The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


Million-dollar grant will fund research into cancer-fighting nanotechnology

The Penn State College of Medicine has been awarded a $1 million research grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health's CURE program, earmarked for the development of a cancer treatment with commercialization potential.

Mark Kester, working with James Adair and private company Keystone Nano (of which Kester and Adair are co-founders as well as chief medical officer and chief scientific officer, respectively), has developed a nanoscale delivery mech

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IST researchers examine interplay of cognition, physiology and behavior

Researchers at Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology, including Huck Institutes faculty member Frank Ritter, are using cognitive architecture " a theory of human cognition implemented as a computer simulation program " to understand how cognitive processes interact with biological systems and influence social behavior.

This work, being conducted by doctoral students Christopher Dancy and Changkun Zho with professor Frank Ritter, has broad implications in areas including educational software design, military operations, video games and the formation of social networks.

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Life Sciences Building named for J. Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck

Nearly 60 years after Lloyd and Dottie Huck's first donation to their alma mater, Penn State's Board of Trustees on July 13 honored the couple's longtime service and philanthropy to Penn State through the newly renamed J. Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Life Sciences Building.

The honor recognizes the Hucks' nearly $44 million lifetime, multidisciplinary investment in innovative University research and education.

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Vaccine research shows vigilance is needed against evolution of more-virulent malaria

Research conducted by Penn State's Andrew Read reveals that malaria parasites evolve to become more virulent in response to their hosts being immunized with a critical component of several candidate human malaria vaccines which are currently in clinical trials.

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Polar bear evolution tracked climate change, new DNA study suggests

An international study " led by Penn State's Stephan Schuster and Web Miller and the University at Buffalo's Charlotte Lindqvist " includes an analysis of newly sequenced polar bear genomes that provides important clues about the species' evolution, suggesting that climate change and genetic exchange with brown bears helped create the polar bear as we know it today.

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Opening for faculty position in cellular and molecular imaging

The Department of Bioengineering at Penn State University seeks to hire a full-time faculty member at the level of Associate or Full Professor in the area of cellular and molecular imaging.

Imaging modalities include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, optical, fluorescence, and mass spectrometry.

Desired application areas include nanomedicine, materials research, life science and translational medicine.

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New TEMs coming soon to the Millennium Science Complex

Penn State will install two new transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) in the Materials Research Institute's Materials Characterization Lab and the Huck Institutes' Microscopy and Cytometry Facility.

Concurrent with the Materials Research Institute's acquisition of an FEI Titan3 scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM), the Huck Institutes have acquired a similar instrument for biological applications — an FEI Tecnai G2 Spiri

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New laser capture microdissection system coming soon to the Microscopy and Cytometry Facility

The Huck Institutes have acquired a Zeiss PALM MicroBeam system, which will be delivered in late July 2012 to the Microscopy and Cytometry Facility located in the Millennium Science Complex.

The PALM MicroBeam is a laser capture microdissection system which uses laser beams to precisely micro-dissect out specific cells and tissues of interest under a microscopic objective lens for further characterization of the dissected samples, such as genomic analysis.

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Carsten Krebs receives an Early Career Award from the Society for Biological Inorganic Chemistry

The prize is considered to be the signature award in the field of biological inorganic chemistry, and is awarded to the most meritorious scientist who has completed no more than 15 years of distinguished research in the field.

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Huck Institutes infectious disease researcher is consulted on accuracy of "Contagion" film

Marcel Salathe of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics discusses epidemiology and global pandemics on "Did They Get it Right?"


Steven Soderbergh's 2011 film "Contagion" presented viewers with the thrilling (albeit macabre) scenario of a deadly global pandemic.


Infectious disease specialist Marcel Salathé discusses the possibility of such an occurrence.

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Penn State professor receives $500,000 grant for breast cancer research

Andrea Mastro was awarded the grant by the U.S. Army Medical and Materiel Command Breast Cancer Program in order to further her study of bone metastasis.

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Huck Institutes faculty member receives $100,000 grant from NFL Charities to advance research on concussions in children

Semyon Slobounov aims to find out whether children suffering from concussions recover faster and have a better prognosis than young adults.

The researchers plan to examine two dozen athletes — twelve aged 13-16, and twelve more aged 18-21 — who are suffering from sport-related concussions.

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Interdisciplinary research looks at whole-farm sustainability

Heather Karsten leads the Sustainable Dairy Cropping Systems research project " a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to managing whole-farm sustainability through conservation of soil, nutrients, biodiversity and energy.

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Facing modern forest management challenges: mitigation, adaptation

James Finley discusses the present state and future outlook of woodlands in the eastern United States.

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Exposure to violence has long-term stress effects among adolescents

Elizabeth Susman and colleagues find enduring negative effects of exposure to violence up to a year after the initial event.

In a study of 124 healthy adolescents aged 8 to 13 years, the researchers found that cortisol reactivity (an inversely correlated measure of stress) decreased in the male subjects as their exposure to violence increased (suggesting habituation), but found different results in the female subjects.

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Penn State mourns alumni leader and philanthropist Verne Willaman

Penn State, the Eberly College of Science, and the Huck Institutes have lost a leading advocate and supporter with the passing of Verne M. Willaman, a class of 1951 graduate and retired chairman and president of Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Willaman, whose philanthropy and volunteer leadership helped the University’s life sciences and molecular biology programs to gain international prominence, died recently at his home in San Luis Obispo, California.

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Acoustic tweezers capture tiny creatures with ultrasound

A team of bioengineers and biochemists including Tony Jun Huang and Steven Benkovic has created a dime-sized device that uses ultrasound to manipulate cells and small organisms.

The acoustic tweezers are the first technology capable of touchlessly trapping and manipulating the C.

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Penn State is awarded a $5.8 million grant to expand its Galaxy biomedical analysis software

Anton Nekrutenko of the Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics, with co-developer James Taylor of Emory University, will continue to build new functionality into the Galaxy resource.

With support from a new U41 research grant from the U.S.

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Crowdbreaks tracks disease trends through social media

The Salathe research group in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and the HealthMap team at Boston Children's Hospital collaborate to crowd-source disease surveillance using aggregated Twitter feeds, user-driven data refinement, and machine-learning algorithms.

By: Seth Palmer


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HITS Fund is an initial success, set to make first payouts

Following a flood of outstanding proposals, the Huck Institutes' seed fund for innovative and transformational research is set to launch its inaugural round of projects with additional funding from the Eberly College of Science and the Materials Research Institute.

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