UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

Featured News Archive 2005-2006

The 2005-2006 Featured News Archive contains summaries of press releases about prominent news developments at UCSB from July 2005 to June 2006. The heading of each item links to the full text of that story. All first appeared on the UCSB Featured News and Campus Topics page.

Rockfish, at Platform GildaOil and Gas Platforms Boost Fish Population While some observers consider offshore oil and gas platforms to be an eyesore on the horizon, new data show they are performing a critical function for marine life. For the first time, scientists have documented the importance of oil and gas platforms as critical nursery habitat for some species of rockfishes on the California coast (left, young bocaccio, or Rockfish, at Platform Gilda). Two articles documenting the importance of the platforms are published in the current issue of Fisheries Bulletin, with lead authors from UCSB. 6/29/06

Shuji NakamuraShuji Nakamura Wins Millennium Technology Prize Shuji Nakamura, a professor of materials and of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize for his invention of revolutionary new light sources: blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes and the blue laser diode. The award, which includes a cash prize of one million Euros (approximately $1.3-million), is presented by Finland's Millennium Prize Foundation and recognizes outstanding technological achievement aimed at promoting quality of life and sustainable development. Presented only in alternate years, the Millennium Technology Prize was first awarded in 2004 to Tim Berners-Lee, developer of the World Wide Web. 6/15/06

"Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan"Historian Awarded Japanese Book Prize Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded the prestigious Yomiuri Yoshino Sakuzo Prize in Japan for "Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan" (Harvard University Press, 2005), a critically acclaimed book about the role of the atomic bomb in Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II. 6/13/06

Coral DeathCoral Death Linked to Algae and Bacteria Bacteria and algae are combining to kill coral — and human activities are compounding the problem. Scientists have discovered an indirect microbial mechanism whereby bacteria kill coral with the help of algae. Human activities are contributing to the growth of algae on coral reefs, setting the stage for the long-term continued decline of coral. Left, coral from the Line Islands covered by bubble algae. 6/12/06

Kelp ForestOverfishing Puts Kelp Forests at Risk Overfishing presents a much greater risk to the kelp forest ecosystems that span the West Coast - from Alaska to Mexico's Baja Peninsula - than the effects of run-off from fertilizers or sewage from the shore, say scientists at UC Santa Barbara. These findings by scientists at UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis have important implications for the design of California's Marine Protected Areas. Above, a California kelp forest. 5/25/2006

Donna CarpenterDonna Carpenter Named Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services At their meeting in San Francisco on May 18, the Regents of the University of California approved the appointment of Donna J. Carpenter as UC Santa Barbara's vice chancellor for administrative services. Carpenter has been employed in the UC system for 33 years and has been on the UCSB campus since 1994. She was the campus controller and director of accounting services until August 2004, when she was appointed acting vice chancellor for administrative services. 5/19/2006

5 Young Faculty Members Win CAREER Awards From the NSF Five young UCSB faculty members have received prestigious CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. 5/11/2006

Research Finds Men's Faces Show Romantic Intentions Women are able to subconsciously pick up cues in men's faces and use those cues to determine if they are attracted to the males for long-term or short-term relationships, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the UC Santa Barbara and the University of Chicago. 5/9/2006

Central Coast Survey Findings Reported Researchers from the Social Science Survey Center/Benton Survey Research Lab at UCSB have released the findings of their first-ever public-opinion poll of residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties on a range of issues, from jobs, housing, traffic, and health care to the pace of growth and development, immigration, and the quality of public schools. 5/4/2006

George ThurlowPublisher Appointed New Alumni Chief George Thurlow, the longtime publisher of the Santa Barbara Independent, has been appointed Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the UCSB Alumni Association. Thurlow, a 1973 graduate of UCSB, will assume his new duties on June 1. He succeeds Peter Steiner, who retired last year. Richard Jensen has been serving as the alumni organization's interim executive director. 5/4/2006

Political Scientist Named Fellow by U.S. Peace Institute Fernando Lopez-Alves, a professor of political science, has been awarded a senior fellowship at the United States Institute for Peace for the 2006-07 academic year. Lopez-Alves, who specializes in comparative politics, is one of only 7 recipients nationwide to receive this honor. Lopez-Alves will be in residence next year at the Washington, D.C. institute, where he plans to write a book titled "Citizens Against States: The Breakdown of Trust in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile." 4/27/2006

Patricia Cline CohenHistorian Wins Guggenheim Fellowship Patricia Cline Cohen, a professor of history, is one of 187 American and Canadian artists, scholars, and scientists selected to receive prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships this year. Cohen, a member of the UCSB faculty since 1977, will use her fellowship to continue her research for a biography of Mary Gove and Thomas L. Nichols, two health reformers who in the mid-1800s gained notoriety for a radical critique of marriage that advocated women's self-sovereignty. 4/26/2006

2 Professors Elected Fellows of Arts & Sciences Academy Two UCSB professors - David Awschalom and Michael Goodchild - have been elected fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Joining them in this year's class of fellows is the philanthropist and inventor Fred Kavli of Santa Barbara, for whom UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics is named. 4/25/2006

Scientists Discover Secrets from the Ocean's Floor Answers to important questions about the formation of the Earth's crust may be close at hand as a result of recent findings by an international team of scientists. The researchers have, for the first time, recovered black rocks known as gabbros from intact ocean crust. Douglas S. Wilson (second from left in photo above with other researchers), an associate research geophysicist with UCSB's Marine Science Institute, heads the project. 4/20/2006

UCSB Offers Fall 2006 Admission to 20,644 Freshman Applicants The campus has offered a place in its fall 2006 entering class to a total of 20,644 high school seniors. The prospective UCSB freshmen were selected from a pool of 39,838 applicants. UCSB expects its fall 2006 entering class to number approximately 4,000. 4/19/2006

Ronald W. TobinFrance Honors UCSB's Ronald Tobin The French government has bestowed a major honor on Ronald W. Tobin, a professor of French and associate vice chancellor for academic programs, for his contributions to scholarship and the appreciation of French culture. He has been honored by the French Ministry of Education with the highest level of knighthood conferred upon academics, the "Commander in the Order of the Academic Palms." 4/19/2006

Study Finds Segregation of English Learners A new study by the UCSB-based UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute finds that California's English learners­students who are not yet proficient in English­attend highly segregated schools, which hinders their educational opportunities. 4/18/2006

Laura RomoScholar's Research on Young Latinas Wins Grant Foundation Award A faculty member at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara is one of five young scholars nationally to be named one of this year's William T. Grant Scholars. Laura Romo, an assistant professor, will receive $300,000 over five years from the William T. Grant Foundation to support her research on ways to improve the life chances of young Hispanic girls. The highly competitive awards support the professional development of early career scholars who have had success in conducting research on improving the lives of young people. 4/17/2006

Genetic Switch Links Growth and Cancer Laboratory discoveries by biologists at UCSB and the University of Minnesota may lead to new directions in cancer therapy drugs. The researchers have discovered that a genetic switch involved in growth and development of an animal is the same one used to prevent normal cells from becoming cancerous. 4/17/2006

Researcher Killed in Mammoth Mountain Gas Vent Accident A UC Santa Barbara researcher was among three men who died at Mammoth Mountain in the eastern Sierra on April 6 when the trio, all members of the local ski patrol, fell into a volcanic gas vent as they tried to rope off the unsafe area. Charles Walter Rosenthal, 58, was an assistant specialist with UCSB's Institute for Computational Earth System Science based at a field site in Mammoth known as the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL). A memorial fund to benefit his family has been established. 4/7/2006

Environmental Scientist Wins Leadership Fellowship Joshua Schimel, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and chair of Environmental Studies, is one of 18 academic environmental scientists from the U.S. and Canada to be awarded an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship this year. The program is based at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment. 3/28/2006

Scientists Discover Brain Produces Growth Hormone Scientists have found that growth hormone, a substance that is used for body growth, is produced in the brain. The research team, including Ken Kosik, co-director of UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute, found that growth hormone is produced within the hippocampus, a structure deep inside the brain that is involved in memory and emotion. The study has implications for menopausal women using estrogen replacement therapy and for athletes taking growth hormone and anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass. 3/27/2006

Cover of the book "Taking Power"Sociologist Scrutinizes Third-World Revolutions In his new book, UCSB sociologist John Foran studies three-dozen Third World revolutions since 1910 and advances a new theory that integrates the political, economic and cultural factors that inspired them. The book, Taking Power ­ On the Origins of Third World Revolutions (Cambridge University Press), has just been named a co-winner of the Pacific Sociological Association's 2006 Distinguished Scholarship prize. 3/23/2006

New lipid moleculeDiscovery of New Molecule Holds Hope for Gene Therapy Scientists at UCSB have created a new lipid molecule that holds promise in fighting disease via gene therapy. Reporting in the March 29 print edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (published on-line on March 8), the authors describe the synthesis of the new honeycomb-shaped molecule. The authors used cancer cell lines from mice and from humans to study the ability of the new molecule to deliver genes to cells. The honeycomb structure (see illustration) turned out to be highly effective. 3/22/2006

Ronald RiceCommunication Scholar Awarded Fulbright Fellowship Ronald Rice, the Arthur N. Rupe Professor of Communication at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and conduct research abroad. This quarter he is in Finland, teaching and offering a series of workshops on the Internet and society and online health communication at the University of Helsinki and three other universities. He is also conducting research there on the uses of new communication technologies. 3/22/2006

Frédéric GibouEngineer Wins Prestigious Sloan Fellowship Frédéric Gibou, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and of computer science, is among this year's 116 winners of prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Sloan fellowships are awarded to scientists in the early stages of their careers who show exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge. 3/21/2006

Keck Foundation Awards $1.25-million to Neuroscience Research Institute The W.M. Keck Foundation's Medical Research Program has awarded a grant of $1.25-million to UC Santa Barbara to support a pioneering multidisciplinary research initiative focusing on tiny RNA molecules and their impact on the regulation of gene function. 3/21/2006

Existing Drug May Also Help Fight Kidney Disease UCSB scientists have discovered that a widely available drug may be effective in treating an inherited kidney disease. The drug is rapamycin, also called sirolimus, and it currently is used as an immunosuppressant to help prevent rejection of a new, transplanted kidney. The fact that the drug is already clinically approved for other uses will facilitate future clinical trials of it, the researchers note. 3/20/2006

Tsuyoshi HasegawaScholar Awarded Top Diplomatic History Book Prize History Professor Tsuyoshi Hasegawa has been awarded the Robert Ferrell Book Prize by the Society of Historians for Foreign Relations for "Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan" (Harvard University Press, 2005). The critically acclaimed volume examined the role of the atomic bomb in Japan's surrender at the end of World War II. 3/16/2006

Alumnus George Thurlow to Join Regents UCSB alumnus George Thurlow will join the governing Board of Regents of the University of California as a regent-designate on July 1. Following a one-year term as regent-designate, he will serve a one-year term as an ex-officio voting regent. Thurlow, who is publisher and chief executive officer of the weekly Santa Barbara Independent, recently was elected treasurer of the Alumni Associations of the University of California and, as such, will become one of the alumni representatives on the Board of Regents. 3/16/2006

Communication Department Ranks High in Research Productivity UCSB's Communication Department has been ranked third in the nation in terms of research productivity. The finding comes from an analysis of scholarly articles published in eight academic journals that was sponsored by the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. 3/15/2006

George M. "Bud" HomsyEngineering Academy Elects George Homsy George M. "Bud" Homsy, a professor of mechanical and chemical engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The academy cited him for his research as well as his development of innovative teaching materials. With his election, the College of Engineering at UCSB now has 27 faculty members who have been elected to the academy. 3/15/2006

Gift to Help Fillmore Students Prepare for College UC Santa Barbara has received a $500,000 gift from entrepreneur James Jimenez of Temple City to support academic preparation programs for K-12 students in Fillmore to enable more students to qualify for admission to UCSB and other colleges and universities. The gift will create an endowed academic preparation program focusing on students who would be the first in their families to attend college. 3/14/2006

New Nanoelectronics Institute Established UC Santa Barbara, Berkeley, and Stanford have teamed up with UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science to establish the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics, which will be one of the world's largest joint research programs focusing on the pioneering technology called "spintronics." 3/9/2006

UCSB-Led Group Wins Grant to Develop a Multifunctional Chip The Department of Defense has awarded up to $5-million over five years for a multi-university research initiative led by UCSB's David Awschalom, a professor of physics and of electrical and computer engineering, to develop a chip that can independently process electronic, magnetic, and optical information and convert from any one type to any other type of information. 3/8/2006

Researchers Develop Portable Cocaine Sensor A real-time sensor for detecting cocaine ­ made with inexpensive, off-the-shelf electronics ­ has been developed by a team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara. Two local high school students and a Nobel laureate participated in the discovery. The potential applications of the sensor are far-reaching and include bioterrorism detection and important medical uses. 2/24/2006

Scientists Win Top AAAS Prize for Discovery A discovery by four UCSB researchers, including Professors David Awschalom and Arthur C. Gossard, has earned them the prestigious 2004-2005 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the oldest award conferred by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of the journal Science. In a paper published in Science, the research team reported observing the "spin Hall effect"­­ the first time it has been seen in an experiment. 2/15/2006

Mitsubishi Chemical to Provide More Than $8.5-Million in New Support for Center for Advanced Materials The Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation of Tokyo and UCSB are extending their successful research and education alliance for a new term of four years. With the company's support, UCSB, in 2001, formed a highly productive research unit called the Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials (MC-CAM). Under the new agreement, Mitsubishi will invest between $8.5-million and $10-million at UCSB over the next four years. The funds will support research as well as the administration of the center. The total also includes $800,000 to permanently endow new graduate fellowships in materials and chemical engineering. 2/14/2006

Applications for Fall Admission Hit Record Level UC Santa Barbara has received a record 47,893 applications for undergraduate admission to the campus for fall 2006. Of this total, 39,828 applications were from prospective first-year students-2,368 more than last year. And 12,033 of them, or 30 percent, have a high-school Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 or higher ­ 499 more than last year. 2/7/2006

Howard Giles and John W. I. LeeDistinguished UCSB Professors Honored Two UC Santa Barbara professors, Howard Giles (above left) of Communication and John W. I. Lee (above right) of history, have been honored for their academic achievements and contributions to the campus with the most prestigious awards bestowed on faculty members by their peers. 2/6/2006

Recording cylindersEarliest Sound Recordings Now Available The UCSB Library has opened up the world of historic sound recordings by mounting thousands of digitized cylinder recordings (see examples above) on an immensely popular new Web site, making this little-known era of recorded sound broadly accessible to scholars and the public for the first time.1/31/2006

Discovery May Lead to New Drugs for Kidney Disease Scientists at UCSB have reported a discovery at the cellular level that suggests possibilities for drug therapy for an inherited kidney disease characterized by the formation of cysts and known as ADPKD, which affects 600,000 people in the United States. 1/31/2006

New Ph.D. Emphasis in Technology and Society Established Ph.D. students at UCSB can now enroll in an innovative new program of study dealing with the societal implications of technology. The "Ph.D. Emphasis in Technology and Society" brings together doctoral students in engineering, the social sciences, and the humanities for multidisciplinary coursework and research on the cultural and societal changes resulting from new information technologies. The new program is the first of its kind in the University of California system to focus on the broader social implications of technology. 1/26/2006

Illustration of conceptScientists Use Internet Game to Help Predict the Spread of Diseases Using a popular Internet game that traces the travels of dollar bills, scientists have developed a mathematical model that can be used to help predict the spread of infectious disease in the United States. This model is considered a breakthrough in the field. The game data provides information on millions of movements of individuals, allowing scientists to describe how an epidemic could spread across the country. Above, an illustration of the concept. 1/25/2006

David MarshallNew Book by Humanities Dean Explores 'Aesthetic Experience' In a new book, David Marshall, dean of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, explores how 18th-century readers and spectators interacted with the art and literature of their time, focusing on the significance of what he calls "aesthetic experience." "This is not a sociological or empirical study," he says. "I'm looking at how the experience of art was looked at and described, and used as a metaphor. I'm interested in boundary confusions where the lines between art and reality are blurred." 1/23/2006

Syrphid FlyStudies Show Lack of Pollination Putting Many Plants at Risk The decline of birds, bees and other pollinators may be putting plants of the world's most diverse ecosystems at risk of extinction, according to a new research that analyzed hundreds of field studies of fruit production in flowering plants. The meta-analysis was sponsored by UCSB's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. The finding raises concern that more may have to be done to protect the Earth's most biologically rich areas. Above, Syrphid fly feeding on nectar of California sunflower. 1/17/2006

UCSB Received $153 M in External Research Funds Last Year Research support from external sources remained strong at UC Santa Barbara last year, when a total of $153 million was received from federal and state agencies, corporations, and foundations. Over the past 10 years, the annual receipt of such funds has nearly doubled at UCSB. 12/12/2005

Luann BeckerUCSB to Design Instrument for Mars Expedition Luann Becker (left), a research scientist with the Institute of Crustal Studies, will direct the development of a new instrument for testing Martian soil as part of the European Space Agency's "ExoMars," a mission that will take place in 2011. Testing by the two NASA rovers now on Mars has spurred interest in developing new, highly-sensitive instruments to search for present or past life on Mars. The ExoMars rover will contain a drill that can reach soil samples up to two meters under the Martian surface. 12/12/2005

Martin MoskovitsScience Dean Martin Moskovits Elected Fellow of AAAS Martin Moskovits, a professor of physical chemistry and the Bruce and Susan Worster Dean of Science at UC Santa Barbara, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is being honored for "distinguished research in surface and cluster physics and chemistry, especially for seminal contributions to the understanding of surface-enhanced spectroscopy." His election brings to 43 the number of UCSB scientists and engineers elected AAAS Fellows. 11/28/2005

UCSB Awarded $1.5-Million for Training Partnership With China UC Santa Barbara has been awarded $1.5-million by the National Science Foundation to establish a pioneering research and education partnership with China in chemistry, physics, materials science, and chemical engineering. The UCSB project was one of only 12 proposals to win NSF support of more than 170 reviewed in all areas of science and engineering. It also is the only U.S.-China partnership to be funded by the agency. 11/29/2005

Jeff DozierBren School's Founding Dean Wins Top Research Award Jeff Dozier, a professor and founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, is one of two winners of the Wiliam T. Pecora Award for 2005. Sponsored jointly by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Pecora Award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or groups toward understanding the earth by means of remote sensing. Dozier is the third UCSB faculty member to have won the prestigious award, reflecting the campus's strength in remote sensing. 11/4/2005

Michael GazzanigaCenter for Study of the Mind Established With Gift From SAGE Publications UCSB has received a $3.5-million gift from SAGE Publications to launch a dynamic new interdisciplinary research center for the study of the mind. SAGE made the gift to commemorate its 40th anniversary as a leading international publisher for scholarly, educational, and professional markets. UCSB has attracted a top scholar to lead the pioneering new effort-Michael Gazzaniga (left), widely regarded as the founder of the cognitive neuroscience field. 11/3/2005

Autism CenterAutism Center Receives $2.35-Million Gift for Expansion The Autism Research and Training Center at UCSB's Gevirtz Graduate School of Education has received a $2.35-million gift from Brian and Patricia Kelly of Santa Barbara that will provide enhanced facilities for what is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading centers for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of autism. With the expansion (foreground in the illustration at left), the center will also be given a new name: The Koegel Autism Center, in recognition of Dr. Robert Koegel, the facility's longtime director and a professor of education at the Gevirtz School, and his wife, Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, the center's Clinical Director of Autism Services. 10/25/2005

Geologists Say La Conchita Landslides Part of a Larger, Prehistoric Slide The deadly landslide that killed 10 people and destroyed approximately 30 homes in La Conchita, California last January is but a tiny part of a much larger slide, called the Rincon Mountain slide, reported UCSB geologists at the meeting of the Geological Society of America. The slide started many thousands of years ago and will continue generating slides in the future. 10/19/2005

Campus Develops New Alcohol-Education and Intervention Program The Student Health Service has established a new alcohol-education and early intervention program aimed at helping students develop the skills needed to reduce drinking and make safer choices. A pilot phase of the program, which is based on the latest research on alcohol- and drug-abuse prevention, is now underway. Co-sponsored by the Office of Residential Life, the program will be used, in this pilot year, with students who violate alcohol and drug policies in campus residence halls. 10/19/2005

PlanktonWarmer Tropics Linked to Greenhouse Gases New evidence from climate records of the past provides some of the strongest indications yet of a direct link between tropical warmth and higher greenhouse gas levels, say scientists at UCSB. The present steady rise in tropical temperatures due to global warming will have a major impact on global climate and could intensify destructive hurricanes like Katrina and Rita. Chemical analysis of plankton (left) helps scientists gauge ocean temperatures. 10/13/2005

National Science Foundation Picks UCSB for Nanotechnology in Society Center The National Science Foundation has selected UC Santa Barbara for a new National Science and Engineering Center to study the societal implications of nanotechnology. The NSF will provide $5 million in grant funds to support the Center for Nanotechnology in Society–UCSB in its first five years of operation. The new facility will be one of two major centers in the country—the other will be at Arizona State University—in an NSF-sponsored national network of researchers studying nanotechnology and society 10/6/2005

Leda CosmidesScholar Wins $2.5-M. 'Pioneer Award' From National Institutes of Health A UC Santa Barbara psychology professor is one of 13 innovative researchers from across the country who have been named by the National Institutes of Health as recipients of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award for 2005. As a recipient of the prestigious award, Leda Cosmides, a professor of psychology and co-director of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, will receive up to $500,000 per year in direct research costs for the next five years. 9/29/2005

Private Giving to UCSB Totaled $68-Million in 2004-05 Alumni and friends contributed more than $68-million in gift and pledges to the campus in 2004-05, helping to maintain a strong pace for The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara. 9/15/2005

QAD Founders Establish Chair in Computer Science Karl and Pamela Lopker and the Lopker Family Foundation have made a major gift to help establish the first endowed chair in computer science in the College of Engineering. The Lopkers founded QAD, a leading provider of software for manufacturers worldwide. They have named the chair in honor of Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, a dynamic leader and distinguished physicist who served as dean of the college from 1992 until 1998. 10/26/2005

UCSB Affiliates Awards Scholarships, Fellowships The UCSB Affiliates, the campus's largest community support group, recently awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarships and fellowships to 21 students at the university. 10/12/2005

Ann TavesDistinguished Scholar Named to Cordano Chair in Catholic Studies Ann Taves, an internationally recognized historian of Christianity and of American religion, is the first scholar appointed to the Virgil Cordano Chair in Catholic Studies at UCSB. The endowed chair is named in honor of the Franciscan friar and former pastor of the St. Barbara Parish at the Santa Barbara Mission, who has devoted his life to promoting greater understanding of all religions. Taves joined UCSB's renowned Religious Studies Department from the Claremont School of Theology and the Claremont Graduate University, where she was a professor since 1993. 10/11/2005

Los Alamos Lab and UCSB Form New Institute on Materials Los Alamos National Laboratory has formed a partnership with UCSB's College of Engineering to create the Institute for Multiscale Materials Studies (IMMS). Under the program, UCSB will initiate a new graduate emphasis in multiscale materials and mechanics in the chemical engineering, materials, mechanical engineering and computer science departments to grant graduate degrees to students pursuing advanced education both on campus and at UCSB's IMMS facilities in Los Alamos. 10/11/2005

Robert O. CollinsHistorian Awarded Dickson Emeriti Professorship Robert O. Collins, a leading scholar of the history and culture of the Sudan and of East Africa, has been awarded the prestigious Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship for 2005-06. A prolific scholar, Collins is co-author, with J. Millard Burr, of "Alms for Jihad: Charities and Terrorism in the Islamic World" (Cambridge University Press, 2005), which explores the world of Islamic charities and their funding links to terrorism. This groundbreaking new book is the first to piece together the secret financial systems that support terror. 9/13/2005

Campus Wins Support for Stem Cell Research Project UCSB is to receive $1,343,859 in state funds over three years to fund stem cell research. The grant was announced by the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee and is one of the first 15 awarded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The long-term goal of UCSB's stem cell research program is to understand how human embryonic stem cells can be differentiated into ocular cells that might be used to treat eye disease, especially macular degeneration. 9/12/2005

Ernst Ulrich von WeizsäckerScientist, Statesman to Head Bren School An internationally recognized environmental scientist and statesman has been appointed dean of UCSB's Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, a professor of interdisciplinary biology who was the founding president of the University of Kassel in Germany, is about to conclude two terms as a member of the German Parliament, or Bundestag, where he has served as chair of its committee on the environment. He will take up his new duties at UC Santa Barbara in January 2006. 9/8/2005

Bill BeanBill Bean, Veteran UCSB Police Officer, Appointed Chief Bill Bean, who has served as acting chief of the UCSB Police Department since 2003, has been appointed Chief of Police. In announcing the appointment, which is effective immediately, Chancellor Henry Yang said Bean's "very high standard of professionalism and long-term dedicated performance make him an ideal choice for this important leadership position." Bean (pictured above) has been a member of the department for 30 years. 8/29/2005

Jane Close ConoleyNew Grad School Dean to Arrive in January Jane Close Conoley, dean of education at Texas A&M University since 1996, will become UC Santa Barbara's new dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education on Jan. 1, 2006. Conoley is a prominent educational psychologist, a seasoned administrator, and an effective fund-raiser with an impressive track record of strengthening the institutions she helps to lead, said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. 8/17/2005

UCSB microbiologist Peggy CotterBiodefense and Infectious Disease Study Wins NIH Grant Research on countering threats from bioterrorism agents and infectious diseases will be conducted at UCSB under a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. UCSB microbiologist Peggy Cotter (pictured here) is a project director in the newly established Pacific-Southwest Regional Center of Excellence (RCE) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research — one of only 10 NIH-funded centers in the nation dedicated to such research. 8/4/2005

'Smart' Bionanotubes'Smart'Bio-Nanotubes May Be Used to Deliver Drugs An interdisciplinary team of materials scientists working with biologists at UCSB have developed "smart" bio-nanotubes — with open or closed ends — that could be developed for drug or gene delivery applications. The chemotherapy drug Taxol is one type of drug that could be delivered via such nanotubes. 8/2/2005

Discovery May Lead to New Alzheimer's Drugs A research team led by a UC Santa Barbara scientist has identified three molecules that appear to inhibit a key perpetrator of Alzheimer's disease. Each of the three molecules protects the protein called "tau," which becomes hopelessly tangled in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's. The finding is promising news for the development of drugs for the disease. 7/22/2005

Teaching Teachers How to Interpret Standardized Tests A team of researchers in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education has developed free instructional tools to help educators nationwide interpret standardized test results to help improve teaching and administration. 7/19/2005

Startling Findings From Bone-Fracture Study A startling discovery about the properties of human bone has been made by an interdisciplinary team of scientists at UC Santa Barbara. The scientists describe their result—finding a sort of "glue" in human bone—in the cover story of the August issue of the international scientific journal "Nature Materials." 7/18/2005

Denise Chavez, winner of the Luis Leal Literature award.Luis Leal Literature Award Goes to New Mexico Writer Denise Chávez Denise Chávez, a writer who lives and teaches in Las Cruces, New Mexico, will be the recipient of this year's Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The award, which includes a cash prize of $1,500, is named after Luis Leal, a distinguished writer, scholar, and UCSB professor of Chicano Studies. Sponsored by UC Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival and Santa Barbara City College, the award will be presented at the Book & Author Festival on September 24. Chávez is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories. Her work focuses on border issues, Chicano culture, and women in contemporary society. 7/12/2005

Discovery Could Lead to New Drugs for Degenerative Diseases A groundbreaking new research approach to understanding the cellular processes of Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases has revealed a promising pathway to the development of new types of drugs for these diseases. The discovery, made in the laboratory of Ratnesh Lal, research scientist in the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) at UCSB, was published in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 7/11/2005

Marine glass sponge as pictured on the cover of Science.Deep-Sea Sponge Yields Engineering Insights Researchers are finding yet more evidence of how nature illustrates the possibilities of building remarkably strong structures from extremely fragile materials. The cover story of the July 8 issue of Science is devoted to such research on a tropical deep-sea sponge. UCSB's Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, headed by Professor Dan Morse, as well as scientists at Germany's Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces worked in close collaboration with the team at Lucent Technologies Bell Labs that produced the findings. 7/7/2005