• Before heading to Australia, the students visit the Forge Wetland in Irvine. UCI professor Stanley Grant (far left) explains to Lynze Cheung of UCI, Maddy Walzem of UC San Diego and Clint Rosser of UC San Diego (from left) how the field instrument he’s pointing at (an acoustic Doppler velocimeter) measures water flow. Courtesy of Elena Sy Su

    Twelve UC undergrads go Down Under to study Aussie approaches to drought, conservation and resource management

    Bright undergraduates from UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Diego spent some of this summer Down Under, immersing themselves in drought solutions, wetlands design and related issues – sometimes literally.

    “I thought it was ground, and it wasn’t. It was water, it was cold, and it got way deep,” says Clint Rosser, who’ll be a UC San Diego senior this fall, describing how he accidentally plunged waist-deep into a mucky wetland near Melbourne, Australia, in mid-July.

    He and 11 others were part of this year’s Undergraduate Partnerships for International Research & Education Program Down Under, funded by the National Science Foundation. While submerged, Rosser asked his fellow student researchers to pass him a bottle so he could collect a water sample for pollutant analysis.

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  • Sabee Molloi

    Sabee Molloi, professor of radiological sciences at UCI, has been named a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research. The honor recognizes imaging researchers for their significant contributions in the field of medical imaging. Molloi, who holds joint faculty appointments in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering, focuses on developing novel diagnostic imaging techniques for breast cancer and cardiac disease.

    At UCI, his research group has developed a dual-energy mammography technique that takes images of a breast at different energy levels to measure tissue density, which is important because women with dense breast tissue are four to five times more likely to develop tumors. And partnering with Carlos Iribarren, a research scientist from Kaiser Permanente, he is assessing whether breast arterial calcification detected by mammography can be used to gauge cardiovascular disease risk. For this effort, the two have received a $6.8 million grant from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute to study mammography-identified calcium buildup in breast arteries in more than 5,000 African American, Latino, Asian and white women at three Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern California. The researchers will test whether these calcifications correlate with several cardiovascular disease risk factors. A technique to accurately measure breast arterial calcium mass was developed in Molloi’s laboratory.

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  • illustration by Matt Woodworth

    Conductivity could charge up futuristic disease treatments

    The common pencil squid (Loliginidae) may hold the key to a new generation of medical technologies that could communicate more directly with the human body. UC Irvine materials science researchers have discovered that reflectin, a protein in the tentacled creature’s skin, can conduct positive electrical charges, or protons, making it a promising material for building biologically inspired devices.

    Currently, products such as retinal implants, nerve stimulators and pacemakers rely on electrons – particles with negative charges – to transmit diagnosis data or to treat medical conditions. Living organisms use protons, with positive charges, or ions, which are atoms that contain both electrons and protons, to send such signals. The UCI discovery could lead to better ion- or proton-conducting materials: for instance, next-generation implants that could relay electrical messages to the nervous system to monitor or interfere with the progression of disease.

  • Dean Gregory Washington, Engineering Mentee Deysi Alvarado, Dean Hal Stern

    At a spirited June event in the Student Center’s Pacific Ballroom, a group of students from both the Samueli School of Engineering and the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences gathered with their mentors to celebrate a successful end to the two schools’ inaugural Undergraduate Mentorship Program.

    In its first year, the Undergraduate Mentorship Program focused primarily, though not exclusively, on pairing up female engineering and ICS students with mentors in a variety of high-tech businesses. The proportion of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), both in academia and industry, continues to lag behind that of men. This is why the program began with a focus on women.

    Linda Smart — senior director of research and development informatics services at Allergan, a UCI alumna and a member of ICS/Engineering Diversity Committee — was instrumental in the launch of the mentoring program.

    “I had a real personal interest,” Smart says. “It’s a way for me to sort of reach back in time, think about who I was as student, and say, ‘How can I give young students the benefit of my experience?’”

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  • Dean Washington with will.i.am

    Gregory Washington, dean of UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and a strong advocate for American manufacturing, recently attended the first White House Makers Faire, which spotlighted production innovation at campuses nationwide. UC Irvine showcased its 3-D design and printing capabilities, including the National Center for Rapid Technologies, or Rapid Tech. The nonprofit trains students in 3-D techniques and provides faculty and private businesses with efficiently produced, critically needed product prototypes.

    Washington mingled with the host of the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” educational TV show, musical super star will.i.am and other creative minds. What most impressed him were products he saw from schools.

    “Students had designed and built items ranging from shoes that can charge your cell phone to a device that make 3-D printed pancakes to a full blown home,” Washington said.  “I was amazed at the level of sophistication of the students nationally.”

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News

Jul 03, 2014

Research Leads to Novel Inhaler

Asthma sufferers and others with pulmonary disorders are well acquainted with nebulizers.

Jul 02, 2014

Butterworth and Beall competitions reward the best in both hardware and software

To the naked eye, this year’s Butterworth Product Development Competition at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences looked much as it always has.

From left: Satya Atluri, Syed Jafar and Matt Law Jun 25, 2014

Three Engineering Faculty -- Satya Atluri, Syed Jafar and Matt Law -- Among Most Highly Cited Researchers

Three Samueli School engineering professors – Satya Atluri, Syed A. Jafar and Matt Law – have been recognized as among the world’s leading scientific minds, according to the 2014 Highly Cited Researchers list published by Thomson Reuters.