Thursday, May 9, 2013
Vanderbilt faculty members will discuss their research in seminars open to graduates, families and guests. There will be an open Q&A session for the last 15 minutes of each session.
2 – 3 p.m.
103 Wilson Hall
Accurate and timely medical diagnosis is a critical step to the successful treatment of disease. Diagnostic tests are an integral part of the healthcare system of the developed world, enabling clinicians to assess a patient’s health status, cause of disease, and treatment options. In the developing world, where illness due to malaria, TB, HIV, and other infectious diseases is a daily reality for billions, appropriately designed diagnostic tests are often not available nor affordable. This severely limits the potential of a sick child or adult to get the necessary healthcare that they need. This talk explores new innovations in technologies that will address the challenges of developing diagnostics for a low resource setting.
David W. Wright, associate professor of chemistry, maintains a research program at the interface of chemistry and biology with research projects in the area of malaria, bio-inspired materials, and diagnostics. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and was a 2011 Kavli Fellow. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Classics from Tulane University in 1988 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT in 1994.
126 Wilson Hall
Applying what is known about the neurobiological underpinnings of learning and behavioral development is becoming increasingly important for the field of education. This new field of study, Educational Neuroscience, combines knowledge from the fields of neuroscience and education to yield important insights into how to best teach children and prevent educational failure. Vanderbilt is at the forefront of the field, establishing the first Educational Neuroscience Ph.D. program in 2013 through collaborations across Peabody College, the Vanderbilt Brain Sciences Institute, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Imaging Sciences. This talk will cover several examples of the application of Educational Neuroscience, including basic characterization of the neural architecture of brain development and how that relates to education; what a child’s brain is doing while reading; and how utilization of cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques can predict who will respond to specialized educational interventions.
Laurie E. Cutting, associate professor of education and human development, radiology, and pediatrics, has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers in the field of educational neuroscience. Her research focuses on examining brain-behavior relationships in reading development, oral language, and executive function. She has been the recipient of numerous NIH grant awards and other honors. Prior to joining the Vanderbilt University faculty, she was on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for 12 years. Her training included receiving a M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, a postdoctoral fellowship in Developmental Cognitive Neurology/Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Science Policy at the National Institutes of Health.
3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
103 Wilson Hall
JOY CALICO: They Castrate Singers, Don’t They?
Opera emerged in Italy in the seventeenth century, and by 1700 the undisputed superstars of the operatic stage were castrati: men who had been surgically altered before puberty to preserve the high voice range of a boy soprano, but now had all the vocal power of an adult male. Masculine roles, such as military heroes and romantic leads, were composed specifically for them. This talk explores the phenomenon of the opera castrato through Handel’s opera Julius Caesar, and, given that castrati are in short supply today, considers contemporary casting options.
Joy H. Calico is an associate professor of musicology in the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, and in January 2013 she will become director of the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies. She is a scholar of opera and of Cold War cultural politics. She is the author of Brecht at the Opera (2008) and articles published in Musical Quarterly, Opera Quarterly, Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of Musicology, and New German Critique (forthcoming), as well as chapters in numerous edited collections. Her second book, entitled Schoenberg’s ‘A Survivor from Warsaw’ in Postwar Europe, is nearing completion.
126 Wilson Hall
Light is typically thought of as a medium for illumination, either natural, as in the sun, or man-made, as in a light bulb. However, light can also be a medium for transporting and manipulating information. For example, fiber-optic cables have enabled the transmission of information over phone lines and across the internet. This talk will focus on new, emerging technology that uses light to diagnose diseases or to carry information at ultrafast speeds between integrated circuits. This technology, which is being investigated at Vanderbilt, has the potential to lead to sensors capable of simultaneous detection of small quantities of different chemical and biological molecules for early disease detection and new types of computer architectures that operate with light waves in addition to or instead of electricity to enable faster and broader bandwidth computations.
Sharon M. Weiss is an associate professor of electrical engineering in Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering. Her research is primarily focused on the interaction of light with various nanostructured materials. She has more than 80 publications, one patent issued and five patents pending. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, an Army Research Office Young Investigator Program award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).