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

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

Woman with dark hair pulled back, wearing glasses, and a black and white zig zag pattern blouse, and a black cardigan smiling at the camera with a building and green shrubs behind her.

UMBC’s Elizabeth Patton dives into history of remote work with “Easy Living: The Rise of the Home Office”

Elizabeth Patton’s new book explores how Americans think about the modern home office and why. Due to COVID-19, remote work has hit unprecedented highs, but Patton’s scholarship reveals that it’s far from a new idea. Continue reading UMBC’s Elizabeth Patton dives into history of remote work with “Easy Living: The Rise of the Home Office”

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

A picture of beige stone bench in the sunlight with a quote by Walter Sondheim etched into the back of the bench, "Try to understand someone else's position and not assume you know what's best for others."

UMBC’s first virtual conference on inclusive language engages hundreds of education professionals from around the world

“To acknowledge that Black lives matter, that abuse of power must be stopped is paramount,” shared DàVida Plummer, keynote speaker at UMBC’s Inclusive Language Conference. “And for journalists the world over, we must capture this reality, tell our stories, and maintain objectivity.” Continue reading UMBC’s first virtual conference on inclusive language engages hundreds of education professionals from around the world

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-led team receives Dept. of Energy grant to advance nuclear fusion energy research

“While there will be important materials and engineering questions that will need to be addressed before scaling up to a commercial reactor, we will address the most important physics questions that could put us in a path to a demo reactor in years, not decades. We are very excited to be working on a truly transformational technology that will enable a virtually inexhaustible energy source with very small impact to our planet,” says Romero-Talamas. Continue reading UMBC-led team receives Dept. of Energy grant to advance nuclear fusion energy research

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

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UMBC’s Fei Han, of The Hilltop Institute, receives grant to develop model predicting patients’ COVID-19 hospitalization risk

UMBC’s Fei Han has received a COVID-19 Accelerated Translational Incubator Pilot (ATIP) award for research to help predict and reduce patients’ risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19. He will further develop the Hilltop Pre-AH Model™, a preventative risk model, to apply to pandemic conditions. Continue reading UMBC’s Fei Han, of The Hilltop Institute, receives grant to develop model predicting patients’ COVID-19 hospitalization risk

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

Flood Bot: UMBC researchers expand flood warning work in Ellicott City

Ellicott City, a town about five miles from UMBC, suffered devastating flooding in 2016 and 2018. These events left residents and officials wondering how technology could help predict future severe weather events, potentially saving lives and property. In response, UMBC’s Nirmalya Roy received funding from NSF to develop a rapid flood warning system for Ellicott City, combining sensor data and social media monitoring. Continue reading Flood Bot: UMBC researchers expand flood warning work in Ellicott City

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

UMBC’s Jianwu Wang receives NSF CAREER Award to help climate scientists make discoveries from massive, complex data sets

Jianwu Wang is the most recent UMBC faculty member to receive a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. It will support his work to develop more efficient and reproducible causality analytics for use in climate science. Continue reading UMBC’s Jianwu Wang receives NSF CAREER Award to help climate scientists make discoveries from massive, complex data sets

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 historian Anne Rubin examines food scarcity in the Confederate South through NEH fellowship

“I research people who don’t always leave letters or diaries, but can be found through a receipt for the food they were given,” says Rubin. “I want students to think of food history as another tool in the historian’s toolbox—that you can look at a recipe and you can piece together a whole social network from it.” Continue reading UMBC historian Anne Rubin examines food scarcity in the Confederate South through NEH fellowship

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

Two scientists in protective suits stand next to a piece of equipment with a large lens

UMBC once again ranks among the top 150 universities in federal research funding

The Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey aggregates federal research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2018. The survey data combines total funding from all federal agencies and also provides information on research funding from non-federal and non-governmental sources.  Continue reading UMBC once again ranks among the top 150 universities in federal research funding

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

Sensing an opportunity to improve wind energy: Maryland Innovation Initiative and bwtech help UMBC faculty commercialize their research

Wind turbines are massive. UMBC engineer Soobum Lee thinks about their size as an enormous opportunity and also a challenge. Today, sensors used to maintain turbines need their batteries replaced every two years, a challenge when they are on blades hundreds of feet in the air. Lee came up with a novel solution and received state and university support to make it a reality. Continue reading Sensing an opportunity to improve wind energy: Maryland Innovation Initiative and bwtech help UMBC faculty commercialize their research

Baltimore Field School: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supports UMBC’s inclusive approach to community-based research

“We want to think differently about how public humanities work can be done by reflecting on what ethical community-university partnerships look like,” says Nicole King, associate professor of American Studies and director of the Orser Center. “This collaborative process takes a great deal of time, listening, and building trust.” Continue reading Baltimore Field School: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supports UMBC’s inclusive approach to community-based research

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’s newest Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity explore who has a voice in literature, policy, and social movements

“UMBC is giving me the ultimate opportunity of time and support to think, write, and teach about what matters to me the most—conducting research about my community,” says Fernando Tormos-Aponte, political science. He shares the same enthusiasm that Emily Perez, English, and Blake Francis, philosophy, have about their new appointments as 2019-2020 Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity. Continue reading UMBC’s newest Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity explore who has a voice in literature, policy, and social movements

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

Students walk down stairs in front of a library, surrounded by spring plants, in the sunshine.

Times Higher Ed and Wall Street Journal again name UMBC a leading global and U.S. university

Just days after U.S. News again recognized UMBC as one of the nation’s top universities for teaching and innovation, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings have named UMBC a top global university. UMBC is listed as among the top 800 universities worldwide, and #130 among U.S. universities on the global list. UMBC performs particularly well on an important measure that reflects the visibility of UMBC faculty research on a global stage. Continue reading Times Higher Ed and Wall Street Journal again name UMBC a leading global and U.S. university

UMBC’s Erle Ellis crowdsources global archaeological research to trace the history of human impacts on Earth

“Our hope is that this is only the first achievement of what will become a new, massively collaborative scientific approach to understanding the global environmental changes caused by humans over the long term,” shares Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems. Continue reading UMBC’s Erle Ellis crowdsources global archaeological research to trace the history of human impacts on Earth

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