Browsing: Faculty/Staff Highlights

Often referred to as the “Oscars of Invention,” the R&D 100 Awards honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the past year as determined by a panel selected by R&D Magazine. Erik Muller, Principal Investigator in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering at Stony Brook University, leads a collaborative project, “Ultra-compact Diamond X-Ray Monitors,” that has been selected as a finalist for the 2016 R&D 100 Awards. In addition to Muller and his team, the project also includes scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Case Western Reserve University who have developed x-ray detectors based on synthetic diamond that…

The Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) has been awarded a five-year $3M National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant to support graduate students from the departments of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science, Ecology and Evolution, and the schools of Journalism and Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. This unique and interdisciplinary grant is for Science Training & Research to Inform DEcisions (STRIDE). The award will prepare the next generation of scientists working with big data to support complex decision-making. STRIDE is an innovative training program that will provide STEM graduate students with unique interdisciplinary skills to assist, create…

There’s a lot of talk about empathy — but what does it mean to empathize with someone? In common usage, “empathy” means “sympathy” — feeling sadness or sorry for someone. That’s usually what it means in social science research, too. But it shouldn’t. Empathy is a sharing of someone else’s feelings and those can just as well be feelings of pleasure, joy and success. That’s called “empathic joy,” but it’s rarely recognized, let alone researched, in the social sciences. Professor Todd L. Pittinsky of Stony Brook’s Department of Technology & Society and his colleague, R. Matthew Montoya, of the University…

Researchers at Stony Brook University have discovered that dystroglycan, a muscle cell receptor whose dysfunction causes muscular dystrophy, actually has a critical role in brain development. The finding, published in the journal Developmental Cell, may help to explain why a subset of children born with a dysfunction of this muscle receptor, also have neurological problems that can include seizures, intellectual disability, autism and severe learning disabilities. In the newborn brain, one of the critical changes that occurs is that specialized pockets form that serve to house and nurture neural stem cells throughout life in discrete regions termed stem cell niches. Lead…

Tune in Friday, September 16, at Noon In the inaugural episode of CLEAR + VIVID, acclaimed actor Alan Alda, a visiting professor in Stony Brook’s School of Journalism, will interview author Amy Cuddy, an associate professor at Harvard Business School. The conversation will focus on accessing “personal power” to achieve what Cuddy refers to as “presence, the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves.” Cuddy is the New York Times best-selling author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. The web show will air live…

Lori Flores, an assistant professor of history at Stony Brook University, won an ward for Best History Book from the International Latino Book Awards for her first book, Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement (Yale University Press, 2016). The International Latino Book Awards were held on September 8 at California State University Dominguez Hills and featured 257 author and publisher honorees from across the United States and from 16 other countries. In the book, Flores analyzes the struggle for civil and labor rights in California’s Salinas Valley from the 1940s to the present. As she…

Stony Brook researchers Dianna Padilla and Bassem Allam have been awarded funding from NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program and the Northeast Sea Grant Programs to study the effects of ocean acidification on marine life in the Northeast. These studies will will help investigators gain a better understanding of effects of ocean changes on the region’s marine life, helping to preserve endangered species. Burning fossil fuels releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, a part of which is absorbed by the ocean. This increase in carbon dioxide is causing a change in ocean chemistry called ocean acidification. Learning how these changes affect seafood is…

As director of a groundbreaking Simons Foundation grant, Leonardo Rastelli, a professor in the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University, will lead the “Collaboration on the Non-Perturbative Bootstrap,” a four-year, $10M project that includes 14 principal investigators at institutions in the United States, Canada and Europe. Quantum field theory (QFT) is a universal language for theoretical physics, describing phenomena ranging from the Standard Model of particle physics and early universe inflation to phase transitions and superconductivity in terrestrial materials. Physicists understand weakly coupled QFTs, but the challenge for the future…

It sounds like alchemy, but in reality it’s hard science aimed at addressing energy and environmental issues. Researchers from Stony Brook University led by Alexander Orlov have developed a method to produce gold nanoparticles of unprecedented purity and stability. Their discovery highlights the groundbreaking nature of SBU’s collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) as well as scientists at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL). Orlov’s team has produced catalytically active gold nanoparticles in an ultra-high vacuum chamber with temperatures approaching absolute zero. A paper describing the first catalyst ever produced using their new method, called Helium Nanodroplet Deposition (HND), was recently…

The phrase “it looks so good you can almost taste it” turns out to be the real deal, based on the findings of a new study by Stony Brook University researchers. A team led by Alfredo Fontanini, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, explored how the brain processes stimuli predicting taste. They discovered that the gustatory cortex, the part of the brain that mediates the conscious perception of taste, relies on all the senses to anticipate taste. The overall results, published early online in eLife, change the way neuroscientists think about the role of the…

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