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sciences Accomplishments

Oct 5, 2018
Mandy Mountain and Dan Thompson (both Life Sciences) earlier this month were awarded the Faculty Award for the UNLV Image of Research for their image entitled Caterpillar of the Endangered Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly Attracting an Ant Mutualist

Sep 25, 2018
Eduardo Robleto (Life Sciences) has been awarded a three-year grant for $428,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study mechanisms of evolution in stressed bacteria. His research team includes international scientists and seeks to understand how microbes, including bacterial pathogens, adapt to inhospitable environments or become resistant to antibiotics. As a LatinX professor, his efforts to promote inclusion and model our different, daring, and diverse institution include mentoring several intersectional students, working to promote student research for undergraduates as well as graduate students, researching knowledge creation in an equity-driven environment, and furthering the School of Life Sciences by procuring more than $3.2 million since 2006 from the NIH and the National Science Foundation to fund research uncovering new mechanisms of evolution.

Sep 25, 2018
Jay Nietling (Physics and Astronomy), Katelyn DiBenedetto (Graduate College), Anabel Chavva (Service Learning & Leadership), Sara Tajalli (Writing Center), Shanna Kinzel (Student Union & Event Services), and Jill Zimbelman (Research and Economic Development) are this year's recipients of the Professional Development Awards. These $500 awards are granted to individuals who would like funding for a professional development endeavor. Six are granted each year and can be used toward numerous professional development opportunities, including: Conference travel Workshops Training Certificates Winners were announced at the annual Administrative Faculty Development Day on Sept. 19.  

Sep 24, 2018
Rebecca Martin and Zhaohuan Zhu (both Physics and Astronomy) are part of a multi-institute research team that was awarded a NASA Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks grant. The grant, "Origin of the giant planet dichotomy: Multi-scale modeling of planetary envelope accretion," is for three years and UNLV will receive $479,000. Other members of the research team are from Stony Brook University; University of Colorado, Boulder; and the University of Arizona. 

Sep 20, 2018
Arya Udry (Geoscience), was awarded two NASA program grants. One is a three-year, $330,540 NASA Solar System Working Program grant titled, "Petrogenesis of Poikilitic Shergottites and Implications for Martian Geochemical Reservoirs." This grant is to study a comprehensive suite of Martian meteorites called the poikilitic shergottites. These meteorites are exceptional because they record the evolution of the magma from the mantle to the surface of Mars. They also provide significant information about geochemical heterogeneities in the Martian interior. The other is a NASA Planetary Major Equipment Program grant for $240,250. The grant is for the acquisition of a new laser ablation system at UNLV. The new equipment will be coupled with assistant professor Shichun Huang’s inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. This instrument will allow them to measure trace elements (<1%) in minerals. Trace elements can be analyzed for many geological purposes; for example, to understand the origin of sedimentary rocks, alteration processes, and magma evolution and sources.    

Sep 18, 2018
Aude Picard (Life Sciences) was awarded a Research Infrastructure Grant of $45,000 from the Nevada Space Grant Consortium for her research project “Evaluating the Impact of Oxidation on Biosignatures Preserved in Minerals”. She will study the composition and physical properties of minerals precipitated in the presence of microorganisms and evaluate how they respond to environmental changes. This work is relevant for the search of microbial life on Mars and other planets.  

Sep 17, 2018
Hui Zhang (Chemistry and Biochemistry) was awarded a new National Institutes of Health R15 grant for $437,202 titled "Regulation of Stem Cell Protein Stability by Novel Ubiquitin Ligases". This grant earned excellent scores to support research in embryonic stem cells. 

Sep 14, 2018
Matthew Lachniet (Geoscience) has been awarded a three-year, $479,099 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project titled, "Collaborative Research:  P2C2--What is the Driver of Orbital-Scale Central American Monsoon Variations? Tests of the Insolation and Sea Surface Temperature Hypotheses." Lachniet and his research team will work in caves in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America to determine what controls the strength of the monsoon on long timescales. The research is to help them constrain past variability in the monsoon, and to improve our ability to make future projections of rainfall.  

Sep 13, 2018
Artem V. Gelis (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has been awarded a U.S. patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the technology, "Immobilization of Organic Radioactive and Non-radioactive Liquid Waste in a Composite Matrix." A method for immobilizing liquid radioactive waste is provided, the method having the steps of mixing waste with polymer to form a non-liquid waste; contacting the non-liquid waste with a solidifying agent to create a mixture, heating the mixture to cause the polymer, waste, and filler to irreversibly bind in a solid phase, and compressing the solid phase into a monolith. The invention also provides a method for immobilizing liquid radioactive waste containing tritium, the method having the steps of mixing liquid waste with polymer to convert the liquid waste to a non-liquid waste, contacting the non-liquid waste with a solidifying agent to create a mixture, heating the mixture to form homogeneous, chemically stable solid phase, and compressing the chemically stable solid phase into a final waste form, wherein the polymer comprises approximately a 9:1 weight ratio mixture of styrene block co-polymers and cross linked co-polymers of acrylamides.  

Sep 13, 2018
On Sept. 5 the Academic Success Center (ASC) celebrated its 10-year anniversary and as part of its celebration recognized former students, faculty, departments, and community leaders that have made the ASC such an exemplary center. They are: Dean’s Award - Carl Reiber (formerly of the provost's office) Dean’s Award - Regent Kevin Page Founder’s Award - Neal Smatresk (former UNLV president) Outstanding Impact Award - philanthropist Christina Hixson  Classified Dedication Award -  Monica McNeely (ASC) Full-time Faculty Dedication Award - Salvador Mora (ASC) Graduate Student Ambassador Award - John Starkey (Lee Business School) Alumni Award of Excellence - Devante Davis, '15 BS Public Administration Alumni Award of Excellence - Crestcencia Ortiz-Barnett, '10 BA Theatre Arts, '15 MA Theatre Arts Alumni Award of Excellence - Ashley Rapuano, '16 BA Theatre Arts Outstanding Graduate Award - Lily Sender, '18 BS Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Graduate Award - Angelica Bustos, '16 BS Biology Outstanding Graduate Award - Ariana Burton, '18 BA Anthropology Outstanding Graduate Award - Nha Trang "Vivian" Sam, '17 BS Biology Lifetime Partner in Student Success - College of Liberal Arts Lifetime Partner in Student Success - University Libraries Lifetime Partner in Student Success - College of Engineering