Author Brian Smith

Seven Stony Brook student researchers earned prestigious fellowships from the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Click here to meet the awardees. The fellowships provide each winner a $34,000 annual stipend for three years plus a $12,000 yearly cost-of-education allowance. The NSF chose 2,000 winners out of more than 13,000 applicants from 449 institutions nationwide. “Stony Brook students, both graduate and undergraduate, have again demonstrated their outstanding potential for cutting-edge research. This year’s seven NSF GRF recipients span a remarkable range of science disciplines, showing the strengths of research activities across the University,” Interim Vice President…

Lea Kenigsberg Major: Mathematics Hometown: Bnei Berak, Israel What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? My interests lie in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Physics. While I don’t know my research focus yet, and what applications it may have, it is my hope that if I can make it through grad school, and afterwards in the academic world, my story can encourage other mothers and nontraditional students or students from disadvantaged backgrounds that attaining and pursuing a career in mathematics is indeed possible. How does it feel to earn this fellowship, and how will this…

Henry Ng Major: Biology Hometown: Hong Kong What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? My current research focuses on studying cell wall glycosylation in Candida albicans using CRISPR/Cas. C. albicans is the most prevalent fungal pathogen and cause dangerous infections in immunocompromised patients. Yet the study of its biology and the development of antifungal treatment has been deterred because of the limitation in technology and complication of its genome. By optimizing the CRISPR/Cas system, the investigation in C. albicans can be immensely accelerated. How does it feel to earn this fellowship, and how will…

Joshua Farr Major: Chemistry Hometown: Worthington, OH What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? My research focus is organic chemistry, which has a high potential for impact because of how adaptable and interdisciplinary it can be it. I currently work in a lab using organic chemistry to create molecules that can be used to study the brain. This has the potential to garner a greater understanding of how the brain works at a fundamental level, which has implications for understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s or depression. How does it feel to earn this fellowship, and…

Laura Perrone Grad program: Clinical Psychology Undergrad: BA in Psychology, Pomona College Hometown: San Jose, CA Advisor: Dr. Kristin Bernard What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? My research focuses on the effects of early adversity on children’s development, psychobiology, and psychological well-being, as well as the role of parenting as a protective factor against negative child outcomes. More specifically, my study proposes to examine the psychobiology of prenatal stress and whether such stress increases infants’ susceptibility to their environments in predicting subsequent psychological and health outcomes. Understanding the mechanisms through which early adversity…

Yugarshi Mondal Grad program: Applied Math Undergrad: BS in Chemistry and Economics, Case Western University Hometown: Palatine, IL Advisor: Allen Tannenbaum What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? An application of geometry to understanding networks — in my case, applied to gene networks. The particular project I proposed for the fellowship had to do with investigating of the geometry of gene networks of patients with mental disabilities towards creating quantitative measures for assessing states of mind. How does it feel to earn this fellowship, and how will this fellowship enhance your research? I think…

Keffy Kehrli Grad program: Genetics Undergrad: BS in Physics and BA in Linguistics, Western Washington University Hometown: Mount Vernon, WA Advisor: Joshua Rest What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? My research focuses on gene expression data, especially RNA-seq data sets. These studies are expensive to carry out and do not always have the statistical power to detect changes in genes that aren’t very highly expressed. By combining a number of different gene expression studies, I hope to have enough power to detect changes in non-coding RNA that is not expressed at high levels,…

Samantha Scibelli Major: Physics Hometown: Burnt Hills, NY What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world? My research focus is in astrophysics, specifically in star formation where I use long-wavelength telescopes to peer into the depths of dense clouds to uncover the origins of stars and planets. Every day science is changing the world! One of the best thing about research is being able to say that you have uncovered something (perhaps a new law of physics) that nobody else has seen before and sharing that with the rest of the world. For me, understanding…

Students joined forces with the University Police Department (UPD) on April 19 to fight false perceptions of cops on campus through healthy competition and hearty barbecue. The event, Field Day with UPD, builds on a Stony Brook tradition that started three semesters ago, when the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) pitched an idea to build a more positive relationship between students and police amid national news involving police and the use of lethal force. “This is an effort for students to meet our officers as individuals outside of their enforcement duties in non-negative situations,” Assistant Chief of Police Eric Olsen said.…

Revolutionizing the quality, quantity and speed of digital research, Stony Brook University became the first higher education institution in New York State to offer a 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) connection to the Internet2 Research Network on March 10, 2017. “This connection supports Stony Brook’s regional leadership position in high-performance computing, while advancing our goal as a top public research university to educate and train future generations of scientists,” said President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. “I’m looking forward to the many new possibilities this connection will offer for interdisciplinary collaboration, an essential element behind the expansion of our expertise and our success…