Science & Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

Previous
Next

featured

26th
July

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: Eric Blough

featured

A few titles to describe Marshall University’s Dr. Eric Blough: a founding member of university’s pharmacy faculty, the school’s director of pharmacology and toxicology and assistant dean for curriculum. Prior to those, he served as director of the Marshall University Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems and as an associate professor of biological sciences.

 A copious researcher and writer, the university landed Blough as a new hire in 2003 as a result of a National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant. Though that particular grant’s time period has come and gone, he stayed put in Huntington and is now involved in West Virginia’s current five-year EPSCoR grant.

 He said, “I am thankful for the EPSCoR program because, without it, I would never have had the opportunity to come to Marshall. There is tremendous potential here, and I’m so pleased to be part of it.” 

Read more about his background, accomplishments and research in the Summer 2017 issue of the Neuron.

»

12th
May

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: DR. SANJAYA

featured, The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

Dr. Sanjaya from West Virginia State University (WVSU) is on a mission to revive West Virginia. Sound dramatic? Perhaps. But Sanjaya’s plant biotechnology research could prove to do just that for the state’s economy. He designs plants and microalgae with heightened nutritional value that can be grown essentially anywhere.

 “I want to keep our talented, capable people home in West Virginia who feel forced to relocate, and we can do that with the jobs that this research will generate,” said Sanjaya.

Just last summer Sanjaya received a competitive $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research seed storage compounds and bioenergy. 

Read more about his background, accomplishments and research in the Spring 2017 issue of the Neuron.

»

13th
March

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL STRAGER

featured

Growing up, Michael Strager was no stranger to water.  He lived near the banks of the Monongahela River just outside from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, though, the water was so polluted that he never participated in any water-related recreational activities.  Instead he waited all year for summer weekends, when his family traveled to a Northwest Pennsylvania lake where he could fish, water ski and swim to his heart’s content.  This paradox stuck with him as he grew.

“I always wondered why there was this stark difference in water quality,” he said.

Strager, an associate professor in the Davis College, School of Natural Resources at West Virginia University (WVU), used that childhood experience and curiosity to steer him into the field of environmental science, in order to explore this and other important questions.  In his academic career, he integrates environmental economics and spatial data analysis to analyze the tradeoffs in regard to managing natural resources – specifically water.

Read more about Dr. Michael Strager in the Winter 2017 edition of the Neuron.

To learn about other West Virginia researchers featured our Scientist Spotlight, visit our Neuron page.

»

8th
November

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: Tracey DeLaney

featured, The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

t-delaney-photoDr. Tracey DeLaney has always been fascinated with the stars and planets. More than just an observer of the sky, though, DeLaney asks those thought-provoking “why” and “how” questions that are so common in the mind of a scientist.

DeLaney, an assistant professor of physics and engineering at West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC), grew up in rural Minnesota and followed a slightly different track in her pursuit of an astrophysics degree than you may expect. She started by joining the United States Army. Following her service in the military, she enrolled at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Fast forward through an undergraduate degree then a Master’s and Ph. D., DeLaney found herself applying for jobs and needing to make a decision whether to pursue a research-centric route or a primarily teaching route. When she got a job offer in the teaching track at a primarily undergraduate college in West Virginia, she knew it would be a perfect fit because it reminded her of her roots. Click here to read more about Delaney, her research and the many ways in which she reaches out to her students and the community in the Fall issue of the Neuron.

To learn about other West Virginia researchers featured our Scientist Spotlight, visit the Neuron page.

»

21st
July

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: Nadja Spitzer

featured, The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

Spitzer-and-studentNadja Spitzer is your basic scientist. This doesn’t mean she isn’t unique or exceptional, though. In fact, she was recently recognized as a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award recipient, and as Marshall University’s first faculty member to lay claim to that title, that makes her kind of extraordinary.

Spitzer is a neuroscientist who’s interested in learning what things in the environment are doing to the body’s nervous system at the very fundamental, cell level. She said that while basic science research has been falling by the wayside in recent years, it’s what she is most passionate about.

— Read more about Spitzer’s background, accomplishments and research in the Summer 2016 Neuron of The Neuron.

To read about other West Virginia scientists who have been spotlighted in The Neuron, visit the Neuron page of the Library for past issues.

If you’d like to be added to mailing list for the print issue of The Neuron, email Editor Amanda Ramey at amanda.ramey@wvresearch.org.

»

30th
May

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: SEAN MCWILLIAMS

featured, The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

Sean-and-studentsAstrophysicist Sean McWilliams is at a serendipitous age in life. He’s old enough to have played a major role in a discovery that, in essence, has launched a brand new frontier of science. But, he’s still young enough to have the opportunity to journey through it for the duration of his career.

McWilliams made international headlines this winter as a member of the research team working on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) which detected gravitational waves, or invisible ripples in space-time.

The West Virginia University (WVU) Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy said that Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves 100 years ago, but until now, they had never been seen directly.

“This first observation of gravitational waves has deepened our understanding of the universe,” McWilliams said.

— Read more about McWilliams’ background, accomplishments and research in the Spring 2016 Neuron of The Neuron.

To read about other West Virginia scientists who have been spotlighted in The Neuron, visit the Neuron page of the Library for past issues.

If you’d like to be added to mailing list for the print issue of The Neuron, email Editor Amanda Ramey at amanda.ramey@wvresearch.org.

 

»

2nd
February

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: ZACHARY LOUGHMAN

featured

2015-12-03-10.23.16West Virginia native has interest in other state inhabitants.

At least not beyond the interest of children playing in a stream or fishermen seeking bait. Known as crawfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters or even mudbugs, it turns out that crayfish are an important asset to the state’s freshwater ecosystems.

Loughman, an associate professor of biology at West Liberty University, focuses his research on these freshwater crustaceans that resemble small lobsters–and he’s gaining national recognition for it.  Many basics of crayfish biology are widely understood, but nuances about each species and the implications these small animals have on their surrounding habitats have been largely overlooked by scientists in the past.

Read more about Zach’s research interests in the Winter 2016 edition of WINTER 2016 Neuron.

To read about other West Virginia scientists who have been spotlighted in The Neuron, visit the Neuron page of the Library for past issues.

If you’d like to be added to mailing list for the print issue of The Neuron, email Editor Amanda Ramey at amanda.ramey@wvresearch.org.

»

27th
October

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: ELMER PRICE

featured

price-&-StudentDr. Elmer Price is a man on a mission. Part of his mission at Marshall University is to eradicate the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease for the future. With help from a recent $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), support from the West Virginia EPSCoR program in conjunction with the last Research Infrastructure Improvement grant and some really engaged undergraduate students, he’s well on his way.

Read more about Price’s research interests in the Fall 2015 edition of Fall 2015 Neuron.

Aug. 4, 2016 – UPDATE:
Dr. Price’s research has been featured in the Aug. 1, 2016  issue of the journal Stem Cells and Development. Details here: http://wvresearch.org/archives/11873.

To read about other West Virginia scientists who have been spotlighted in The Neuron, visit the Neuron page of the Library for past issues.

If you’d like to be added to mailing list for the print issue of The Neuron, email Editor Amanda Ramey at amanda.ramey@wvresearch.org.

»

25th
August

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: Micheal Fultz

featured, The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

M-Fultz-and-student

Fultz (left) works one-on-one with student Aaron Smith in his lab at WVSU.

Stacks of three-ring binders and accordion files line the shelves of Dr. Micheal Fultz’s office. They contain some of his most valued documents. They aren’t solutions to the long-held scientific mysteries of today’s world, not archives of some of the greatest research projects and not even documentation of his past research projects.The documents are something of much more personal significance to Fultz: letters of appreciation from local school children and teachers.

Click here to read more about Fultz’s passion for outreach and his research in the Summer 2015 edition of the Neuron.

August 2016 UPDATE:
Dr. Fultz was named a member of the 2016 class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society. Details here: http://wvresearch.org/archives/11881.

To read about other West Virginia researchers featured in the Neuron, visit the Neuron page of the Library.

»

12th
June

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: David Lederman

featured

Dr. David Lederman was a self-described “science nerd” growing up. As a kid in Latin America, though, he likely had no idea that he’d wind up in West Virginia leading a team of scientists and students through the unknowns of nanotechnology.

Lederman, whoD.-ledderman-and-studentse research team seeks to understand the fundamental properties of materials in reduced dimensions, or nanotechnology, is the Robert L. Carroll Professor of Physics and Interim Chairperson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University (WVU) and the principal investigator of the state’s current five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant.

Of particular interest to him are properties resulting from interfaces between different materials – for example, magnetic and biological materials. The interactions between different types of nanoscale materials are expected to be the basis of future electronic devices.

At the top of his to-do list currently is a device that could have far-reaching future possibilities: an artificial nose.

Click here to read more about Lederman’s accomplishments and research in the Spring 2015 edition of the Neuron.

To read about other West Virginia researchers featured in the Neuron, visit the Neuron page of the Library.

 

»