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sciences Accomplishments

Apr 20, 2018
In January, Jichun Li, (Mathematics), was appointed as one of the managing editors for the journal Computers & Mathematics with Applications, one of the important international journals on computational mathematics. He has been serving on the editorial board since January 2012.

Apr 19, 2018
Nora Caberoy (Life Sciences) and Francisco Sy (Community Health Sciences) gave their research presentations at the 38th Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering Annual Meeting and Symposium public health session at the University of Arizona earlier this month. Caberoy presented her research "Lessons from the Eye: Can We Redirect the Cellular Eating Process to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?" Dr. Sy presented " An Assessment of Filipino American Health in the Greater Las Vegas Area: A Pilot Study".  

Apr 18, 2018
Andrea Darby (Life Sciences) recently won first prize in the Science Slam competition at the 59th Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Philadelphia. The title of her spoken word piece was "Pet Project." She is an undergraduate student in her senior year.

Apr 18, 2018
Jun Yong Kang and Hai Huang (both Chemistry and Biochemistry), as well as computational study collaborators at the University of Colorado, Denver, published a research article, "Direct Aryloxylation/Alkyloxylation of Dialkyl Phosphonates for the Synthesis of Mixed Phosphonates," in Angewandte Chemie. This research demonstrates a new synthetic transformation of dialkylphosphonates to mixed phosphonates under mild reaction conditions. The mixed phosphonates are prevalent in pharmaceuticals and bioactive small molecules such as antibacterial, ligand prodrug, and enzyme inhibitors. This synthetic method avoids the use of toxic metals, hazardous chloride reagents, and moisture sensitive chloride intermediates for the synthesis of biologically important mixed phosphonate compounds.

Apr 17, 2018
Boo Shan Tseng and Sophia Araujo Hernandez (both Life Sciences), as well as collaborators at the University of Washington and the University of Calgary, published a research article, "A Biofilm Matrix-Associated Protease Inhibitor Protects Pseudomonas Aeruginosa from Proteolytic Attack", in the high-impact journal mBio. The work shows that when bacteria grow in communities called biofilms, the material holding the bacteria together retains a specific extracellular protein. This protein protects the biofilm bacteria from a bactericidal enzyme that is commonly produced by the immune system during infection, representing yet another way biofilm bacteria, which are a common cause of chronic and hospital-acquired infections, can increase their tolerance against the immune response. Hernandez is one of Tseng's undergraduate students.

Apr 9, 2018
Jichun Li (Math) and collaborators published a paper "Mathematical Analysis and Finite Element Time Domain Simulation of Arbitrary Star-Shaped Electromagnetic Cloaks" in the top-tier journal SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis in January. In March, he published a paper "Regularity Analysis of Metamaterial Maxwell’s Equations with Random Coefficients and Initial Conditions" in the highly ranked journal "Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering".      

Apr 6, 2018
Kelly Ai-Sun Tseng (Life Sciences) was awarded a $224,250 grant from the Nevada INBRE: IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her research project "Building a Molecular Blueprint for Productive Eye Repair" aims to identify genes and signals that induce eye regeneration. Research studies in the Tseng lab seek to identify the mechanisms that enable animals to regrow organs and tissues with the goal of applying this knowledge toward developing regenerative therapeutics. Their recent publication was featured on Xenbase, the international research community resource for Xenopus research funded by the National Institutes of Health.  

Apr 4, 2018
Helen Wing (Life Sciences) and a group that included 16 members of her research team (seven undergraduate students, six graduate students, two technicians and one post-doctoral fellow) published a paper, "Insights into Transcriptional Silencing and Anti‐Silencing in Shigella flexneri: a Detailed Molecular Analysis of the icsP Virulence Locus," in the journal Molecular Microbiology.  Often virulence genes in bacterial pathogens are controlled by sets of DNA binding proteins that antagonize each other; one set of proteins silences the gene, while the other functions to remove the silencer. In bacteria, DNA binding sites for these regulatory proteins are usually found close to the genes they regulate. Their work shows that key elements needed for the control of a virulence gene in the human pathogen Shigella are found in remote locations, which is surprising. The study highlights the flexibility of the regulatory elements’ positions with respect to each other, but also demonstrates that if another protein is engineered to bind between the key regulators, the antagonism is blocked. The implications for understanding these commonly found regulatory mechanisms in bacteria are discussed in this paper.  

Mar 30, 2018
Esther Herrera (Urban Affairs) and Kevin McVay (Sciences) presented a poster at the 2018 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region 9 Conference in Santa Rosa, California. It was titled, "You Are Graduating Soon. Now What?" Their presentation focused on graduation being an exciting time for many students; however, it can also be an anxious time for those who feel unprepared for the workforce and their next life chapter. In their second-year seminar advising presentation, the two advisors proactively show students their campus resources and how they can get involved in internship and independent study opportunities. Within this poster session, they displayed the interactive Prezi presentation that advisors use within this course and shared data that demonstrates the importance of engaging with students early in their collegiate careers. A handout was provided for attendees to learn about how they can create a similar presentation within their own advising center. 

Mar 26, 2018
Mira Han (Life Sciences) was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award for her research project, “Using Indel Rate Variation to Understand Evolutionary Constraints on Distances Between Functional Elements in the Genome.” Han will use the five-year, $574,068 award to study how insertion and deletion mutations impact the evolution of distances between functional elements, such as transcription factor binding sites in the genome. These prestigious awards are given to “faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.”