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2014 - 9 stories
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Simon Garnier, assistant professor in the Federated Department of Biological Sciences, will give the keynote speech “All Roads Lead to the Mound” at ANTS 2014, the ninth international conference on swarm intelligence. >>
Did you ever wonder if you could pinpoint the original locations where your favorite paintings were created—or if they still exist? A new app developed by NJIT Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Gareth Russell can help users “see” through the eyes of noted artists and the scenery that inspired their work. >>
When it comes to animals, Martina Jackson '14, a biology major from South Brunswick heading to veterinary school next fall at the University of Pennsylvania, is a scientist, philosopher and devotee, all rolled into one. >>
The timing has been beautifully choreographed by nature. Rising spring temperatures prompt many bee species to begin their search for the flowering plants they depend on for food — and which they propagate through pollination. But what would happen if this vital, mutually beneficial relationship goes out of synch due to climate change? >>
Karen Roach, Academic Coordinator of Biological Sciences, and Ryoko Mathes, Academic Advisor and Curriculum Coordinator for Electrical and Computer Engineering, were selected to present a workshop at the annual regional conference of the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education (AEEE) on May 5-8, 2014 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. >>
Gal Haspel, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, recently co-authored the article “Sensory Arsenal on the Stinger of the Parasitoid Jewel Wasp and Its Possible Role in Identifying Cockroach Brains,” featured in PLOS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication.  >>
The Swarm Lab at NJIT will be hosting Bert Hölldobler, Arizona State University, as the biology colloquium speaker on March 11 at 1:00 p.m. >>
For nearly 20 years, Professor Eric Fortune has studied glass knifefish, a species of three-inch long electric fish that lives in the Amazon Basin. In his laboratory he tries to understand how their tiny brains control complex electrical behaviors. >>
Gareth Russell, associate professor in the department of biological sciences, will discuss metapopulation theory on WAMC's "Academic Minute," a weekday radio program that features a different professor each day, drawing experts from top research institutions.  >>
Assistant Professor of Biology Simon Garnier's research on robotic swarms was cited in an article about using robots to understand animal behavior in the October 1, 2013 issue of The Scientist.   >>
NJIT will mark the start of the school year on Sept.18, 2013, with University Convocation, an annual celebration and awards ceremony.  The event, which recognizes the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff, will be held at 3 p.m., in the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility on the NJIT campus. A reception will follow. >>
Winners of the 2013 Highlander Student Achievement Awards were recently announced at the annual ceremony which recognizes student leaders and organizations for their talent and work to enhance the NJIT student experience.  >>
In a study published today in the journal PLoS One, a team of researchers led by NJIT Associate Professor Gareth Russell has applied a novel method for linking large-scale habitat fragmentation to population sustainability. >>
NJIT's Swarm Lab will host a conference for researchers who study social insects in the northeast of the US on May 24, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Eberhardt Hall on the NJIT campus.  So far, some 35 researchers from Harvard to Rockefeller universities have expressed interest in attending.  Participants will receive 15 minutes to present information about their current projects and 5 minutes to answer questions.  >>
With woops, cheers and mortarboards flying, NJIT today awarded 2,643 degrees to the members of the class of 2013.  This brings the total number of degrees awarded by the university to more than 74,678.  The ceremony was held at Newark's Prudential Center.   >>
NJIT offers innumerable opportunities and the students who avail themselves of the many campus attributes ranging from 121 degree programs to an enviable 15:1 student-faculty ratio often leave NJIT to enjoy a rich, rewarding future.  Five inspirational stories below exemplify that if you stay in school and work hard, success follows.   >>
The time may be fast approaching for researchers to take better advantage of the vast amount of valuable patient information available from U.S. electronic health records.  Lian Duan, an NJIT computer scientist with an expertise in data mining, has done just that with the recent publication of “Adverse Drug Effect Detection,” IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (March, 2013). >>
If you want to learn more about helping your business or company grow in Europe, don't miss a free one day business forum at NJIT on May 15, 2013, which will detail how to use technology and innovation to do business in the European Union.  >>
Technology evangelist and Cisco System Senior Vice President Carlos Dominguez; and alums U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, PhD, and  Edward Cruz, principal of Hop Brook Properties, will receive honorary degrees at the May 20, 2013 NJIT commencement.  The event, set for 9 a.m., will be held at Newark's Prudential Center.  The university will confer close to 2000 doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees on members of the Class of 2013.  >>
NJIT continues to demonstrate the value of its educational offerings in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to the latest 2013 PayScale college rankings for return on investment (ROI).  NJIT is 6th (top 1 percent) among 437 public universities and 27th (top 2 percent) among 1,511 public and private institutions in the U.S.  >>
From exciting architectural plans for the August 2013 Chinese Solar Decathlon to a better hospital rating system, six student research projects recently captured the imagination of judges at the 2013 NJIT Dana Knox Student Research Showcase, held last week on April 17, 2013.  Seventy-two graduate and undergraduate students participated. >>
The Board of Trustees of New Jersey Institute of Technology has approved $200 million in construction and infrastructure projects on the university's Newark campus, designed to enhance and expand NJIT's role as the state's science and technology university and a leader in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and research. The university will apply to the Secretary of Higher Education for $152 million from the Building Our Future Bond Act, state revolving funds and other sources to support the projects. >>
Jorge Golowasch, chair and professor in the federated department of biological sciences, and Farzan Nadim, professor in the departments of mathematical and biological sciences, presented a joint lab demo earlier this month in collaboration with Rodolfo Haedo, a former undergraduate and MS student from NJIT, and Joerg Oestreich.  >>
NJIT Associate Professor Eric Fortune's graduate student at Hopkins, Sarah Stamper, is the lead author of an article about weakly electric fish in the Journal of Experimental Biology.  Stamper will also be interviewed on the popular radio program “Quirks and Quarks.”  >>
Simon Garnier, PhD, whose research interests focus on bio-cellular sensing, has been appointed to the faculty of NJIT's College of Science and Liberal Arts in the Federated Department of Biological Sciences an assistant professor.   >>
Eric Fortune, PhD, whose research interests focus on bio-cellular sensing, has been appointed to the faculty of NJIT's College of Science and Liberal Arts in the Federated Department of Biological Sciences an associate professor.  >>
Farzan Nadim, PhD, professor in the departments of mathematical sciences and biological sciences at NJIT, has been appointed chairperson of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sensorimotor Integration Study Section from July of 2012 to June of 2014. >>
In a Policy Forum article in today's issue of Science, a group of leading biodiversity scientists, including NJIT's Daniel Bunker, have argued that targets to be met by 2020 under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) must consider the real value of biodiversity if they are to be attained.  >>
Andrew Hill, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at NJIT, will discuss "The Effect of Prenatal and Postnatal Nicotine Exposure on the Postnatal Development of an In Vitro Respiratory Rhythm" on Oct. 15, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. in Cullimore Lecture Hall II. >>
Up on the roof of the NJIT Campus Center, NJIT award-winning chef Peter Fischbach eyes a new crop of green goodness.  In about two months, Fischbach hopes a bounty of wholesome organic winter veggies--from kale to arugula--will be ready to harvest into mouth-watering, organic greatness in his kitchen.   >>
Farzan Nadim, PhD, professor in the Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Biological Sciences at NJIT, will serve as a member of the Sensorimotor Integration Study Section, Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). >>
NJIT Professor Farzan Nadim, PhD will give an invited lecture at the Ninth Annual Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA) Conference on Dec. 8-13 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. "Determining Phase and Stability in Central Pattern Generators" will be the topic of his talk. >>
Daniel E. Bunker, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at NJIT, is a co-editor of Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2009). The graduate-level text incorporates the latest developments in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, one of the most controversial and high-profile areas of ecological research. >>
Dan Bunker, PhD, an assistant professor in NJIT's Federated Department of Biological Sciences, will discuss "Quantifying Species Functional Diversity with Convex Hull Volume" on October 14 at 4 p.m. in Cullimore Hall Room 611. The lecture is part of the Fall 2008 Mathematical Biology Seminar Series. >>
"Investigating How Feedback to a Descending Projection Neuron Influences Rhythmic Pattern Generation in the Target Network: A Modeling" is the topic of a Mathematical Biology Seminar by Nickolas Kintos of the Department of Mathematics at Fordham University. The seminar will be held on March 25 at 4 p.m. in Cullimore Hall, Room 611.  >>
Jasneet Kaur, a senior at NJIT, is conducting research sponsored by a program in the department of mathematical sciences that could one day help scientists understand how cancer spreads. Kaur, a graduate of Fair Lawn High School, studies how a protein-- RhoA--changes the shape of cells. >>
Tagged: research
Janeet Kaur (at left) is one of six students in NJIT's Undergraduate Biology and Math Training Program (UBMTP) who will present their research at a Mathematical Biology Seminar on Dec. 13 at 4 p.m., Cullimore Hall, Rm. 611. >>
Carol Venanzi, PhD, a distinguished professor in the department of chemistry and environmental science at NJIT, will discuss “Mathematical Modeling of Drugs To Treat Cocaine Abuse” on April 25 at 4 p.m., Cullimore Hall, Room  611. >>
Diana Martinez, biology major at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), received the Peter Small Memorial Scholarship Award during university convocation. The award is given annually to an NJIT student who exemplifies the life of Peter S. Small, a late NJIT student who was known for hard work, academic excellence and a generous spirit.   >>
Sure they taste great boiled and properly seasoned, but crabs may also hold the key to some of biology's most intriguing questions about rhythmic patterns in the central nervous system and what happens when those patterns become abnormal. Research into rhythmic neuron-firing patterns that activate muscles in the stomachs of crabs is one of about a dozen studies under way at NJIT's interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics and Statistics that combine mathematical and biological techniques to determine how physiological systems function.A crab's simple digestive system, says Farzan Nadim, associate professor of mathematical sciences, makes the crustacean an ideal research model. "Because a crab has only about 30 neurons involved in digestion, it is a good choice for studying the rhythmic pattern of fast and slow nerve impulses that activate the stomach muscles during grinding, chewing, digesting and filtering food," says Nadim. The researcher and his colleague, associate profesor Amitabha Bose, use computational, analytical and experimental techniques to study the crabs. Nadim's research is funded by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and both researchers also have grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF)."Through the work of mathematicians over the past 20 years, we now have general principles that show us that rhythmic patterns in most animals--including humans--are essentially the same," Bose points out. "Scientists have established that most species can perform several rhythmic motor activities simultaneously, such as walking, breathing, swimming and chewing. What we don't know yet is how these rhythmic activities are generated by neurons and why nerve cells sometimes begin to misfire and disrupt the normal oscillating fast-slow rhythmic pattern. Malfunctioning of these neuron-firing patterns leads to such abnormalities as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.Jorge Golowasch, an associate professor of mathematical sciences, also collaborates with Nadim in researching neural networks in crustaceans' stomachs. Using electrophysical and computational methods, Golowasch studies cellular and network mechanisms that enable neurons to recover from disruptions produced by growth and injury. With the help of NIH and NSF support, he is attempting to answer the question of how the nervous system can be flexible, or plastic, while at the same time remaining stable, which may shed light on mechanisms of learning and memory.Expanding the spectrum of studiesNadim, Bose and Golowasch are among the members of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Center for Applied Mathematics and Statistics who are pursing studies in mathematical biology, a field of applied mathematics that has been growing steadily in recent years. One of the largest concentrations of researchers working in mathematical biology in North America is to be found at NJIT, an their efforts have been supported by major external funding. To date, the funding that has been awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Whitaker Foundation, and other public and private sources amounts to nearly $2.5 million.Research in mathematical biology spans a growing range of applications, including studies in animal and plant populations, physiology, biomechanics, epidemiology, disease pathology, neuroscience, hemodynamics, molecular biology, pharmacokinetics and cell physiology. Some examples of medical applications include the detailed study of the components of the brain, treatment of diseases, and the design of pharmaceutical devices for drug delivery.In mathematical biology, equations and experiments go hand in hand. Accordingly, most mathematical biology studies are conducted by teams of researchers that include mathematicians who use analytical and computational models to propose a hypothesis and experimentalists who carry out the relevant experiments in their laboratories to test them. Some of the NJIT researchers are working independently while others are collaborating with experimentalists at Boston University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, New York University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.A model approach at NJITThe expertise in mathematical biology marshaled at NJIT was one of the reasons Robert M. Miura, associate chair of the department of mathematical sciences and professor in mathematical sciences and biomedical engineering, decided to join the faculty two years ago after having been at the University of British Columbia for over two decades. Miura is involved in a number of neuroscience and related studies, including looking at why neurons fire at specific frequencies, how large-amplitude ion waves propagate in the brain after injury, how normal beta cells in the pancreas work electrically, and how malfunctioning beta cells can lead to diabetes."Interestingly, the types of mathematical equations that govern electrical activity in pancreatic beta cells also govern the electrical activities in other cells such as neurons and heart cells," explains Miura. "This is one of the beauties of mathematical modeling. Many of the mathematical ideas gleaned from one model of a biological system can be applied to models of many other systems."The microcirculatory system, comprising tiny capillaries and arteries that can't be seen without a microscope, is the focus of Daniel Goldman's Whitaker Foundation-funded research. An assistant professor of mathematical sciences and biomedical engineering, Goldman is using mathematical and computational models to study blood flow and mass transport in the microcirculatory system during sepsis, a potentially fatal condition caused by an infection. Sepsis can cause the body's major organs--the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs--to fail, resulting in death."We know that sepsis changes the flow patterns of the blood, which can lead to a lack of oxygen in organs," says Goldman. "But lack of oxygen is not the only cause of organ failure. With our studies we hope to have a better understanding of what other factors lead to sepsis."This multidisciplinary perspective is affirmed by Daljit S. Ahluwalia, chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and director of the Center for Applied Mathematics and Statistics. "Before we can hope to cure a disease, we have to understand the underlying mechanisms, and that requires several disciplines," he says. "The 21st century has been called the century of biology, and here at NJIT we are applying our wide-ranging expertise, which includes mathematics, to the many unanswered questions about how physiological systems work." >>