In The News

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UArizona will join a network of institutions in the US and Canada dedicated to improving how graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are prepared for future faculty positions in STEM fields. Dr.

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January 29 started out as a typical Wednesday for Tucson University High School juniors Nikhil, Esha and Sonia Mathur – until they got called into the principal’s office.
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Indiana University announced this week the receipt of a $10M grant from the National Science Foundation to deploy Jetstream 2, a distributed cloud computing system to support on-demand research in a range of fields. Nirav Merchant, co-principal investigator of CyVerse, Director of the UArizona Data Science Institute, and BIO5 member, believes that this award presents exciting opportunities for CyVerse, as Jetstream 2 provides new options for cloud-based data science training, support for machine learning workflows, and opportunities to enhance security for research data sets.
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Dr. Paloma Beamer, a UArizona associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and BIO5 member, discusses the risks of contracting COVID-19 through air travel and the precautions and steps you can take to prevent contracting the virus. Dr. Beamer believes it is important to assess the necessity of the trip before deciding to fly and recommends rescheduling if possible. Dr. Beamer also gives tips for safety and cleanliness for those that cannot avoid air-travel.
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A new analysis, led by UArizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology head and BIO5 associate director Dr. Michael Worobey, indicates that the first COVID-19 outbreak began around February 13th, weeks later than the previously assumed timeline of the outbreak beginning in mid-January. The study provides reason for optimism: It suggests that if COVID-19 cases can be brought down to very low numbers, it’s possible to use techniques such as contact tracing to keep an outbreak under control.
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Ricky Cordova, former student with the KEYS Research Internship and current research specialist in the lab of BIO5 director, Dr. Jennifer Barton, details how his experiences as a student shaped his career path and ambitions in research. The invaluable lessons about failure and perseverance Cordova learned throughout the internship ultimately led him back to UArizona where he now serves as a KEYS mentor.
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The UArizona College of Pharmacy's scientists, labs and alumni are partnering with pharmaceutical companies, working in hospital emergency departments, and helping the public get the medication they need as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in this effort are BIO5 members Drs. Jun Wang and Chris Hulme, both of which have shifted their research foci toward COVID-19. Dr. Wang is working on developing promising drug candidates that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture, while Dr. Hulme is researching the pharmacological underpinnings of COVID-19.
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Dr. Martha Bhattacharya, a UArizona assistant professor of neuroscience and BIO5 member, discusses her research, her career, and her mentor-ship philosophies with the Daily Wildcat. Dr. Bhattacharya's lab recently linked a gene involved in neurodegeneration to the itch sensation that many mammals experience and has drawn interest from the agribusiness industry for her lab's discovery. In future studies, Dr. Bhattacharya hopes to characterize the role of this gene in our understanding of these itch-sensing pathways in adults.
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As we get older, we tend to forget things – where we left our keys, our neighbor’s name or the word for a common household item. While forgetfulness is a normal sign of age, declining memory function can accelerate and lead to irreversible brain damage.
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Dr. Urs Utzinger, the head of the UArizona Department of Biomedical Engineering undergraduate affairs and BIO5 member, sent 42 learning kits to his students during the Spring 2020 semester after COVID-19 concerns caused the University to move fully online. The kits contained micro controllers, motors, and other mechanical parts for the students to assemble, test, and calibrate from home. Dr. Utzinger sees that this experience of moving the course online prepared him for any future remote instruction.
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A UArizona study involving Dr. Meredith Hay, a Department of Physiology professor and BIO5 member, aims to start a comprehensive investigation of the effects of coronavirus on the brain. The UArizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science funded study, will follow subjects over several years to study changes as they age. The center's director and BIO5 member Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton looks forward to continuing to support these critical research endeavors as researchers work to understand the novel virus.
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Dr. Giuliana Repetti, a nationally accomplished young investigator in cardiovascular science, worked with BIO5 faculty Drs. Steven Goldman and Jil Tardiff. Dr. Repetti developed a patch that can be surgically implanted on the epicardial surface of the heart as a treatment for heart failure. She was recently awarded the nationally prestigious Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellowship to work in a genetics lab at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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Dr. Dawn Gouge, a UArizona entomologist and BIO5 member, answers questions about Asian giant hornets or "murder hornets". Many Arizonans have feared that these eerily nicknamed insects will arrive in the state after they were spotted in the Pacific Northwest and brought into the public's attention through a recent New York Times article. Dr. Gouge discusses the toxicity of the Asian giant hornet venom, compares the hornets with the western honey bee, and shares the low likelihood of these insects arriving in Arizona and acclimating to the varying climates within the state.
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The BIO5 Institute solicited COVID-19 research proposals for seed grants supplied by the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF).

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As of April 28, more than 6,500 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state of Arizona.

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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.
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The University of Arizona will soon begin analyzing blood samples from hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to determine who has been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and developed antibodies against it. The first phase of testing will begin April 30 in Pima County and will include 3,000 health care workers and first responders.
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Dr. Amelia Gallitano, an associate professor in the College of Medicine – Phoenix and BIO5 faculty member, has been included in the Phoenix Business Journal's list of "Outstanding Women in Business." The publication announced this year's Outstanding Women in Business, recognizing 25 women "whose efforts around the region have drawn notice from their peers." Dr. Gallitano studies how genetics and environmental stress affect the development of illnesses such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.