Oregon Research & Innovation News — Week of April 4, 2016
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Oregon Research & Innovation News

Week of April 4, 2016


Monthly Award Reports

Researchers at the University of Oregon received 43 new awards totaling $4 million in support of research activities in the months of February and March 2016.

Junior faculty spotlight

UO Psychology professor Brice Kuhl wants to know how we remember and why we forget

Kuhl Lab
The recent New York transplant and self-described "memory geek" shares his love of Oregon, his longtime fascination with memory, and the inspiration he gets from fellow researchers in the Lewis Integrative Science Building.

Featured stories

Recipients of the 2016 Faculty Research Awards announced

Faculty Research Awards
Congratulations to the 21 faculty recipients of the 2016 Faculty Research Awards. The awards program is designed to stimulate faculty research by providing financial support for scholarship, creative projects, and quantitative or qualitative research. The funds may be used to cover research expenses or as a stipend during the summer months.



Rosenberg receives $75,000 NEH award for digital timelines

Jun Li, director of the UO Center for Cyber Security and Privacy
History professor Daniel Rosenberg has been awarded a $75,000 Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for his project "Time Online." The project is an offshoot of his book "Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline" which was published with support from the Oregon Humanities Center. Through interactive digital models, "Time Online" brings old infographics to life in new electronic form.

Li awarded $500,000 to examine attacks on social networks

Jun Li, director of the UO Center for Cyber Security and Privacy
Jun Li, an associate professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and director of the UO Center for Cyber Security and Privacy, was awarded a $507,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for research examining online social network (OSN) fraud and attacks. The collaborative project includes researchers at the University of Arkansas and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and totals $1.2 million in funding.

Herrmann wins NEH Fellowship

Subjects of Gina Herrmann’s research, after their liberation from a Nazi camp
Tití (L) and Neus Catalá (R), two of the subjects of Gina Herrmann’s research, after their liberation from the Nazi Camp at Ravensbruck.

Romance languages professor Gina Herrmann has won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support her work on the book “Voices of the Vanquished: Spanish Republican Women in War and Prison.” The award, which has a success rate of just 7 percent, will allow her to spend the 2017-2018 academic year working on an oral history project focused on Republican women survivors of the Spanish Civil War and the Francois penitentiary system.

Niell receives Young Investigator Award 

UO biology professor Cris Niell
Cristopher Niell, an assistant professor in the University of Oregon’s Department of Biology and the Institute of Neuroscience, recently received a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research. He was one of 47 scientists from across the United States to receive the annual award.

Bayless awarded prestigious ACLS fellowship

UO English professor Martha Bayless
UO English professor Martha Bayless has been awarded a Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for her groundbreaking research on bread and its cultural, sociological and economic impact on Anglo-Saxon England. The fellowship awarded to Bayless and her colleague, Debby Banham from the University of Cambridge, will fund up to $200,000 for their project. The research will eventually be part of a book, “Survival, Civilization, and Salvation: The Origins of Bread Culture in Early England.” The ACLS program provides support to teams of two or more scholars to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project.


UO Portland hosts What is Media? conference April 14-16   

What Is Media banner
The sixth annual “What is . . . ?” conference takes place at the University of Oregon in Portland, April 14-16. Described by organizers as a conference-experience-exhibition, the event includes more than 250 regional, national and international researchers participating in six plenary sessions and more than 45 panels recognizing the increasing plurality of the definitions of media. The event kicks off on Thursday, April 14 with with a roundtable on the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, followed by the 2016 Johnston Lecture featuring New York Times senior journalist, John Markoff, at 5:30 p.m.

Research News

UO receives $10 million gift for life sciences research

Tim and Mary Boyle
Tim Boyle, Columbia Sportswear CEO, and his wife, Mary, have made a $10 million gift that will endow funding for the UO’s aquatic animal care facility, fund the acquisition of state-of-the art instruments and expand facilities dedicated to genomics research.

“Tim and Mary Boyle, through this generous gift, are supporting our scientists to do work that will change the world,” UO President Michael Schill said. “This investment in our future helps fuel our strategic effort to grow our research capabilities and supports the facilities, equipment and resources our faculty members and scientists need."


CTL spearheads three-year agreement with US Virgin Islands

UO College of Education professors meet with US Virgin Islands governor
Two professors in the UO College of Education (COE), Edward Kame’enui (second from left) and Hank Fien (third from left), have spearheaded a three-year agreement with the US Virgin Islands (USVI) to incorporate early intervention and prevention research and the use of implementation science to improve reading performance among elementary-aged students across the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.

A cloud of microbes wafts around every person

Microbial cloud image
The Oregon Public Broadcasting radio show Think Out Loud recently spoke with UO postdoctoral researcher Roxana Hickey about the way our germs float around us and get on everything. In a good way.

Nematode brains offer window into human sleep problems

Nematode movement
A theoretical neuroscience paper that emerged from 14 years of research led by UO biology professor, Shawn Lockery, suggests that neuron firing in foraging roundworms is similar to fragmentation in humans who struggle to sleep. As humans sleep, neurons fire randomly in between brief, alternating states of wakefulness and sleep. Such fragmentation is heightened in sleep disorders.

"There are centers in the human brain stem that promote wakefulness and sleep," Lockery said. "They are coupled just like the system we see in the worms. This involves clusters of neurons that are fighting against each other to be active. We constantly wake up and go back to sleep, but we don't remember it. Sleep is random, just the way the worm's movement is."

SupraSensor could be super tool for precision agriculture

SuprasSensor in field
Preserving the environment and developing agricultural products that do not harm unintended targets are top priorities for many scientists, and environmentalists. A new era of crop management known as precision agriculture focuses on maximizing productivity while minimizing energy use and environmental impacts. The National Science Foundation's Science Nation online magazine features the new sensor by the UO spinout, SupraSensor, as a super tool that gives farmers a more accurate read on fertilizer needs, avoiding waste.

BioBE hosts Microbiome Science Youth Outreach event

Bacterial identification virtual lab
On March 12, the BioBE Center hosted its inaugural Microbiome Science Youth Outreach workshop for 21 middle-school and high-school students and mentors from the Youth Mentoring Program of the Centro Latino Americano (CLA). The workshop featured hands-on activities covering microbiology, bioinformatics and architecture, including observing microbes under the microscope, extracting DNA from strawberries, and analyzing DNA sequences to identify bacteria.

CLA is a multicultural nonprofit organization in Eugene dedicated to the empowerment of the local Latino community The objective of this workshop was to introduce students to indoor microbiome science with the long-term goal of increasing diversity in biology and architecture disciplines.

Oregon Center for Optics broadens focus, changes name

Oregon Center for Optical, Molecular, and Quantum Science (QMQ) researchers
The Oregon Center for Optics is now the Oregon Center for Optical, Molecular, and Quantum Science (OMQ). The name change reflects an expanded focus for the University of Oregon research center, which aims to go beyond optical science and technology and include research and education in optics, spectroscopy, quantum science and other tracks, said Jeffrey Cina, a professor in the UO Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who serves as director of the center.

Parting Shot

Threespine stickleback skull
Side view of a threespine stickleback skull which contains approximately 70 bones. The image was provided by the Kimmel, Lab. A professor emeritus in the Department of Biology and  a member of the UO Institute of Neuroscience (ION), Charles Kimmel studies morphogenesis and evolutionary developmental biology of the skull. The new ION website showcases the research of the highly collaborative ION faculty and the state-of-the-art ION facilities.


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