Enrique J. Lavernia, dean of the UC Davis College of Engineering and member of the National Academy of Engineering, has been appointed provost and executive vice chancellor of UC Irvine, effective July 1. He will report to Chancellor Howard Gillman.
In his new role, Lavernia will be UCI’s chief academic and operating officer, assuming primary responsibility for the university’s teaching and research enterprise, which includes 12 schools, nearly 3,000 faculty and 192 degree programs. He succeeds Michael Clark, who has served on an interim basis since September 2014, when former provost Gillman was appointed chancellor.
A national team of scientists, led by Samueli School professor Peter Burke, is using nanofluidics to peer into the life and death cycle of cancer cells, hoping the information will one day lead to personalized treatment protocols and the development of more effective, cell-targeted pharmaceuticals.
Burke, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and researchers from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania recently were awarded nearly $1.2 million from the National Cancer Institute. The grant is funded through the NCI’s Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies program, which supports the development, technical maturation and dissemination of potentially transformative next-generation technologies in cancer research. The collaborators seek to map out pathways of the molecular process in cancer cells – pathways that allow the cells to avoid natural cell death and continue proliferating.
Top researchers, public officials and policymakers converge at UCI to discuss extreme water shortages and how to handle them
Each year, California growers bet a good part of the farm that there’ll be enough water to produce a profitable harvest. Costly crop failure insurance can help hedge their bets, but must be purchased by strict deadlines – before it’s clear whether the state will face another year of withering drought.
UCI engineers and others hope to reduce that age-old risk by helping farmers gauge the prospect of drought as much as a month earlier, thanks to sophisticated new modeling techniques.
As the undersea masters of disguise, squid have an amazing ability to blend into their environment to hide from predators. A UC Irvine engineering professor studying the squid’s dynamic color- and shape-changing properties is applying what he’s discovered to develop a new type of fabric that lets wearers regulate their own temperature.
The proposed material is called Thermocomfort cloth, and it would leverage the established heat-managing capabilities of materials similar to those used in space blankets, as well as the adaptive principles underlying the function of squid skin. The idea is that a jacket made from this fabric would capture and release body heat, adjusting to the user’s own preference for comfort.
Nine engineering undergraduates shared a meal with their dean last month in the kitchen of Mesa Court Housing Director Lou Gill. The family-style dinner provided students the opportunity to get to know Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington on a more casual basis as Washington chatted with them about their experiences at UCI.
“Anytime I can spend time with students and see what we’re doing well as a school and learn how we can improve is a great occasion,” Washington said. “It’s fun for me to engage with students. I get a lot out of it.”