Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

April 28, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA presents 2014 Awards in Excellence and Service

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Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor University’s vice provost for research, presents the URSA Exceptional Service Award to Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Baylor University’s executive vice president and provost.

Last week, the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee, along with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, presented the 2014 URSA Awards in Excellence and Service.  The awards recognize faculty, students and administrators who have made meaningful contributions to undergraduate research at Baylor.

At a special ceremony in the Bill Daniel Student Center, URSA presented the Exceptional Service Award, Mentors of the Year Awards and the Leadership Award in Undergraduate Research.  In addition to presenting these awards, the committee also presented certificates to students who presented the most outstanding platform presentations and posters at Scholars Week 2014 (Click here to check out more pictures from the event on the OVPR Facebook page).

Please join the OVPR and URSA in congratulating these award recipients and thanking them for their service to Baylor!
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April 24, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Upcoming event: Baylor students screen films at 15th annual Black Glasses festival

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WHAT
Baylor Film and Digital Media presents Black Glasses Film Festival, an annual showcase of student filmmaking and screenwriting.

WHEN
Friday, April 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

WHERE
Jones Theatre, Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Building

TICKETS
$5 for adults / $3 for students, seniors, military; available at the door or Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in Castellaw Communication Center, room 150.

MORE INFORMATION
Click the flyer above or call Melanie Ferguson at 710-1511

 

April 22, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Baylor undergraduate conducts research to improve on a natural tumor-fighter

Cassie Robertson displayed a poster of her research at the 2014 URSA Scholars Week.

Cassie Robertson displayed a poster of her research at the 2014 URSA Scholars Week.

Many times when we think of modern medicine, we think of synthesized chemicals, complex laboratories and doctors in white coats. In this mindset, we often forget where medicine at its most basic form is found: nature.

Senior Business Fellow and pre-med major Cassie Robertson, under the advisement of Dr. Kevin Pinney, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has employed this simple philosophy in her investigation of the cancer fighting ability of a compound found in the African Bush Willow Tree.

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April 17, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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OVPR releases 2014 Research Magazine

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research is proud to announce the release of the 2014 issue of Research magazine!  This year’s magazine brings you stories about some of the great research and scholarly activity undertaken by Baylor faculty and students and their collaborative partners outside the university.

In this year’s magazine, you can read about:

  • A Baylor environmental scientist and the university’s artist in residence, both of whom draw inspiration from geologic formations to enhance our understanding of the world around us;
  • Two Baylor chemists performing leading cancer research while providing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to gain real-world laboratory experience;
  • The dean of Baylor’s Honors College, who takes a philosophical approach to popular culture and encourages students to think more deeply about the media they consume;
  • Faculty in Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing, who improve the practice of patient care through their research and teaching;
  • The Green Scholars Initiative, which provides Baylor faculty and students with unprecedented opportunities to examine ancient texts first-hand;
  • Baylor’s culture of mentorship that helps prepare the way for future scholars, artists and professionals;
  • Partnerships between Baylor and other, nearby research institutions, which open the door for faculty and students to make world-changing biomedical discoveries; and
  • A partnership that allowed Baylor students to team with industry leaders to improve a product that protects our most precious natural resource.

Click here to read the 2014 Research magazine online, or contact the OVPR to request a printed copy.

 

April 16, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Baylor faculty receive federal grant for research aimed at developing safer industrial chemicals

Dr. Bryan Brooks (Baylor University Photography)

Dr. Bryan Brooks (Baylor University Photography)

Dr. Bryan Brooks, a professor of environmental science and biomedical studies in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences will lead a team of scientists from four universities collaborating to make industrial chemicals that are less toxic to humans and the environment.

Brooks, along with Dr. Spencer Williams, a research assistant professor in Baylor’s Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research (CRASR), will team with faculty at Yale University, George Washington University and the University of Washington on the four-year, $4.4 million dollar project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The four-university research team, known as the  Molecular Design Research Network (MoDRN), will conduct research to develop computer models to help predict whether molecules will cause toxicity. Alongside the research, education and outreach efforts will help high school students, undergraduates, teachers and practitioners connect with the concepts being studied.

Click here to read more about the project.

April 2, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Baylor faculty member earns NSF CAREER award

Dr. Bryan shaw is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Bryan Shaw is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Baylor biochemist Dr. Bryan Shaw has received a prestigious “CAREER” award grant from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program awards grants to junior faculty who “exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Shaw received the five-year, $405,000 award to further his group’s current research in precisely determining—and ultimately modifying—the net electrical charge of proteins, especially those containing metal ions, or “metalloproteins.” A metalloprotein’s net charge remains one of most difficult properties to measure, but is suspected to play a central role in its chemistry and perhaps in its toxicity. Shaw hypothesizes that altering the charge of some metalloproteins may prove to be an effective way to prevent or even to reverse the clumping together of certain proteins that characterizes such devastating disorders as ALS—Lou Gehrig’s Disease—and Alzheimer’s.

Part of the award also will expand one of Shaw’s current outreach projects: a collaboration with school districts across Texas in which 3D printing is used to make atomically accurate models of proteins. The models are used to convey the dynamic structure of proteins to blind and visually disabled students who face great challenges in learning and conceptualizing structural biology.

In 2009, Dr. Lorin Swint Matthews, an astrophysicist in Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) was recognized with a five-year CAREER award, supporting her research into the aggregation of cosmic dust, a process thought to be crucial to the formation of planets.

April 1, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Upcoming event: Baylor communication faculty discuss genre and zombie films at department’s ‘First Friday’ colloquium

Baylor’s department of communication invites Baylor faculty, staff and graduate students to their monthly First Friday research colloquium.

WHAT
Dr. Jeff Bass and Josh Wucher discuss their latest research on genres and zombie films.  Bass is a professor of communication in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and Wucher is a graduate student in the communication department.

WHEN
Friday, April 4
2:30 p.m.

WHERE
Castellaw Communication Center, room 138

MORE INFO
Contact Dr. Leslie Hahner for more information about the First Friday colloquium series.

Click here to visit the communication department’s website.  You can also keep up with the department’s news and events on their Facebook page.

March 27, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Baylor student steps outside of the classroom to take a deeper look at Job

This is the third in a series of Scholars Week preview articles by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a freshman from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.

Click here to check out more previews of the great research Baylor students will present at URSA Scholars Week 2014, March 31-April 4.

Questions surrounding the existence of suffering and pain in the world have plagued philosophers and scholars for generations. Although many of these questions will never have definitive answers, many philosophers and scholars look to religious texts for guidance.

Katherine Ellis will present her research on the Book of Job at URSA Scholars Week. Photo by Caleb Barfield.

Katherine Ellis will present her research on the Book of Job at URSA Scholars Week. Photo by Caleb Barfield.

Katherine Ellis, a junior religion major, has followed their example in her investigation into the Divine Speeches found in the Book of Job.

“I have always been fascinated with the Book of Job,” Ellis said. “The questions it raises and topics it brings up intrigue me, such as theodicy, suffering and how humanity and God meet in those moments. After studying the Book of Job in Dr. Bellinger’s class, I wanted to understand the book at a deeper level, and I became interested specifically in the Divine Speeches (Yahweh Speeches), which record God’s response to Job and come near the close of the book in chapters 38-41.”

The project started as a class assignment for Ellis and turned into something far greater once Dr. Bill Bellinger, professor and chair of the religion department, took notice of the insightfulness of her research paper.

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March 26, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Increased exposure to toxicants may pose threat to Central American crocodiles

This is the second in a series of Scholars Week preview articles by Caleb Barfield, a student worker in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  Caleb is a freshman from Denton majoring in journalism, new media and public relations.

Click here to check out more previews of the great research Baylor students will present at URSA Scholars Week 2014, March 31-April 4.

In recent years, scientists and law enforcement officials have documented increases in illegal dumping and hazardous waste pollution in Central America. This has led environmental scientists to question if an increase in exposure to these toxicants may be threatening Belizean and Costa Rican crocodile populations.

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Derek Newberger examines crocodile scutes, the spiny scales found on the crocodile’s tail. Photos by Caleb Barfield.

Senior biology major Derek Newberger and the chair of the Environmental Science department, Dr. George Cobb, are studying crocodile scutes (external scales on the crocodile’s tail) to determine if there has been a measurable increase in exposure to toxicants.

“Currently, I’m searching for the bioaccumulation of mercury and transition metals in American crocodile scutes from Belize and Costa Rica,” Newberger said.

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March 25, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Upcoming event: Baylor Art Student Exhibition

ArtStudentExhibitionThe Baylor Art Student Exhibition will kick off with an award ceremony, reception and special lecture on Thursday, March 27 in the Martin Museum of Art, located in the Hooper Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

The exhibition opens with an award presentation and reception from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Guest juror Sedrick Huckaby will present remarks at 6:00 p.m.

Following the opening event, the exhibition will remain open during regular museum hours until April 15. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Saturday and 1:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and all university holidays.

Admission is free and open to the public with a variety of student artwork available for purchase.

For more information, visit the Martin Museum website or call 254-710-1867. One-day visitor parking passes for the exhibit are available at the museum’s reception desk or by email: Martin_Museum@Baylor.edu