In this edition of Research Connections, find links to researchers in the news, updates on important deadlines, and more news for University of Rochester researchers. Email not displaying correctly?
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Digitally recreating a great train station

With its round-arched windows inspired by the driving wheels of locomotives, its spacious central lobby, and its massive vaulted ceiling, Rochester's Third New York Central train station made a grand impression. Indeed, many Rochesterians still rue the loss of Claude Bragdon's magnificent structure, which stood for more than half a century before being razed in the mid 1960s.

The Claude Bragdon Digital Humanities Project, led by Joan Saab, Chair of Art and Art History, and Associate Professor of Art History/Visual and Cultural Studies, and by Joan Rubin, the Dexter Perkins Professor in History, is developing a website that will feature an interactive 3D model of the station. It will not only showcase the station's impressive architecture but "recreate the experience" of the station with written and audio materials, Rubin notes.

It will also be an opportunity to bring long-overdue credit to Bragdon himself, Saab adds. A contemporary of noted architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, Bragdon was a central figure in the American Modernist movement, but "he's sort of left out of the history books," Saab says. "He had this idea of organic architecture before Wright; Bragdon talked a lot about holistic connections of light and movement and space, and how bodies move through space. At the time this was seen as kind of crazy, but now architects and architectural historians talk about these things all the time."

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Vera Gorbunova to lead $9.5 million longevity project

Vera Gorbunova, Professor of Biology, has been awarded a $9.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study longevity. She will lead a five-year project, which includes colleagues at Rochester, Harvard University, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, to explore the factors responsible for longevity in various rodent species, with the goal of developing treatments to improve the aging process in people. Read more...

Health disparities not always attributable to race

Information collected in Monroe County over the past 17 years shows that researchers need to closely examine myriad contributing factors before declaring that race or ethnicity leads to an increased risk for certain behaviors or health conditions.

"We talk about racial disparities, but maybe there's a lot more going on underneath that we need to be attentive to, rather than just labeling a difference due to race," said Ann Dozier, Associate Professor in Public Health Sciences, at a recent Public Health Grand Rounds presentation.

For example, raw data from four surveys showed that, at various points from 1997 and 2012, both African Americans and Hispanics were significantly more likely to be smokers than whites.

However, after adjusting for four factors -- age, gender, education level, and whether the person was a city or suburban resident -- Black race and Hispanic ethnicity were not shown to be indicators for whether a person was a smoker in two of the studies. (Adjusted data from the other two surveys showed that African Americans were actually less likely to be smokers than whites.)

Instead, significant indicators were age, education, and place of residence. Those below the age of 65, those with less education, and city-dwellers were all significantly more likely to be smokers. Read more at CTSI Stories.

Community Health mini-grant deadline is May 12

The Center for Community Health announces the Community Health Mini-Grant Program for May 2014. The purpose of the program is to provide grants (up to $1,000) for the development, strengthening, or evaluation of community-URMC health improvement partnerships for research, education, intervention, or service. The application deadline is Monday, May 12 at noon. Click here to find a link to the mini-grant program and application form.

Aab Cardiovascular Research pilot grant abstracts due May 1

The Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) announces a new program that will fund pilot research projects to support high impact research that creates novel basic and translational knowledge. In order of priority, the areas of targeted research are heart failure, vascular inflammation and fibrosis, and thrombosis. Abstracts are due on May 1. Read more here.

Research in the news

The drug acetazolamide, combined with a low-sodium weight reduction diet, improves vision in individuals with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, according to a study led by researchers at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Read more at the Research@URMC blog.

A perspective piece in JAMA, authored by Gretchen Birbeck and Robert Griggs, professors of neurology at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Michael Hanna from University College London, focuses on the challenges and opportunities arising from the increasing global incidence of neurological disorders. Read more at the Research@URMC blog.

New research by Carmala Garzione, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and colleagues explain that the Altiplano plateau in the central Andes -- and most likely the entire mountain range -- was formed through a series of rapid growth spurts, and not a continuous, gradual uplift of the surface, as was previously thought. Read more . . ..

Scientists are facing a number of barriers as they try to develop circuits that are microscopic in size, including how to reliably control the current that flows through a circuit that is the width of a single molecule. Alexander Shestopalov, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, has done just that, accomplishing an important step toward nanoscale circuitry. Read more ...

An international team of researchers has pinpointed a genetic mutation that appears to be responsible for a rare condition that triggers seizures in babies. The mutation was identified because new data science technologies enabled the scientists to sift through extremely large sets of genetic information. Researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, led by neurogeneticist Alex Paciorkowski, along with collaborators at Swansea University in the UK, and Seattle Children's Hospital, obtained the full genetic profile of two individuals with the condition through a process called whole exome sequencing. Read more at the Research@URMC blog.

Mark your calendar

Today: Conversation & Book Signing with Joanne Larson, the Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education at the Warner School, author of Radical Equality in Education: Starting Over in U.S. Schooling, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Writers & Books, 740 University Ave. Free and open to the public. (Checks are requested for book purchases.)

Today: International experts in infectious diseases and vaccine development gather to honor their colleague and collaborator, Caroline Breese Hall. Join the Department of Pediatrics for a Festschrift involving a full day of scientific talks and discussions. See Schedule of Events.

April 28: WiSTEE Connect, an organization connecting women in science, technology, engineering and entrepreneurship, will present its vision and progress, followed by a roundtable discussion and networking session, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Vignelli Center at RIT. Click here to RSVP; contact Jie Qiao, WiSTEE Connect Chairperson, Associate Professor of Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, with questions or call (585) 475-6221.

May 1: Deadlline to apply to the Institute for Innovative Education for grants of up to $5,000 each to support interprofessional research projects that examine how electronic health records can be used to improve access to information and foster and improve humanistic patient interactions. Click here for complete details.

May 1-2: 2014 Forum on Science and Technology Policy. The annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy is a conference for people interested in public policy issues facing the science, engineering, and higher education communities. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC. Learn more.

May 5: Initial applications due for Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) meritorious Pilot Projects. The focus of the pilot project should be relevant to "Environmental Agents as Modulators of Human Disease and Dysfunction," with special emphasis on proposals addressing how the environment modifies stem cell function, affects early life origins of adult diseases, and disrupts host/pathogen interactions. Applicants may request a maximum of $30,000 for the duration of one year and must hold a tenure-track position. Click here to learn more.

May 7: Seminar on Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) and other NCI initiatives such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to comprehensively characterize tumors, featuring talk by Henry Rodriguez, Director, Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research, National Cancer Institute (NCI). 10-11 a.m., URMC 2-6408 (K-207). Co-hosted by Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the CTSI.

May 9: The Center for Integrated Research Computing 4th Annual Poster Session, 10 a.m. to noon in the Flaum Atrium. Attendees discover the wide range of research that is enabled by computation. This event provides an informal venue to share computational techniques and methodologies with colleagues from a wide variety of disciplines. Click here for more information, and to submit your poster.

May 16: Scientific Session on Neuroscience Research including keynote presentations by Jonathan Wolpaw, Research Physician at the Wadsworth Center of Neural Injury & Repair and Gerv Schalk, Research Scientist at the Wadsworth Center for Neural Injury & Repair. Hosted by UNYTE Translational Research Network. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., LeChase Assembly Hall, G-9576. Click here for details.

June 5: Study Coordinators Organization for Research and Education (SCORE) Annual Seminar, focusing on Health Research Management for the Human Subject Research Coordinator. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Helen Wood Hall (1w-304). Additional details and registration information to come.

Please send suggestions and comments to Bob Marcotte. To see back issues, click here.

Copyright 2013, All rights reserved.
Rochester Connections is a weekly e-newsletter for all faculty, scientists, post docs and graduate students engaged in research at the University of Rochester. You are receiving this e-newsletter because you are a member of the Rochester community with an interest in research topics.