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

Campus shot of exterior of ILSB

2020 U.S. News global ranking names UMBC a top university, a leader in geosciences and space science

U.S. News & World Report has again named UMBC one of the best universities worldwide, with UMBC appearing as one of the top 150 U.S. institutions on the 2020 global list. The ranking highlights UMBC’s international leadership in geosciences and space science. Continue reading 2020 U.S. News global ranking names UMBC a top university, a leader in geosciences and space science

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

MHEC selects UMBC’s Jordan Troutman, who bridges technology and policy, as student commissioner

Jordan Troutman has been selected to be the student commissioner for the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). He’s a computer science and mathematics major passionate about applying his work at the intersection of technology and policy to improve society.  Continue reading MHEC selects UMBC’s Jordan Troutman, who bridges technology and policy, as student commissioner

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

Meet six Retrievers who went from internship to career success with UMBC Career Center support

Decades after the start of the internship boom, internships continue to be invaluable for both undergraduate and graduate students. As UMBC students demonstrate, gaining real-world experience and networking within an area of interest can have a lasting impact when it comes time to search for a full-time position. Continue reading Meet six Retrievers who went from internship to career success with UMBC Career Center support

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 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

(L to R): Steiner, Mallinson,  Don Engel, assistant vice president for research, and Casper.

UMBC convenes research forum on immigration and mobility in higher education

“The research results showed that for each undocumented student that graduates from a four-year college, who would not have gone otherwise, the net benefits to the state were $350,000,” explains Gindling. “Providing access to higher education and financial aid to undocumented youth is a good investment for the individual, for the state, and for the government as a whole.” Continue reading UMBC convenes research forum on immigration and mobility in higher education

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

“Appreciate the differences”: How study abroad shaped four UMBC student experiences

Many students come to UMBC with the goal of leaving the familiar behind to take on new challenges and gain a fresh perspective. Once they’re on campus, that’s also what inspires some Retrievers to explore international learning opportunities. Balancing course requirements, activities, research, and other responsibilities, while also pursuing study abroad, can prove challenging. But for these four UMBC students earning undergraduate degrees this month, it’s also been transformative. Continue reading “Appreciate the differences”: How study abroad shaped four UMBC student experiences

Fourteen UMBC students and recent alumni receive Fulbright awards, setting new record

Since 1970, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has chosen more than 70 UMBC students and recent alumni to represent the United States through conducting research, teaching English, or pursuing graduate studies internationally. This year’s recipients will pursue Fulbright experiences in Rwanda, Malaysia, Colombia, Uzbekistan, and more. Continue reading Fourteen UMBC students and recent alumni receive Fulbright awards, setting new record

UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

When students come to UMBC, they bring with them life experiences that shape the program they choose, the mentors they find, the research questions they ask, and the communities they build on campus. Here, five UMBC students earning their degrees this month share experiences that shaped their paths. Continue reading UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

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

UMBC labs share four essentials for undergraduate research success

#1: Developing scientist identity. For example, in Ruben Delgado’s lab, “Every undergraduate has a project that they can define when they first start and then fine tune it as they move along,” says Meredith Sperling ’19. “Graduate students and Ruben are great at providing guidance, pointing out possible pitfalls, etc., but at the end of the day it’s really our research and where we want to take it.” Continue reading UMBC labs share four essentials for undergraduate research success

Women wearing protective clothing works in a lab with faculty mentors blurred in the foreground.

UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars model heads to UC Berkeley and UCSD through a $6.9M investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

“It is truly thrilling to think about the national and global impact the Meyerhoff Scholars Program will have through partnerships like this,” says UMBC’s Michael Summers. “By working together we can help shape the future of our national Ph.D. pipeline, with inclusive excellence as a core shared value of our work.” Continue reading UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars model heads to UC Berkeley and UCSD through a $6.9M investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

Whether wading in a cold stream or in the lab, mentors who foster independent thinking balanced with guidance—for research and for life—make the difference for UMBC graduate students on the national and international stage. A close-knit graduate student community adds a level of support that helps students succeed. Continue reading Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

UMBC’s Bradley Arnold develops laser-based technology to safely and quickly detect IEDs and other hazards in combat zones

You’re a U.S. soldier, motoring across the desert at 60 miles an hour in an Army truck. Suddenly, a red light flashes on your dashboard—an instrument has detected traces of explosive material on the road surface ahead. You divert around the hazard and continue safely toward your destination. “There is currently nothing available to do this at this speed,” says Bradley Arnold. But that could soon change. Continue reading UMBC’s Bradley Arnold develops laser-based technology to safely and quickly detect IEDs and other hazards in combat zones

Alex Sestok, Ph.D. student in chemistry, at GRC 2018. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.

New GEARS symposium offers professional development opportunities to grad students across disciplines

“We want to provide an avenue for people to learn skills that they’re not going to get in the classroom or the lab,” says Alex Rittle, Ph.D. student in geography and environmental systems and chair of the GEARS planning committee. Continue reading New GEARS symposium offers professional development opportunities to grad students across disciplines

UMBC recognizes Renetta Tull for transformative leadership advancing diversity in STEM

Renetta Tull has worked with students, faculty, and staff across UMBC and the University System of Maryland to increase diversity in STEM disciplines for over a decade. At the end of March, Tull will begin a new role as vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion at UC Davis. Continue reading UMBC recognizes Renetta Tull for transformative leadership advancing diversity in STEM

UMBC delegation joins students from three continents at International Model African Union

“The world seems small when we stay in one place, but when we travel we come to understand issues beyond our own culture,” says Marion Sillah ’22, political science, from Sierra Leone. “Broadening my point of view made me think about where I stand as a woman, a black woman, a Muslim woman, and an immigrant on a global scale.” Continue reading UMBC delegation joins students from three continents at International Model African Union

UMBC School of Public Policy and APPAM work to diversify the field through outreach to students

“UMBC was uniquely positioned to meet APPAM’s goals in helping to diversify the field because of UMBC’s strong, diverse student scholars, many of whom are first-generation or come from underrepresented groups,” shares Jane Lincove, associate professor of public policy. Continue reading UMBC School of Public Policy and APPAM work to diversify the field through outreach to students