The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Research Highlights

A team of researchers including Assistant Professor Yubing Sun of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has demonstrated that human pluripotent stem cells can be guided to become the precursors of the central nervous system and that mechanical signals play a key role in this process. Sun and his colleagues outlined their findings in a recent paper published in the journal Nature Materials. Sun is a co-first author and co-corresponding author of the paper.

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Associate Professor Chul Park of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department commented quite extensively in a news story written by staff writer Sarah Robertson in the Daily Hampshire Gazette about a potentially harmful algae bloom affecting Lake Metacomet in Belchertown. Park said that such blooms are usually caused by high temperatures and an imbalance of nutrients in the water.

Park specializes in the study of algae and microbial processes. “Usually...

Professors Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst led a research team from multiple institutions – including the NASA Ames Research Center, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, and the Air Force Research Lab – which has realized the first “capacitive neural network” experimentally, a leap forward in the development of a new neuro-biological architecture that can mimic very useful qualities of the human brain and nervous system.

The results were published on August 10 in Nature Communications under the title of “...

Principal Investigator Jae-Hwang Lee of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is leading a $500,000 research project to greatly improve an important additive manufacturing process for creating various polymeric coatings and plastic parts while saving energy and refraining from using hazardous compounds. Lee’s project is funded for three years by the ...

The overarching objective of Professor Casey Brown’s research is simple, far-reaching, and game-changing: managing freshwater systems sustainably around the world. To that end the Rockefeller Foundation recently awarded $500,006 for one year to Brown of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to further support his groundbreaking research and analysis of freshwater resilience. This renewed funding brings the Rockefeller Foundation’s support of Dr. Brown and his ...

Ashish Kulkarni, an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Department (ChE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and head of the Kulkarni Research Group there, is the lead author of a paper published online on July 2 in Nature Biomedical Engineering, a high-impact engineering journal in the prestigious Nature Group. The newly published paper describes pioneering research on some of the body’s natural immune cells called macrophages, which cancer cells routinely subvert and enlist to...

The Walls & Ceilings website reported that Super Stud Building Products has donated cold-formed steel framing system materials for a study being conducted by Assistant Professor Kara Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Peterman’s study, which will be conducted throughout the summer, will explore the structural response of cold-formed steel stud assemblies to partial bearing conditions (i.e., not fully bearing on a concrete slab)....

Microbial resistance by so-called “superbugs” living in hospital environments causes 2-million U.S. infections and 23,000 deaths a year. Now hospital superbugs can be destroyed by covering bed rails, door knobs, and other surfaces with coating material inspired by a shark’s skin, according to new research led by UMass Amherst polymer scientist James Watkins and Chemical Engineering Professor Jessica Schiffman, along with a team of their graduate students. The research has been reported in a paper available...

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