Interdisciplinary Clusters Funded in 2012:
Behavioral Political Economy: Behavioral Political Economy studies how individual-level mechanisms, beliefs, and decision-making processes relate to economic decisions. Grounded in the psychology of decision theory and primarily relying on experimentation, it is a bottom-up approach to understanding actual market behavior as opposed to relying on theoretical assumptions of how rational consumers should behave in a global economy. With this new cluster, Stony Brook will become a national leader in behavioral economics, political economy, laboratory experiments, and income inequality. Scientists from the Departments of Political Sciences, Economics, and the College of Business will be part of this cutting-edge, world-class research group, while building on their existing strengths in these areas. This cluster initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Matthew Lebo, Director of Graduate Studies with Stony Brook’s Department of Political Science.
Biomolecular Imaging: Imaging biological molecules at the molecular level is the key step in understanding their function and interactions with other biomolecules, providing a starting point for the design of drugs that bind to a bimolecular target to prevent or treat cancer and infections. With the new faculty who will be hired in the cluster, recent investments in NMR faculities at Stony Brook, and the proximity to the new National Synchrotron Light Souce II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook is poised to become a world leader in imaging of biological materials at the molecular level. Over the next three years, we will recruit five junior faculty whose research interests span a range of imaging modalities, including NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, ultrahigh resolution light microscopy, cryoelectron microscopy, and positron emission tomography coupled with radiotracer synthesis. Academic appointments for cluster faculty will be based on their areas of research, and will be in the Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacological Sciences, and/or Neurobiology and Behavior. This cluster initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Robert Haltiwanger, Professor and Chair of Stony Brook's Department of Biochemistry, and Dr. Peter Tonge, Director of Infectious Disease Research, Director of the Translational Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, and Professor with Stony Brook's Department of Chemistry.
Coastal Zone Management and Engineering: Stony Brook is well-positioned, both by its geographical location and its existing expertise, to develop a first-rank effort in understanding the coastal zone waters and adjacent land ecosystems, to seek innovative technical solutions to looming problems facing our harbors and coasts, as well as to sustaining the modern marine structures vital to renewable energies. The cluster in coastal zone management and engineering creates a synergy between experts in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), the Departments of Ecology and Evolution, Geosciences, and Mechanical Engineering, as well as new programs in Civil Engineering and Sustainability Studies. The focus of this cluster's research will combine finding better ways to solve known problems unique to the coastal zone, while simultaneously studying the underlying scientific and sociological causes. This cluster initiative is spear-headed by Dr. Henry Bokuniewicz, Distinguished Service Professor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences; Dr. Martin Schoonen, Director, Sustainability Studies Program, Department of Geosciences; Dr. R. Lawrence Swanson, Associate Dean and Director, Waste Reduction and Management Institute; and Dr. Harold Walker, Director, Civil Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
JPSI Photon Sciences: The cluster hires in photon science will enhance Stony Brook's leading role in the Joint Photon Science Institute (JPSI), a joint Stony Brook University-Brookhaven National Laboratory initiative in photon sciences that will capitalize on the unique capabiliities of Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Scource II (NSLS-II). Once completed, NSLS-II will be the brightest synchrotron light source in the world and will offer unique possiblilities for the study of structure and properties of materials over a broad spectrum of science disciplines. Scientists in the new cluster-which spans research interests in Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Geoscience, Material Science, and Mineral Physics-will be at the forefront of research in materials design and function, energy, and health/drug design. This cluster initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Lazlo Mihaly, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Dr. John Parise, Distinguished Professor, Department of Geosciences.
Smart Energy: This cluster addresses the broad range of challenges of modern power generation through transmission and distribution, to delivery and consumption. These challenges include issues like networking, cyber security, modeling of power grids, all the way to business and economic aspects of grid systems. This cluster will leverage Stony Brook's existing DoE Smart Grid Demonstration Project (jointly with LIPA and Farmingdale State College), as well as involve the Advanced Energy Center (AERTC), Center for Wireless Information Technology (CEWIT), and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technology and Society, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and the College of Business will be brought together to build a world-class research and development (R&D) program in smart energy technology. At Stony Brook, the R&D results may easily be transitioned to industry through the New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSGC) and Stony Brooks's incubators. This cluster initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Erez Zadok, Associate Professor with Stony Brook's Department of Computer Science.