The Year in Review: Top 15 Stories of 2015 The Year in Review: Top 15 Stories of 2015 Stony Brook University
Smoke stacks from a research facility

Most cancers caused by external risks

wall from simons center

Stony Brook physicists played key role in science that won Nobel, Breakthrough Prizes


Angelina Jolie to direct Richard Leakey movie

Stony Brook Alumuni

Stony Brook launches Capital Campaign

Stony Brook University's 100,000th baby

100,000th baby delivered at Stony Brook University Hospital

New York Times Profiles Michael Kimmel, Master’s In Masculinity

Masculinity expert Michael Kimmel profiled in New York Times

magnetic resonance imaging of the brain

Side sleeping could help prevent Alzheimer’s

building photo

Capital construction projects mark University growth

HeForShe logo photo

Stony Brook champions U.N. “HeForShe” campaign

Endangered Fish

Endangered fish reproduce by “virgin birth”

Billy Joel

Billy Joel now a Stony Brook alum

Dinosaur bones

Dinosaurs were warm-blooded, new clues show

Jameel Warney

Slam dunk for Stony Brook athletics

Dunia Sibomana

Boy disfigured by chimp attack to receive facial reconstruction

Stone Tool

Stone tools find rewrites prehistory


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Stony Brook Researchers Prove External Risks Cause Most Cancers

Scott Powers, Yusuf Hannun, Song Wu and Wei Zhu. An interdisciplinary team of Stony Brook University researchers, led by Yusuf Hannun, MD, director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, garnered worldwide press coverage for their paper published in Nature that provided quantitative evidence that lifestyle and environmental exposures weigh heavily on the development of most cancers. Their research was inspired by and contradicted an earlier study published in Science, which concluded that most cancers could be attributed to “bad luck.”

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Stony Brook Physicists Contribute To Science that Won The Nobel And Breakthrough Prizes

Brett Viren, Bent Nielsen, Chang Kee Jung, Clark McGrew Physicists at Stony Brook were recognized twice in 2015 as contributors to the science that led to two of the most notable scientific prizes in the world — the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Stony Brook is connected to this groundbreaking research through the Nucleon Decay and Neutrino (NN) physics research group led by SUNY Distinguished Professor Chang Kee Jung. NN team scientists are members of the Super-Kamiokande, K2K and T2K experiments. Stony Brook scientists played key roles in constructing detectors for these experiments, and analyzing atmospheric as well as accelerator-generated neutrino beam data.

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Angelina Jolie To Direct Film On Richard Leakey

Richard Leakey delivering a lecture at Stony Brook University Anthropologist and activist Richard Leakey, chair of the Turkana Basin Institute, will be the subject of a major motion picture to be directed by actress Angelina Jolie. Tentatively titled Africa, it will focus on Leakey’s experiences as chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Services, battling elephant poachers. Jolie’s husband, actor Brad Pitt, reportedly will portray Leakey.

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Stony Brook Launches Capital Campaign

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. with Stony Brook Donors Stony Brook in November launched the public phase of a seven-year, $600M comprehensive campaign. Led by the Stony Brook Foundation, the campaign is the largest in SUNY’s history. Since 2011, more than 30,000 individuals have given a total of $426M, and the Foundation expects to raise the remaining $174M by July 2018.

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Stony Brook University Hospital Marks 100,000th Baby Delivery

Stony Brook's 100,000th baby along with Mom, Dad, sister and Stony Brook Medicine staff Princess Charlotte wasn't the only baby delivery celebrated in 2015. In August, Stony Brook University Hospital honored Luca Michael Picarella — born at 8:09 am on August 17 at 8 lbs., 9 oz., and 20¾ inches in length — along with his parents and big sister. The event also featured a surprise visit from Jeffrey Solomon, who was born during the very first delivery at Stony Brook University Hospital, on May 28, 1980.

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New York Times Profiles Michael Kimmel, Master’s In Masculinity

New York Times Profiles Michael Kimmel, Master’s In Masculinity New York Times reporter Jessica Bennett followed SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology Michael Kimmel into the classroom, attended the Stony Brook International Conference on Masculinities in New York City, and caught up with Kimmel at home. Her reporting culminated in a feature story in the “Sunday Styles” section, highlighting the first-ever master’s degree program in masculinities studies. Kimmel, founder of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook, presents classes in men’s studies, the academic pursuit of what it is to be male in today’s world. The article generated robust social engagement, a dialogue that continued for months following publication.

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Side Sleeping Clears Brain Waste That Contributes To Alzheimer’s Disease

graphic of human side sleeping By using dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, Stony Brook Medicine researchers discovered that lateral, or side sleeping, effectively clears waste from the brain. These wastes are solutes that can build up within the brain and are known contributors to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases. The news went global, leading billions reading to wonder if sleeping on one’s side will help keep our brains healthy.

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Capital Construction Projects Mark University Growth

group photo of ribbon cutting ceremony High-tech academic, research and healthcare facilities that opened or reached major milestones this year include the 70,000-square-foot new Computer Science building and the 6,000-square-foot Institute for Advanced Computational Science. In July, during a “topping off” ceremony, the construction team working on Stony Brook Children’s Hospital installed the final steel beam needed to complete the building framework on the Stony Brook Medicine campus.

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Stony Brook Commits To ‘HeForShe’

HeForShe logo Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, in June announced that Stony Brook would join the UN Women’s HeForShe solidarity movement, which aims to mobilize 1 billion men and boys in support of gender equality. As an IMPACT 10x10x10 champion, Stony Brook is one of 10 universities around the world committed to take bold game-changing action to achieve gender equality within and beyond their institutions.

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Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish Take Reproduction Into Their Own ‘Fins’

Andrew Fields Millions took notice when, for the first time, scientists uncovered that the critically endangered smalltooth sawfish can reproduce without sex in the wild. The process, called parthenogenesis, or “virgin birth,” is believed to happen because smalltooth sawfi sh are so rare that females might sometimes fail to fi nd a male during mating season. It was reported by more than 260 media outlets, and more than 7,800 were buzzing about it on social media.

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Billy Joel Now A Stony Brook Alum

Dr. Stanley with Billy Joel Six-time GRAMMY® Award winner Billy Joel received an honorary Doctor of Music degree at the spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony. The Piano Man — now a Seawolf — joins approximately 150,000 Stony Brook alumni around the globe and received media attention from more than 180 publications worldwide.

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New Clues Show Dinosaurs Were Warm-blooded

Michael D’Emic, PhD Stony Brook paleontologist Michael D’Emic proved that dinosaurs were likely warm-blooded creatures, not cold-blooded or somewhere in-between. By re-assessing massive research previously published in Science, it was discovered that dinosaurs grew as fast as the average living mammal. Nearly 280 media outlets worldwide covered the news, and the buzz continued with nearly 1,700 shares on social media channels.

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Slam Dunk For Stony Brook Athletics

Jameel Warney Seawolves’ basketball star Jameel Warney ’16 records most double-doubles in the NCAA, beating out nearly 5,200 players. He led Division I with 24 doubledoubles, including a career-best consecutive six to end 2014–15.

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Congolese Boy Left Disfigured By Chimp Attack To Receive Facial Reconstruction At Stony Brook

Dunia Sibomana Two years after he was attacked by chimpanzees while playing in his native Congo, 8-year-old Dunia Sibomana is undergoing facial reconstruction at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. The procedure, which aims to restore both lips and repair his face, is so rare it will be documented for a medical journal. The story was reported by Newsday in December, and the first surgery took place on January 11.

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Time To Rewrite The History Books: Stony Brook Team Finds Earliest Stone Tools

Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis With nearly 600 media placements, 1 billion-plus potential readers and 4,800 social media posts, this discovery was heard around the globe. The stone tools, which date back 3.3 million years, were found by a team led by Stony Brook research professors Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis at a site on the western shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. The finding means that human ancestors were making stone tools even earlier than we thought, by about 700,000 years.

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