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Ethics Dinner-Seminar Addresses Climate Change

The second Academy in Context event of 2016-17 features Prof. John Mustard and Deborah Gordon in a February 15 dinner-seminar entitled, “Climate Change: Perspectives on Challenges in Two Key Sectors.” Mustard will focus on how agricultural systems will adapt to changing climate to serve a growing population's demands for food and fuel. Gordon will speak about the complexities and challenges affecting climate change due to the significant diversity in global oils’ greenhouse gas emissions. These two sectors—agriculture and oil—underscore the need for honesty and transparency, even when existing rules are not requiring it, the speakers say.

Mathwig Wins Cross Award

Alexandra Mathwig is one of eight recipients of the 2017 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, announced the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). The Brown University doctoral candidate in History of Art & Architecture was selected from a pool of more than 250 nominees from 127 institutions.

Medicaid Expansion Linked to Better Center Care

According to a new study on the first year of Medicaid expansion, led by doctoral student Megan Cole and Dr. Amal Trivedi, four out of eight quality indicators at federally funded health centers improved significantly in states that expanded Medicaid compared to non-expansion states.

Sea Sponges Offer Clues on Structural Strength

Brown University engineers, including doctoral student Michael Monn, looked to nature to find a shape that could improve all kinds of slender structures, from building columns to bicycle spokes. Judging by their name alone, orange puffball sea sponges might seem unlikely paragons of structural strength. But maintaining their shape at the bottom of the churning ocean is critical to the creatures' survival, and new research shows that tiny structural rods in their bodies have evolved the optimal shape to avoid buckling under pressure.

RNA Pathway Plays Key Role in Health, Lifespan, Fly Study Shows

The piRNA pathway was thought to be most active in the reproductive organs of animals, but researchers, including doctoral student in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, Brian Jones, have discovered in the common fruit fly that the pathway also operates in a non-reproductive body tissue, playing a vital role in maintaining health and lifespan.

Galápagos Waters Illustrate Drama of Climate Change

Algae cage:

Brown marine biologist Jon Witman, doctoral student Robert Lamb, and others at Brown have spent much of 2016 in the Galápagos Islands, continuing years of chronicling the complex and dramatic ecological changes wrought by the increasingly volatile El Niño – La Niña cycle.  Lamb, for instance, discovered the emergence of a skin-wasting disease in the reef fishes that he studies. 

Student-Faculty Partnership Shapes Potential TB Strategy

Part of the reason tuberculosis-causing bacteria are so good at colonizing the human body is that they have defenses against the body’s immune system. A research team led by Brown University chemists, including Kyle Totaro '14 PhD, has developed a new compound that can take down one of those defenses in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The researchers are hopeful that the compound could be part of a new drug strategy for treating tuberculosis.

Explore Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellowships

Advanced PhD students interested in a teaching fellowship at a liberal arts college are invited to attend a December 14 info session at 4 pm at the Sheridan Center.  The Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellowship program provides an opportunity for advanced PhD students to teach at nearby Wheaton College. Shawn Christian, Associate Provost of Wheaton College, will answer questions. He will be joined by  Wheaton Associate Professor Michael Berg (Psychology, Public Health), and Nicholas Friesner, current Brown-Wheaton Faculty Fellow. Applications are due January 27, 2017. Learn more.

Call for Applications: Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Advanced PhD students in the humanities and social sciences are invited to apply for interdisciplinary opportunities at more than a dozen centers and institutes at Brown University. Those who will be in their 5th or 6th year of doctoral study at Brown University in 2017-2018 are eligible to apply. Support will be offered to up to 16 candidates, who will engage in the activities of these centers and institutes and benefit from enhanced professional development and mentorship in 2017-2018. The application deadline is January 30, 2017. Learn more.