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Dietrich College News
Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Carnegie Mellon University

April 2012
Research Provides Insight Into Genetic Makeup of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Genetics and Autism

Although it is well accepted that genetics play a strong role in autism spectrum disorders, most of the underlying causes have been a mystery - until now.


Researchers, including CMU's Kathryn Roeder and the University of Pittsburgh's Bernie Devlin, have for the first time identified three genes that affect a child's risk for autism. Published in Nature, the series of studies suggests that autism spectrum disorders are caused by variations in multiple unrelated locations within the genome.  


These findings provide a basis for future gene discovery, diagnostics and therapeutics.


Read more

How Stress Influences Disease: Inflammation Revealed as the Culprit

Sheldon Cohen 

Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. For example, psychological stress is associated with greater risk for depression, heart disease and infectious diseases. But, until now, it has not been clear exactly how stress influences disease and health.


A research team led by CMU's Sheldon Cohen has found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response.


Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body's ability to regulate inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease.


"Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control," said Cohen.


Read more

Breaking Stereotypes: New Book Focuses on Arab Women in Arab Media

Breaking Stereotypes

Being a Qatari professor at an American university in Doha, Amal Al Malki is used to breaking stereotypes.


"People tend to see me as the representative of the culture, especially the female culture in Qatar, which could be misleading," said Al Malki, an assistant teaching professor of liberal and social sciences at CMU Qatar. "There is a constant fight against people's stereotypes of the others, and I hope that each time I prove myself worthy of my position, I break a stereotype."


With that in mind, Al Malki was the lead author on a new book, "Arab Women and Arab News: Old Stereotypes and New Media," jointly published by Bloomsbury Academic Press in London and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing in Doha.


Additional authors of the book are David Kaufer, Suguru Ishizaki and Kira Drehe.

Yueming Yu Wins University's Award for Meritorious Teaching
Yueming Yu

When Professor Yueming Yu joined the Carnegie Mellon University faculty in 1992, she taught the first-ever Chinese language class offered by the Department of Modern Languages. Now, thanks to Yu's dedication to developing the program, the Chinese Studies Program has grown from an initial five students to more than 500, with both a major and minor available.


For her role in establishing Chinese Studies at CMU and for her excellence in the classroom, Yu has won the 2012 William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award for Meritorious Teaching.

Alum Q&A With Thomas Nichols
Thomas Nichols

Brain imaging techniques such as fMRI, PET and EEG are giving researchers more insight into how our minds work than ever before. The datasets derived from imaging research are often immensely huge and complex.


Thomas Nichols (MCS'92, DC'00) is very familiar with how to successfully use this type of data. Nichols received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics and a Ph.D. in statistics and completed the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) Graduate Training Program. He is currently a principal research fellow and head of Neuroimaging Statistics at Warwick University's Department of Statistics and Institute for Digital Healthcare, which aims to improve health and wellbeing through the use of innovative digital technologies. He is also the co-author of the book, "Handbook of fMRI Data Analysis."


Nichols recently sat down with Dietrich College News to talk about his work in neuroimaging statistics.


Read the Q&A

More Dietrich College News 

Paul Hopper To Retire

Research on Cash Payments To Promote Health: Ethical Concerns May Be Misplaced

David Klahr's Work Integrating Children's Cognitive Development and Education Sciences Celebrated In New Book

Statistics Alumna Awarded Prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship

Modern Languages Initiates Students Into Phi Sigma Iota

David R. Shumway's New Book Examines Filmmaker John Sayles and the Politics of American Cinema

SDS Senior Wins Carnegie Mellon Women's Association Scholarship

32 Juniors Inducted Into Mortar Board; Advisor Sharon Carver Made Honorary Member

CMU Relaunches Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society

CMU Students Reach Microsoft Imagine Cup's U.S. Finals - And Need Your Votes

Leading Autism Research 

Dietrich College Multimedia 

Photos: Sigma Tau Delta Induction Ceremony

Photos: Humanities Scholars Program Students Attend Dietrich Proclamation by the City of Pittsburgh

Photos: 2012 Dietrich College Spring Carnival Reception

Video: Unlocking Autism's Mysteries

Dietrich College is on YouTube! View the most recent videos.
Class Notes

Please note, due to the college's name change to the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the indicia is now "DC."   


Find out what's going on with Dietrich College alumni, such as Christine Klocek-Lim (DC'91), Phil Simon (DC'93), Darren M. Canady (DC'04), Jessie B. Ramey (DC'09), Juan Acosta (DC'15) and more. 


Read alumni announcements.

Have something to share? Submit to Class Notes.
Personal Mention
Dietrich College Personal Mention shares news and accomplishments from the college's faculty and staff.  Included this month are Paul Hopper, Jendayi Frazer, Nico Slate and more.

Read Dietrich College Personal Mention.

Submit to Dietrich College Personal Mention.
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If you have story ideas, news to share or feedback, please feel free to send an email to Shilo Rea, Dietrich College public relations director.
"Shapira Challenge" To Benefit
Dietrich College
David Shapira, a Carnegie Mellon life trustee and former board chairman, along with his wife Cindy, and in collaboration with the Giant Eagle Foundation, are giving approximately $2.8 million to the Dietrich College via the Inspire Innovation Campaign.

Of this gift, $2 million will be used to endow the Humanities Scholars Program, and $800,000 will be used to provide a pool of matching funds as a means to encourage additional donors to the college.

Read Dean Lehoczky's full announcement.

We need your help - get involved.

H&SS Renamed the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Marianna Brown Dietrich

Bill Dietrich's historic gift to Carnegie Mellon and the renaming of H&SS to the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
were featured in the
September 2011 issue of Dietrich College News.

Related: CMU Mourns Loss of "Great Friend," Bill Dietrich.

Save The Date:
CMU Arts Greenhouse Mixtape Release Party

CMU's Arts Greenhouse program cultivates the artistic talent of Pittsburgh teens through positive and critical engagement with hip-hop.  


Every Saturday, the Arts Greenhouse brings a dozen or more teens to campus to create their own music. Participants record in a professional studio on campus, releasing a new album of music every May.  


The mixtape will feature 14 tracks of music entirely written and performed by Pittsburgh teens in the Arts Greenhouse program (aside from one guest appearance by veteran of the Pgh rap scene, Charon Don.)


Saturday May 26, 2012

5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Shadow Lounge 


Read more. 

Previous Issues of Dietrich College News
Catch up with what's been happening in the Dietrich College.

Read previous issues of Dietrich College News.
Class Notes
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