The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


Penn State will host the 11th annual Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease Conference and Workshop

The event is scheduled to be held May 20-23, 2013.

"I consider this one of the most enjoyable, friendly and stimulating meetings of the year, and I am thrilled to have it return to Penn State this year since this was where the meeting was held 11 years ago," said Peter Hudson, director of the Huck Institutes, who then added, jokingly, "I also hav

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Yingwei Mao receives two major grants

The American Heart Association and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation have each awarded Dr. Mao with a grant intended to provide support for promising beginning scientists.

The American Heart Association's Scientist Development Grant provides support for highly promising begi

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Craig Praul contributes to Gene Expression Technical Guide

The Genomics Core Facility co-director is among the experts cited in Genome Technology's publication.

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Call for Concept Papers: Keck Foundation Science & Engineering and Medical Research programs

As part of our efforts to build a portfolio of high-visibility, high-risk, transformative research projects, we are soliciting one-page concept papers for consideration of submission to the W.M. Keck Foundation; the internal deadline for submission is January 15, 2013.

This process is extremely competitive, particularly during the pre-application counseling phase.

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J. Lloyd Huck: July 17, 1922 - December 4, 2012

The Huck Institutes are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and benefactor, J. Lloyd Huck.

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Three Huck Institutes faculty members are named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Peter Hudson, Matthew Thomas, and Andrew Read have been elected by their peers for distinguished efforts to advance science.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and the publisher of the journal Science.

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Wansheng Liu contributes to international pig genome sequencing effort

The first complete sequencing of the pig genome by the International Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium has been published in Nature.

The research — described in the cover article of the Nov. 15 issue of Nature — provides a genetic comparison of the domesticated pig and its wild cousins, and offers clues about how the animal evolved.

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Sarah Assmann invited to write Coulter Review paper for the International Journal of Plant Sciences

This inaugural Coulter Review article is scheduled for publication in the January 2013 issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences.

A world leader in the field of plant-cell signal transduction, Dr. Assmann studies plant genetics and how plants receive and respond to stimuli from the environment.

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Lifestyle decisions impact skin health

Nina Jablonski discusses how human lifestyle decisions impact the health of our skin and its ability to mediate our overall health.

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$2.3 million NIH grant supports research on midface and diseases

A team of researchers headed by Joan Richtsmeier will use genetically engineered mice and 3D imaging technology to study the development of the human midface upper jaw, cheekbones, and eye sockets and how diseases and abnormalities of the head affect the growth and shape of the face.

The work is being funded by a new $2.3 million five-year grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, which is part of the prestigious National Institutes of

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Donald Bryant elected to the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology

The three-year term is an elected position that is voted upon by the membership of the Academy " the honorific arm of the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Bryant's research focuses on photosynthesis in bacteria, with the long-term objective of understanding the structure, function, assembly, and regulation of expression of the photosynthetic apparatuses of cyanobacteria and green-sulfur-bacteria.

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Scott Showalter receives the inaugural Eastern Analytical Society New Faculty Award in NMR Spectroscopy

The award recognizes outstanding contributions by new faculty to the development of the field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Dr. Showalter is a biophysical chemist who uses experimental and computational techniques to study biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids, with a focus on the relationship between structure, dynamics, and function.

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Chocolate genome research is good for farmers, the environment, and sweet lovers

Using genome sequencing programs and computer clusters at Penn State and abroad, Mark Guiltinan and colleagues have mapped the cacao genome and are working to breed better, more disease-resistant cacao plants.


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Awards announced: Shared Technology Facilities pilot projects

The first round of funded projects will receive up to $10,000 per award.

The program allocates up to $10,000 of seed money per award to Penn State researchers for use in any of the Huck Institutes Shared Technology Facilities at University Park.

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Interaction of genes and environment influences obesity in children

Kathleen Keller and colleagues at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine find that while neither genes nor the environment alone can predict obesity in children, a strong relationship emerges when these factors are considered together.

The researchers found that certain children — called "non-tasters" — who have a genetic variant that makes them less sensitive to the taste of certain bitter compounds were significantly more likely to be obese than children who were "tasters" of these compounds, but only when they lived in an un

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Students get unique environmental research experience in Spain

Over the past two years, Margot and Jason Kaye have coordinated trips to Madrid, Spain, for students in the College of Agricultural Sciences to conduct research in global climate change ecology.

Eight students enrolled in the Ecological Research in Spain course travelled to Europe at the end of the spring semester and stayed for almost two months, working with groups of Spanish researchers.

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Individual gene differences can be tested in zebrafish

Keith Cheng and his lab are using the zebrafish to test a class of unique individual genetic differences in humans, in order to better understand the biological results of those differences.

The differences, or mutations, in question create minor changes in amino acids — the building blocks of DNA — from person to person, and better understanding the effects of those mutations may yield data that can be used to improve the emerging field of personalized medicine.

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NSF grant seeks to replicate human pattern recognition in computers

Yanxi Liu and Rick Gilmore will collaborate with Stanford's Anthony Norcia to bridge the gap between how humans and computers perceive and process visual patterns.

Resulting from an initial collaboration supported by a seed grant from the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences, the three-year project will be funded by an $800,000 grant — entitled "

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Lisa Gatzke-Kopp is featured in a new Research Unplugged video

This excerpt from the October 11 session of Research Unplugged features a discussion of the role of dopamine in behavioral patterns of children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Penn State Profiles is launched at University Park

Software tool for research networking and expertise mining shows traditional directory information and illustrates how researchers are connected to one another in the broader community.

Each faculty profile displays the following three types of information:

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