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Student Research: Study Identifies predictors of timely enrollment in treatment for opioid use disorder

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For people living with opioid use disorder, the path to treatment is not always clear-cut. Sometimes, there’s no path at all. The gap between those recommended for medications for opioid use disorder — with methadone, buprenorphine or other medications prescribed — and those who ultimately receive it is wide and persisting. At the epicenter, accounting for more than one third of individuals with an opioid disorder, are Medicaid recipients. In an effort to gather information that might help to close that gap, researchers at Brown, including Alexandria Macmadu, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology, analyzed Medicaid databases to identify predictors of timely enrollment in treatment for those who experienced an opioid overdose or were diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Read more.

Student Research: Study reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk

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A new study, co-led by doctoral student Asimanshu Das, examines airflow patterns inside a car's passenger cabin to offer some suggestions for potentially reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while sharing rides with others. The study used computer models to simulate the airflow inside a compact car with various combinations of windows open or closed. The simulations showed that opening windows - the more windows the better -- created airflow patterns tha dramatically reduced the concentration of airborne particles exchanged between a driver and single passenger. Read more.

Dean Campbell Elected as Fellow of the AAAS

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Andrew G. Campbell, dean of the Graduate School and a professor of medical science, and Susan Short, director of the Population Studies and Training Center and a professor of sociology, were elected by their peers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society. The new fellows will be formally recognized in a virtual ceremony to be held in February 2021. Campbell was recognized for his scientific research as well as his “administrative leadership, and service to increase the full participation of all in science.” Read more.

Doctoral Student Support, Ph.D. Program Admissions

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The COVID-19 public health crisis has had a serious, ongoing impact on colleges and universities across the nation, students enrolled at Brown, our broader campus community, and multiple aspects of University operations and finances. Among the many challenges are the disruption of the ability of many graduate students to conduct research and fieldwork, and the more limited professional opportunities for new Ph.D. graduates that are a result of the financial impact of the pandemic on higher education. We write with an update on support for doctoral students at Brown and to inform you of steps that are being taken to ensure that we can best assist currently enrolled students as they complete their degrees. Read more.

Student Research: Stay-at-home orders significantly associated with reduced spread of COVID-19, study finds

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Across the globe, COVID-19 has infected more than 18 million people to date and has killed hundreds of thousands — and the United States has been hit especially hard. Although the U.S. comprises just 4.2% of the global population, it accounted for approximately 33% of all reported infections by the end of April. However, the majority of U.S. states eventually imposed stay-at-home orders, and those orders appear to have significantly slowed the spread of the disease for the nation as a whole.

These findings, co-authored by Joe Silva, a PhD student in Health Services Research, along with a state-by-state breakdown of how quickly COVID-19 spread before and after lockdown orders, were published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases on Saturday, Aug. 1. Read more.

Student Research: Different tracks, same dinosaurs: Brown researchers dig deeper into dinosaur movements

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Using X-ray-based technology developed at Brown University, researchers, including lead author Morgan Turner, a Ph.D. candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology, uncover shared subsurface movement patterns between birds and dinosaurs, adding a new dimension of fossil track diversity. “This is the first study that’s really shown how the bird foot is moving below ground, showing the patterns of this subsurface foot motion and allowing us to break down the patterns that we're seeing in a living animal that has feet similar to those of a dinosaur,” said Turner. Read more.

Student Research: Researchers develop ultra-sensitive device for detecting magnetic fields

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A team of Brown University physicists, including doctoral Physics student Yiou Zhang, has developed a new type of compact, ultra-sensitive magnetometer. The new device could be useful in a variety of applications involving weak magnetic fields, the researchers say. “Nearly everything around us generates a magnetic field — from our electronic devices to our beating hearts — and we can use those fields to gain information about all these systems,” said Gang Xiao, chair of the Brown Department of Physics. The new device is detailed in a paper published in Applied Physics Letters. Read more.

2020 Commencement Speakers

Mira Nikolova '20 PhD and Abdullah Shihipar '20 MPH will address graduating doctoral and master's students during the Graduate School’s Virtual Degree Conferral ceremony on Sunday, May 24. Learn more about Mira and Abdullah.

Leaders in Their Fields, Four Students Selected for the 2020 Joukowsky Prizes

The 2020 Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Awards will be awarded to Madeline Bourque Kearin, Lu Lu, Erika Valdivieso and Hyeyoung Shin. This prize recognizes the superior research achievements of four doctoral students. The soon to be alums covered a breadth of topics from nineteenth-century asylum life and sickle cell disease research to the influence of Roman poetry in colonial Latin America poetry and neurons that act as metronomes to keep time in the brain. Read more.

Master’s Students Receive Accolades for Academic, Professional and Community Service Accomplishments

Lucas Baisch will receive the Master’s Award for professional excellence, Aakash Jhaveri will be recognized for his academic accomplishments, and Manuel Jiménez is honored for engaged citizenship and community service.

Baisch, ’20 MFA was nominated for his incredible accomplishments as a playwright and visual artist; Jhaveri ’20 ScM for his novel research on treatments for pancreatic and other cancers; and Jiménez ’20, executive master in business administration, for his creation of two new diversity and inclusion focused workforce programs through his position at Banco Santander in Spain. Read more.