Stories in TIME Magazine and The Washington Post report on a study by Darren Treadway, associate professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management, that found that workplace bullies achieve high levels of career success and, in fact, their bullying and on-the-job achievements might be related.
Liesl Folks, dean of the University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is the recipient of a national award recognizing her mentorship of science and engineering students.
The AVS Excellence in Leadership award, first issued in 2012, is presented by AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. AVS is the former American Vacuum Society, a nonprofit professional organization of roughly 5,000 members that is affiliated with the American Institute of Physics.
Folks has a long record of support for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programs, from pre-K through 12th grade initiatives to helping launch a graduate educational program in magnetics, which is her field of research. That program, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), offers summer study opportunities to roughly 100 graduate students globally each year.
“Mentoring can play an important role in advancing the careers of young people in STEM fields, and it has been a great joy for me to play even a small part in helping some great young scientists and engineers to advance,” Folks said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by the AVS for these activities. I certainly have benefited from great mentoring during my career, and am delighted if I can help others even a little through mentoring activities.”
An internationally recognized expert in nanotechnology and magnetism, Folks holds 14 U.S. patents and is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. Prior to arriving at UB in January, Folks worked for more than nine years at HGST, a hard disk drive company in San Jose, Calif. Before that, she worked at IBM Almaden Research Center, also in San Jose, for six years. She is the president of the IEEE’s Magnetics Society and served in 2012 on the congressionally mandated panel for the Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, facilitated by the National Academy of Sciences.
Peter L. Elkin, vice president and professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and director of its Center for Biomedical Informatics, has been appointed professor and founding chair of the University at Buffalo’s new Department of Biomedical Informatics, starting this summer.
Biomedical informatics is the interdisciplinary scientific field that studies the use of biomedical data, particularly clinical and genomic data, information and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem-solving, decision-making and communication.
The new department in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is being established as a result of the “explosive growth” in the field of biomedical informatics over the past decade, according to Michael E. Cain, UB vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB medical school.
“Biomedical informatics is now essential to the delivery of health care,” says Cain. The new department will play a critical role in UB’s increased emphasis on translational medicine and in strengthening the university’s application for the prestigious National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award program.
Under Elkin, Cain says, the new department will embark on developing undergraduate and graduate student education and mentored research training programs as well as a robust research enterprise. A leader in biomedical informatics, Elkin is renowned for building biomedical common data infrastructure systems and protocols that have transformed research and clinical care; he has created and implemented bioinformatics standards for data storage and exchange.
The University at Buffalo’s Department of English has announced a new undergraduate certificate program in creative writing, effective fall 2013. The program is open to all students regardless of major and includes workshops at the introductory and advanced levels. Students in the program will publish their own literary magazine, participate in poetry readings and work closely with faculty mentors who are published writers representing a broad range of stylistic approaches and techniques.
For more information about the creative writing certificate program, visit the English Department website.
UB is the 11th largest green power user among U.S. colleges and universities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The ranking, up from 14th last year, shows that UB is making strides toward achieving its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030.
“We’re thrilled to be recognized by the EPA for our commitment to foster a more sustainable environment in Western New York and beyond,” said Ryan McPherson, UB’s chief sustainability officer. “As this year’s list shows, UB is committed to growing in an environmentally responsible manner.”
UB bought more than 44 million kilowatt-hours of green power, or 20 percent of the university’s annual electricity usage, for the 2011-2012 academic year. That number rose to 77 million kilowatt-hours this year, which is about 35 percent of UB’s power use.
The jump is mostly the result of buying from the EPA renewable energy certificates that subsidize clean energy projects such as electricity-generating wind turbines and power plants fueled by biomass, said John Russo, UB’s utilities manager.
UB’s Solar Strand, which functions as an outdoor classroom, a piece of art and demonstration project for research, also helped. The strand’s 3,200 photovoltaic panels produced nearly 1 million kilowatt-hours since UB flipped the switch a year ago.
A potential new treatment strategy for patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is on the horizon, thanks to research by neuroscientists now at the University at Buffalo’s Hunter James Kelly Research Institute and their colleagues in Italy and England.
The institute is the research arm of the Hunter’s Hope Foundation, established in 1997 by Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback, and his wife, Jill, after their infant son Hunter was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, an inherited fatal disorder of the nervous system. Hunter died in 2005 at the age of eight. The institute conducts research on myelin and its related diseases with the goal of developing new ways of understanding and treating conditions such as Krabbe disease and other leukodystrophies.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth or CMT disease, which affects the peripheral nerves, is among the most common of hereditary neurological disorders; it is a disease of myelin and it results from misfolded proteins in cells that produce myelin.
The new findings were published online earlier this month in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.
They may have relevance for other diseases that result from misfolded proteins, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, cancer and mad cow disease.
The paper shows that missteps in translational homeostasis, the process of regulating new protein production so that cells maintain a precise balance between lipids and proteins, may be how some genetic mutations in CMT cause neuropathy.
“It’s possible that our finding could lead to the development of an effective treatment not just for CMT neuropathies but also for other diseases related to misfolded proteins,” says Lawrence Wrabetz, director of the institute and professor of neurology and biochemistry in UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and senior author on the paper.
University at Buffalo chemical engineering majors Christopher Dundas and Phillip Tucciarone are now a part of the prestigious group of students to receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was founded in 1986 with the goal of alleviating the critical shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers. The foundation was authorized by the U.S. Congress in honor of Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, and is financed by a trust fund that has been established in the U.S. Treasury.
More than 1,000 nominees apply each year in hope of receiving $7,500 toward the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board on the condition they pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.
Dundas, a sophomore, plans to obtain his PhD in biological engineering and research protein engineering at a university. Since his freshman year, he has studied protein engineering in the UB Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering under Sheldon Park, assistant professor of chemical engineering. Dundas handpicked the research program because it combines his interests in biology, physics, mathematics and chemistry.
Tucciarone, a junior and member of the University Honors College, has a number of accolades of his own. His research on silicon-based nanomaterial has been awarded the University Honors College Research and Creative Activity grant, and the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Award of Distinction. The study will attempt to use nanomaterial to develop non-toxic bio-imaging, which could be used in cancer treatment.
The $13-million overhaul of UB’s busiest dining hall made it clear: The university is committed to providing students with fresh, delicious and healthy food.
What’s not as obvious, yet just as important, is UB’s effort to make the rehabbed dining hall, dubbed Crossroads Culinary Center, mesh with its plan to be one of the nation’s most eco-friendly universities.
Food service doesn’t end at the table; leftovers and scraps must be disposed of. Doing so in an environmentally responsible way—especially at Crossroads, where 2,000 students eat daily—can be a daunting task.
“The challenges were obvious, but we asked what will make UB better and what makes sense for the larger community,” says Jeff Brady, director of Campus Dining and Shops, the company that runs Crossroads, also known as C3, and many other on-campus eateries.
The answer was to develop a way to handle tons of food waste in an effective and environmentally conscious manner. The problem: University leaders couldn’t find existing models to guide their efforts. As a result, they turned to a program started by UB students.
Jerold C. Frakes, professor of English at the University at Buffalo, a highly-regarded scholar of medieval literature, has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship to support his study of the emergence of early Yiddish literature during the 2013-14 academic year.
The Guggenheim fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.
Frakes is one of 175 scholars, artists and scientists in 56 disciplines to receive a Guggenheim fellowship this year, all of whom were chosen after a rigorous selection process from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants. It is a class that Edward Hirsch, president of the foundation, says represents “the best of the best.”
Frakes also has received three other prestigious fellowships for the 2013-14 academic year:
A fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. This extremely competitive program selects fewer than five percent of applicants and supports outstanding research projects in many disciplines.
A National Humanities Center fellowship, where he will work on an individual research project and have the opportunity to share ideas in seminars, lectures and conferences at the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The center’s stated aim is to insure the continuing strength of the liberal arts and to affirm the importance of the humanities in American life.
A fellowship from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris, a leading French public institution for research and higher education, whose faculty includes many of France’s greatest humanities scholars.
He is the author of four books about the literature of medieval and early modern Europe, most recently “Brides and Doom: Gender, Property Rights and Power in Medieval German Women’s Epic” and “Vernacular and Latin Literary Discourses of the Muslim Other in Medieval Germany.”
A team of University at Buffalo engineering students won $25,000 for designing a mobile app that aims to reduce hospital readmission rates by ensuring that patients receive appropriate care upon being discharged.
The students took part in a contest, sponsored by GE Healthcare in partnership with Ochsner Health System, that asked participants to develop an app that improved patient and family experiences during hospital visits.
The UB team included seven industrial and systems engineering doctoral candidates who are studying health systems and how people interact with computers.
The students focused on readmission rates because studies show that miscommunication between hospitals, patients (especially elderly patients) and their post-hospital caregivers too often results in patients being readmitted for the same condition days after their initial discharge.