CNS News

Subscribe to the CNS News RSS feed

Gehan, King, Roy, Sabogal, and Wu receive Isenberg Awards

Five CNS doctoral candidates have received 2014 Eugene M. Isenberg Awards in recognition of their demonstrated academic merit and commitment to integrating science or engineering with management. They are: Timothy Gehan, Chemistry; Daniel King, Polymer Science and Engineering; Sandra Roy, Animal Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences; Javier Sabogal, Environmental Conservation; and Bicheng Wu, Food Science. A total of 13 scholarships were announced. The awards, established by the late Eugene M. Isenberg ’50 and his wife, Ronnie, are of up to $10,000 apiece annually and are intended to prepare recipients for leadership roles in high-tech ventures, corporate research and development, technically oriented businesses, and other entrepreneurial initiatives. Read more

McClements' article about excipient foods showing promise in increasing bioavailability of functional nutrients is featured

An article by David J. McClements, Food Science, in Current Opinion in Food Science about recent studies that say excipient foods show promise in increasing the bioavailability of functional nutrients was featured in

Tropp coauthors Psychology Today column about racial anxiety and threats

Linda R. Tropp, Psychological and Brain Sciences and director, Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, coauthored a column in Psychology Today about how racial anxiety and racial threats tend to blunt egalitarian impulses in people and can work to highlight racial bias.

Crosby's Academic Minute broadcast featured on NSF Web site, Science 360 News

The appearance of Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, speaking in an Academic Minute broadcast about Geckskin, the adhesive modeled on gecko feet that Crosby coinvented, is featured on Science 360 News, a National Science Foundation Web site.

Hayward and Santangelo find way to make small-scale reversibly self-folding origami structures

Ryan Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering, Christian Santangelo, Physics, and postdoctoral researchers Junhee Na, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Arthur Evans, Physics, and collaborators have found a way to make reversibly self-folding origami structures on small length scales using ultraviolet photolithographic patterning of photo-crosslinkable polymers, as published in Advanced Materials. The new platform offers promise for applications in biomimetic systems, biomedical devices, microrobotics, and mechanical metamaterials., Business Standard, Zee News, WebIndia 123,, Yahoo News India, Science Newsline, Science Codex, Nanowerk,,,,,,, Space Daily, Today’s Medical Developments, News release

Adoption Mentoring Partnership cited by the Carnegie Foundation in naming UMass Amherst a "Community-Engaged University"

The Adoption Mentoring Partnership was one of the programs cited by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching when it named UMass Amherst a “Community-Engaged University.” The Partnership is a collaboration between the Rudd Adoption Research Program of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Carnegie recognized UMass Amherst for its engagement initiatives integrating research and teaching with the community. News release

Podos and Irschick edit new book on animal signaling

Jeffrey E. Podos and Duncan J. Irschick, both Biology, with co-editor Mark Briffa, have edited Animal Signaling and Function: An Integrative Approach, bringing together a diverse collection of researchers who use a variety of methods and taxa to study animal signaling in a new integrative approach. News release

Clements featured in article about issues apple growers will face in 2015

Jon M. Clements, UMass Extension, featured in a round-up of comments from the American and Western Fruit Grower’s predictions for 2015 in Growing Produce says the top issue facing apple growers in 2015 could be market volatility and that it’s possible that China could eventually take over the market and supply all the apples to the U.S. market, similar to what happened in the electronics industry.

Burrell's book "Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole" is BBC 4 radio's Book of the Week

Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole, coauthored by Brian D. Burrell, Mathematics and Statistics, was the Book of the Week on BBC 4 radio; a 15-minute segment is read each day. BBC radio

Rich reports effective, sustainable malaria intervention that uses whole plant (WP) Artemisia annua

Stephen M. Rich, Microbiology, and colleagues have reported an effective and sustainable malaria intervention that shows great promise in laboratory models, as reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new treatment is based on a use of the whole plant (WP) Artemisia annua, from which the current pharmaceutical drug artemisinin (AN) is extracted. New York Times,,,, Yahoo News India,,, MedicalXpress, Science Newsline, Drug Discovery and Development, Microfinance Monitor, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Recorder, News release

Dirr named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Michael A. Dirr '72 PhD, Plant and Soil Sciences, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Dirr's innovative contributions to the horticulture industry are vast and include the introduction of more than 150 new plants into the horticulture trade, with 50 receiving U.S. plant patents. His advancement of the genera of crape myrtle, viburnum, elm, oak, gardenia, loropetalum, and distylium has improved these plants and made them more accessible to the gardening public. His signature contribution is the development of hydrangea cultivars with the ability to bloom multiple times throughout the growing season. Dirr is also the author of numerous classic books including The Manual of Woody Plants, Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, Hydrangeas for American Gardens, and Viburnums: Flowering Shrubs for Every Season. Read more

Rutherford '15, Biology, chosen as Rising Researcher

Amanda Rutherford '15, Biology, has been named a Rising Researcher, an honor given to a handful of exceptional undergraduates. Her First Year Research Experience led her to an honors thesis on the determination of insecticide exposures on the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes with Yeonhwa Park, Food Science. She has presented her research findings at conferences and coathored an abstract published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology. Such contributions to active research are outstanding accomplishments for an undergraduate, Park notes: “She is well on her way to becoming a great researcher.”

Neutrino research by Pocar, Cadonati, and Otis featured in Daily Hampshire Gazette

The research or Andrea Pocar and Laura Cadonati, and doctoral student Keith Otis, all Physics, and other researchers on the Borexino experiment who reported in Nature that they accomplished the first detection of neutrinos from the main nuclear reaction powering the sun were profiled in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Their research was named one of the “Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2014” by Physics World magazine. News release

Hazen's lignin synthesis advance could lead to more efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels

Samuel P. Hazen, Biology, and colleagues have sorted out the gene regulatory networks that control cell wall thickening by the synthesis of the three polymers, cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, as reported in Nature, which could lead to more efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels., AZO Cleantech, Biofuels Digest,, Nanowerk, The Post,, Science Codex, Science Daily, Science Newsline, Innovations Report, Electronic Component News, Farm Progress, Seed Quest, Industrial Safety and Security Source, Ag Professional,, Biomass magazine, Ethanol Producer magazine, Science 2.0,,,, Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining, News release

Lutcavage's new approach suggests bluefin tuna mature earlier than assumed

Molly Lutcavage, Environmental Conservation and director, Large Pelagics Research Center, using a new approach for determining the age at sexual maturity for wild stocks of western Atlantic bluefin tuna, suggest that these fish mature at a considerably younger age than currently assumed, as published in Nature's Scientific Reports. Fisheries News, Recorder, news release

Kevrekidis and Jackson named APS fellows

Panayotis Kevrekidis (left), Mathematics and Statistics, and Bret E. Jackson, Chemistry, have been named American Physical Society fellows for their exceptional contributions to the field of physics. Kevrekidis was cited for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of localized solutions, of their stability in nonlinear wave equations, and of their relevance to applications from atomic physics, nonlinear optics, and granular crystals. Jackson was cited for outstanding contributions to the elucidation of gas-surface dynamics, including the development of quantum methods for describing reactive scattering and particle-substrate energy transfer, and studies of sticking, dissociative chemisorption and Eley-Rideal reactions.

Staudinger, Jordaan, and Markowitz receive $217,000 for wildlife and climate studies at NECSC

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) is awarding nearly $690,000 to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges, and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change. Michelle Staudinger and Adrian Jordaan, Environmental Conservation, will research changes in coastal fish and wildlife due to climate change, and Staudinger and Ezra Markowitz, also Environmental Conservation, will receive support for early career climate science communication and networking, for a total of $217,018 over the next two years. The Republican, News release

Young, creater of the sunwheel, recognized in stories about the winter solstice celebration at the site

Judith Young, the late astronomy professor who built the sunwheel in 1997, was honored by news stories about the celebration of the winter solstice at the structure. WFXT-TV 25, WSHM-TV 3, Daily Hampshire Gazette, News release

Dumont receives Miller Award from NASBR for her bat research

Betsy Dumont, Biology, and vice provost, Academic Affairs, has received the Gerrit S. Miller Award from North American Society for Bat Research “in recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the field of Chiropteran biology,” placing her among the world’s most influential bat biologists. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and biomechanics of bats’ feeding. Her highly interdisciplinary approach to the topic blends data from anatomy, behavioral field studies, 3D imaging, engineering-based analyses and evolutionary modeling to create a broad perspective on the evolution of these mammals.

iCons students Hession and Eres featured in video about internships at Waters Corp.

iCons students Cindy Hession '14, Biology, and Marco Eres '15, Chemistry, who interned at Waters Corporation in Milford, Mass., were featured in a video about the program's growing relationship with industry. Watch video

Rotello and Ngoc's nanoparticle-based sensor system to test cancer drugs featured on Research Next

The research of Vincent Rotello and doctoral candidate Le Ngoc, Chemistry, offering a multi-channel sensor method using gold nanoparticles that can accurately profile various anti-cancer drugs and their mechanisms in minutes is featured on Research Next.

Pocar awarded tenure

Congratulations to Andrea Pocar, Physics, who has been awarded tenure by the Board of Trustees. News release

Woodruff's research showing kamikazes saved 13th century Japan from Mongols published in Nature

Jonathan D. Woodruff, Geosciences, says he has uncovered evidence that powerful ancient kamikazes, typhoon-strength winds that saved Japan from invading Mongol fleets in the 13th century, actually happened, as published in Nature.

Crosby, co-inventor of Geckskin, named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, has been elected a 2014 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) fellow for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.” Crosby, who joined the UMass Amherst faculty in 2002 and established a research program on nature-inspired materials that has gained a worldwide reputation, has more than a dozen patents awarded or pending and over 100 scientific publications. Crosby is the co-inventor of Geckskin, the new super-adhesive material that can hold up to 700 pounds on a smooth surface.

Tropp writes Psychology Today column about racial anxiety perpetuating racial inequity

Linda R. Tropp, Psychological and Brain Sciences, wrote a column in Psychology Today discussing how racial anxiety can help perpetuate racial inequality and offering empathy as a solution.