Browsing: Faculty/Student Spotlights

For biology major Aaron Kuang ’18, undergraduate research is a “completely different beast than taking classes.” “What I’ve gained is definitely something that I would never have accomplished or learned if I stayed with lectures and introductory biology labs only,” Kuang said. Kuang has spent many hours over the last year doing research in the spinal cord injury translational lab of Dr. Prithvi Shah. Although he was very active in this laboratory’s experiments throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, and has been immersed in research full time this summer, Aaron clearly remembers being daunted by the prospect of starting undergrad research, wondering…

Three Stony Brook science professors delivered a powerful message to Capitol Hill at a public forum on water quality last month. Professors Jeffrey Levinton, Joseph Warren and Michael Frisk journeyed to Washington, DC in conjunction with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a Beacon, New York-based grassroots organization founded by Pete Seeger. These advocates for environmental action conveyed a “cargo of concern” consisting of municipal resolutions, petitions and personal messages from residents and communities between the Hudson Valley and Washington DC to decision makers in support of fair and equal environmental policies and projections based on science. The action was symbolic of a…

Genetics PhD candidate Alex Bott is ready to take his place in the front ranks of the fight against cancer, and he has the grants to prove it. This past year, Bott was recognized with two prestigious and highly competitive awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the F31 (Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award) and the newly-established F99/K00 — the Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award, which is designed to encourage and retain outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated potential to pursue careers as independent cancer researchers. Bott’s research focuses on Myc, a regulator gene amplified in a wide range of cancers, particularly breast cancer.…

Biomedical Engineering PhD student Michael Salerno was awarded the 2017-2018 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship, which is a grant offered by the French Embassy in the U.S. to support outstanding PhD students from American universities to conduct research in France. As part of the fellowship, Salerno will receive support to go to France for nine months on a joint project, “Integrating Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Ultrasound (fUS) in the Behaving Rat,” to study the relationships between blood flow and neurochemistry during various behaviors. “Mike’s breakthrough research aims to advance a new imaging modality that combines the sensitivity of PET imaging with the…

Stony Brook Linguistics PhD candidate Paola Cepeda has been recognized with a 2017 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship for her thesis research entitled “Negation and Time. Against expletive negation in temporal clauses.” Cepeda is an international student from Peru. Scholars previously thought that this type of negation, which is present in a variety of natural languages, had no meaning (e.g., a speaker saying, “I missed not seeing you last summer” when he/she actually missed was “seeing you” and not “not seeing you”). Cepeda’s groundbreaking research suggests otherwise. In addition to addressing an open question in her…

Department of Art Professor Nobuho Nagasawa recently received the New York City Public Design Commission’s highest honor at the 34th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, held at City Hall. Professor Nagasawa was honored for her permanent public art “Luminescence,” the installation of which is currently in progress at the newly developed Peninsula, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park on the East River in Queens, New York. Designed to enhance a new public waterfront park situated on approximately 30 acres of prime East River property in Long Island City, “Luminescence” consists of seven sculptures that emulate the seven phases of the moon. Each moon sculpture is cast in white…

Omar Naimi ’17 thinks of himself as “absurdly ambitious.” As a child, he wanted to become President of the United States. But as he grew older and learned about the complications inherent in politics, he traded that dream for a new one: becoming an architect. Then in high school he became obsessed with the microscopic complexities of cells and their components, atoms. He realized that big dreams could involve the smallest building blocks and processes known to mankind. “I went from wanting my name on a skyscraper to wanting to have a protein named after me,” said Queens native Omar, a…

Andrew Flescher, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, has been appointed to serve on the national ethics committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the country’s non-profit organization that manages the nationwide organ procurement and transplant program. His three-year term will begin July 1st. Responsibilities of membership on the national ethics committee include support and advancement of the key goals of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), deliberating the many ethic issues related to organ procurement and allocation; as well as making recommendations for transplantation policy and laws. Dr.…

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has named Professor Nicole S. Sampson to the 2017 class of ACS Fellows, which includes scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and have made important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society. Research in the Sampson laboratory focuses on understanding the relationship between protein structure and protein function and synthesizing chemical tools to probe and control biological function. Work is ongoing in the areas of AROMP, cancer metastasis, lipid-protein interactions, mammalian fertilization and tuberculosis steroid metabolism. Sampson and the other 2017 ACS Fellows will be recognized at a ceremony and reception on August 21,…

Christine Vachon, film producer and director of Stony Brook University and Killer Film’s MFA in Film program, spoke about the tectonic changes in the industry and what the future holds in a June 16, 2017 feature story in Filmmaker Magazine. The article delves into how the traditional film industry is in a period of great transformation and asks arts educators, “What should a film school look like at a time of disruption, and how should a film school respond to that change?” From the magazine: Producer Christine Vachon, who is also director of Stony Brook and Killer Film’s MFA in…

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