Featured Research 2012. Innovative Thinking. Breakthrough Research. Real-World Solutions.

UC Riverside embodies the historic and contemporary promise of the Golden State by serving as an incubator of new knowledge and a catalyst for breakthroughs in many of today’s most relevant fields. As a leader, partner, source of innovation, and developer of solutions, we share that promise with our community, our region, our nation and the world.

HEALTH

Because babies grow well on formula, the benefits of breast-feeding are not immediately apparent. Long-term studies are beginning to show a higher incidence of disease—including asthma and diabetes—among patients who were fed formula as infants. However, the cellular and biological mechanisms are not yet well understood. By shedding light on how immune systems function, Dr. Walker contributes new knowledge in the fight to improve human health.
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Ameae Walker Ameae Walker
Chair, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences
Improving Immunity
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As a health expert and social psychologist, Prof. Friedman developed the most extensive study of long life ever conducted. Based on data collected from 1,500 Americans over eight decades, his work reveals some surprising results. Personality traits such as conscientiousness and persistence predict life expectancy at least as well as biological factors like cholesterol and blood pressure.
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Howard Friedman Howard Friedman
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Longevity
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Years of environmental mismanagement have led to the contamination of Guatemala’s scenic Lake Atitlan, filling its once-blue waters with a toxic, foul-odored bacterial sludge. Efforts to educate the public about the dangers have proven largely ineffective. By studying the role of language at the intersection of science, government and medicine, anthropologist T.S. Harvey identifies opportunities for researchers, medical experts, elected officials and policy makers to de-politicize the use of scientific data and design more effective communications strategies.
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T.S. Harvey T.S. Harvey
Chair, Linguistics Program
Global Health
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Bioengineers turn science into technologies that improve our quality of life in innumerable ways. Because a living organism is a complex interactive matrix of chemistry, physics, biology and mechanics, bioengineers (sometimes called biomedical engineers) specialize in using scientific principles from these and other diverse fields to solve problems in health care and medicine.
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Jerome Schultz Jerome Schultz
Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering
Bioengineering
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David Lo David Lo
Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Needle-free Drug Delivery
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Jiayu Liao Jiayu Liao
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Drug Discovery/ Diabetes
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Devin Binder Devin Binder
Assistant Research Scientist
Biomedical Sciences
Traumatic Brain Injury
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SUSTAINABILITY

By studying and emulating the structures and strategies that sea creatures such as urchins, corals and abalone use to create their shapes and forms, Prof. Kisailus and his team nanoengineer new materials with exceptional properties of strength and energy storage. He creates flexible, light-weight and nearly indestructible materials that can be used for body armor, aircraft and vehicles.
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David Kisailus David Kisailus
Winston Chung Professor of Energy Innovation
Nanofabrication
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Predicting the speed, scale and various impacts of climate change is a tricky business with serious implications for food production, water supplies and land-use management. In his lab and field work, Prof. Santiago studies the ecological strategies of drought-resistant native shrubs in heat-stressed Southern California. He identifies the remarkable ways they influence and respond to changes in light, water and nutrients, providing data crucial to our understanding of future climate change impacts.
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Louis Santiago Louis Santiago
Assistant Professor of Physiological Ecology
Climate Change
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Each year tiny, destructive microbes cause hundreds of billions of dollars of losses to crops, including those that we grow for food, fiber, and fuel. Today, the same deadly organism that caused the Irish Famine in the mid-1800s remains a major threat to commercial potato and tomato production around the world. Prof. Judelson studies the genetic structure of this pathogen—known as Phytophthora infestan—to find out how it forms its spores, how it infects the plant and how it acquires nutrients.
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Howard Judelson Howard Judelson
Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Agriculture
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The unique climate and geography of California provides diverse ecosytems which are perfect for the establishment of a diverse variety of destructive pests that threaten agricultural and other interests. Leading researchers with UCR’s Center for Invasive Species Research determine how pests enter California, where invading populations came from and how to combat and contain them.
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Mark Hoddle Mark Hoddle
Director, Center for Invasive Species Research
Red Palm Weevil
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Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell
Director, Lindcove Research & Extension Center
Citrus Pest Management
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Tim Paine Tim Paine
Professor of Entomology
Ash Whitefly
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Tom PerringTom Perring
Professor of Entomology
Date Palm Industry
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POLICY

Today the average American is exposed to more than 80,000 toxic industrial compounds from the use of everyday products. In his most recent book, “Legally Poisoned,” Prof. Cranor advocates for significant, immediate changes in U.S. regulatory and public health laws so that testing of chemicals and nanoengineered materials is required before they can be used in the manufacturing and sale of products.
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Carl Cranor Carl Cranor
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
Legal Reforms
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Each year approximately 1.5 million children around the world die from illness caused by contaminated drinking water. By studying how these microorganisms behave and by helping to develop new sensors that can detect sources of contamination in ground water, Prof. Yates helps government agencies, urban planners and policy makers to more effectively monitor, treat and deliver safe supplies of drinking water.
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Marylynn Yates Marylynn Yates
Dean, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Water Policy
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The various links between alcohol consumption and violence are well established. However efforts aimed at reducing alcohol use among youths and gangs through education and other behavior modification has met with mixed results. Parker’s work has empowered communities to reduce access to and limit sales of alcohol leading to lower crime rates and improved public safety.
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Robert Nash Parker Robert Nash Parker
Co-Director, Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies
Crime Prevention
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UCR’s Graduate School of Education (GSOE) contributes to regional and national policy-making by launching innovative collaborations like C-4, a consortium of California community colleges and the University of California, designed to enhance and accelerate the development and matriculation of teachers, educational leaders. GSOE is also home to SEARCH (Support, Education, Advocacy, Resources, Community, Hope), a center which provides resources for policymakers and families dealing with autism-related disorders, particularly lower income and Latino-speaking populations. GSOE faculty are also improving literacy, closing the achievement gap among Latino-speaking learners, and partnering with K–12 teachers and specialists to develop more effective interventions for at-risk students.
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John Levin John Levin
Director, California Community College Collaborative
Community College Collaborative
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Jan Blacher Jan Blacher
Director, SEARCH
Autism/Special Education Policy
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TECHNOLOGY

For more than a century, generations of astronomers like Prof. Canalizo have travelled to the hills above San Jose, California and searched the stars from the UC-owned Lick Observatory. Her own research on black holes requires the use of highly advanced telescopes like those housed at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii (also co-managed by UC). Such sensitive instruments enable her to measure infrared data that pinpoint the location of black holes and assess their effects on nearby stars, gas and dust.
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Gabriela Canalizo Gabriela Canalizo
Associate Professor of Astrophysics
Astronomy
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Cloud storage, mobile computing, super powerful processing and other revolutionary changes in technology leave us awash in massive seas of data. In order to thoughtfully analyze this growing glut of information, researchers are racing to develop innovative data-mining tools. By designing sophisticated algorithms that identify patterns in widely diverse datasets, Prof. Keough creates unique tools that detect specific shapes and characteristics.
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Eamonn Keogh Eamonn Keogh
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
Data Mining
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At UCR, one of the most diverse public research universities in the nation, Prof. Wessler engages select groups of first year students in a hands-on, lab-intensive program where they make use of cutting-edge technology to conduct genomics research. Instead of passively sitting through abstract, introductory science lectures, Wessler’s students design experiments, parse data, debate results, master concepts and nurture their own passion for discovery.
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Susan Wessler Susan Wessler
Distinguished Professor of Genetics
High-Tech Teaching
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CNSE researchers collaborate across disciplines to predict, modify and customize the chemical and material properties of newly fabricated materials for a variety of industrial, medical and commercial applications and devices.
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Robert Haddon Robert Haddon
Dist. Prof. of Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Nanotech
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Jeanie Lau Jeanie Lau
Assoc. Prof. of Physics
Graphene
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Alexander Balandin Alexander Balandin
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Graphene
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From the discovery of powerful new drugs and diagnostic tools to the development of novel biocompatible materials that will revolutionize 21st century medicine, UCR researchers and graduates collaborate with pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and other organizations to put the power of groundbreaking ideas to work in the real world. UCR nanoengineers produce many new types of materials with unique applications, leading to such innovations as reusable, low-power electronic papers and sources of clean, hydrogen-based fuels.
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Nosang Myung Nosang Myung
Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
TB Testing
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Ashok Mulchandani Ashok Mulchandani
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Environmental Toxins
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Yadong Yin Yadong Yin
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Artificial Atoms
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