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January 2017

Professor of kinesiology Patty S. Freedson retired at the end of December after serving as a faculty member for 35 years, including nine as chair of the department. Beginning in 1981, she earned a national reputation as a top researcher in the field of physical activity, its measurement and its relationship to health. Freedson founded the Physical Activity and Health Laboratory at UMass Amherst and played a fundamental role in the formation of the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring.

Rachel Walker, (CPHM) assistant professor and nurse scientist at the UMass Amherst College of Nursing, has received a Career Catalyst Research Award totaling $450,000 from the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, the world’s largest non-governmental breast cancer research organization. Walker will work with a multidisciplinary team over the next three years to develop what she describes as an “off-the-shelf survivorship support toolkit” for breast cancer survivors.

David J. McClements, food science and CBD, suggests that hydrogel beads have "considerable potential" for use in encapsulating, protecting, and releasing nutraceuticals within the food industry.

Peter Chien, biochemistry and molecular biology and M2M, comments in a story about new discoveries related to prions, the infectious agents that cause degenerative brain disorders such as “mad cow” disease. He says the next step for researchers is to confirm that the bacterial protein Rho can act like a prion in its natural host.

Rebecca Spencer, psychology and brain sciences and CPHM, comments in two separate articles on using electronic gadgets to help your assess your quality of sleep. It doesn't necessarily improve your sleep but does draw attention to the importance of sleep and the quality of it. Sleep tracking is helpful both for those who have sleep problems and for those who do not.