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Professor Clarissa Nobile is changing the way we look at microbes. She wants to understand them as they’re found in nature, not as they exist in the laboratory. And she was just awarded a five-year, $1.89 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bolster her efforts. Nobile received the Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Known as the Outstanding Investigator Award, it’s the first of its kind ever awarded to a UC Merced faculty member. It’s yet...
The National Science Foundation recently awarded Professor Michael Dawson $900,000 to study some rather mysterious marine phenomena. Dawson received $700,000 — part of a three-year, $1.2 million grant awarded to Dawson and collaborators at UC Santa Cruz, the University of Georgia and Cornell University — to investigate the repercussions of the 2013 outbreak of sea star wasting disease (SSWD), a marine pandemic that killed 90 percent of ochre sea stars along North America’s Pacific coast. He received an additional $200,000 to collaborate with...
Imagine going to see the latest Pixar movie. You’re sitting in the theater enjoying the film, when you begin to notice the astounding level of detail in the animation. On screen, water is rippling and leaves are flittering with an almost uncanny realism. It’s art imitating life with incredible verisimilitude, and it makes you wonder how the animators are able to pull off such lifelike effects. The answer, at least in part, lies in mathematics. With support from the National Science Foundation, UC Merced Professor Mayya Tokman and her...
On Sept. 22, MacArthur "Genius" Award winner and Stanford University bioengineering Professor Manu Prakash will deliver the keynote lecture at the first annual open house for UC Merced’s Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines (CCBM), a National Science Foundation Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (NSF-CREST). The daylong open house will include a variety of events and activities related to biophysics, biochemistry and bioengineering, in addition to Prakash’s keynote. Prakash is a renowned scientist and inventor...
Professor Noemi Petra is UC Merced’s newest recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award, which the NSF describes as its “most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their organizations.” Petra is the 16th UC Merced faculty member and first in Applied Mathematics to receive the CAREER award, which will provide her with $400,000 over the next five years...
The University of California, Merced, was established in 2005 — or so the story goes. The main campus officially opened in September of that year, but that particular reading of history elides a more colorful backstory. UC Merced didn’t spring into existence when developers broke ground on the main campus. Its founding was a tremendous undertaking that required extensive planning. Most of that planning occurred before the official groundbreaking, and much of it took place on a former Air Force base. “Castle was the campus in every sense of the...
Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a biogeochemist who studies the impact of climate change on Sierra Nevada soils. She’s also active in efforts to recruit and retain women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Those efforts were recently bolstered by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Berhe is part of a team that was just awarded a four-year, $1.1 million ADVANCE grant to develop new strategies to combat the lingering and pervasive issue of sexual and gender-based harassment in the earth sciences. “ADVANCE is an...
A new study published in the journal Science may have major implications for the future of water purification. Professor Aleksandr Noy and his research team at Lawrence Livermore National Lab found that carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs) — hollow cylinders made of pure carbon that resemble microscopic drinking straws — can transport pure water across barriers while excluding impurities. The study also shows that CNTPs do this better than any material known to science. Approximately 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, CNTPs are so narrow that...
Elizabeth (Betsy) Dumont joins UC Merced today as the newest dean of the School of Natural Sciences. She’s the third dean in the school’s history and the second woman to serve in this capacity, after Founding Dean Maria Pallavicini. Dumont arrives from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where for the past three years she served as vice provost for academic affairs and director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Programs in Life Sciences. She joined the UMass faculty in 2001. “Dr. Dumont brings a distinguished and varied track record of...
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Tom Peterson announced on Monday the appointment of Elizabeth (Betsy) Dumont as the third Dean of the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced effective August 1, 2017. Dr. Dumont is currently the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  In his announcement to the campus community, Provost Peterson stated, "Dr. Dumont brings a distinguished and varied track record of leadership in higher education to UC Merced, as well as a strong...

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