UMBC’s Songon An discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer cell metastasis

For the first time, An and his students have determined a function of a particular signaling pathway associated with metastasis. “Looking at this metabolic switch—which pathways are in use during metastasis versus when the cell is attached—may be where our research goes in the future,” says An. Continue reading UMBC’s Songon An discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer cell metastasis

UMBC launches Center of Accelerated Real Time Analytics to tackle data-intensive challenges from disease tracking to online privacy

UMBC will launch the Center of Accelerated Real Time Analytics (CARTA) through a five-year grant from the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program, receiving $150,000 in support for each of the next five years. Continue reading UMBC launches Center of Accelerated Real Time Analytics to tackle data-intensive challenges from disease tracking to online privacy

UMBC’s 40th Graduate Research Conference to focus on communication and collaboration

“GRC gives graduate students training on how to ace professional conferences in the field, and by participating, students practice how to communicate their research in an accessible way,” says Morgan Bunting, a gerontology Ph.D. student and member of the GRC planning committee. “It’s also just a wonderful way to engage the community and learn what amazing work is going on in the Graduate School.” Continue reading UMBC’s 40th Graduate Research Conference to focus on communication and collaboration

UMBC physicist Sebastian Deffner lays groundwork to better understand birth of the universe

Sebastian Deffner and co-author Anthony Bartolotta are extending thermodynamics, a fundamental pillar of physics, into uncharted territory by developing a way to describe microscopic systems with extremely high energy—just like the universe at the start of the Big Bang—for the first time. “There’s a lot we have to do next,” says Deffner. Continue reading UMBC physicist Sebastian Deffner lays groundwork to better understand birth of the universe

UMBC’s Chris Swan featured in The Atlantic for transforming vacant lots in Baltimore

While working in the city comes with challenges, Chris Swan hopes to discover a Goldilocks concoction of plants that tolerate the poor soil found in vacant lots, attract native pollinators, and reduce runoff of contaminant-laced water into the Chesapeake Bay. Continue reading UMBC’s Chris Swan featured in The Atlantic for transforming vacant lots in Baltimore

UMBC physicists develop cost-saving tech for detecting gravitational waves and other applications

Thomas Smith and Yanhua Shih are hoping their new research will bring about a sea change in the physics community, and encourage even the most traditional physicists that quantum interference applies in optics experiments using non-laser light. “It should change the whole picture,” says Shih. The work has implications for both fundamental physics and immediate applications. Continue reading UMBC physicists develop cost-saving tech for detecting gravitational waves and other applications

UMBC scientist opens a “new chapter for biochemistry” with $1.5 million NIH grant to study sugar metabolism

“I’m hoping that in the future many people will be working in this area of cellular biochemistry, studying many metabolic enzymes in living cells,” says Songon An, whose work is on the leading edge of “the next stage in biochemistry.” Continue reading UMBC scientist opens a “new chapter for biochemistry” with $1.5 million NIH grant to study sugar metabolism

UMBC space scientist further confirms Einstein’s theory through new solar research

To address such big ideas, “You need the solar system as your laboratory,” says Sander Goossens. NASA’s MESSENGER satellite collected data during its years orbiting Mercury that enabled the research team to answer questions about the Sun’s interior processes and our fundamental understanding of gravity. Continue reading UMBC space scientist further confirms Einstein’s theory through new solar research

UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner explains how the “quantum speed limit” may put brakes on quantum computers

People have pinned their hopes on quantum computers for the next leap forward in computing technology, “but my recent research has revealed that quantum computers will have limits of their own,” writes Sebastian Deffner, “and has suggested ways to figure out what those limits are.” Continue reading UMBC’s Sebastian Deffner explains how the “quantum speed limit” may put brakes on quantum computers

UMBC physicists’ finding has potential to springboard quantum computing to major advances

The new finding “is attacking the bugaboo of this whole class of possible quantum computers,” says Jason Kestner. And yet, like so much in science, the finding “is something we stumbled across almost by accident,” says Michael Wolfe ’17. Continue reading UMBC physicists’ finding has potential to springboard quantum computing to major advances

UMBC students take flight to study weather, pollution in multi-institution initiative

Handling in-flight challenges on the spot showed the students “how the science gets done in real life,” Brian Carroll says. The flight experience met the initiative’s goal to provide experiential learning opportunities to expand students’ perspectives. Continue reading UMBC students take flight to study weather, pollution in multi-institution initiative

UMBC biologists discuss human health applications of studying plants’ circadian rhythms in The Conversation

Improper circadian clock function has already been linked to illnesses from diabetes to depression in humans. Plant science could grow our understanding. “As researchers continue to untangle more about how these clocks work—including how they influence interactions between hosts and their invading pathogens and pests—new forms of specially-timed precision medicine could be on the horizon,” write Lu and Wiratan. Continue reading UMBC biologists discuss human health applications of studying plants’ circadian rhythms in The Conversation

UMBC upgrades High Performance Computing Facility through new NSF grant, expanding possibilities for data-intensive research

UMBC received an NSF award to expand its High Performance Computing Facility (HPCF). The funding will go toward upgraded hardware and increased computing speeds for the interdisciplinary core facility, which supports scientific computing and other complex, data-intensive research. Continue reading UMBC upgrades High Performance Computing Facility through new NSF grant, expanding possibilities for data-intensive research

UMBC scientists measure plant productivity from space, with applications from farming to forest conservation

“We’re laying the groundwork for developing ways of monitoring vegetation,” says Fred Huemmrich. His and Petya Campbell’s new research uses images captured by instruments on the international space station to reveal global photosynthesis rates in unprecedented detail. Continue reading UMBC scientists measure plant productivity from space, with applications from farming to forest conservation

Charissa Cheah receives Fulbright award to research identity development of Muslim Tunisian immigrant adolescents in Sicily

“My colleagues and I who are cultural developmental scientists are trying to expand, diversify, and challenge people to think critically about culture and behavior,” says Cheah. “In the process, we aim to more accurately represent the world in which we live.” Continue reading Charissa Cheah receives Fulbright award to research identity development of Muslim Tunisian immigrant adolescents in Sicily

UMBC participates in national study on Ph.D. career pathways at pivotal moment for new grads

“The assumption that the Ph.D. is primarily a pathway to the professoriate is just not the case,” says Janet Rutledge, dean of the Graduate School. “We’re hoping that by being part of this study, we will determine the best ways to focus our time and our resources to most effectively guide our students.” Continue reading UMBC participates in national study on Ph.D. career pathways at pivotal moment for new grads

UMBC researchers win USDA grants to improve safety and efficiency of fish farming industry

Yonathan Zohar, professor and chair of marine biotechnology, explains that the two UMBC teams’ research “makes the point of how you can use advanced approaches and strategies of biotechnology to open some of the major bottlenecks in the aquaculture industry.” Continue reading UMBC researchers win USDA grants to improve safety and efficiency of fish farming industry

UMBC marine biologist Colleen Burge works to save world’s oysters from deadly herpes virus

“It may only be a matter of time until [deadly strains of the herpes virus] reach U.S. coastal bays,” Colleen Burge writes. That means finding a way to prevent massive oyster die-offs, which have already happened in other parts of the world, is important to save the species—and Burge is on the task. Continue reading UMBC marine biologist Colleen Burge works to save world’s oysters from deadly herpes virus

UMBC dedicates new Earth and Space Institute, building on decades of NASA collaboration

NASA has served as “a role model and inspirational force,” that has led people to reach for the stars for generations, shares Dean Bill LaCourse. “The Earth and Space Institute is our opportunity to reach for new heights,” he says. “To take that chance in the name of science, commitment, passion, and basic human curiosity.” Continue reading UMBC dedicates new Earth and Space Institute, building on decades of NASA collaboration

UMBC receives NSF grant to launch first-of-its-kind big data and high-performance computing training for researchers across disciplines

A new interdisciplinary course will teach researchers how to use high-performance computing techniques to analyze huge amounts of data. “In a way, we are training a new type of scientist, a new generation of scientists,” says Zhibo Zhang. Continue reading UMBC receives NSF grant to launch first-of-its-kind big data and high-performance computing training for researchers across disciplines

UMBC’s Gymama Slaughter to develop bioreactors that could pause the clock for life-saving organ transplants

Currently, organ and tissue donors typically need to be in close proximity to transplant recipients due to limitations in organ transport. With technological improvements, Slaughter says, the viability of the organs could be increased to about 36 hours, greatly expanding the distance an organ could travel from donor to recipient, and the likelihood of a successful transplant Continue reading UMBC’s Gymama Slaughter to develop bioreactors that could pause the clock for life-saving organ transplants

UMBC’s Tom Cronin explains how some animals “see without eyes”

“Many animals—including human beings—do have specialized light-detecting molecules in unexpected places,” Tom Cronin writes. While notable progress has been made in understanding these molecules in recent decades, there is still much to learn about their roles in processes from navigation to mood regulation. Continue reading UMBC’s Tom Cronin explains how some animals “see without eyes”

New study by UMBC’s Chris Swan finds restoration efforts more effective in small, isolated streams

“Our results amplify the call for a larger scale perspective on river restoration,” write Chris Swan and co-author Bryan Brown. That perspective, they suggest, should include considering ecological factors like species dispersal patterns when making restoration decisions. Continue reading New study by UMBC’s Chris Swan finds restoration efforts more effective in small, isolated streams

UMBC’s Erin Green receives nearly $1 million NIH grant for cutting-edge epigenetics research

“Any cell, in any species, is constantly bombarded with different signals from its environment,” says Erin Green. Her work could provide clues to understanding how those signals may trigger complex processes from aging to the spread of cancer. Continue reading UMBC’s Erin Green receives nearly $1 million NIH grant for cutting-edge epigenetics research

UMBC researchers address diverse factors impacting U.S. schooling

UMBC researchers from across the humanities and social sciences recently earned press coverage for their work exploring factors that shape K–12 education in the United States. From inclusive language in classrooms to math pedagogy, each offers insights to spur change and further research to improve children’s educational experiences. Continue reading UMBC researchers address diverse factors impacting U.S. schooling

Christy Ford Chapin recalls lost history of the U.S. health care system in New York Times op-ed

“Historians can use narrative to explain seemingly complex issues, add nuance to national conversations, and highlight overlooked facts,” says Christy Ford Chapin—all of which she does in her award-winning book about health care in the United States. Continue reading Christy Ford Chapin recalls lost history of the U.S. health care system in New York Times op-ed

UMBC’s Lipi Mukherjee receives NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for atmospheric physics research

Mukherjee is creating a new model to more quickly and precisely detect particles dissolved in the ocean that can reduce survival of local marine life, cause algal blooms, and modulate global climate. She shares that at UMBC, “everyone is very helpful and open.” Continue reading UMBC’s Lipi Mukherjee receives NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for atmospheric physics research

Breakthrough UMBC vision research finds protein holds promise to treat biological clock disorders

Two dramatic findings in mice suggest melanopsin, a retinal protein, may play a key role in regulating biological rhythms. If the findings hold in humans, further melanopsin research could eventually lead to treatments for disorders like non-24. Continue reading Breakthrough UMBC vision research finds protein holds promise to treat biological clock disorders