Images of research
This schematic shows the experimental setup used by researchers at the University of Rochester to apply a recently developed method to measure a 27-dimensional quantum state in a single experiment with no post-processing. Until recently, this would have been a time-consuming, multistage process using a technique called quantum tomography, which is similar to creating a 3D image from many 2D ones. The new work, published in Nature Communications and reported by several other media outlets, is of interest because fast, accurate and efficient methods for characterizing high-dimensional states like this could be central in developing high security quantum communications systems, as well as to probe our fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics. Lead author Mehul Malik, currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Vienna, was a Ph.D. student in the research team of Robert Boyd, Professor of Optics and of Physics, when the work was performed. Ph.D. student Mohammad Mirhosseini was also part of the Rochester team. Other collaborators were from the University of Glasgow and from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, in the United Kingdom. (Credit for schematic: M. Malik/Nature Communications)
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Request for Bioinformatics Pilot Award Applications
The Center for Integrative Bioinformatics and Experimental Mathematics (CIBEM) invites applications for experimental bioinformatics pilot awards to promote collaborations between CIBEM faculty members and experimental bioinformatics scientists.
Priority will be given to high-risk, highly innovative projects related to the research interests of CIBEM faculty. All faculty members of the University of Rochester are eligible for this award. The deadline for proposals is March 15. Click here to find the RFA.
Webinar highlights 2015-2016 Fulbright opportunities
The core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program provides approximately 800 teaching and/or research grants to U.S. faculty and experienced professionals in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Grants are available in over 125 countries worldwide. "What's New?" a webinar on the 2015-2016 competition highlighting new awards, program innovations and other areas of interest, will be offered at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Click here to register.
The Fulbright deadlines are in August, but now is the time to start planning!
Libraries offer help in creating data management plans for grants
Need to write a data management plan? The UR Libraries can help!
1. Use the DMPTool for step-by-step guidance on creating a data management plan tailored to your funder's requirements, or
2. Drop by Carlson 313E on Thursdays from 1-4 for a one-on-one consultation with the data librarian, or
3. Send your draft plan via email to firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
Learn more about the Data Services program here.
Don't forget federal data security (FISMA) costs in grant proposals
Under certain federal grants or other government contracts, the information that the University collects, or information systems the University uses to store research results will need to comply with the information security requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
UR researchers need to be alert to this potential for additional costs.
It is important that researchers identify FISMA language in grant or contract proposals as soon as possible and alert the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) and/or the Office of Regulatory Support (ORS) so that they can adequately respond to, and budget for, this compliance requirement.
Keeping your data secure: 'Dumb' USB drives lead to all kinds of trouble
Those little USB thumb drives are perfect if you've got to give a powerpoint presentation. But NOT for storing or transporting legally restricted or confidential information about research subjects or patients.
"Unless you buy a USB drive that is specially encrypted, they are highly insecure because they are very easy to lose when they drop off your key chain or get lost in a drawer," says Mike Pinch, URMC's chief information security officer. "We've had incidents with lost, even stolen USB drives that have resulted in HIPAA issues and investigations."
So much so, that URMC is developing software that will automatically convert a "dumb" unencrypted USB drive when it is plugged into any computer that URMC manages. "It will keep any data already on the drive in a little side area, but it will force it to encrypt any new data that is put on it. You can then take the drive to any computer, plug it in, and get the data off of it."
URMC will be rolling out this software in the next few months. In the meantime, only use encrypted USB thumb drives -- or don't use them at all when legally restricted or confidential data is at stake.
Questions? Contact Pinch or the URMC Information Security Office.
Next: Need to rent a server?
The Whipple Years: A researcher needed all kinds of skills
(Nobel Laureate George Whipple, first dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry from 1921 to 1953, helped shape the school from its inception, hiring faculty and staff and supervising the design and construction of buildings. This is one in a series of occasional snapshots of research during those early years of what is now the Medical Center, courtesy of Christopher Hoolihan, Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarian at the Edward G. Miner Library and Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences).
In the early days, "it was very common for research faculty to build their own equipment," Hoolihan observes. "So you not only needed to have scientific training, you needed to be an electrician, a carpenter, and do some pipe fitting. You needed a whole set of skills if you were going to operate a modern lab."
For example, Wallace O. Fenn, chair of physiology, and his team of researchers obtained an industrial storage tank from the Pfaudler Corporation in Rochester, and outfitted it as a barometric chamber to study the effects of high altitude on military airmen during World War II.
Fenn reportedly passed out twice while conducting experiments in the chamber. This resulted in a memo from George Whipple, Fenn's boss, banning him from the chamber. "That prohibition did not extend to junior faculty," Hoolihan noted wrily.
Introducing a new faculty member
In addition to being appointed the new Director of Biomedical Informatics for the CTSI, Timothy Dye joins the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as Professor and Associate Chair for Research. His ongoing research is in social and medical determinants of maternal and child health and in outcomes among high-risk pregnant women. His interest in combining anthropological and epidemiological research has previously led to the development and dissemination of large-scale informatics resources such as the Central New York Perinatal Data System (a population-based obstetrical surveillance system), the Central New York Regional Immunization Registry, and the Hawaii Biospecimen Repository, which integrates clinical information with tissue-based resources. Read more at CTSI Stories . . .
Congratulations to . . .
John Cullen, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, Basic and Translational Research Division, for being recognized as a UR 2014 Presidential Diversity Award recipient. He has advocated for LGBT faculty, staff, students, and patients. His efforts have resulted in the creation of an affinity group, changes to the University's non-discrimination policy, and workshops and conferences that address LGBT healthcare and disparities in the delivery of medical services. Cullen's research interests focus on the effects of patterns on alcohol consumption on the development of atherosclerosis and on monocyte activation in relation to sepsis, MODS and mortality after surgery, injury or infection. Read more here.
Sema Salur, Associate Professor of Mathematics, who has been awarded the 2014-15 Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize by the Association for Women in Mathematics. The $47,000 prize will pay for a semester of mathematical research without teaching obligations in the Mathematics Department of Cornell University.
Researchers in the news
Research@URMC reports that a study led by Jeffrey J. Bazarian, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, was featured recently in the Wall Street Journal. The article highlighted Bazarian's latest concussion study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, which found that elevated levels of a brain protein known as S100B accurately identify a concussion. The finding could lead to a simple finger-stick blood test done on the side of a football field or hockey rink. Such a test would remove the element of guesswork currently employed by coaches and trainers in deciding whether a player can return to the field or ice.
Craig Morrell, Associate Professor in the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, and his team have discovered a new function of platelets: Keeping immune cells in balance. This could have important implications for patient care. For example, if a liver transplant patient has a low platelet count physicians may increase platelet levels before the transplant to limit rejection, Research@URMC notes. Scientists from UR's Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania also contributed to the study, which was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Mark your calendar
Feb. 3: Deadline to apply for Center For AIDS Research award proposals targeted at the following areas of scientific interest: CNS, HIV and Aging and Age Related Complications including Cancer and Cardiovascular Risk; HIV and RNA and Viral latency/Reactivation. Awards are for one year with maximum funding per application of $35,000 in Direct Costs. Applications must be submitted to Jennifer Lynch.
Feb. 11: Deadline to apply for a $5000 Geothermal Studies Scholarship for University of Rochester juniors, seniors, and/or graduate students. Contact Desmond Stubbs for more information. ATTN: Desmond Stubbs PHD, Senior Project Manager, ORAU/ORISE, PO Box 117, MS 36, Oak Ridge, TN.
Feb .13: Building a Tool Kit for Research Quality Part II. University Quality Improvement teams share their processes and pearls of wisdom. Learn from the best. Sponsored by SCORE. 12:00-1:30 p.m., Helen Wood Hall (1w-502).
Feb. 27: Deadline to apply for Iberdrola USA Foundation Scholarships for students who will be engaged in master's level, energy-related studies next school year. Targeted for students at UR and University of Maine. Click here to learn more.
Please send suggestions and comments to Bob Marcotte.. To see back issues, click here.