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June 2016

These projects advance basic and applied research in areas of strategic importance to the Commonwealth. “Bio-mechanics for Disease Diagnosis and Cell,” led by Jae-Hwang Lee, CPHM and mechanical and industrial engineering, this project will create an interdisciplinary research program to establish the university’s bio-mechanical capabilities at the level of individual cells and organs.

Laura N. Vandenberg, M2M and environmental health studies, commenting in a story about how bisphenol A can affect children says because it mimics hormones, it has differing effects on boys and girls because hormones are used differently by the body in boys and girls.

Maureen Lynch, M2M, and Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi, CPHM, both from Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, received an NSF grant entitled, "Mechano-Regulation of Bone Metastatic Cancer: Linking Cell Strain to Cell Function."

Maureen Lynch, M2M and Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Abigail Jensen, M2M and Biology, Sarah Witkowski, CPHM and Kinesiology, and Guodong Zhang, CBD and Food Science, all received a Faculty Research Grant/Healey Endowment Grant (FRG/HEG) for 2016-2017. The goal of the awards is to promote excellence in research, including by increasing extramural sponsored research activity, fostering the dissemination of new research, or otherwise attracting recognition and funds for faculty research.

In early June, Patty Freedson, CPHM and kinesiology, gave a presentation at the 2016 American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Boston. Her talk entitled, "Measuring the Masses: Recent Advances in Physical Activity Measurement and Evaluation" was an invited presentation and part of the Wearables and Precision Medicine: Implications for the Sports Science Community Symposium.

At BIO 2016 in San Francisco, Peter Reinhart, the director of IALS, sat on a panel which highlighted the increasing shift in academia towards translational research and the resulting industry engagement and collaboration strategies to speed discoveries to patients. Also, providing an industry perspective on how industry-academic relationships are growing, the role of academia in filling these pipelines.

Head blight caused by Fusarium graminearum threatens worldwide wheat production, resulting in both yield loss and mycotoxin contamination. Molecular biologists Li-Jun Ma (BMB) and Lixin Gao (ECE) are using MGHPCC to understand pathogenicity at the systems level with the goal of developing novel disease control strategies.

Rebecca Spencer, CPHM and psychological and brain sciences, says a new study that looks at factors such as heart-rate variability during sleep may provide new insights into how sleep and memory are connected. The new study looked at electrical activity in the brain during sleep but also measured variations in heart beats. “There is a good possibility that this additional measure [heart-rate variability] may help account for discrepant findings in sleep-dependent memory consolidation literature,” Spencer says.

The global event for biotechnology returns to the birthplace of biotech, San Francisco, California. The region continues to grow and advance biomedical innovation while continuing to offer programs and services to support to bring new medical advances to patients. Imagine all of the powerful partnerships when these powerful communities of innovation come together – mark your calendar today!