Texas Tech University

October Faculty Research Club Speakers Announced

The October Faculty Research club will meet at 4 p.m. on October 28 at the Texas Tech Club. 

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Transdisciplinary Research Academy
One representative from each of the eight Transdisciplinary Research Academy teams.

Immune Mechanisms in Pulmonary Hypertension
The team includes Brian Reilly (Biological Sciences), Joaquin Gonzalez (Dept. of Kinesiology and Sport Management), and Joe Neary (Animal and Food Science)
Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive, incurable disease that is estimated to affect up to 100 million people worldwide. All forms of pulmonary hypertension are characterized by pulmonary vasoconstriction, remodeling, and inflammation that ultimately results in right heart dysfunction and failure. Unfortunately, the real-time inflammatory changes occurring within the lungs during the development of pulmonary hypertension cannot be determined using current animal models. Our goal is to develop a bovine calf model of pulmonary hypertension that will permit a comprehensive real-time evaluation of right ventricular function, pulmonary artery hemodynamics, and microvascular remodeling and inflammation. We hypothesize that stiffening of the pulmonary artery is an early change during disease development.

Time Stress and Choice of Retirement Plans
The team includes Dr. Charlene M. Kalenkoski (Personal Financial Planning), Dr. Michael Parent (Psychological Sciences), and Dr. Eric Cardella (Energy, Economics, and Law).
They are investigating how time and informational constraints affect decision making related to retirement plan choices.

Understanding Dating Teen Violence through the use of Media
The team includes Narissra Punyanunt-Carter(Communication Studies), Sylvia Niehuis (Human Development and Family Studies), Fernando Valle(Educational Psychology and Leadership), and Eric Rasmussen (Electronic Media & Communications) Wolfe et al. (2009) reported that roughly 20% of teens are physically hurt by a romantic partner. Findings indicate that to reduce the cycle of violence in adolescents, they must be educated about healthy dating relationships (Wolfe et al., 2009). The purpose of this study is to create an educational prevention program aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness about Teen Dating Violence (TDV).

Nanodevices and Chronic Disease Theranostics
The team includes Zhaoyang Fan (Electrical & Computer Engineering) and Shu Wang (Nutritional Sciences)
An electrical engineer and a biomedical scientist develop a nanoparticle-based approach for detecting and treating atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 silent killer in the United States. Current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies cannot target its disease cells. Targeted delivery of diagnostic agents and therapeutic compounds to the disease cells in plaques using our nanoparticle-based approach represents an innovative strategy for enhancing detection sensitivity and treatment efficacy with minimized side-effects and toxicity.

The Value of Greening Urban Environments: A Pilot Study in Fair Park, Dallas
The team includes Jennifer Vanos (Geosciences), David Driskill (Architecture), and Tary Arterburn (Landscape Architect, Partner, Studio Outside)
This project explores the value of urban spaces through a new lens, focusing on the invisible parameters of weather and carbon pollution. Through the use of data specific to Fair Park in Dallas, we put forth new ideas to enhance the value of the park through the use of bioclimatic design for thermal comfort by transforming select parking lots to vegetation. Using park as a noun rather than a verb, we model the future benefits of incorporating greenspace into the park for urban heat island reduction and air pollution mitigation.

Time use, food expenditure and quality of diet: Painting the complete picture
The team includes Mary Murimi (Nutritional Sciences), Carlos Carpio(Agricultural and Applied Economics), and Charlene Kalenkoski (Personal Financial Planning)
The group is studying how time use, money expenditures, and food choices are jointly related and are working to create metrics showing these relations across a variety of population groups.

Robotics Matter Design
The team includes Christian Pongratz (Architecture), Sangwook Bae (Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering), Brian Nutter (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Jeff Hanson (Mechanical Engineering), Chongzheng Na(Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering), Snoeyink Craig(Mechanical Engineering), and Venhuizen Von(Art)
The Robotics Matter Design (RMD) team will investigate novel fabrication opportunities to build components and design products through the implementation of industrial robots into a multi-functional design and fabrication platform bridging many disciplines.

International Security and the Visual Environment: Biobehavioral Costs of Negative Image Consumption
The team includes James Carr (Biological Sciences), Breanna Harris (Biological Sciences), Erik Bucy (Advertising), and Zachary Hohman (Psychological Sciences)
With the explosion of social media, click-bait articles, and the twenty-four-hour news cycle people are constantly exposed to media content designed intentionally to alter or prey on human emotion. To date, the impact that the near-continual display of threat messages has on stress, anxiety, risk taking behaviors, and group identity are unknown. Our multi-disciplinary team aims to understand how such visual content a) is manipulated to influence emotion and behavior; b) how the human brain and endocrine system decode and respond to emotionally charged visual messaging; c) the consequences of exposure to such messaging on viewer physiology, individual behavior, and group identification; and, d) how leader non-verbal cues and group affiliation can mitigate the stress and anxiety associated with emotionally charged messages.