A&S Faculty News
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Batra Awarded Yale Fellowship
Kanika Batra, Associate Professor in the Department of English, has been awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, for her project "Claude McKay and the Fragmented History of Jamaican Sexuality." The awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services July 27.
Nagihara Looks to Land Robots on Europa
Seiichi Nagihara, Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences, anticipates a total award of $320,306 in grant funds from NASA for his project entitled "Heat flow probe for robotic landing missions to Europa and the other icy moons." Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week of July 20-26.
Milam Awarded Grant from U.S. Army
Ron Milam, Associate Professor in the Department of History and interim Executive Director of TTU's Institute of Peace & Conflict (IPAC), received a grant of $296,217, incrementally funded by the U.S. Army. Funds will go toward Graduate Research Assistants (GRA). Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week of July 20-26.
Sagarzazu Receives Grant From Nottingham
Inaki Sagarzazu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, received $5,011 from the University of Nottingham/Economic and Social Research Council for the project entitled "The legacy of authoritarian regimes on democratic citizenship." The awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week of July 13-19.
Wang, Gao Conduct Genome Editing
Degeng Wang, Associate Professor (left), and Weimin Gao, Associate Professor (right), both in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, received a grant totaling $450,806 for their research proposal to combine CRISPER and CAS9 Genome Editing for Protein Kinase Analysis. The grant came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week of July 13-19.
McKee Talks About Microsoft's Rural Push
Seth McKee, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, weighed in on Microsoft's move to provide better Internet service to rural populations. McKee was quoted in a July 11 NPR/KTTZ-FM program, All Tech Considered, as saying the move is a smart one. "Trump on the campaign trail used rhetoric to speak and resonate with those voters, in these sort of left-behind economies as we talk about them. But has there been anything beyond rhetoric since he's gotten into office? Not that I'm aware of," McKee told the program. "If they were the first ones to really go in this area and actually show some willingness to put some skin in the game, that could go a long ways in terms of politicians taking notice and further bankrolling this sort of thing."
Presley Says Heavy Rains Hatch More Mosquitoes
Steve Presley, Professor and Director of Texas Tech University's Biological Threat Research Laboratory in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was interviewed by KLBK/KAMC News about the likelihood of increased mosquito populations in the aftermath of recent rains. "We probably will see a significant number because of as much rain as we've gotten over the four day weekend and with the standing water," Presley was quoted as saying in the July 6 article. "A lot of the flood species are going to hatch out; there will be more mosquitoes." Presley recommended staying indoors at dawn and dusk and invest in a good bug repellent. The article also reported that "researchers have tested mosquitoes for the West Nile virus and Zika virus, and all the tests have come back negative." A few days later, FOX-34 News reported on July 10 and updated July 24 that Lubbock Vector Control trucks were fogging for mosquitoes. "I know the city's Vector Control folks are already hitting it hard and heavy or they were getting ready for it last week. And I'd imagine they're probably hitting it hard and heavy right now," Presley told the TV station. A city official confirmed that mosquito fogging was being carried out between 8 p.m. and midnight, and also between 6 and 9:30 a.m.
Latham Shares in President's Collaborative Grant
Michael Latham, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has received half of a TTU Presidents' Collaborative Research Initiative Grant of $50,000. Latham's proposal, entitled "A Structural Basis for a Form of Mental Retardation," is a collaborative grant with Dr. Clint Macdonald, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Cell Biology & Biochemistry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC); and Dr. Petar Grozdanov, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry at TTUHSC. This award provides seed money for experiments to understand how a single mutation of a protein found in brain cells can cause a severe form of mental retardation. Latham's research interest lie in the areas of Solution State Biomolecular NMR, Structural Biology, Protein Dynamics, DNA Damage Repair, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
Li Research Saves Time, Money on Arlymines
Guigen Li, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was featured in an ACS Chemical & Engineering News article, "Arylamines Made Easy," published online July 6. The article, subtitled "Reagent featuring an electrophilic nitrogen makes secondary amine synthesis a snap," described Li's research on arylamines, which can be important components of pharmaceuticals or other biologically active molecules, according to the story. But the reactions commonly used to make them require transition metal catalysts and ligands that can be time-consuming to screen and expensive to remove should they contaminate a final product, the story went on to report. Li and fellow researchers László Kürti of Rice University and Daniel H. Ess of Brigham Young University have found a new approach that can save time and money. More on Li's work was published in Global News Connect.
Nes Gets NIH Grant
David Nes, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Director of the Center for Chemical Biology, received $881,354 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a three-year study entitled "Discovery of new anti-amoeba therapeutics." The grant is a continuation award of Nes' current R21 grant that runs through May 2018. The ongoing research program seeks development of new, potent steroidal inhibitors. More specifically, this work is aimed to develop transition state analogs and mechanism-based suicide substrates as anti-amoeba agents that target enzymes (sterol methyltransferases) specific to the amoeba pathogen (Acanthamoeba and Naegleria) not synthesized in the animal host. Nes also received a gift of $125,000 per year for three years. Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
Findlater Shares EAGER Grant
Michael Findlater, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Professor Weile Yan of the Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering, have been awarded an EAGER grant in the amount of $80,000 by the Engineering Division of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The development of hydraulic fracturing has led to a glut of natural gas resources in the US; however, water use associated with the process has raised environmental concerns. Findlater and Yan are developing new technology to remediate wastewater associated with hydraulic fracturing. Findlater also received a contract of $8,000 from Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, for a project entitled "Synthesis of 2-Acetylphenanthroline." Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
Poirier, Aquino, Eckert Receive $500K from NSF
Bill Poirier, Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Joint Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, received $498,009 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a three-year project entitled "CDS&E: Massively Parallel Quantum Dynamics: Computing many accurate quantum states for real molecular applications." The research is funded jointly through the Chemical Theory, Models, and Computation (CTMC) and the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC). Poirier and fellow researchers Adelia Aquino, Adjunct Professor, and Juergen Eckert, Research Professor, both in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, will use the grant to develop methods to scale exact quantum dynamical molecular simulations across the next generation of massively parallel supercomputers. Molecular simulations promise to enable computers to replace expensive and time-consuming laboratory experiments, and are thus used routinely in many areas (energy, drug design, nanomaterials, for instance). However, very few molecular simulations incorporate quantum dynamical effects—even though these can be important—because of the daunting numerical hurdles and difficult mathematics involved. To meet this challenge, Poirier and his colleagues are developing the world's first massively parallel exact quantum dynamics code, which may dramatically improve the accuracy, reliability and true predictive power of molecular simulations. Poirier received the TTU Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award in 2008. Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
Pappas to Develop Sepsis Detection for POS
Dimitri Pappas, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received a CH Foundation gift of $102,126 for his research entitled "A Microchip Sepsis Detection System for Point of Service Healthcare." Pappas is known for his work using new chemical methods to study and detect illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, and has been noted as one of the top bioanalytical chemists in the nation. He also is winner of the TTU Chancellor's Council Research Award for 2017. Awards were announced bu the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
D'Auria Shares in NSF Collaborative Grant
John D'Auria, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Collaborative Grant of $800,000 over three years for his proposal entitled "Collaborative Research: A systems approach toward understanding the diversification of tropane and granatane alkaloid biosynthesis." TTU's share is the grant is $332,348. D'Auria is the lead Principal Investigator on the project along with Cornelius Barry from MSU and Charles Stewart Jr. from ISU. D'Auria's research interests include Chemical Biology, Metabolic Engineering, and Biochemistry and Evolution of Plant Specialized Metabolism. Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
Wylie Awarded $1.7 Million Grant from NIH
Benjamin Wylie, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received grant funding of $1,745,725 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his 5-year research proposal entitled, "Functional Interplay of Lipid Membrane Components: Activation, Inhibition, and Raft Formation." Wylie's principal research interests involve using state of the art solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) to study the structure and function of membrane proteins. Specifically, research in the Wylie laboratory aims to expand understanding of the structure and function of transmembrane K+ channels and receptors in lipid bilayers and native membranes. The award was announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
Mechref Receives NIH Subcontract
Yehia Mechref, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received a subcontract of $193,781 over five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The subcontract was part of an NIH R01 grant proposal entitled "Proximal Tubule Albumin Transport in Disease States" awarded to Professor Bruce A. Molitoris of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending July 5.
Hase Works With Exchange Student
Bill Hase, Horn Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is working this summer with Shreyas Malpathak who is the recipient of the S.N. Bose Scholarship. India's S.N. Bose Program fosters dynamics and transformative student exchange between premier institutions in India and the United States. The program is named in honor of Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974), a visionary Indian physicist best known for his work on quantum mechanics and postulation of the boson in the early 1920s. He received the Nobel Prize in physics for this work. This year there were over 1,500 applications, and only 60 students were short-listed. Malpathak is one of the recipients of this highly prestigious scholarship and requested to work with Hase.
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2016 FACULTY NEWS
"True Sex: the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"
Emily Skidmore, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, uncovers the stories of 18 trans men who lived in the United States between 1876 and 1936 in "True Sex, the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century." At the turn of the 20th century, trans men were not necessarily urban rebels seeking to overturn stifling gender roles. In fact, they often sought to pass as conventional men, choosing to live in small towns where they led ordinary lives, aligning themselves with the expectations of their communities. They were, in a word, unexceptional. Despite the "unexceptional" quality of their lives, their stories are nonetheless surprising and moving, challenging much of what we think we know about queer history. By tracing the narratives surrounding the moments of "discovery" in these communities—from reports in local newspapers to medical journals and beyond—this book challenges the assumption that the full story of modern American sexuality is told by cosmopolitan radicals. Rather, "True Sex" reveals complex narratives concerning rural geography and community, persecution and tolerance, and how these factors intersect with the history of race, identity and sexuality in America. (NYU Press, September 2017)
"The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia"
Sankar Chatterjee, Horn Professor in the Department of Geosciences, writes that the fossil history of animal life in India is central to our understanding of the tectonic evolution of Gondwana, the dispersal of India, its northward journey, and its collision with Asia in "The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia" . According to a review in Phys.org, "This beautifully illustrated volume provides the only detailed overview of the paleobiogeographic, tectonic, and paleoclimatic evolution of the Indian plate from Gondwana to Asia," and quotes Chatterjee and his colleagues as saying, "The tectonic evolution of the Indian plate represents one of the most dramatic and epic voyages of all drifting continents: 9,000 kilometers in 160 million years. ... The extensive reshuffling of the Indian plate was accompanied by multiple temporary filter bridges, resulting in the cosmopolitan nature of tetrapod fauna." The review goes on to conclude that "This thorough, up-to-date volume is a must-have reference for researchers and students in Indian geology, paleontology, plate tectonics, and collision of continents." (The Geological Society of America, July 2017)
"Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition"
Angela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, offers, in "Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition," descriptions and examples of unethical behaviors in sport that will challenge readers to think about how they view sport and question whether participating in sport builds character—especially at the youth and amateur levels. Sport potentially can teach character as well as social and moral values, but only when these positive concepts are consistently taught, modeled, and reinforced by sport leaders with the moral courage to do so. The seeming moral crisis threatening amateur and youth sport—evidenced by athletes, coaches, and parents alike making poor ethical choices—and ongoing scandals regarding performance-enhancing drug use by professional athletes make sports ethics a topic of great concern. This work enables readers to better understand the ethical challenges facing competitive sport by addressing issues such as gamesmanship, doping, cheating, sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for the game. A compelling read for coaches, sport administrators, players, parents, and sport fans, the book examines specific examples of unethical behaviors—many cases of which occur in amateur and educational sports—to illustrate how these incidents threaten the perception that sport builds character. It identifies and investigates the multiple reasons for cheating in sport, such as the fact that the rewards for succeeding are so high, and the feeling of athletes that they must behave as they do to "level the playing field" because everyone else is cheating, being violent, taking performance-enhancing drugs, or doing whatever it takes to win. Readers will gain insight into how coaches and sport administrators can achieve the goals for youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and Olympic sport by stressing moral values and character development as well as see how specific recommendations can help ensure that sport can serve to build character rather than teach bad behavior in the pursuit of victory. (ABC-CLIO, December 2016)
"Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport" 10th Edition
Angela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, gives college students a wide-angle view of physical education, exercise science, sport, and the wealth of careers available in these fields in the 10th Edition of "Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport." The textbook provides the principles, history, and future of physical education, exercise science, and sport. Lumpkin's clear writing style engages the reader while covering the most important introductory topics in this updated introduction to the world of physical education. (McGraw-Hill, July 2016)
William Wenthe, Professor in the Department Of English, explores painful and fleeting emotions within the 96 pages of "God's Foolishness." Here, he mines the feelings of human uncertainty in matters of love and desire, time and death, and uncovers difficult truths with transformative insights. These are poems of crisis. Wenthe examines our conflicting urges to see nature as sustenance and to foolishly destroy it. His poems shift from close observation to panorama with cinematic fluidity, from a tea mug to an ancient monument, from a warbler on an elm branch to the specter of imminent natural disaster. Offering passion and intellect balanced with a careful concern for poetic craft, Wenthe's "God's Foolishness" gives us fine poems to savor and admire. Watch the YouTube video here. (LSU, May 2016)
"Before the Gregorian Reform: The Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium"
John Howe, Professor in the Department of History, challenges the familiar narrative that the era from about 1050 to 1150 was the pivotal moment in the history of the Latin Church. The status quo states it was then that the Gregorian Reform movement established the ecclesiastical structure that would ensure Rome's dominance throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. In "Before the Gregorian Reform," Howe examines earlier, "pre-Gregorian" reform efforts within the Church—and finds that they were more extensive and widespread than previously thought and that they actually established a foundation for the subsequent Gregorian Reform movement. The low point in the history of Christendom came in the late ninth and early tenth centuries—a period when much of Europe was overwhelmed by barbarian raids and widespread civil disorder, which left the Church in a state of disarray. As Howe shows, however, the destruction gave rise to creativity. Aristocrats and churchmen rebuilt churches and constructed new ones, competing against each other so that church building, like castle building, acquired its own momentum. Patrons strove to improve ecclesiastical furnishings, liturgy, and spirituality. Schools were constructed to staff the new churches. Moreover, Howe shows that these reform efforts paralleled broader economic, social, and cultural trends in Western Europe including the revival of long-distance trade, the rise of technology, and the emergence of feudal lordship. The result was that by the mid-eleventh century a wealthy, unified, better-organized, better-educated, more spiritually sensitive Latin Church was assuming a leading place in the broader Christian world. "Before the Gregorian Reform" challenges us to rethink the history of the Church and its place in the broader narrative of European history. Compellingly written and generously illustrated, it is a book for all medievalists as well as general readers interested in the Middle Ages and Church history. (Cornell University Press, March 2016)
"New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures"
Ronald J. Kendal, Professor of Environmental Toxicology; Steven Presley, Professor of Immuno-toxicology; and Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor of Countermeasures to Biological Threats, all from the Department of Environmental Toxicology, have co-edited the newly published textbook, “New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures.” The volume compiles a decade's worth of research through TTU's Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats, and updated many changes in the field since an earlier book, “Advances in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures,” came out in 2008. “It's not just for college students,” Ramkumar said. “It's a tool for people in the field, from first responders all the way to policy makers.” (CRC Press, February 2016)
"Psychoanalytic Treatment in Adults: A Longitudinal Study of Change"
Rosemary Cogan, Adjuct Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, is co-author of "Psychonalytic Treatment in Adults: A longitudinal study of change." The book draws from 60 first-hand case studies to explore the outcomes of psychoanalytic treatment, providing examples of the long-term effectiveness of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic work as it delineates negative therapeutic treatment and discusses crucial changes in care. Outcomes of psychoanalysis, as with other psychotherapies, vary considerably. Cogan and her co-author, J.H. Porcerelli, used the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure to describe a patient at the beginning of psychoanalysis and every six months until the analysis ended. This allowed the authors to learn about changes over analysis and, in turn, improved treatment planning and practice for the well-being of other patients. Findings will be of interest to researchers and academics in the fields of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalytic education, psychiatry and psychology, and should also help clinicians recognize potential problems early in analytic treatments in order to work more effectively with patients. (Routeledge, February 2016)