Science & Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

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The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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13th
March

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: TIMOTHY CORRIGAN

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T.-Corrigan-and-student

The big picture of Dr. Tim Corrigan’s field of research starts with the very small. Most of what he does is on the nanoscale, in fact. A great deal of Corrigan’s materials science engineering research at Concord University was originally inspired by the events surrounding the attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001. While on the research faculty at the University of Maryland, Corrigan was tasked with research, funded by the National Security Administration (NSA) that could improve the signal of biosensors in response to the fear of biological warfare. If the signal on the biosensors could be improved, then scientists would have the ability to determine if there was a deadly substance in the air.

While his research was eventually halted by the NSA at the time, Corrigan is now in southern West Virginia and giving Concord’s students the research opportunity of a lifetime by continuing the work.

Corrigan and his students are working to attach quantum dots to a gold nanoparticle-DNA origami template to increase the light coming out of the quantum dot.  The gold nanoparticles act like nano-antennas for the light, and the DNA origami allows the quantum dots and gold nanoparticles to be placed in specific positions with nano-size control.

Corrigan said that potential future applications of his research could include improved bioassays, solar cells or optical circuits. In the meantime, Corrigan has a goal that isn’t on the nanoscale. He wants to inspire, motivate and encourage students.

Read more about Corrigan’s background, accomplishments and research in the Winter 2015 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.

 

 

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17th
November

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: DR. MARCIA HARRISON

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

Harrison-and-students It could be said that Marshall University’s Dr. Marcia Harrison digs a little deeper. Harrison is a professor in Marshall’s Department of Biological Sciences, and she keeps a close watch on exactly how plants grow.

Harrison said, “When plants fall down they can’t get up – at least not right away.”

Harrison’s research career has revolved around how plants respond to gravity and interaction of other factors – including space.

Read more about Harrison’s research in the Fall 2014 edition 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.

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8th
August

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: DR. SHER HENDRICKSON-LAMBERT

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

Sher-and-studentSher Hendrickson-Lambert has studied condors, taught about conservation in South Africa and helped round up wild horses in Ecuador. It sounds like a pretty diverse life, but the common denominator for the assistant professor of biology at Shepherd University is a passion for genetic research and evolutionary biology.

Read more about Hendrickson-Lambert’s research interests in the Summer 2014 edition 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.

 

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7th
May

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: DR. BRIAN ANDERSON

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B-ANDERSON&studentBrian Anderson says that West Virginia University is an unearthed gem in the world of energy research – and he has good authority to make that statement. The WVU associate professor was nominated last year by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). As reported in last quarter’s The Neuron, Anderson was selected for the prestigious award – which is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government upon science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Anderson’s research is well-timed for the state of West Virginia, the country and the world. The thrust of his work is in the areas of natural gas hydrates, thermodynamic modeling and sustainable energy and development in the area of geothermal systems.

When asked to sum up his ambition Anderson said, “My ultimate goal is to find more viable indigenous energy sources. I want to leave a mark and show the world how great our state is.”

Read more about Anderson’s background, accomplishments and research in the Spring 2014 edition 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.

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25th
February

SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT: DR. ANDREW NICHOLS

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Dr. Andrew Nichols loved hunting and fishing as a child growing up in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.  His fascination with Legos and enjoyment of math and science naturally set him on a path to become an engineer.  It was at Purdue University where he was pursuing his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in civil engineering that Nichols found out that traffic engineering was a great fit for him.

A.Nichols&StudentWhile at Purdue, Nichols worked in a traffic lab which he credits with giving him invaluable hands-on experience with traffic signals to complement what he was learning in the classroom. He developed skills that allow him to not only use software in the office to study traffic patterns and design traffic signal timings, but he also learned how to program actual traffic signal controllers that are installed at all intersections – expertise, he said, that very few practicing traffic engineers have.

The research he is doing right now as an associate professor of engineering at Marshall University is funded by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT).  His research promotes ways to make West Virginia roads and intersections safer and more efficient. He conducts research in conjunction with the Nick J. Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute (RTI) at Marshall University – a leader in multimodal transportation and economic development in West Virginia and the Appalachian Region.

Read more about Dr. Nichols’ accomplishments and research in the Winter 2014 edition of the Neuron.

 

Continued reading
If you’re visiting this page because you wanted to learn more about Dr. Nichols after reading your copy of the Neuron, click here.

 

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

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