Science@IUPUI E-Catalyst December 2010
In This Issue
Professor of the Year
Science@IUPUI Brief
In the News
Research Spotlight
Faculty Spotlight
Alumni Spotlight
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Jeff Watt
Watt Named Indiana Professor of the Year
Jeffrey  Watt, associate professor of mathematical sciences and associate dean for student affairs and outreach, has been named the 2010 Indiana Professor of the Year. Read full article
David G. Skalnik
New Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education
David G. Skalnik, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and award-winning teacher, has been named associate dean for research and graduate education. He will assume his new position in January 2011. Learn more.
Sixteen New Faculty Join Science@IUPUI
 The new faculty members come from posts at prestigious institutions as diverse as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, Yale and Harvard Universities, Colorado School of Mines, Indiana University School of Medicine, and eBay Research Labs. Learn more.

Science@IUPUI in the News
Issue: 1December/2010


Happy Holidays and welcome to the inaugural issue of e-catalyst, Science at IUPUI's newly launched e-newsletter! I am pleased to share with you just a few examples of our faculty and student success in 2010.

In the past year we hired sixteen new faculty members, launched two new Ph.D. programs, and began planning a multi-phase project to increase our laboratory and teaching space. We continue to see increases in collaboration across disciplines, innovative research, and student success -- the stories below are a just a few of our highlights. 

I invite you to look for more news from Science at IUPUI in the new year.  I also hope that as friends and alumni, you will stay in contact.  We want to know what is on your mind these days!

Bart Ng, Acting Dean
School of Science, IUPUI

Earth & Computer Sciences Collaborate to Restore Watersheds
National Science Grant Supports 3-Year Project
Eagle Creek Watershed
Large scale agriculture practices as seen in Eagle Creek Watershed in Indiana can lead to changes in hydrology on the landscape, resulting in flooding and water quality impact.
A $410,000, three-year award from NSF will support the design and deployment of an interactive computer simulation framework that will enable those who live or work in watershed regions to be part of a collaborative restoration of the ecological balance disrupted by agricultural development, deforestation, urbanization and residential development.

The IUPUI scientists plan to demonstrate the usefulness of their approach in the 162-square-mile Eagle Creek Watershed, located northwest of Indianapolis. However, their concepts and tools are intended to be applicable to other locations for improving flooding problems, water quality issues, and soil conditions. Their work also could be used to overcome other environmental problems such as carbon emissions or erosion.

Read full article.
Scientist Explores DNA Damage & Repair
Lei Li Assistant Professor, Bioinorganic Chemistry
Lei Li

Helping combat potential killers such as anthrax, botulism and tetanus that strike people all over the world is the work of Lei Li, assistant professor of bioinorganic chemistry at the IUPUI School of Science.

Li's research, exploring DNA damage and repair related to ultraviolet (UV) light in endospore-forming bacteria, earned him a three-year R00 grant for $750,000 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Li engages undergraduates, graduates and post-doctoral researchers in investigations focused on the DNA repair enzyme known as spore photoproduct lyase (SPL). Understanding how the SPL enzyme repairs DNA UV damage helps scientists develop inhibitors to prevent the damage repair process. The goal of the work is to discover mechanisms leading to the demise of spores causing harmful diseases.

Read full story.

Alum Is One of A Handful of Non-Harvard Students Accepted As Harvard Intern
Natasha Arora 2009 Alumna, Interdisciplinary Studies Program 
Ph.D. Student, Biological & Biomedical Science, Harvard University
Natasha Arora

Long hours in the lab are a way of life for Natasha Arora, a School of Science alumna whose current research involves unlocking the potential of adult stem cells. It is a passion she discovered in high school.

"I was always the kid who was asking questions," admits Arora, one of IUPUI's distinguished Bepko Scholarship recipients. "How does a light bulb turn on?; why is the sky blue?"

In high school, about the time stem cell research started turning up in the news, Arora took a genetics class that piqued her interest in the possibilities of the field. Searching for a college that would prepare her for this career path, she found the IUPUI School of Science and the school's new Interdisciplinary Studies Program.

Read full story.