By Tina Paknejad '10 and Inside BU
HARPUR COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Binghamton University researchers have received 13 grants which total nearly $3.7 million through the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act. Lisa Savage, professor of psychology, received more than $125,000 from the National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She’s interested in the interactions
between specific types of learning and memory problems and particular
neurochemical and neuroanatomical abnormalities. Read more.
Senior Rebecca Fraid, 21, combined her loves of health, medicine and Africa during a mission to a hospital and orphanage in Hohoe, Ghana, with the group Cross-Cultural Solutions. Fraid spent the summer shadowing nurses, checking patients in, painting a staff lounge and even helping to deliver a baby. “It was definitely an amazing experience,” said Fraid, who had wanted to visit Africa since she was a child. “The people were so nice. Everyone is very laid-back. I plan on going back to either Ghana or Tanzania.” Read more.
Senior Mike Reinhart's research on captive breeding has not only earned him an undergraduate research award from Harpur College, but is about to be published. He found that captive breeding programs should be kept as close to natural environments as possible and animals should be kept in the programs for as short an amount of time as possible to “avoid unpredictable changes to genetics.” Read more.
Patricia Di Lorenzo, professor of psychology, believes a better understanding of neuron communication may hold answers for patients with diseases of neural transmission such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It could also help in the development of brain-machine interfaces like artificial limbs. The original project focused on “temporal coding” in the brain using the taste system as a model. Di Lorenzo received a $233,427 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders that allowed her to purchase new equipment and hire a technician. The money supplements an existing five-year, $1.125 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Read more.
J. Koji Lum, an associate professor of anthropology and biological sciences, and other Binghamton researchers have been working for several years on a project designed to uncover just how the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum evolved resistance to the once-effective medication chloroquine. The initial project, now in its third year, involves extracting parasite DNA from archived samples of human sera collected from the 1950s to the present. Lum hopes to find changes in the amino acid sequences of the parasites that resulted in drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. He and his team have zeroed in on about a dozen DNA sequences that seem promising. Read more.
THOMAS J. WATSON SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE
Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari said his recent trip to China was “a good means to look at different facets of Chinese society, from manufacturing to talking to people in government to talking to entrepreneurs... I wanted to learn how (Chinese) universities work, get a snapshot on industry that focuses on green energy and get an idea about manufacturing in China.” Srihari was the only academic member of the delegation that visited Beijing, Nanjing, Changzhou and Shanghai for nine days. Read more.
Mohammad Younis, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton has worked for years to understand the vibrations and mechanics of miniscule micro-electro-mechanical systems, known as MEMS, and even tinier ones called nano-electro-mechanical systems, or NEMS. The recipient of two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants, Younis already has a patent for a MEMS device that would detect acceleration and mechanical shock. The device, he said, would be able to recognize when something crashed with a high level of force and then perform a desirable task. Applications range from protecting the hard disk of a laptop computer to deploying a side-impact air bag. Read more.
A group of University students is spreading the message of science to local elementary-school pupils. BU Science was established six years ago by a pair of bioengineering students who were interested in an education-related senior design project, said Ken McLeod, bioengineering professor and program adviser. The students assisted in George F. Johnson Elementary School in the Union-Endicott Central School District, where McLeod’s wife, Suzanne, is superintendent. The program has grown in size each year and now features 60 students with majors such as engineering, psychology, biology, chemistry, physics and theatre. Read more.
SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
Senior accounting major Ezechiel Bly spent the summer of 2008 in a study-abroad program at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, where he took classes in business and culture. “It was a great experience,” said Bly, who was born in the Ivory Coast. “I got to see a different perspective of the world and mingle with people I would’ve never mingled with before.” Bly, who hopes to return to China for a visit this winter, said the growing number of collaborations between China and places such as Binghamton University are good learning experiences for both sides. Read more.
DECKER SCHOOL OF NURSING
Christine Choi’s career path will likely be different than her Decker School of Nursing classmates when she graduates in May. Choi has decided to forego work at a traditional hospital or health-care facility to join the Army Nurse Corps as a nurse officer. “I knew I wasn’t going to go the normal route of my classmates and colleagues,” said Choi, a 22-year-old from Leonia, N.J. “I want to be someone who can serve the nation while serving the patient… I want a different experience. I’ve been in hospitals for many years and I’m still young.” Read more.
COLLEGE OF COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Faculty member Leo Wilton was among six people named recently as new members of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives at the National Institutes of Health. Wilton is an associate professor of human development and Africana studies. He specializes in health disparities related to HIV and AIDS in black communities, community-based research and evaluation and black psychological development and mental health. Read more.