Browsing: Provost’s Lecture

Fishing for the Secrets of Stickleback and Human Evolution David Kingsley is a professor of developmental biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His genetic studies of classic mouse skeletal mutations have identified key signaling molecules and membrane transporters used by vertebrates to control skeletal patterning and susceptibility to arthritis. In 1998 he and postdoc Katie Peichel began using genetic mapping strategies to analyze the molecular basis of evolutionary change in natural populations of threespine sticklebacks. This work has subsequently revealed detailed genomic mechanisms that underlie evolution of new traits not…

Mechanotransduction in Endothelial Cells in Health and Disease Dr. Shu Chien is University Professor of Bioengineering and Medicine, Director of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of Bioengineering at the Institute of California for the UC System. He is a world leader in molecular, cellular and integrative studies on bioengineering and physiology in health and disease, with research focuses on mechanotransduction, mechanism of regulation of gene expression and stem cell bioengineering. Dr. Chien has published more than 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has edited 12 books. He has received outstanding…

Adventures in Urban Informatics Steve Koonin is the founding director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, a consortium of academic, corporate and government partners that pursue research and education activities to develop and demonstrate informatics technologies for urban problems in the “living laboratory” of New York City. Prior to his NYU appointment, Koonin served as the second Under Secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy and on the staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Koonin was professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology from 1975 to 2006 and was the Institute’s Provost for almost…

Ukraine between “The East” and “The West:” The Final Cut? Georgiy Kasianov is head of the Department of Contemporary Politics and History at the Institute of the History of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. He is the author, editor and co-author of more than a dozen books and collected volumes on the modern history of Ukraine, Ukrainian nationalism and the politics of history, including A Laboratory of Transnational History: Ukraine and Recent Ukrainian Historiography and Danse Macabre: The Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Politics, Mass Consciousness and History Writing, 1980s-2000s. His scholarly interests include the modern history of Europe, methodology of history, intellectual…

My Brain Made Me Gay: Scientific Perspectives on Sexual Orientation British-born neuroscientist Simon LeVay has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He achieved international fame with a 1991 Science paper that reported on a difference in the structure of the hypothalamus between gay and straight men. This study helped trigger an avalanche of new biological research into sexual orientation — research that has influenced popular views on the nature of homosexuality. Since retiring from laboratory science LeVay has authored or co-authored 12 books, including Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why, the…

Challenges in Higher Education: High-Impact Practices and the Success of First-Generation and Low-Income Students Jennifer R. Keup, PhD, is director of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. Among the numerous roles of public higher education is to ensure access to opportunities with the potential to improve individuals’ lives and the quality of our communities. To that end, enhancing the success of those who are the first in their family to go to college and of those from low-income families, is a priority consistent with and representative of public…

The Evolution of Languages: An Evolutionary Biologist’s Perspective Mark Pagel, professor of evolutionary biology at Reading University, UK, and Fellow of the Royal Society, is one of the world’s most distinguished evolutionary biologists. He has contributed significantly to our understanding of how to construct evolutionary trees and has applied these accomplishments to understanding the evolution of our written language. His book Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind (WW Norton) was named one of the best science books of 2012 by The Guardian. Abstract: Human beings speak approximately 7,000 mutually unintelligible languages around the world, giving our species the curious distinction…

From 20th Century Environmental Protection to 21st Century Sustainability Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with appointments in both the Environment and Law Schools. He also serves as director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and co-directs the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale. Esty is the author or editor of 10 books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy and sustainability — and their connections to policy, corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade and economic success. His prize-winning volume, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and…

The Entrepreneurs Edge: Success on Long Island The Entrepreneurs Edge will feature a lively conversation between Richard (Rich) Gelfond, Stony Brook alumnus and Chief Executive Officer of IMAX Corporation, and Joseph Campolo, Chairman of Protegrity Advisors, about Gelfond’s path from shoeshine entrepreneur to one of America’s top CEOs. Under Gelfond’s leadership, IMAX has evolved from a niche purveyor of nature and science documentaries to a Hollywood movie force — both as a high-tech exhibitor and a creative partner in the movie-making process. IMAX presented some of 2014’s top movies, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and…

A Path So Twisted: Thinking Wildly with and through Punk Feminisms Jack Halberstam is a professor of American studies and ethnicity, gender studies and comparative literature at the University of Southern California. He is the author of five books including Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam…

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