Browsing: Faculty/Staff Highlights

Stony Brook’s Dr. Carl Safina, a world-renowned advocate for ocean conservation, has been named one of six finalists for the 2016 Indianapolis Prize, the most prestigious award in the field of environmental conservation. Safina, founding president of the Safina Center at Stony Brook University, is a crusader for the ocean and its creatures. Known as “the voice of ocean conservation,” he is the inaugural holder of the Carl Safina Endowed Research Chair for Nature and Humanity at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Safina has pioneered innovative approaches to studying species ranging from reef coral to whales, and established…

Stony Brook researchers and colleagues use high-resolution imaging of proteins to develop the theory A team of scientists led by Stony Brook University biochemist Huilin Li, PhD, have proposed that DNA is unwound by a type of “pumpjack” mechanism, similar to the way one operates on an oil rig. Their finding, published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, is based on new close-up images of the proteins that unwind DNA inside the nucleus of a yeast cell and could offer insight into ways that DNA replication can go awry and trigger disease. “DNA replication is a major source of errors…

This is the premise for a study in the Journal of Business and Psychology by Lily Cushenbery, an assistant professor of management in Stony Brook’s College of Business, and psychologist Samuel Hunter, an associate professor at Penn State. The article received a 2015 Editor Commendation from the journal and has been getting much media attention. The two researchers were interviewed in Fortune magazine. For the study, Cushenbery and Hunter watched a group of nearly 500 people with different personalities work together on developing business ideas such as marketing campaigns and strategies. They found that the jerks didn’t have more creative…

Stony Brook University Physics Dmitri Kharzeev, in collaboration with a team of scientists at the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, has discovered a new way to generate very low-resistance electric current in a new class of materials. The discovery, which relies on the separation of right- and left-“handed” particles, points to a range of potential applications in energy, quantum computing, and medical imaging, and possibly even a new mechanism for inducing superconductivity–the ability of some materials to carry current with no energy loss. The material the scientists worked with, zirconium pentatelluride, has a surprising trait: When placed…

Distinguished Teaching Professor Steven Skiena and his students studied the obscure game of jai alai and developed a successful betting system that proved to be very profitable. Jai alai is a Basque game that is played on a court similar to racquetball or handball. It is popular with gamblers in South Florida, which is where Skiena was first introduced to the game. He and his team used algorithms — programmed procedures for making decisions — and computer models to break the system and quickly beat the world of jai alai betting. During a six-month period, Skiena’s system produced 500 percent profits.…

Thanks to a major gift from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Stony Brook University will establish an endowed chair in the Department of History: the Robert David Lion Gardiner Chair in American History. The gift makes it possible for Stony Brook to appoint a prominent scholar in the College of Arts and Sciences, who will foster an increase in public interest in the history of Long Island and its place in American history, creating a robust intellectual resource available to wider audiences. The Gardiner Foundation pledge qualifies for a dollar-for-dollar match from the Simons Foundation, bringing the gift to the threshold of…

Certain proteins known to be associated with aging and age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, are also at a high risk for destabilization caused by oxidation. This finding by a team of researchers at the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology at Stony Brook University provides an understanding of how oxidative damage, which is a natural process in aging cells, affects proteins. It could also prove to be a foundation to a better understanding of age-related diseases. The paper, titled “Highly charged proteins: the Achilles’ heel of aging proteoms,” is published in the journal Structure. When people…

Stony Brook University established the National Security Institute (NSI) in September 2014. NSI’s goal is to become a world leader in research and security technology, education, business and policy, and raising awareness. NSI spans multiple disciplines and establishes public-private partnerships to develop new holistic socio-technological solutions for securing the world’s highly digital societies. It also engages in the education of professionals in defense, national and cybersecurity, assurance, healthcare and policy. A comprehensive assurance education program trains not only Stony Brook students but also the broader corporate and academic community. NSI’s team of experts has helped launch successful security-centric technology startups.…

Stony Brook University researcher Lilianne Mujica-Parodi has an unusual way of measuring stress: She asks volunteers to jump out of an airplane. In her conversation with “Science on Tap” host and former 60 Minutes producer Steven Reiner, Dr. Mujica-Parodi explains why the emotional stress experienced by novice skydivers helps her understand how the brain’s internal chatter regulates our response to scary situations.  This research lets her distinguish between true bravery and foolish recklessness. Mujica-Parodi, an associate professor in SBU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, is director of the Laboratory for Computational Neurodiagnostics. Her current research leverages brain scanning technology to investigate the brain’s internal conversations and…

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Dr. Jacqueline B. Mondros, Dean of the School of Social Welfare and Assistant Vice President of Health Sciences at Stony Brook University, to the newly created NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. Members of the Board include non-government experts from all five boroughs in academia, faith, media, business, technology, the non-profit sector and the judiciary who will leverage their expertise, relationships and resources. “I created the NYC Children’s Cabinet to enhance the ways in which City agencies promote and protect our children’s well-being,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This was always an…

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