In this issue of Oregon Research: 2014 Research Excellence Awards, graduate student awards, new partnerships and more!

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Letter from the Vice President

A Lasting Partnership

Graduate education is an integral component of the UO’s research enterprise. Having assumed the responsibilities previously assigned to Kimberly Andrews Espy, our former vice president for research and innovation and dean of the Graduate School, we would like to take this opportunity to outline how the Office for Research & Innovation and the UO Graduate School will move forward with our partnership.

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Brad Shelton
Interim VP Research & Innovation / Vice Provost Budget & Planning
(541) 346-2090
Andy Berglund
Interim Dean of the Graduate School
(541) 346-8425

Need to Know

Dixon Graduate Innovation Awardees Announced

The Graduate School and the Office for Research & Innovation have announced the six winners of a new fellowship: the Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Innovation Award. The award is designed to support doctoral students who are interested in pursuing innovative experience that will prepare them for careers outside of academia in areas including but not limited to industry, business, and the non-profit and government sectors. The experiences will not only enhance the students’ doctoral studies and career opportunities, but will also enrich University of Oregon academic departments and units by fostering broader connections and engagement of units with agencies, museums, non-profits, companies and national laboratories, said Andy Berglund, interim dean of the Graduate School.

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Awards ceremony highlights UO research excellence

The Office for Research & Innovation hosted a June 10 ceremony at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art celebrating the 2014 Research Excellence Awards. Awards went to faculty in chemistry, English, anthropology and biology for outstanding research activities examining everything from alternative energy to polymers to the intersection of food and culture to the migration of our ancestors. 

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Brad Shelton
Brad Shelton named interim VPRI

Dr. Brad Shelton, Vice Provost for Budget and Planning for the last five years, will serve as Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation. Brad has been with the UO since 1985. He is a Professor of Mathematics who has mentored 12 PhDs during his tenure and served as head of the department from 2001 to 2008. His research areas include noncommutative algebraic geometry, noncommutative ring theory and homological algebra. He remains an active researcher, whose most recent projects are in the theory of Koszul algebras, generalized Koszul algebras and connections between noncommutative rings and combinatorial algebraic topology.

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Andy Berglund named Interim Dean of the Graduate School

Dr. Andy Berglund, Associate Dean of the Graduate School since August 2013, will serve as the Interim Dean of the Graduate School. An active supporter of graduate education, Berglund has mentored more than 20 PhD and master’s students. He continues to run a thriving National Institutes of Health- and foundation-supported research lab with many graduate students who themselves have been successful in receiving external support from the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. Two years ago, Berglund co-led the development of a new track in the biology master’s program for bioinformatics, which combines coursework at the UO with internships in industry, academics, and government.

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Epstein awarded NEH Summer Stipend

Maram Epstein, associate professor of Chinese in the University of Oregon Department of East Asian Languages, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend. The award will support her work on her monograph, “Orthodox Passions: Filial Piety in Eighteenth Century China.”

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Stephanie Majewski selected for DOE national Early Career Award

Stephanie A. Majewski is among 35 scientists chosen to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Energy's Early Career Research Program.

The now five-year-old program is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to select researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. This year's recipients come from 18 universities and 17 of the DOE's national laboratories.

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Two UO graduate students earn prestigious Fulbright awards

Two University of Oregon graduate students have recently been awarded prestigious Fulbright Awards for 2014-15.

Win McLaughlin, a doctoral student in Geological Sciences, will be heading to Kyrgyzstan under a Fulbright Research Award, while Charlie Hankin, a master’s student in Music Performance, will travel to Brazil with a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Fulbright student awards are intended to increase mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange, while serving as a catalyst for long-term leadership development

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3MT Winners
UO Graduate Students take top awards at state-wide Three Minute Thesis Competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Statewide Finals took place this Saturday, May 17 from 3:00 - 5:00 pm at Portland State University's Hoffman Hall. Grace, Win, and Ruth represented UO against the top three presenters from Oregon State University, Oregon Health Science University, and Portland State University.

UO students took home two of the three prizes. Ruth Siboni (biology) was awarded the "Runner Up" and awarded $500, while Grace Aaraj (architecture) won the "People's Choice" award of $500. First place went to Oregon Health Science University's Andrew Fowler (computer science).

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Idea Awards announced for Spring Cycle

The Office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education is pleased to announce Azim Shariff, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Michelle Wood, Professor of Biology, as the recipients of the Idea Awards for the spring 2014 cycle. The awards are designed to stimulate discussion and development of new collaborative research projects that will enhance the UO’s research strengths. Funds are used to encourage collaborative research and engage faculty in projects to facilitate research excellence.

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May Research Award Tallies

Researchers at the University of Oregon were awarded over $11.5 million in research grants and awards during the month of May. To view a list of all the awardees, including the granting organization and the award amount, please visit our May 2014 Awards page.

Upcoming Events

International Sports Science Symposium
Presented by the Bowerman Sports Science Clinic
July 18-21
Big Data Symposium
Aug. 8
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ford Alumni Center

Sleep quality and duration improve cognition in aging populations

Maybe turning to sleep gadgets — wristbands, sound therapy and sleep-monitoring smartphone apps — is a good idea. A new University of Oregon-led study showed middle-aged or older people who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping fewer or more hours.

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UO psychologists track working memory in progress

UO doctoral student David E. Anderson and Edward Awh, a professor of psychology and member of the Institute of Neuroscience, led a team that successfully used EEG electrodes to monitor brain activity as student subjects, in near real time, focused on an object and committed it to memory.

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UO researchers detail fundamentals of visual tracking in the brain

You look in the rearview mirror and watch closely as a speeding car moves into your blind spot. As it re-emerges into view, you are ready. You know where the car should be.

The scenario is a real world example of how your attention to detail â€“ your attentiveness â€“ helps you track objects across the midline of your brain, says UO scientist Edward Vogel, a professor of psychology. He also likens that handoff of an object across brain hemispheres to a relay race, where two runners have to successfully pass a baton.

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UO earthquake expert testifies on need to enhance early warning capability

UO scientist Douglas Toomey told a House oversight panel today that the Pacific Northwest is "in the window" of geologic time for a catastrophic Cascadia-fault earthquake and that an early warning system is needed to save lives and preserve the region's economic infrastructure.

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Parting Shot

Wayne Tschetter, a postdoc in Cris Niell's lab, accepts a $60,000 Pediatric Ophthalmology Career-Starter Research Grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. Tschetter's research project, "Development of Neural Circuits Connecting the Eye to the Brain," examines how neurons in the visual system form connections during development in order to establish proper visual function and how that process is disrupted by pediatric eye disease.
Copyright © 2014 Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI), All rights reserved.

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