News & Updates
Dear LSU Family,
Let me draw your attention for a moment to the fact that LSU research was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics only weeks ago for measuring gravitational waves at our LIGO facility in Livingston Parish. Granted, this is not the first time LSU scientists have come close to this elusive and exclusive international recognition. In 2011, LSU physicist Bradley Schaefer was invited to the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, in recognition for his research leading to the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the universe due to an unknown form of energy embedded in the fabric of space.
This type of collaborative and transformative research is the embodiment of LSU. Our students have the opportunity to work with faculty who aren't just the best in Louisiana -- they're the best of the best. Because their expertise is so strong, much of the work done at LSU is globally engaged, allowing our students to gain knowledge from the best minds in the world.
That's the type of excellence that truly sets LSU apart. Thank you for supporting us on this journey.
F. King Alexander
LSU Researchers Discover Minerals in Volcanic Rock that May Offer New Insights into the First 1.5 Billion Years of Earth's Evolution
The first 1.5 billion years of Earth’s evolution is subject to considerable uncertainty due to the lack of any significant rock record prior to four billion years ago and a very limited record until about three billion years ago. Rocks of this age are usually extensively altered making comparisons to modern rock quite difficult. In new research conducted at LSU, scientists have found evidence showing that komatiites, three-billion-year old volcanic rock found within the Earth’s mantle, had a different composition than modern ones. Their discovery may offer new information about the first one billion years of Earth’s development and early origins of life.
Results of the team’s work has been published in the October 2017 edition of NATURE Geoscience.
Update: The 45 day period specified in the CRCB position announcement ends next week so please get your application in if you are interested in the position.
Dr. Dorit Zuk, posted the following on the NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog:
"Fred Taylor, distinguished leader of our Center for Research Capacity Building (CRCB), is planning to retire, and we’re embarking on a search for an outstanding individual to serve as the new CRCB director. CRCB supports research, research training, faculty development, and research infrastructure improvements in states that historically have not received substantial levels of research funding from NIH. It also supports faculty research development at institutions that have a historical mission focused on serving students from underrepresented groups, research and research capacity building directed by Native American and Alaska Native tribal organizations, and conducts a science education program designed to improve life-science literacy. CRCB is composed of four programs: Institutional Development Awards, Native American Research Centers for Health, Science Education Partnership Awards, and Support of Competitive Research.
The CRCB director will have the opportunity to set priorities, lead change, and strengthen the biomedical research enterprise across the United States. The center director reports to the NIGMS director and is a member of the NIGMS senior leadership team, which helps set policies and priorities for the Institute. There are also opportunities to participate in and advise on NIH-wide activities and collaborations with other federal agencies.
Candidates must possess an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree in a field relevant to the position. The ideal candidate will have considerable research experience in basic, clinical, or translational biomedical science; a demonstrated understanding of the conditions that disproportionately affect underserved populations; and knowledge related to the NIGMS mission. In addition, candidates should possess recognized research management and leadership abilities.
For additional information and application instructions, please see the vacancy announcement. NIGMS will accept applications for at least 45 days from October 2, 2017, but it will not close the application process until a candidate has been selected.
As chair of the search committee, I ask for your help in identifying candidates for this crucial position and in sharing this information with others who might be interested."
It is something that no one in the IDeA community has ever wanted to contemplate, but alas, the outstanding leader of the Center for Research Capacity Building (CRCB) at the National Institutes for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), Fred Taylor, has announced his plans to retire. Therefore, NIH has begun the process of searching for a new CRCB Director. The announcement, job description and details about the application process are included below. Please note that, "NIGMS will be accepting applications from Monday, October 2, 2017 and plans to have the position open for at least 45 days, but the application process will not close until a candidate has been selected."
New awards from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) will provide 30 non-tenured researchers with fellowships, partnering them with premier research centers and enhancing their ability to work at the frontiers of science and engineering.
The NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-4 fellowship awards total roughly $5.6 million and are distributed to researchers across 20 states. Awardees will make extended collaborative visits to laboratories and scientific centers, establish partnerships with researchers with complementary expertise, learn new techniques, have access to sophisticated equipment, and shift their research focus in new directions.
University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Arkansas and New Mexico State University Awarded NSF-NIFA INFEWS Grants
NSF has partnered with the U.S.D.A's National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to award $46.6 million in new grants through the joint NSF-NIFA program on Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS)
Researchers have found that food-energy-water systems are intricately linked to each other and to the planet’s ecosystems through complex interactions. With an increasing human population, there is a growing need for new approaches to understanding these interactions and how they will respond to population growth, land-use change, climate change and other factors.
Food, energy and water are, at times, in a three-way tug of war. Land-use decisions, climate change and increasing urbanization often pit one against the other. The goal of the INFEWS program is to minimize simultaneous risks to the security of food, energy and water supplies.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded five jurisdictions nearly $20 million each through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which builds research and development capacity in states that demonstrate a commitment to research but have thus far lacked the levels of investment seen in other parts of the country.
The new EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 awards will bolster science and engineering academic research infrastructure in Alabama, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wyoming. Each award will support fundamental research and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The awards will also promote workforce development in areas relevant to the jurisdictions' vital interest.
UAB Research Finds A Bioactive Molecule May Protect Against Congestive Heart Failure After Heart Attacks
Heart attacks provoke an acute immune response. Leukocytes rush to the heart muscle to remove dead cells and begin building scar tissue. This is followed by a second immune response, the resolving phase that allows healing.
Too often, though, low-grade acute inflammation continues in patients long after heart attacks, leading to chronic heart failure and death. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, Ganesh Halade, Ph.D., and colleagues show that giving mice a form of the fatty acid-derived bioactive molecule called lipoxin improved heart function after a heart attack, as the lipoxin prompted early activation of the resolving phase of the immune response without altering the acute phase.
University of New Mexico and the University of Puerto Rico Part of New NSF Engineering Research Centers
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested nearly $80 million in four new Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) to create novel technology platforms to address national challenges in health and energy sustainability.
Over the next five years, the centers will create new knowledge and high-tech innovations, as well as transform existing industries in ways that bolster the U.S. economy, support national security and build America's global competitiveness through the preparation of engineering graduates.
Since the program's inception in 1985, NSF has funded a total of 74 ERCs and will support 19 in this fiscal year, including the four new centers. Each center receives NSF funding for up to 10 years. During this time, centers build partnerships with industry, universities and other government agencies that will sustain them for years to come.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce 14 new Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) awards, totaling more than $66 million over the next five years.
The awards will fund 14 lead U.S. institutions and U.S. partner institutions for collaborative projects involving international partners in 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.