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.
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From left to right: Jenna Glatzer '17 of Neuroscience, Rabi Shrestha '16 of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Rebecca Joseph '17 of Molecular Genetics share their findings during the Undergraduate Research Exposition.

A 'mindboggling' display at Undergraduate Research Expo

What do you get when you combine oral presentations and posters from student in 27 disciplines, on topics as diverse as "Organic farming as protest in Thailand," "Metacognitive illusions in monkeys," and "Terahertz spectroscopy of graphene-polymer nanocomposites"?

A "mindboggling" display of undergraduate research, as University President Joel Seligman described it after spending time talking to students last Friday at the College's annual Undergraduate Research Exposition.

The energy in the room reminded Steve Manly, Director of Undergraduate Research, of a lunch he had with Wolfgang Ketterle, not long after the MIT physicist led one of the first groups to realize the Bose-Einstein Condensate, for which he shared a Nobel Prize in 2001.

"Now what?" Manly recalled asking Ketterle and then described how "his eyes got big, and he got all animated. 'Well, now we're going to prod it and kick it and hit it with a laser . . .' "

Manly said Ketterle's infectious enthusiasm reminded him of "an eight-year-old in a sand box."

And so it is at the expo. "This is a celebration of discovery by students trying to find their paths to their own sandboxes, and of the people helping them along their way," Manly said. "It's a celebration of the soul of what this place is about, the research and the teaching and the just having fun in doing all that exploration."

Students received the following awards for undergraduate research in the humanities, engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences:

President's Awards
Jennifer Dombroski '16 Linguistics; Madeleine Laitz '16 Chemical Engineering; Md. Tanveer Karim '16 Physics & Astronomy; and Kate Cowie-Haskell '16 Anthropology.

Deans' Awards
Angela Remus '16 International Relations/Spanish and Nicola Francesco Tavella '17 Women's Studies/Health, Behavior & Society; Sarah Bjornland '17 Optical Engineering and Andrew Stern '16 Electrical & Computer Engineering; Kelsey Csumitta '17 Brain & Cognitive Sciences/Psychology and Alicia Wei '18 Neuroscience/Mathematics; and Katherine Brown '17 American Sign Language/Psychology, Myranda Steingraeber '17 Neuroscience and Chiziterem Onyekwere '17 Health, Behavior and Society.

Professors' Choice Awards
Pedro PiƱera '16 Studio Art/Art & Art History; Jonathan Boualavong '16 (T5 '17) Biomedical Engineering; Julia Iourinets '16 Neuroscience, Amy Elias '16 Molecular Genetics, Larisa Bainton '16 Vocal Performance and Emily Rowe '16 Brain and Cognitive Sciences/Psychology; and Ashley Bui '17 Brain and Cognitives Sciences/Psychology.

(Click here for a listing of all students participating and summaries of their projects.)

Seligman, who handed out the President's awards, urged all the students to "stay your whole life, eight years old in the sandbox. Keep the sense of curiosity and wonder; keep the joy of 'excelsior, I found something.' That's what makes life so special."

Students weren't the only ones in the spotlight; exceptional faculty members who have been particularly inspirational in helping young researchers find their "sandboxes" were recognized with Students' Association Professor of the Year Awards.

They are: Kirt Komocki, Senior Lecturer in Spanish, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures; Laurel Carney, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; David Goldfarb, Professor of Biology.; and Stuart Jordan, Senior Lecturer in Political Science.

manlycollage Steve Manly, at left, with Professors' Choice award winners Myranda Steingraeber '17 Neuroscience, Chiziterem Onyekwere '17 of Health, Behavior and Society and Katherine Brown '17 American Sign Language/Psychology. At right, President Joel Seligman talks with Bethany Gardner '18 of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Anaclare Sullivan '18 of Epidemiology/Brain and Cognitive Sciences about their project "Speaker-Specific Modulations of Real-Time Visual Search Behaviors to Pragmatic Unreliability."

Do you have an interesting photo or other image that helps illustrate your research? We would like to showcase it. Send a high resolution jpg or other version, along with a description of what it shows, to

New associate dean for research at SON begins July 1

Kimberly Arcoleo '96M (MPH) '06M (PhD) returns to her alma mater July 1 as the new Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Center for Research and Evidence-Based Practice at the School of Nursing. She is currently Associate Dean for Research and Transdisciplinary Scholarship and Director of the Center for Women, Children and Youth (CWCY) at Ohio State University.

"I am absolutely elated that Kim has accepted our offer," said Kathy Rideout, Dean of the School of Nursing. "I have the utmost confidence that she's the best person to assume leadership of our research mission and take it to the next level."

An accomplished researcher specializing in health disparities in children with asthma, Arcoleo has extensive experience in clinical and social/behavioral research in industry and academia, including a 17-year stint at the University of Rochester (1989-2006).

Arcoleo has been at Ohio State since 2011 and played a key role in developing the CWCY. She previously served as an Assistant Professor at Arizona State's College of Nursing and Health Innovation, where she co-developed the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Clinical Trials and three master's degree programs. She also received a $2.5 million NIH grant in 2009, the largest individual investigator award in the college's history.

Infectious disease expert to discuss Zika virus on May 9

Esper Kallas, an infectious diseases specialist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil will speak about Zika virus on Monday, May 9, at:

1. "Zika in Focus," a hospital-wide grand rounds at 4 p.m. in Whipple Auditorium.
2. A public talk and panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. at Rochester Museum and Science Center with three University researchers.

Kallas, who trained with infectious disease experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 1996 to 1998, has watched the outbreak unfold in Brazil. He treats patients exposed to the virus and is conducting research to determine how often Zika infection in pregnancy leads to birth defects such as microcephaly, hearing loss and blindness.

The entire University community is invited to attend the 4 p.m. talk.

At the evening talk and panel disucssion, which is free and open to the public, Kallas will be joined in RMSC's Eisenhart Auditorium by John J. Treanor, Chief of the Infectious Diseases Division; Eva K. Pressman, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; and Stephen Dewhurst, Vice Dean for Research and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

The group will address questions regarding the risk of Zika virus transmission in Rochester, what precautions pregnant women should take heading into the warm summer months, and what it will take to develop a Zika vaccine.

For more information, click here.

PhD dissertation defenses

Tara Capece, Microbiology and Immunology, "The Role of Integrin LFA-1 in CD8+ T cell Activation and Cell Fate." 2 p.m., May 2, 2016. K307 (3-6408). Advisor: Minsoo Kim.

Matthew Sharpe, Chemistry, "On the interaction of tritium with the surfaces of aluminum, copper, stainless steel (type 316), and gold." 2 p.m., May 3, 2016. Hutchison 473. Advisor: Wolf Schroeder.

Aaron Bauer, Optics, "Optical design with freeform surfaces, with applications in head-worn display design." 1 p.m., June 1, 2016. Goergen 109. Advisor: Jannick Rolland.

Mark your calendar

Today: Colloquium and Concert, celebrating 100th anniversary of Milton Babbitt's birth, Eastman School. Read more . . .

May 2: Genetics Day, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Class of '62 Auditorium and Flaum Atrium. Lecture by Michael Levine, Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University. Poster session. Sponsored by University Committee for Interdisciplinary Study. Read more here.

May 6: Humanities Proposal Writing Workshop, to help faculty, postdocs, and graduate students (and staff who assist them) prepare compelling proposals to non-federal funders interested in advancing the Humanities and Humanistic or Interpretive Social Sciences. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hawkins Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library. Sponsored by the AS&E Dean for Research Office, under the umbrella of the University's Humanities Center. For more information and to register (required), click here.

May 6: Preproposals due for University Technology Development fund, which awards winning applications from faculty, staff, or students up to $100,000 to develop their technology to a commercial endpoint. For more information or to submit preproposals, contact Omar Bakht.

May 9: "Zika in Focus," presented by Esper Kallas, an infectious diseases specialist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hospital-wide grand rounds, 4 p.m., Whipple Auditorium. The entire University community is invited to attend. Also, public talk and panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. at Rochester Museum and Science Center. Read more here.

Please send suggestions and comments to Bob Marcotte. You can see back issues of Research Connections, an index of people and departments linked to those issues, and a chronological listing of PhD dissertation defenses since April 2014, by discipline.

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Rochester Connections is a weekly e-newsletter 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.