years later he'd be working for the university halfway around the world from Pittsburgh. Oliver, Carnegie Mellon in Qatar's First-Year Student Adviser and teaching professor of mathematical sciences, has been named this year's recipient of the University Advising Award for his contributions that span decades and continents.  MORE
Monday, April 21, 2014

David Spergel To Present Second Bennett-McWilliams Lecture in Cosmology

Recent developments in the field of cosmology have yielded images of the universe in its infancy — when it was a mere 380,000 years old. While these images, formed through observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation, have been able to tell us a great deal about our universe, many key questions remain unanswered. MORE
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Places Second in 2013 Putnam Competition

Carnegie Mellon University has placed second in the Mathematical Association of America's 74th William Lowell Putnam Competition, the premier mathematics contest for undergraduate students. Additionally, Carnegie Mellon had 35 students who scored among the top 10 percent, the second most of any university. MORE
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Computational Biologist Dannie Durand is Recreating Ancient History

Dannie Durand, a computational biologist at Carnegie Mellon University, is using sophisticated sequence analysis and phylogenetic tools to trace the evolutionary trajectory and spore-making machinery of 21st century bacteria to reconstruct what their ancient ancestor’s spore-making proteins might have looked like. MORE
Friday, March 14, 2014

Biological Physicist Carlos Bustamante To Deliver Carnegie Mellon's 2014 Buhl Lecture March 25

Carlos Bustamante, best known for his pivotal work using laser tweezers to measure the forces in DNA, will present Carnegie Mellon University's annual Buhl Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 25 in the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Ave., Oakland. His lecture "Biochemistry and Biophysics One Molecule at a Time: When Less is More," is free and open to the public. MORE
Friday, March 14, 2014

Rachel Mandelbaum Named First Recipient of Falco DeBenedetti Career Development Professorship in Physics

Rachel Mandelbaum, assistant professor of physics and member of the McWilliams Center for Cosmology at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named the first recipient of the Falco DeBenedetti Career Development Professorship in Physics. The professorship, funded by Emma (Falco) DeBenedetti and her family, supports junior faculty in the physics department whose work shows great promise by helping them to further their research.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Neuroscientist Aryn Gittis Receives NARSAD Young Investigator Grant

Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientist Aryn Gittis has been named the recipient of a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. NARSAD Young Investigator grants enable early career scientists to explore new and innovative ideas that have the potential to further the understanding and treatment of brain and behavior disorders. MORE
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chemistry’s Roberto Gil Named Features Editor of the Journal Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry

Roberto Gil, research professor of chemistry and director of the Department of Chemistry’s NMR Facility, has been appointed the features editor of the journal Magnetic Resonance in Chem MORE
Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chemistry Graduate Student Taylor Canady Receives Carnegie Science Award

Chemistry doctoral student Taylor Canady is making sure that young students get to see just how exciting science can be. In recognition for his outreach work, Canady has been named the 2014 recipient of the Carnegie Science Award's University/Post-Secondary Student Award. The awards are given by the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. MORE
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

International Group of Researchers Measure Universe to 1 Percent Accuracy

An international group of researchers, including physicists from Carnegie Mellon University’s McWilliams Center for Cosmology, have made the most precise calibration of the standard ruler that is used to measure the universe. The researchers have used this standard ruler to measure the scale of the universe to an accuracy of 1 percent using galaxies more than six billion light years away. MORE

Jocelyn Duffy
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Amy Pavlak Laird
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