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February 2017

Human Magnetic Resonance Center Physicists, Drs. Kwan-Jin Jung and Rajakumar Nagarajan have been selected to present at the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Conference this April. The ISMRM is the premier scientific conference for MR work worldwide. Drs. Jung and Nagarajan will be presenting their new collaborative projects with CPHM Faculty, Jacquie Kurland, Associate Professor of Communication Disorders, Frank Sup, Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, and Jane Kent, Professor of Kinesiology, and their graduate students.

Undergraduates working in the Institute pursue life sciences research interests in state-of-the-art facilities, comparable to those they will work in after graduation.

Professor J. Joshua Yang (CPHM) and his colleagues in electrical and computer engineering are creating unconventional technologies for post-silicon devices that have the potential to transform computing by offering faster, more energy efficient, and more sustainable technical capabilities.

Thomas Zoeller, biology and M2M, comments in a story about a new study in mice that finds that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) before birth is linked to obesity later in life. He says the researchers are asking the right question when they look at how exposure to BPA changes the way the brain understands metabolic signals.

Breast cancer researcher Kathleen Arcaro, veterinary and animal sciences and M2M, will team up with epidemiologist Susan Sturgeon, biostatistics and epidemiology, on a one-year pilot study of bisphenol A (BPA), phthalate and related compound levels and effects on breast density around the time when a woman is breast-feeding her first child. The study is funded by a $300,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Craig Albertson, biology and M2M, has received a five-year, $1.76 million National Institutes of Health grant to study the development of the craniofacial skeleton, work he says will address a significant knowledge gap. Albertson explains, “While we know a lot about how the skull and facial skeleton form, we know comparatively very little about how the head is shaped over development.”

Michael Henson, Chemical Engineering and M2M, is the principal investigator for a three-university collaborative project, which involves creating mathematical models of “circadian rhythm” generation to better understand sleep disorders and other diseases triggered by the malfunction of this 24-hour “body clock” in humans.

Researchers in nanochemistry expert Vincent Rotello’s laboratory at UMass Amherst have designed a delivery system using nanoparticles to assist CRISPR/Cas9 across the membrane and into the cell nucleus while avoiding entrapment by cellular machinery. Details appear in a recent issue of the journal ACS Nano.

Laura N. Vandenberg, environmental health sciences and M2M, comments in a story about how fast-food restaurant chains have stopped using packaging and wrappers that may contain chemicals found to cause health problems. New studies find that the new packaging used by these chains may also contain chemicals that are harmful to health.