In the news / Biosystems Engineering

NEWS
This semester the UArizona opened the new Peter and Nancy Salter Medical Device Design Lab for undergraduate students majoring in biomedical engineering and other engineering fields. Dr. Philipp Gutruf, a UArizona assistant professor of biomedical engineering and BIO5 member, discusses the educational value of giving students access to state of the art equipment that can help them manufacture and design circuit boards or custom enclosures for wearable devices.
 
NEWS
Reglagene, a biotech start-up led by BIO5 members Drs. Laurence Hurley and Vijay Gokhale, placed second in the RESI Innovation Challenge during JPM Week in San Francisco. The RESI Challenge featured 30 early stage life science companies from around the world and is designed to help startups refine their business plan, improve go-to-market strategies and increase investor readiness.
 
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A Tucson startup with technology to help fish farmers boost production were one of two grand prize winners of a business pitch competition at the 2019 edition of IdeaFunding. The founders of GenetiRate, including BIO5’s Dr. Benjamin Renquist shared in the $25,000 grand prize sponsored by UAVenture Capital
 
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Researchers, including UA COM-T Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine professor and BIO5 faculty member Dr. Donata Vercelli, are beginning to explore the various ways that microbes in the soil might protect us and benefit our health. This marks a turning point in soil research, as scientists used to hold the belief that soil is nothing more than a matrix to hold plants and minerals.
 
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Dr. Laura Meredith, rain forest science director for Biosphere 2 and BIO5 member, is one of the leaders of a four-month-long drought study. the aim of the research is to learn about how a hotter, drier future will alter tropical rain forest ecosystems. This European Research Council grant funded study will use Biosphere 2’s unique ability to control model ecosystems to collect data about multiple rain forest climates.
 
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The demand for potable and irrigation water has never been greater, and as such methods are being developed so new plant cultivars, farming technology, and irrigation can draw more out of arable land. UA Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering professor and BIO5 faculty member Dr. Joel Cuello, has developed the Vertical-Hive (V-Hive) Green Box, an indoor vertical modular growth system. The V-Hive reduces water consumption by 80 to 90 percent compared to traditional field farming.
 
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A team led by University of Arizona Biomedical Engineering professor and BIO5 researcher, Dr. Jeong-Yeol Yoon, has created a highly sensitive portable detection system capable of spotting norovirus at levels that can make people sick. Dr. Yoon believes that the handheld detection system could be used by governmental officials to analyze local groundwater sources in areas with heavy septic tank usage or even on cruise ships, where the virus is prevalent. 
 
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Many researchers with domain-specific expertise aren't aware of the predictive analytics, classification and visualization tools available, or they aren't fluent enough in the data science language to use them. A group of data-fluent UA researchers that includes BIO5 faculty Drs. Eric Lyons, Vignesh Subbian, and Nirav Merchant, is looking to change this by leading a grassroots effort to provide skills training designed to increase data literacy among researchers.
 
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Dr. David Galbraith is a professor at the University of Arizona School of Plant Sciences, BIO5 Institute, Biomedical Engineering, and Institute of the Environment. Dr. Galbraith’s research and 2019 TEDxUofA talk focuses on the hazards and effects that an artificial space environment has on living bodies.
 
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In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Center for Interface Science: Solar Electric Materials, the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences recognized 10 groups of researchers or individual researchers who exemplified the centers' mission. Dr. Erin Ratcliff, a UA assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering and BIO5 member, was recognized for her work in leading many of the centers successful projects and initiatives.
 
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A University of Arizona team lead by BIO5 member and Molecular and Cellular Biology associate professor Dr. Andrew Capaldi, asked the question: If different biological circuit pathways both activate genes that cause cells to grow and turn on and off in response to nutrients, then why does the cell need both pathways to control growth? Dr. Capaldi's team believes that learning how these pathways interact and work together can help us create more effective drugs to treat cancer, or even epilepsy.
 
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Vice Chair of the Association for Vertical Farming, UA Biosystems Engineering professor, and BIO5 member Dr. Joel Cuello, looks at how U.S. fast food consumers' growing expectations for healthy, ethical, and sustainable options is transforming the status quo of the fast food industry, while also creating new opportunities in the Vertical Farming industry.
 
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New College of Engineering Dean, Dr. David Hahn is excited to work at the university to further his vision for engineering education. Hahn spent 20 years at the University of Florida before joining UA, where he will not only serve as the College of Engineering Dean, but also as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.
 
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The BIO5 Postdoctoral Fellowship recognizes outstanding postdoctoral researchers at the University of Arizona who are engaging in multi-disciplinary research projects aligned with the foci of the BIO5 Institute. These grants are specifically designed to support and enhance the independent research goals of BIO5 postdoctoral researchers, showcase their research at a BIO5 Research Symposium via short talks and/or poster sessions, and to facilitate a “forward thinking” mindset by requiring each fellow to form a three-member mentoring committee.
 
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As his term as interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost comes to a close, BIO5 faculty member and newly appointed Dean Emeritus Dr. Jeff Goldberg, reflects on his 34 years at UA. Dr. Goldberg’s journey at the University will continue as a half-time adviser to the president, working on the campus master plan, and supporting development and mentoring strategies.
 
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A study has been initiated by Hendrix Genetics and GenetiRate, a US based start-up founded by UA Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences associate professor and BIO5researcher Dr. Benjamin Renquist, to apply a new technology that has the potential to measure the feed conversion rate of rainbow trout. The ability to select trout with significantly improved feed conversion would mean farmers would gain the benefit of increased growth rate while maintaining feed intake.
 
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Clean Earth Tech, a startup of UA Biomedical Engineering assistant professor and BIO5 member Dr. Minkyu Kim, is commercializing a newly invented biocompatible dust control polymer. The aim is to provide companies with a way to suppress dust without negatively impacting the environment.
 
NEWS
Horticultural technology has made some significant leaps over the last few years, and that trend has been accelerating in recent months. But other crops and production systems are driving innovation as well. Dr. Gene Giacomelli, UA Agricultural Biosystems Engineering professor and BIO5 faculty, says that automation is a must and that growers must match proper technology to respective needs.