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.
stem cells

Images of research

"Human bone marrow- derived mesenchymal stem cells on glass examined on a laser confocal microscope at 40x magnification to depict the cell's vinculin (green), cytoskeleton (red), and nucleus (blue) " --Diana Olvera, a BME graduate student, Prof. Hani Awad’s lab. This image was taken in conjunction with Olvera’s research on coating titanium with electrically polarized hydroxyapatite to enhance the integration of titanium implants with bone tissue.

Learn more about Diana's research

This image, by the way, took third place in the Hajim School’s recent Clothesline Festival contest.

Do you have a neat photo or other image that helps illustrate your research? We’d love to showcase it. Send us a high res jpg or other version, along with a description of how it was taken, and what it shows – in terms that nonspecialists can understand!

Researchers in the news

A recent study by Duje Tadin, an associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences, reached an unusually large audience. The study, connecting the ability to suppress background motion with higher IQ scores, was promoted by University Communications to major national and international news outlets, timed with the release of an eye-catching video. The video had more than one million views in the first week. That doesn’t happen often, but when it does, what a great way to “connect” with the public!

An extremely well written opinion piece by Henry Kautz, chair of computer science – entitled "There’s a fly in my tweets” - appeared recently in The New York Times’ Sunday Review. It examines the wealth of insights about public health that can be mined from social media by data science – and the challenges still confronting researchers in this promising area of study. Click here to take a look.

John Treanor, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and chief of the Infectious Diseases Division, gives a good example of how to objectively tackle a topic of potential hysteria, in his piece “Is the MERS virus worth the worry?”

Kudos to Danielle Benoit, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering, and her lab group for supporting a foundation that helps fund their research. Again this summer they sold lemonade to raise funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s battle against childhood cancer. Learn more or make a donation. Danielle’s collaborative work with Catherine Ovitt in the Center for Oral Biology was also in the news, and is now featured on the NIDCR website.

Congratulations to...

Nancy (Nana) Bennett, director of the UR’s Center for Community Health, elected the new co-chair of the Community Engagement Key Function Committee of the national Clinical and Translational Science Awards program (CTSA).... Susan W. Groth, assistant professor of nursing,for an award from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses in recognition of her research into the variety of factors that contribute to obesity in women.... James C.M. Li, the Albert Arendt Hopeman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and professor of materials science, awarded the Gold Medal of ASM International, the materials information society.... Gunta Liders, associate vice president for research administration, recipient of the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration from the National Council of University Research Administrators.... David Meyerhofer, deputy director, Experimental Division director, and associate director for science at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, recipient of the 2013 Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors for contributions and managerial leadership in research efforts on inertial confinement fusion and high energy density plasma physics.... Tim Mosmann, director of the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, awarded the 2013 Novartis Prize for Basic Immunology for his discovery that helper T cells fall into two distinct groups: TH1 cells, designed to eliminate bacteria and viruses; and TH2 cells. He shares the award with Robert L. Coffman, vice president and chief scientific officer at Dynavax.... Lynda Powell, professor of political science, winner of the 2013 Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize for her book The Influence of Campaign Contributions in State Legislatures. The award is given annually by the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association for the best book in legislative studies.... URMC researchers Helena Temkin-Greener, Ellen Poleshuck, and Supriya Mohile, who were given awards from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to further their work in patient-centered comparative effectiveness research. Only one other award was made in New York State, and only 51 across the country.

Unsung heroes

We all know the important role that graduate students play in furthering our research, and it’s nice to see them recognized. For example, Stories, the official blog of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, recently wrote about the role played by Aisha Siebert and Molly Jones, PhD students in Translational Biomedical Science, in helping Jack Werren, the Nathaniel and Helen Wisch Professor of Biology, and Jonathan Mink, professor of neurology, neurobiology and anatomy, pediatrics and brain and cognitive sciences, secure internal UR research grants.

Points of pride

It says a lot about this university, and its strong research tradition that the Tenth Rochester Conference on Coherence and Quantum Optics recently drew 200 of the top researchers in the field, from 20 countries, to our campus, including 2012 Nobel-winning physicist Serge Haroche. And 10 days later, 500 psychologists from 38 countries were in Rochester for the Conference on Self Determination Theory, the leading theory of human motivation, which was developed by UR experimental psychologists Richard Ryan and Edward Deci.

Here to help you...

When Rebecca Hart, grant administrator and finance manager for neurosurgery, recently had a question about proper wording for a letter to subjects in a clinical research trial, she dialed 5-2107 – the Research Help Desk at CTSI. She got a “real person” at the other end, who gave her recommendations on wording and also the names of two people who could review the letter before it went out. Hart says she’s invariably gotten a prompt response from the help desk. “Fast, easy and always pleasant to work with,” she says. NOTE: Questions from River Campus are also welcome. You can also email: And check out the CTSI research help website.

Grant-writing tip

Sad but true: You may have an absolutely brilliant project in mind, but the quickest way to get a proposal returned without review is to ignore instructions on page limits, formatting and incompletion. This is second only to not meeting the deadline!

Did you know?

To encourage interdisciplinary research, the University awards $250,000 a year in Provost’s Multidisciplinary Awards. Learn more about the awards, and find a list of the most recent recipients.

Worth pondering...

“Fall in love with the question, not with the answer. The answer will come. What will be more important is the thoughtfulness of the question.” -- Dan Pelino, General Manager, Global Public Sector, IBM, speaking at University of Rochester symposium on the Watson computer’s role in Big Data analytics and health care

Mark your calendar

Aug. 1: Application deadline, National Research Council of the National Academies fellowship awards (ranging from $30,000 to $80,000 a year) for graduate, postdoctoral and senior researchers.

Aug. 1: Deadline for most categories of Fulbright Awards for faculty members. Click here to learn more.

Aug. 12: Deadline for investigators to provide initial abstracts of proposals for Clinical and Translational Pilot Awards through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Make your reservation

Harold Kroto, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, will lecture on the fundamental role of art in scientific processes at ARTISANworks, 565 Blossom Road, at 7 p.m., Oct. 17. Learn more or reserve tickets

Send us your feedback

Send suggestions, reactions, and other observations to Bob Marcotte,

Copyright 2013, All rights reserved.
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.