Brandeis Receives Grant to Further Collaboration with Hampton University

Irving EpsteinIn collaboration with Hampton University, an historically Black institution in Hampton, VA, Brandeis has received a $250,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Equity-Minded Pathways to STEM Graduate Education program to create a route for Hampton students to enroll in masters degree programs at Brandeis. The program will comprise summer research internships at Brandeis for Hampton juniors and a senior-year course at Hampton jointly developed and taught by Brandeis and Hampton faculty, as well as cohort-based mentoring during the students’ masters study.  It extends the existing Brandeis-Hampton collaboration associated with our Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and will be led by Profs. Irving Epstein at Brandeis and Demetris Geddis at Hampton.

Is it really a double helix?

The Justice tells the story of The Wand of Inquiry, the statue that graces the lawn below the Rosenstiel Center.

Science funding over the cliff

Jim Haber forwarded the following from the Coalition for the Life Sciences.

Nobel Laureates Warn Against Going over the Fiscal Cliff

Bethesda, Maryland – Nobel Laureates from across the country are warning Congressional leaders and President Obama about the danger the fiscal cliff poses to research and innovation.

Starting December 3, the Coalition for the Life Sciences has sent a letter a day from a Nobel Laureate in either Chemistry or Physiology and Medicine. Twenty Nobel Laureates are engaged in this campaign. In these letters, each Laureate emphasizes the importance of federally funded research and the dire consequences of funding cuts. Of particular concern, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will face an 8.2% across-the-board cut starting January 1, 2013, if Congress and the Administration refuse to agree on solutions to the fiscal cliff.

Coalition Board member H. Robert Horvitz, from MIT shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He said, “This potentially very deep cut to the NIH as well as to all other federally-funded science would negatively impact job creation and seriously jeopardize the long-standing leadership position of the U.S. in research and innovation.”


All the Nobel Laureates are concerned that cuts to the NIH will stifle discoveries that improve health, save lives, and drive our economy […]

the full release is on the Coalition for the Life Sciences website.

Science stories in Brandeis magazine

The fall 2012/winter 2013 issue of Brandeis Magazine is available online (and in print also I guess). Some science-related stories:



Clean Sweep

Those of you who (like me) took medical microbiology 10 or more years ago might have a thing or two to learn about where the most risk comes from in hospital infections, according to Maryn McKenna, senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism here at Brandeis. In a recent article “Clean Sweep” in Scientific American, McKenna discusses the rise of  drug resistant organisms (e.g. vancomycin-resistant enterococci) that survive well on surfaces (keyboards, bed rails, and other hospital surfaces).

New NSF Policies aimed at researchers balancing parenthood and careers

Brandeis grad students, postdocs and faculty are no strangers to the challenges that face researchers who are parents. NSF has recently announced a new set of policies to give more flexibility to NSF grant recipients dealing with those challenges, including grant postponements and suspensions for parental leave, and the availability of supplements to cover research technicians to maintain labs while PIs are on family leave.

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