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April 15, 2015


Ray Dorsey, the David M. Levy Professor in Neurology, was honored at the White House as one of seven “Champions of Change” who are doing extraordinary work to advocate for better treatments and a cure for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Dorsey, who is director of the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, has been a pioneer in the application of technology to improve access to specialized care for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Lynne Maquat, the J. Lowell Orbison Distinguished Service Alumni Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, received the 2015 Gairdner International Award, Canada’s foremost international award that recognizes the achievement of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life.

David Korones, professor of pediatrics, has been awarded the 2015 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Senior Physician Award, a national award for physicians who care for people at the end of life. Korones specializes in treating children with brain tumors and is the founding director of Golisano Children’s Hospital’s pediatric palliative care program.

The Teen Health and Success Partnership received the 2015 Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care awarded by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, an international organization committed to improving the physical and psychosocial health and well-being of all adolescents.

Paul Emile Rossouw has been appointed chair of the Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Department at Eastman Institute for Oral Health. He joined the institute March 1, after completing his role as professor of orthodontics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as chair of the same department.

Robert Dirksen will serve as chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the School of Medicine and Dentistry effective July 1. Dirksen has conducted research and taught medical and graduate students at the University since 1998.

Zhenqiang Yao, research assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, received a $50,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. He is investigating an “all-in-one” agent to be used when breast cancer spreads to the bone.

PhD Thesis Defenses

The following PhD thesis defenses and public lectures were scheduled recently:

Anthony Visconti, optics, “Design and Fabrication of Large Diameter Gradient-Index Lenses for Dual-Band Visible to Short-Wave Infrared Imaging Applications,” March 18. Advisor: Julie Bentley

Na Yang, electrical and computer engineering, “Algorithms for Affective and Ubiquitous Sensing Systems and for Protein Structure Prediction,” March 19. Advisor: Wendi Heinzelman

Gregory Savich, optics, “Analysis and Suppression of Dark Currents in Mid-Wave Infrared Photodetectors,” March 25. Advisor: Gary Wicks

Demeke Gesesse Yeheayhu, Warner School, “Mapping Science in Discourse-Based Inquiry Classrooms,” March 26. Advisor: Jeffrey Choppin

Elena Nilosek, chemistry, “Quantum and Classical Molecular Dynamics of Energy Harvesting,” March 27. Advisor: Oleg Prezhdo

Tyler Cassidy-Heacock, musicology, “The Sung Self of Syllables: Interpretive Paradigms for Contemporary Vocal Music,” March 31. Advisors: Jonathan Dunsby and Holly Watkins

Meg Walters, mathematics, “Concentration of Measure Techniques and Applications,” Tuesday, March 31. Advisor: Shannon Starr

Erin Brady, computer science, “Social Microvolunteering: Quick, Free Answers to Visual Questions from Blind People,” April 1. Advisor: Jeffrey Bigham

James Baker, physics, “Development of a Two-Dimensional Photonic Crystal Biosensing Platform,” April 2. Advisor: Benjamin Miller

Yu Zhong, computer science, “Enhancing Visual Information Access Techniques for Blind Users on Mobile Platforms,” April 2. Advisor: Jeffrey Bigham

Walter Lasecki, computer science, “Crowd Agents: Interactive Intelligent Systems Powered by the Crowd,” April 3. Advisor: Jeffrey Bigham

Thomas Blanchard, brain and cognitive sciences, “Value Computations and Representations,” April 3. Advisor: Benjamin Hayden

Robert Carroll, political science, “Essays in International Conflict,” April 3. Advisor: Curtis Signorino

Hairong Shang-Butler, teaching and curriculum, “Great Expectations: A Qualitative Study of How Chinese Graduate Students Navigate Academic Writing Expectations in U.S. Higher Education,” April 6. Advisor: Nancy Ares

Nathan Napper, biology, “Ribosomal Small Subunit Assembly: A Comparative Approach,” April 6. Advisor: Gloria Culver

Nilotpal Ghosh, geosciences, earth and environmental sciences, “Evidence of Catastrophe in the Permian-Triassic Tethyan Ocean,” April 6. Advisor: Asish Basu

Li Chen, electrical and computer engineering, “Increasing Coverage and Improving Efficiency for RFID Systems and Wireless Sensor Networks,” April 7. Advisor: Wendi Heinzelman

Jamie Juul, mathematics, “Galois Groups of Iterated Rational Maps and Their Applications,” April 7. Advisor: Thomas Tucker

Justin Coyne, English, “Worldly Experiments: Cosmopolitanism as Style in Twentieth Century African-American Literature,” April 7. Advisor: Jeff Tucker

Heng Liu, economics, “Essays on Dynamic Mechanism Design,” April 7. Advisor: Srihari Govindan

Amy Van Hove, biomedical engineering, “Enzymatically-responsive Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels for the Controlled Delivery of Therapeutic Peptides,” April 7. Advisor: Danielle Benoit

Matthew Frise, philosophy, “The Epistemology of Memory: Evidentialism Meets Cognitive Psychology,” April 9. Advisor: Earl Conee

Michael Bennett, mathematics, “Some External Problems in Combinatorial Geometry Over Finite Fields,” April 9. Advisor: Alex Iosevich

Patricia Waters, teaching and curriculum, “1+1=3: Pursuit of the Public Good in the Neoliberal University,” April 10. Advisor: David Hursh

Jason Rogers, philosophy, “On the Epistemic Relevance of Perceptual Experience: A Defense of Experientialist Internalism,” April 10. Advisor: Earl Conee

Wathsala G. H. M Liyanage, chemistry, “Amyloid-inspired Amino Acid Based Functional Hydrogel Materials: Structural Insights,” April 27. Advisor: Bradley Nilsson

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