In the news / Next Generation Workforce

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A new program to support veterans studying in a STEM field is launching at the University of Arizona. Dr. Michael Marty, UA assistant professor of chemistry and member of The BIO5 Institute, started researching veterans participation in STEM fields after retired Lt. Col. James Rohrbough joined Marty's lab as a staff scientist.
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Struggling to make sense of a large amount of student evaluations from her UA introductory biology course, Associate Vice Provost in the Office of Instruction and Assessment and BIO5 member, Dr. Lisa Elfring, developed a way to visualize the feedback. This kind of presentation provides her with the ability to create and test hypotheses of what students thought of a course.
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Students at Ironwood Ridge High School have the unique opportunity to work at Nighthawk Biotechnology, Inc., thanks to The BIOTECH Project, put on by the BIO5 Institute and the UA Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. “Some kids might see forensic technology on TV, but biotechnology is almost never on their radar,” said Dr. Nadja Anderson, Director of the BIOTECH Project. “But once they experience it hands-on, they realize it’s very applicable to their lives and for careers.”
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KEYS Internship alumni and UA EMS executive director Abhijay Murugesan, is a fourth-year UA student who will graduate in May 2020. Murugesan was recently selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship, a highly competitive national award for students planning to serve the public.
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At the end of 2018, BIO5 member Dr. David Galbraith, Professor in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' School of Plant Sciences, was appointed as Honorary Dean at Henan University in China. The Daily Wildcat talked to him about this new position and what it means for the UA.
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UA College of Medicine-Tucson professor and BIO5 Member Dr. Donata Vercelli, notes the discovery of the microbial world has just begun, but is already revolutionizing biology and medicine. Dr. Vercelli will present a lecture on the subject as part of the 2019 UA College of Science Lecture Series.
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The gift, from a UA alumnus and his wife, will help provide engineering students with hands-on experience in biomedical device fabrication."The Salters understand the importance of our students gaining hands-on, real-world design and build experience," said Dr. Jennifer Barton, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the BIO5 Institute.
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The UA Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology hosted students from 10 different Phoenix, Tucson and Marana high schools for their annual “Meet MCB!” event. "Meet MCB! is our opportunity to share the scientific research of molecular and cellular biology with Arizona high school students,” said Dr. Joyce Schroeder, BIO5 member and Head of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
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BIO5 member Dr. Kirsten Limesand, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, is devoted to finding a cure for post-chemoradiation dry mouth. Research from Limesand's lab has led to a clinical trial that is being conducted by the UA Cancer Center, as well as a published a paper that was recognized with the APSselect award, given to the best articles in physiological research.
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Students in the bioscience program at Tucson's Sunnyside High School learn what they need to succeed in the workplace and college by doing lab work through partnerships with the BIO5 Institute, UA Biotech Project, and others across Arizona.
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Only two years after its debut, UA Online is on target to meet or exceed goals established by the Arizona Board of Regents. Longtime biochemistry professor and BIO5 member Dr. Roger Miesfeld says teaching online has made his in-class instruction even better.
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“I have admired Carol Bender since I joined the UA faculty twenty years ago. Her boundless energy and passion for experiential, life-changing undergraduate education is inspiring,” said Dr. Jennifer Barton. Carol Bender will be honored as the Bioscience Educator of the Year at the 2017 AZBio Awards, Barton is a former recipient of the award.
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The BIO5 Institute is home to The KEYS Research Internship, a program that facilitates research internships for 378 Arizona teens in the areas of in bioscience, biomedicine, engineering, environmental health or biostatistics and contribute to ongoing research projects across The University of Arizona.
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The UA’s BIO5 Institute has recently been ranked No. 4 on a list of the "50 Best Graduate Research Institutes 2016" on the Grad School Hub website. Ranking is based on awards and recognition for the research conducted, having a facility that reaches a certain level of LEED certification, the amount of university research and development expenditures, "wow factor", etc.
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Conversations about the need for change in higher education and how best to chart our path forward have become exhausting. Dr. Tricia Serio, professor and head of molecular and cellular biology department, and the vice president for human resources at the University of Arizona discuss more effective avenues for making changes in academia.
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Two BIO5 members were among those formally recognized as distinguished professors in UA honorary ceremony. Dr. Bruce Tabashnik, was appointed a Regents Professor by the AZ Board of Regents, for national and international recognition of his work. Dr. Frans Tax was named one of the University Distinguished Outreach Faculty for commitment to community outreach.
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New WEST Center in Tucson aims to be a leader for innovations in water and energy technologies, while simultaneously creating jobs, and providing opportunities for education and training. BIO5 researchers Drs. Ian Pepper and Shane Snyder is the co-directors at WEST.
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With a new $1.1 million grant UA will be able to retain hundreds of additional students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.The funding for the next five years was awarded to the UA's Arizona Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars Program. BIO5's Dr. Frans Tax is the STEM-ASEMS faculty director and academic supervisor.
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BIO5 Institute and iPlant Collaborative have teamed up to host a series of Software Carpentry workshops, offering instruction to researchers, students and educators across Arizona that will help them to hone their computing skills. These skills are necessary to efficiently and reliably process data sets and analyses.
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New funding for need-based scholarships will allow for 60 more Pima County high school students to be dual-enrolled in UA science courses. Last year, 174 high school students completed the dual-enrollment program in biology. Nadja Anderson, UA BIOTECH Project director and BIO5 Institute staff member, aids in distributing the scholarships.
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Desert View high schoolers land internships allowing them to "get real experience and do real research." The KEYS program thrives in it's 9th year, continuing to provide high schooler students with world-class research opportunities.