two men seine fishing in a stream

How the darter got its stripes: New UMBC research expands on sexual selection theory to explain complicated animal patterns

“Quantitatively describing visual patterns is a big challenge, and there’s not one easy way to do that,” Sam Hulse says. By integrating their skills in math and biology, he and colleagues figured out a method to do it for the first time. The new results pave the way for a great deal of new research. Continue reading How the darter got its stripes: New UMBC research expands on sexual selection theory to explain complicated animal patterns

Five people on a rooftop at UMBC.

Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

“I love to help people succeed, so for me, if others have put time into my career and my future, I feel that it’s only right to reciprocate that love to other students,” says Cherie Tebah ’20. She and other UMBC students have found ways to support their classmates while still pursuing their own degrees. Continue reading Support comes full circle: When students become mentors

Where math and medicine meet: Jeremy Rubin is one of UMBC’s nine new NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Jeremy Rubin had an unusual personal experience with the medical field early in life, and it sent him down a path to a research career. The experience “made me think, how can I use my interest in statistics to help the field of precision medicine? How can we tailor diagnoses and treatments to the individual?” Continue reading Where math and medicine meet: Jeremy Rubin is one of UMBC’s nine new NSF Graduate Research Fellows

UMBC team makes breakthrough discovery in HIV research, opening path to new, better therapies

“For decades, the scientific community has known that two different structural forms of HIV RNA exist—they just didn’t know what controls that balance. So our discovery that a single nucleotide is having a huge effect is a paradigm shift in understanding how HIV works,” says Joshua Brown, Ph.D. ’18, biochemistry. Continue reading UMBC team makes breakthrough discovery in HIV research, opening path to new, better therapies

UMBC’s Tagide deCarvalho wins Olympus Image of the Year contest with striking portrait of a “water bear”

“I knew the moment I saw this colorful specimen that it was going to be a remarkable image,” Tagide deCarvalho says. “I love sharing the fascinating things I see in the microscope with other people.” Continue reading UMBC’s Tagide deCarvalho wins Olympus Image of the Year contest with striking portrait of a “water bear”

UMBC researchers offer knowledge, innovation during the time of COVID-19

At a time when information and misinformation are coming at us from all directions, and everyone is looking for answers, UMBC researchers are stepping up. They’re working hard to answer pressing questions about COVID-19 and sharing their expertise to help the public stay healthy and make informed decisions. Continue reading UMBC researchers offer knowledge, innovation during the time of COVID-19

International team led by UMBC identifies new bird species in the South Pacific

“Even in this well-studied group of birds, that’s been a textbook example since 1942, we did not really know what the units of biodiversity were,” says Kevin Omland. He and postdoc Anna Kearns have now contributed significant new research to help answer that question, and their findings have major conservation implications. Continue reading International team led by UMBC identifies new bird species in the South Pacific

UMBC’s Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized for 40-year career advancing cancer immunotherapy

After 41 years at UMBC, Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor emerita of biological sciences, retired in August 2018 and moved to Utah to enjoy the mountains with her spouse. But she couldn’t stay away from her research and mentoring for long. “I just can’t quit it,” Rosenberg says. “I realized I really did not want to stop.” Continue reading UMBC’s Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg recognized for 40-year career advancing cancer immunotherapy

Teaching among trees: Field research project grows UMBC partnership with community colleges

“It’s a great example of the relationships we’re building with the community colleges,” Sarah Jewett says. “What I love about this program is that it utilizes curricular infrastructure that’s in place at the community colleges, and networks and research expertise here at UMBC. We’re really drawing on the assets at both institutions to make this work.” Continue reading Teaching among trees: Field research project grows UMBC partnership with community colleges

UMBC researchers find many countries will not meet ambitious forest restoration goals without support

“There’s a time to build your castles in the air, and now it’s time to put foundations under them. We’re underinvesting in the foundations, and we need to spend more international aid money on helping countries figure out how to meet these commitments,” Matt Fagan says. “I’d like to hope that this article helps generate more support for that kind of work, because I think it is possible to make this kind of change.” Continue reading UMBC researchers find many countries will not meet ambitious forest restoration goals without support

UMBC’s Pelton and Daniel are developing light-driven chips to enable super-fast computing

Physicist Matt Pelton and chemist Marie-Christine Daniel are both engaged in photonics research, which is “the idea of using light—photons—to do information processing instead of using electrons like you do in electronics,” explains Pelton. The work poses challenges, but if Daniel, Pelton, and their students succeed, they’ll be setting the stage for a revolution in computing. Continue reading UMBC’s Pelton and Daniel are developing light-driven chips to enable super-fast computing

Preparing for impact: Four new UMBC grads share what drives their research

Cindy Chelius, Miranda Marvel, Naqiya Ghulamali, and Ryan Oliver study very different things, but they are all driven to contribute to positive change through their research. They also hope to carry forward the support they found at UMBC as mentors to a future generation of researchers. Continue reading Preparing for impact: Four new UMBC grads share what drives their research

UMBC’s Lisa Kelly receives NSF grant to develop a safer, greener chemical production method

“The approach that we propose will induce chemical reactions that would otherwise need a lot of harsh reagents and organic solvents, and just a lot of nasty stuff,” Lisa Kelly says. “This is a greener route.” The technique could support efforts from drug development to synthetic materials production. Continue reading UMBC’s Lisa Kelly receives NSF grant to develop a safer, greener chemical production method

Team led by UMBC’s Mehdi Benna is the first to map a planet’s global wind patterns, and they weren’t Earth’s

The research was made possible by “a clever reengineering in flight of how to operate the spacecraft and the instrument,” Mehdi Benna says. “And by doing both—the spacecraft doing something it was not designed to do, and the instrument doing something it was not designed to do—we made the wind measurements possible.” Continue reading Team led by UMBC’s Mehdi Benna is the first to map a planet’s global wind patterns, and they weren’t Earth’s

UMBC’s Aaron Smith examines molecular role of iron in human health with $1.5M in new grants

“Metals open up the toolbox for the protein to be able to accomplish so much more,” Aaron Smith says. His new NSF and NIH funding will allow Smith’s lab to increase understanding of how one metal, iron, is involved in adding molecules to proteins after they are made. This process can significantly change a protein’s function and play a role in disease. By focusing at the molecular level, “We think that we fit in very nicely in this research space,” Smith says. “We’re filling a niche that remains really uncovered at this point.” Continue reading UMBC’s Aaron Smith examines molecular role of iron in human health with $1.5M in new grants

We have liftoff! UMBC-developed mini satellite launched into space to study climate, air quality

“As an engineer, I’m looking to develop technology that can make the science happen,” says Dominik Cieslak. That’s exactly what Cieslak and the rest of the team have accomplished with their cubesat, HARP. When it is released from the International Space Station in about a month, it will collect new kinds of information about clouds and tiny particles in the atmosphere to increase our understanding of climate and air quality. Continue reading We have liftoff! UMBC-developed mini satellite launched into space to study climate, air quality

UMBC expands offerings at The Universities at Shady Grove to grow Maryland’s STEM workforce

The new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at The Universities at Shady Grove is a big piece of the expansion. “This building symbolizes an opportunity to bring the disciplines together to address societal problems,” Annica Wayman says, “and to discover how they can work together to address the biggest challenges.” With state-of-the-art scientific equipment and ample opportunity for interaction among students, faculty, and biotech professionals, the facility will enhance programming at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Continue reading UMBC expands offerings at The Universities at Shady Grove to grow Maryland’s STEM workforce

UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

“Already there are research teams working in this building on such complex issues as age-related disease, environmental degradation, and health disparities,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. Solutions to our most complex challenges “are found through a convergence of talent and effort,” bringing together the perspectives of people from different fields and backgrounds. This is what the new building is designed to achieve. Continue reading UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

three people walking

UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

“The primary mission of UMBC is inclusive excellence, and our program applies that mission to the environmental sciences,” says Tamra Mendelson. “Our main objectives are to bring a diversity of backgrounds to the environmental workforce and to improve the way that scientific research is applied to environmental problems.” Continue reading UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

New UMBC study shows powerful effects of road salt and urban infrastructure on waterways

The relationship between urbanization and water chemistry was “more complex than we thought,” Matthew Baker says. Overall, though, he says, “We need to pay closer attention to the materials we’re using in and on infrastructure,” and “we definitely have to lower the amount of road salt we’ve been applying,” to keep our local ecosystems healthy. Continue reading New UMBC study shows powerful effects of road salt and urban infrastructure on waterways

Spacecraft and planet

UMBC’s Sander Goossens determines structure of Mercury’s core as part of NASA team

Sander Goossens and his team used their new analysis “to see if there was anything we could say about the planet’s deep interior that people hadn’t been able to say before.” There was: The team discovered the percentage of the planet’s core that was solid versus molten, which provides clues to the evolution process for Mercury and other planets. Continue reading UMBC’s Sander Goossens determines structure of Mercury’s core as part of NASA team

National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

The project will explore the function of an enzyme called Set6, about which little is known. Erin Green hopes to “break open a broader understanding in the field of what its role is, especially in the context of protein quality control,” which could inform pharmaceutical development for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Continue reading National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

UMBC’s Minjoung Kyoung to help develop first 4D map of a cell’s metabolic pathways

“I’ve always been interested in how proteins are working in the real system, in real time, in real action,” Minjoung Kyoung says. She’ll get to explore those dynamics with funding from a new five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The pathways she’s studying are relevant to some of the most pervasive diseases in the country. “My dream is to be able to predict disease before symptoms occur,” she shares. “That would be the best.” Continue reading UMBC’s Minjoung Kyoung to help develop first 4D map of a cell’s metabolic pathways

Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

“When you share a kitchenette with a biologist, a chemist, an engineer and somebody from public policy, it’s inevitable that new things will brew,” says Greg Szeto, who is moving in to the ILSB with the new Translational Center for Age-Related Disease and Disparities. The ILSB “is a total game-changer for me,” adds Chris Hawn. With its state-of-the-art instrumentation, “There are protocols where I can get ‘level unlocked.’ It just opens things up for me and my students.” Continue reading Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

Wind, solar, and…flutter? UMBC’s Justin Webster is using math to move this emerging tech forward

“There’s no such thing as free energy, but there are lots of situations where there’s ambient energy available,” like a flapping flag, Justin Webster says. “You just have to find an efficient mechanism for turning it into meaningful, useful energy.” That’s what Webster and colleagues from Duke and Carnegie Mellon hope to help make happen with their new grant from the NSF. Continue reading Wind, solar, and…flutter? UMBC’s Justin Webster is using math to move this emerging tech forward

NASA and DoE fund UMBC’s Zhibo Zhang to pursue ambitious atmospheric research

“You can look at the data and you see discrepancies between the climate models and the observations,” says graduate student Kylie Hoffman. “Some of it we can explain, and some of it we can’t. Identifying the discrepancies and being able to modify the climate models to be more accurate down the road is very important.” Multiple projects in Zhibo Zhang’s lab are helping labs all over the world address questions like this. Continue reading NASA and DoE fund UMBC’s Zhibo Zhang to pursue ambitious atmospheric research

UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

Freeland’s research has always centered on how and why living things evolved a system of genetic coding, which has taken him from biology to astrobiology and has inevitably led him to grapple with one of the big questions many people ask themselves: “Where do we come from?” Continue reading UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

UMBC’s Qianqian Song receives FINESST Fellowship from NASA for research on dust clouds and climate

“When I visited UMBC, I felt like everyone knows each other and supports each other in the physics department,” Song remembers. “That’s why I chose here.” Now, she’s rising to become a leader in the field of dust aerosols, which play a role in climate change. Continue reading UMBC’s Qianqian Song receives FINESST Fellowship from NASA for research on dust clouds and climate

UMBC’s Tom Cronin, mantis shrimp vision expert, receives international Rank Prize for Optoelectronics

The mantis shrimp visual system “is just extraordinarily strange,” says Tom Cronin. His study of this remarkable system alongside colleague and co-winner Justin Marshall over the last 30 years has led to applications such as guided breast cancer surgery and detection of otherwise camouflaged objects, among others. Continue reading UMBC’s Tom Cronin, mantis shrimp vision expert, receives international Rank Prize for Optoelectronics

Leadership Montgomery recognizes UMBC’s Annica Wayman and Sunil Dasgupta

Wayman and Dasgupta are the first members of the UMBC community to be selected since the program’s inception in 1990, an indication of UMBC’s growing presence in Montgomery County through the Universities at Shady Grove. Christopher Steele shares, “These two remarkable leaders perfectly reflect the fact that UMBC offers its very best to Montgomery County.” Continue reading Leadership Montgomery recognizes UMBC’s Annica Wayman and Sunil Dasgupta

Phage Hunters: Popular UMBC research program opens doors to biotech careers

“All the techniques we learned in Phage Hunters directly translate to the work we do in the lab on a daily basis,” says Anna Kawa ’18. “Being on the cutting edge of biotech is really exciting,” adds Viet Dang ’18. “Just being right there, potentially changing history, is really exciting.” Continue reading Phage Hunters: Popular UMBC research program opens doors to biotech careers

CNMS celebrates a year of growth in partnerships to support student success

“The college has laid the foundation, and now is really in a strong position for growth,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. “It’s all about paying attention to the people and their needs,” he explains, so faculty, staff, and students can do their best work and create a thriving community together. Continue reading CNMS celebrates a year of growth in partnerships to support student success

UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

With this new NIH grant, Jeff Leips says, “Ideally, I want to understand the mechanisms—what goes wrong with age and immunity? Once we know that, the next question is whether we can find ways to try to ameliorate the effects of aging on those traits.” Continue reading UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

Sequencing spider glue genes is like, “picking a needle from a haystack,” says UMBC postdoc Sarah Stellwagen. She is the lead author of a new G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics article on sequencing two spider glue genes for the first time. They’re massive — the largest has a coding sequence over 42,000 bases long. Continue reading UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

UMBC’s Glenn Wolfe develops new method to gauge atmosphere’s ability to clear methane, a potent greenhouse gas

“Hydroxyl radicals control the lifetime of nearly every reactive gas,” including methane, explains Glenn Wolfe. However, “globally, we don’t have a way to directly measure them.” His new research puts scientists on the path to changing that, and toward improving global climate models. Continue reading UMBC’s Glenn Wolfe develops new method to gauge atmosphere’s ability to clear methane, a potent greenhouse gas

University president hugs undergraduate commencement speaker in congratulations following her remarks, while colleagues clap, all in graduation attire.

UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars replications at Penn State, UNC show notable success in first four years

“These findings confirm that Meyerhoff-like programs and student outcomes can be achieved elsewhere, even at institutions very different from UMBC,” says Michael Summers. “It is my hope that this initial effort has laid the groundwork for partnership expansion with an even broader range of institutions.”   Continue reading UMBC Meyerhoff Scholars replications at Penn State, UNC show notable success in first four years