Science Posse Scholars Present Posters July 9 at SSC Atrium

Student at Science Posse Session

On July 9th, incoming Science Posse Scholars will be presenting posters on various research topics including pheromones, computational models of galaxies, and software engineering.  The event will take place in the Shapiro Science Center atrium from 1:30 to 3:00 PM. The 10 scholars are interested in pursuing STEM degrees and will all start here at Brandeis in the fall.

Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Melissa Kosinski-Collins Promoted to Professor of Biology

Melissa Kosinski-CollinsMelissa Kosinski-Collins was recently promoted to Professor of Biology. Melissa joined the Biology faculty in 2006 as an Assistant Professor (outside the tenure structure).

Using her passion for teaching, she has updated the undergraduate laboratory curriculum to a system of project-based experiments.  Currently, she is teaching the introductory biology lab course, plant biology, and a graduate level structural biology course.  Melissa is the academic director of the Science Posse and Galaxy Project.

Science Communication Lab Completes 1st Academic Year

Whether it’s preparing a “pizza talk,” or writing a grant, fellowship or senior thesis – all of those activities can be stress-inducing.  The Science Communication Lab (CommLab) at Brandeis was created to help undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, laboratory-staff and faculty with the skills they need to effectively communicate their work through a variety of media.

Since its inception in November 2017, the six Graduate Fellows from the CommLab have conducted nearly 150 appointments (39% appointments with undergraduates; 52% with graduate students). Most appointments provided assistance in preparing for the graduate qualifying exam (18%); oral presentations like “pizza talks” (18%) or writing applications for fellowships or scholarships (15%).

Participants are surveyed after each appointment. When asked how they would rate their experience at the CommLab, participants rated it 5.95 out of a possible 6.00.

Some of the feedback includes:

“This is such a good resource!!! Many graduate students have come to accept that this process hard, but there are some parts of a graduate degree that don’t have to be. CommLab people are super helpful, welcoming, and effective at making grad school just a bit easier.”

Interested in making an appointment? There are three ways to schedule a meeting. The CommLab is located in Bassine 122.

Brandeis receives $1 million HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative grant

HHMI logoBrandeis is one of 57 schools to receive a $1 million 5-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI’s) Inclusive Excellence Initiative, the aim of which is “to create a community of scientists and science educators engaged in 57 experiments, each experiment aimed at understanding how institutional change with respect to inclusion can be achieved.” Under the direction of Henry F. Fischbach Professor of Chemistry and HHMI Professor Irving Epstein, Professor of Biology Melissa Kosinski-Collins and Associate Provost Kim Godsoe, the program has four major thrusts: a) Galaxy, a cohort based program, modeled on Brandeis’s highly successful Science Posse, to provide peer and near-peer support and mentorship for prospective science majors; b) workshops, incorporated into introductory laboratory courses, that address issues such as imposter syndrome, implicit bias and stereotype threat and encourage students to reflect upon the learning environment that they wish to create for themselves and their classmates; c) low-enrollment practicum courses designed to strengthen students’ quantitative skills through project-based research studies; and d) a faculty learning community that will bring together instructors in key courses to grapple with issues that may hamper student performance and retention.  The discussions in b) and d) will be informed by written and oral presentations from students and alumni, who will be asked to reflect on how their preparation and their reception by faculty and other students affected their experience in STEM.  These initiatives will help Brandeis change the culture and climate of how the community perceives all students studying STEM.

A major impetus for this undertaking is the recognition that students in the sciences begin with a wide range of preparation and experience, and that currently retention in science majors is heavily correlated with level of preparation and initial success in introductory courses.  Nationally, only 48% if students entering college with the intention of majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) actually complete a STEM major.  At Brandeis the record is somewhat better, but there is still much room for improvement.  The programs in this initiative are designed to overcome the “sink or swim” mentality that affects many students (and faculty) by making them aware that, with appropriate support and perseverance, all students can succeed in the sciences no matter where they start from, even if the road is rocky at the start.

Food innovations at Brandeis: Carrot fiber proves more effective in control of blood glucose levels

This is the second in a series of posts highlighting food science discoveries at Brandeis. These functional innovations help lower cholesterol, find novel uses for antioxidants and healthy fats and develop process improvements.

Carrot pomace - Adobe Stock imageCarrot pomace powder (CPP) is currently a dried “waste” material generated during the production of carrot juice, but Brandeis inventors Daniel Perlman and K.C. Hayes have discovered that CPP may represent a dietary breakthrough. When carrot pomace powder is isolated using the proprietary process developed by Perlman and Hayes, it becomes highly enriched in both soluble and insoluble fibers while maintaining a low sugar-to-fiber ratio. This means that carrot pomace powder is an excellent new fiber product that can be adapted for commercial food production. Food manufacturers can use it to reduce blood glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while having a major positive impact on the gut bacterial flora.

This patent pending process is significant given that the market for dietary fibers in foods and beverages is expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2022.

Read more about carrot fiber, the Brandeis Office of Technology and Licensing and the research behind this discovery.

Amy Lee Named a 2018 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Congratulations to Amy Lee, Assistant Professor of Biology, as she has been named one of the 2018 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Amy, along with another 21 recently appointed assistant professors, will receive a $300,000 grant over four years to further their research into biomedical science. The Lee Lab studies how mRNA translation regulation contributes to cell diversity.

Lee joined Brandeis during the summer of 2016. Shortly after arriving on-campus, she was named a 2017 Searle Scholar. At that time, she received $300,000 in flexible funding spread over three years.

More information is available at BrandeisNow.

Protected by Akismet
Blog with WordPress

Welcome Guest | Login (Brandeis Members Only)