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Spencer receives $2M NIH grant to study the effects of napping and sleep on toddlers

Rebecca Spencer, Psychology, received a $2M, five-year grant from NIH’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to advance knowledge about the effects of napping and sleep on memory, behavior, and emotions of preschoolers., News Release

Baldwin, McCallum, Novak receive top UMass award

Cynthia L. Baldwin, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Andrew McCallum, Computer Science, and Melinda A. Novak, Psychology were three of five nationally acclaimed faculty members who received the UMass Amherst 2012 Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity, presented during the eighth annual Faculty Convocation on Sept. 14, 2012.

Gido receives $600,000 NSF grant to study superelastomers

Sam Gido, Polymer Science and Engineering, is part of a research team that has received a $600,000 NSF grant to study and create new superelastomers, material that can be used in recyclable automobile tires and thinner surgical gloves. Forbes, Fast Company, Knoxville News Sentinel

Childs says the arrival of emerald ash borer in Berkshire County could threaten area forests

Robert Childs, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, says state officials’ evidence the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that kills ash trees, has arrived in Berkshire County could mean trouble for forests in the region. Boston Globe, WFCR

Rotello develops detection system for metastatic cancer cells

Vincent Rotello, Chemistry, leads a research team that has developed a rapid, sensitive way of detecting microscopic levels of metastatic cancer cell types in living tissues using a sensor array system of gold nanoparticles and proteins to sense cancer types. Huffington Post, Bio-Medicine, Science Daily,, R&D Magazine,, Science Codex,, News Release

Zoeller questions EPA appointment of chemical industry advocate

R. Thomas Zoeller, Biology, questions the hiring of a former chemical industry advocate to a head the EPA’s program testing industrial chemicals’ danger, given the prospective employee’s past statements on industrial chemical concerns. Chicago Tribune

Richardson receives $400,000 NIH grant to study adolescent binge drinking and brain development

Neuroscientist Heather Richardson, Psychology, has received a $400,000 grant from NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study how adolescent binge drinking affects development in the prefrontal cortex, which controls decision-making and emotions. News Release

Decker receives Advancement of Application of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Award

Eric Decker, Food Science, received the Advancement of Application of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society. News Release

McClements says design, use of food-grade nanoparticles must be done carefully

Julian McClements, Food Science, says care should be taken in designing and using food-grade nanoparticles to ensure they do not adversely affect human health. Chemistry World

Briseño receives a Presidential Early Career Award

Alejandro L. Briseño, Polymer Science and Engineering, is one of six researchers chosen to receive Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the nation’s highest honor for young scientists. Briseño was cited for "outstanding research accomplishments in areas of organic semiconductor nanoelectronics and molecular crystals and breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of organic interfacial crystallization."

Mangan project brings specialty crops to immigrant families

Frank Mangan, Stockbridge School of Agriculture has brought dozens of ethnic food crops popular among various immigrant groups to markets across Massachusetts. WFCR, News Release

Ryan receives Award of Merit from International Society of Arboriculture

Dennis Ryan, Stockbridge School, Director of the Arboriculture and Community Forestry Program, received the International Society of Arboriculture Award of Merit for his service in advancing principles, ideas and practices of arboriculture. News Release

Santangelo awarded $2M NSF grant for self-folding polymer sheets

Christian Santangelo, Physics, is lead scientist of a research team that includes Ryan Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering, that received an $2M NSF grant to develop self-folding polymer sheets for highly tunable mechanic responses. News Release

Lerman, Warren suggest native landscaping in urban areas can offset biodiversity loss in cities

A study by post-doc Susannah Lerman, and her advisor, Paige Warren, Environmental Conservation, suggests that urban yards that include native vegetation offer birds “mini-refuges” and help reduce the loss of biodiversity in cities. Science360,, ScienceDaily,, News Release

UMass Amherst proposal selected by NASA Space Technology Program

A UMass Amherst proposal, “Representing and Exploiting Cumulative Experience with Objects for Autonomous Manipulation,” makes the university one of five organizations in the nation to win funding from NASA’s Space Technology Program for innovative technology development. Boston Business Journal

Ratnaswamy named director of Northeast Climate Research Center

Mary Ratnaswamy has been named director of the Department of the Interior’s Northeast Climate Research Center. The center is headquartered at UMass Amherst and will provide local, state, and federal land managers access to the best science regarding climate change and landscape-scale stressors impacting natural resources. News Release

Grotevant quoted in article about open adoptions

The Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project, co-led by Harold Grotevant, Psychology, is featured in an article about the increasing prevalence of open adoptions in the Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal

Holden provides first ever data on methane-exhaling microbes living in hot undersea volcanoes

James Holden, Microbiology, and others reported recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the first detailed data about a group of methane-exhaling microbes that live deep in the cracks of hot undersea volcanoes. Popular Mechanics, TerraDaily,,,, R&D Magazine, Innovations Report,, MSNBC,,, Science Codex, Bio-Medicine,, Science Daily, NSF News, e! Science News,,, News Release

Geckskin named one of "10 Amazing University Research Projects"

Geckskin, an index card-sized device that can hold up to 700 pounds of force, developed by Duncan Irschick, Biology, Al Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Michael Bartlett, doctoral candidate, is listed among "10 Amazing University Research Projects.", Geckskin website

Santangelo, Hayward work with “extreme mechanics” in designing new 3-D printer

Christian Santangelo, Physics, is partnering with Ryan Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering and origami experts to design a new kind of three-dimensional (3D) printer. Nature News, iScience Times

Fu develops “clock” on battery-less RFID chips, guarding against hacking

Kevin Fu, Computer Science, and a team of computer scientists have developed a short-duration “clock” on battery-less RFID chips, making their cryptographic systems much less vulnerable to hacking., IEEE

New Agricultural Learning Center to be a living classroom for undergraduates

The new center will enrich undergraduate education by providing hands-on experiences in farming and horticultural, nursery and landscape industries. It will have areas devoted to livestock, agronomic, fruits, vegetables, turf and landscape crops. CNS Newletter

Large Pelagics Research Center tags Bluefin tuna for improved fishery management

A collaborative effort of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center in Gloucester, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) in Madrid, NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, and AZTI Tecnalia of Sukarrieta, Spain, aims to improve fishery management through tagging of Bluefin tuna population. Scientific American, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News Release

Lutcavage, director of UMass Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center, spearheads international effort to tag and study Atlantic Bluefin tuna population

Molly Lutcavage leads efforts at the UMass Amherst Large Pelagics Research Center in Gloucester, along with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) and AZTI Tecnalia of Sukarrieta, Spain, to tag and research Atlantic Bluefin tuna fishing, mortality rates, and mixing rates between eastern and western populations. Scientific American, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News Release

Purdy and alumni, present papers on research to aid Peruvian alpaca farmers

Steve Purdy, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and recent graduates Weston Brown and Caitlin Donovan, presented results of some of the first studies ever done in Peru and on campus to improve the success of alpaca farmers who rely almost entirely on these animals for their livelihood. at the International Congress on Animal Reproduction in August. Scientific American, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News Release