UMBC receives $900K from Maryland E-nnovation Initiative Fund to endow Sinha Professorship in statistics

Professor Bimal Sinha, who founded UMBC’s statistics department in 1985, is a beloved and decorated faculty member who has helped transform UMBC into a national leader in statistics education. He’s also transformed the lives of countless students, some of whom have gone on to become leading statisticians around the globe. Continue reading UMBC receives $900K from Maryland E-nnovation Initiative Fund to endow Sinha Professorship in statistics

woman faculty member in front of glass wall and modern tables and chairs

UMBC’s Tara LeGates is first runner-up for prestigious international neurobiology prize

“I’m really interested in how the brain integrates a lot of different kinds of information to regulate complex behaviors, such as seeking rewards,” LeGates says. Her findings published in Nature, and her lab’s continuing work, pave the way for new treatments for disorders such as addiction and depression. Continue reading UMBC’s Tara LeGates is first runner-up for prestigious international neurobiology prize

Goldfinch at a backyard birdfeeder

UMBC engages Howard Community College students with environmental science—online and in their own backyards

“My goal for the students was to capture what I think is the most important part of scientific research—curiosity through observation,” Chris Hawn says. By training their eyes and learning to see in new ways, Hawn says, “People were making discoveries literally inside their houses, or on a walk, or in their yard. It was really wonderful to see that transformation.” Continue reading UMBC engages Howard Community College students with environmental science—online and in their own backyards

Man standing in front of biology mural

UMBC’s Daniel Lobo receives $1.9 million NIH grant to explore genetic control of development and regeneration

Salamanders regenerate their tails. Sea stars regenerate their arms. Most species of planaria, a type of flatworm, can regenerate everything from their brains to their digestive organs. But if you lose part of a finger in a shop class accident, or while chopping vegetables for dinner, you’re out of luck—for now. “Why can the worm do it, and we cannot?” asks Daniel Lobo, assistant professor of biological sciences. That’s not really the question, though, he explains. Continue reading UMBC’s Daniel Lobo receives $1.9 million NIH grant to explore genetic control of development and regeneration

Man and woman in field research attire stand next to and inside a concrete tunnel at a research site.

Bedrock to treetops: NSF awards $4.8M to urban environment study led by UMBC’s Claire Welty

UMBC is leading an eight-institution effort to improve our understanding of Earth’s critical zone (from bedrock to treetops) in urban contexts. Most critical zone research happens in more pristine wilderness areas, because the added effects of urban processes make the research more complicated. But, Welty says, “that’s the most interesting part.” Continue reading Bedrock to treetops: NSF awards $4.8M to urban environment study led by UMBC’s Claire Welty

UMBC study reveals gender bias in bird song research and impact of women on science

“I believe this paper is a great example of how diversity expands the type of research scientists are doing,” says Casey Haines ’19. “A diverse pool of researchers may result in new questions being asked and new approaches to answering those questions. I would love to see this type of research applied in other areas of STEM.” Continue reading UMBC study reveals gender bias in bird song research and impact of women on science

UMBC’s Meghan Grenier receives top NROTC teaching honor from the U.S. Navy

The UMBC midshipmen “are an impressive group of individuals who will go on to serve as excellent Navy and Marine Corps officers,” Meghan Grenier says. “I hope what they have learned from me and the NROTC program will … prepare them for the challenges of leadership in our Navy.” Continue reading UMBC’s Meghan Grenier receives top NROTC teaching honor from the U.S. Navy

UMBC develops future STEM teachers, researchers through pilot program pairing high school and college students

Now one of the high school participants, Kimani Reed, is starting at UMBC this fall. “The warm welcome I felt when I walked through the doors on the first day already made UMBC feel like home,” she says. Continue reading UMBC develops future STEM teachers, researchers through pilot program pairing high school and college students

Mantis shrimp eyes get even wilder: UMBC team finds twice the expected number of light-detecting proteins

“One of the reasons I love science is that we took this animal with an exceptional visual system, and it’s become even more complex,” Megan Porter says. “Every level that we look at adds another layer of complexity to how the visual system is working.” Continue reading Mantis shrimp eyes get even wilder: UMBC team finds twice the expected number of light-detecting proteins

Campus building near pond

UMBC mathematician Kathleen Hoffman receives new grants to improve HIV modeling

The improved models of disease spread Kathleen Hoffman and colleagues are working toward will help governments and non-profits get “the biggest bang for [their] buck in terms of resource allocation,” Kathleen Hoffman says. Where these groups should focus their time, energy, and money is “the kind of question this kind of work can usually answer.” Continue reading UMBC mathematician Kathleen Hoffman receives new grants to improve HIV modeling

UMBC faculty on a mission to prepare robust, high-quality online classes for fall semester

Faculty members are setting the bar high for themselves this fall, and they have demonstrated it by showing up in droves for a variety of programs offered through UMBC’s Faculty Development Center (FDC), Division of Information Technology (DoIT), and the colleges and academic departments. Since May, more than half of all faculty have participated in training activities associated with online teaching, not including the faculty members serving as mentors and instructors for these trainings. Continue reading UMBC faculty on a mission to prepare robust, high-quality online classes for fall semester

Yonathan Zohar by a large fish tank

Groundbreaking fish research by UMBC’s Yonathan Zohar spawns partnership with AquaCon on $1 billion Maryland aquaculture project

“I’ve been working in Maryland for almost 30 years, and we’ve been developing a lot of these technologies,” Yonathan Zohar says. “Our mission is research, education, and economic development, and we have been working to create connections between academia and industry to fulfill that mission.” Continue reading Groundbreaking fish research by UMBC’s Yonathan Zohar spawns partnership with AquaCon on $1 billion Maryland aquaculture project

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