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Huge New Astronomy Database Now Available to the Public
Huge New Astronomy Database Now Available to the Public 07 January 2015Penn State University astronomers are among the scientists of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who this week are releasing to the public a massive collection of new information about the universe. "This set of observations is one of the largest astronomical databases ever assembled," remarked Donald Schneider, Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State.
$15 million research grant awarded to Penn State Center for Nanoscience
$15 million research grant awarded to Penn State Center for Nanoscience 12 January 2015The Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), has been awarded a six-year, $15 million grant to continue its research and education program in the development and application of nanoscale materials.
Runze Li Named Verne M. Willaman Professor of Statistics
Runze Li Named Verne M. Willaman Professor of Statistics 13 January 2015Runze Li, Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Penn State University, has been selected as the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Statistics. The appointment, effective on December 1, 2014, is awarded by the Office of the President of the University, based on the recommendation of the Dean of the Eberly College of Science, in recognition of Li's national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching.
New science from Einstein's greatest discovery is the theme of the 2015 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
New science from Einstein's greatest discovery is the theme of the 2015 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science 13 January 2015"100 Years After Einstein's Greatest Discovery: New Science from General Relativity" is the theme of the 2015 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a series of six weekly lectures designed as a free minicourse for the general public. The lectures will take place on Saturday mornings from January 24 to February 28 in 100 Thomas Building from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. on the Penn State University Park campus.
Mathematical approach provides a new step in resolving the mystery of glass
Mathematical approach provides a new step in resolving the mystery of glass 16 January 2015An interdisciplinary team of mathematicians and physicists has developed a new quantitative approach to understanding the mysterious properties of the materials called glasses. The study is described in a paper in the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports on January 16, 2015. The research, led by Leonid Berlyand, professor of mathematics at Penn State University and Valerii Vinokur, Argonne Distinguished Fellow in the Materials Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, enables a breakthrough in the description of the subclass of glasses, known as a “Coulomb glass,” and has wide-ranging application to understanding a variety of glassy systems in nature.
Penn State and Geisinger Announce Establishment of Medical Bioinformatics and Genomics Research Collaborative
Penn State and Geisinger Announce Establishment of Medical Bioinformatics and Genomics Research Collaborative 16 January 2015Marylyn Ritchie, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and director of the Center for Systems Genomics in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State University, will lead a collaborative effort between Penn State and Geisinger Research to connect the genome data of 100,000 anonymous patients with their medical histories, in order to identify the genetic and environmental basis of human disease. This new program was developed to harness the data resources being generated through a large-scale DNA-sequencing project at Geisinger in collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where at least 100,000 Geisinger patients will be sequenced over the next five years. In recognition of Richie's key role in this groundbreaking effort, she was named the founding director of the new Biomedical and Translational Informatics Program of Geisinger Research.
Focus on Research: Research gives new hope for restoring cells in damaged brains and spinal cords
Focus on Research: Research gives new hope for restoring cells in damaged brains and spinal cords 19 January 2015This article, written by Barbara K. Kennedy and featuring the work of Penn State biologist Gong Chen, originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times (CDT) on 17 January 2015 in the "Focus on Research" column, which highlights research projects being conducted at Penn State.
Lin honored with title of Distinguished Professor
Lin honored with title of Distinguished Professor 03 February 2015Dennis Lin, professor of statistics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Statistics. Lin was honored with the title in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Albert honored with title of Distinguished Professor
Albert honored with title of Distinguished Professor 03 February 2015Reka Albert, a professor of physics and biology at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Physics and Biology. Albert was honored with the title in recognition of her exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Maroncelli honored with title of Distinguished Professor
Maroncelli honored with title of Distinguished Professor 03 February 2015Mark Maroncelli, associate head for Undergraduate Education and professor of chemistry at Penn State, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. Maroncelli was honored with the title in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Andrew Read named Eberly Professor in Biotechnology
Andrew Read named Eberly Professor in Biotechnology 09 February 2015Andrew F. Read, Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology, has been named the Eberly Professor in Biotechnology at Penn State. Read is the director of Penn State's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. He perhaps is best known for his research on how natural selection shapes the virulence of malaria and how the "unnatural" selection imposed by medicine shapes the evolution of disease-causing organisms. This evolution causes drugs to fail and can create "super-bugs" that are resistant to pharmaceuticals. Because evolutionary responses to drugs, insecticides, and vaccines are the main causes of problems in preventing and treating infectious diseases, Read's research, which provides an improved understanding of pathogen evolution, can be used to inform public-health decisions.
Lin receives William G. Hunter Award
Lin receives William G. Hunter Award 10 February 2015Dennis Lin, Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the William G. Hunter Award from the Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality. Named in memory of the founding chair of the Statistics Division, the Hunter Award was established to promote and acknowledge outstanding career accomplishments in the broad field of applied statistics.
Dragonfly gut infections suggest environmental role in obesity
Dragonfly gut infections suggest environmental role in obesity 11 February 2015Obesity and diabetes are not just problems of modern-day humans and their domesticated pets. Insects also are affected by these health conditions, and intestinal infections by protozoans are the cause, according to researchers at Penn State. The research suggests that intestinal infections may contribute to metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity, in humans as well.
Complex nerve-cell signaling traced back to common ancestor of humans and sea anemones
Complex nerve-cell signaling traced back to common ancestor of humans and sea anemones 16 February 2015New research shows that a burst of evolutionary innovation in the genes responsible for electrical communication among nerve cells in our brains occurred over 600 million years ago in a common ancestor of humans and the sea anemone. The research, led by Timothy Jegla, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University, shows that many of these genes, which when mutated in humans can lead to neurological disease, first evolved in the common ancestor of people and a group of animals called cnidarians, which includes jellyfish, coral, and sea anemones. A paper describing the research is scheduled to be posted online in the Early Edition (EE) of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America sometime during the week beginning February 16, 2015.
Katriona Shea Appointed Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences
Katriona Shea Appointed Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences 11 March 2015Katriona Shea, professor of biology at Penn State University, has been named the Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences. Shea is an ecologist whose research in applied theoretical ecology involves the application of mathematical and computational methods to guide decision-making in population management, conservation efforts, control of invasive pests, and control of infectious diseases.
Lin honored with 2015 Shewhart Medal from the American Society for Quality
Lin honored with 2015 Shewhart Medal from the American Society for Quality 11 March 2015Dennis Lin, Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the 2015 Shewhart Medal from the American Society for Quality. Each year the Shewhart Medal committee selects a recipient who has demonstrated outstanding technical leadership in the field of modern quality control. Lin was selected for his leadership and innovation in the field of statistical quality improvement; for his collaborations with business, industry, government, and other disciplines; and for his technical contributions to data mining, experimental design, quality engineering, statistical process control, and reliability.
First Successful Lab Breeding of Rare Caribbean Coral Species
First Successful Lab Breeding of Rare Caribbean Coral Species 13 March 2015A rare and threatened Caribbean coral species has been successfully bred and raised in the lab for the first time by a research team whose achievement will be published in the scientific journal BMC Ecology. Penn State University Associate Professor of Biology Mónica Medina is among the three scientists on this research team. Its work provides the first photos and documentation of juveniles of this species, and could provide information to aid the conservation of coral reefs in the study area. The team plans to 'out-plant' these lab-grown juveniles in the wild, which could help populations become more resilient to climate change.
McGinty honored with Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists
McGinty honored with Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists 19 March 2015Robert McGinty, a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Penn State Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Song Tan, has been presented with the Damon Runyon Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists. McGinty is the first Penn State scientist to win this prestigious national career award. The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation selects for this award a group of its postdoctoral fellows who have greatly exceeded expectations and show promise to be leaders in the field of cancer research. The award provides additional funding for innovative cancer research while accelerating the transition of the recipients to an independent research career.
Jeong honored with Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the Association of Korean Physicists in America
Jeong honored with Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the Association of Korean Physicists in America 23 March 2015Donghui Jeong, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics, has been honored with the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the Association of Korean Physicists in America. Given annually since 1994, the award recognizes young Korean physicists working in North America who have the potential for making creative and substantive advances in their subfield of physics and achieving professional success as a physicist. The award was presented during the Forum on International Physics reception at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society in March 2015.
Benkovic research featured as "Paper of the Week" by The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Benkovic research featured as "Paper of the Week" by The Journal of Biological Chemistry 23 March 2015The Journal of Biological Chemistry has featured as its "Paper of the Week" research led by Stephen J. Benkovic, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Chemistry at Penn State University. A podcast interview with Benkovic, Postdoctoral Associate Hong Zhao, and Penn State Assistant Professor of Molecular Toxicology Andrew Patterson explaining the results of the research is available online. The paper, titled " Quantitative Analysis of Purine Nucleotides Indicates That Purinosomes Increase de Novo Purine Biosynthesis," demonstrates that the cellular synthesis of purines -- multifunctional organic compounds that are a building block of DNA, involved in cellular signaling, and a source of energy in cells -- is directly related to the presence of complexes known as purinisomes.

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