Roy Haggerty

Words from the Dean

April 2019

Dear colleagues,

Today is our inaugural Dam Proud Day, a day where we come together as a community to make donations to support what matters most to us at OSU. Philanthropy plays an essential role in advancing science for all at OSU and at public universities across the country. In September, I outlined my five top priorities for the year, one of which was development. I thought OSU’s Giving Day would be a fitting time to share some recent successes in this area.
Our annual fundraising goal from individual gifts is $4M. As of March, generous donors have given a more than $6M. This includes a $2.25M estate gift to support an endowed faculty position and a gift of $250K from Joan and Herman Suit to build a new, state-of-the-art Anatomy and Physiology laboratory complex in the renovated Cordley Hall. We also received a gift of $225K from the Murdock Charitable Trust, which along with other gifts, supported the purchase of a diffractometer, which uses X-rays and a detector to produce images of the molecular structure of crystals. Physicist Frank Stekel made a gift in honor of his late wife Shirley (‘58, '61), who was an OSU physics alumna and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The gift will support the renovation of a physics studio classroom.

Last year in FY18, friends and alumni gave $3.58M in gifts and pledges. These included an anonymous gift of $500K to support fellowships in physics and chemistry, an estate commitment from Thomas Cavaiani to support the first endowed faculty position in mathematics, and a gift of $150K to support undergraduate equity and diversity in the College of Science.

I want to thank our department heads, faculty and staff, all of you who make time to meet and steward our donors. It is such important work to develop strong relationships with our donors and help them know the impact their gift has made as well as help them understand possible opportunities for partnering with the College. We could not have achieved any of this success without the hard work, guidance and support of our colleagues at the OSU Foundation, Marlys Amundson and Tom McLennan as well as others. Thank you so much for all of your help.

I am deeply grateful to our generous donors who are impacting many lives and who are helping to transform the world through science with their gifts. Through philanthropy and your hard work, Oregon State Science is able to better prepare the next generation of leaders in science to address our most pressing problems and create a better world.

Thank you for all that you do.

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science

All the news that's fit to print.

Please submit news, honors and awards, discoveries, events, research funding, student news, alumni updates and more. Just use this handy ONLINE FORM by the 10th of each month.

Research Highlights

Read more of the most recent research happening on our iMPACT blog site.

Biochemist Adrian Gombart's research shows that the hop plant, used as a flavoring agent in beer, also produces a primary compound called xanthohumol that thwarts cancer cells, as well as two derivatives that have cancer-fighting effectiveness in liver and colon carcinomas.

Chemist Sandra Loesgen and her team have identified bacteria with promising antibiotic activity against known pathogens — even dangerous organisms, such as the microbe that causes MRSA infections — in the protective mucus that coats young fish. Some chemical mixtures from fish mucus also proved effective against the problematic yeast Candida albicans, and even colon cancer cells.

Research Funding

Ecologist Bruce Menge was awarded another installment of a $2M grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for PISCO (Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans).

Biochemist Ryan Mehl has received a $370K award from the National Institutes of Health for his project, "Development of an improved core technology for efficient genetic code expansion in biomedical research."

Physicist David Craig was awarded $212K by the American Physical Society for his project, "Changing the Culture: A Guide to Implementation of Effective Practices for Improvement, Assessment and Review of Undergraduate Physics Program."

Microbiologist Thomas Sharpton has won a $183K award from the National Institutes of Health for his project, "Interactions between Gut Microbiome Natural Products and Intestinal Helminths."

Microbiologist Maude David was awarded $140K by Second Genome for her project, "Development of a Commercial Platform for Discovery and Validation of Key Microbial Metabolites in CNS Disorders."

Marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco was awarded a $115K grant from the World Resources Institute for her project, "Research Services with the Sustainable Ocean Initiative's High-Level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy."

Microbiologist Kimberley Halsey received another installment on a $103K award from NASA for her project, "North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine ecosystems Study."

Physicist Heidi Schellman was awarded $96K by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC to support her research with the Fermi National Accelerator Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.

 Physicist Davide Lazzati was awarded a $70K grant from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for his project, "The afterglows of binary neutron star mergers: telling a jet from a balloon."

Mathematician Malgorzata Peszynska received a National Science Foundation grant for her project, "Improve STEM graduate student preparedness for workforce."

Research Proposal Support

You can find funding opportunities on ECOS. To access a suite of tools and resources available to faculty, visit the College of Science Proposal Support webpage.

Nominations Wanted

The Larry W. Martin & Joyce B. O'Neill Endowed Fellowship supports any graduate student in the College of Science whose research involves computational modeling. We are seeking nominations by May 15, 2019.

National Honors

In our College, 2019 is turning out to be a phenomenal year! We are thrilled to announced that these College of Science students have won highly prestigious national awards and fellowships:

Three science majors have won the Barry Goldwater Scholarship for 2019, the top undergraduate award in the country for sophomores and juniors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Juniors receive financial awards of up to $7,500 for tuition, mandatory fees, books, room and board in his/her senior year.

Biochemistry and molecular biology junior Isabella Karabinas conducts research in biochemist Alvaro Estevez's Lab. Junior Kendra Jackson, also a biochemistry and molecular biology major, is an undergraduate researcher in biochemist Michael Freitag's Lab. Junior physics major Ryan Tollefsen conducts research on characterization of novel materials in physicist Oksana Ostroverkhova's Lab. From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, Goldwater scholarships were awarded for the 2019-20 academic year to 496 students from across the United States.

This year, OSU had four Goldwater Scholarship nominees and all four juniors were named 2019 Goldwater Scholars. This is the first time in OSU history that all four of its allotted nominees have received this most prestigious national recognition for undergraduate students in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.

Four College of Science students have won the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF GRF) in 2019. Two Biochemistry and Biophysics seniors won the competitive fellowship: Jenna Beyer and Delaney Smith. Integrative biology Ph.D. students Zechariah Meunier and Kamron Kayhani were also chosen as NSF graduate research fellows. Kudos!

Integrative Biology Ph.D. student Anne Devan-Song won the American Association for University Women Fellowship! She studies complex systems at the human-wildlife interface.

Biochemistry and Biophysics alumna Malin Young ('92, '94) was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Young, who leads the science and technology strategy at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), was honored for her contributions to computational biology and her leadership in developing and executing research and development strategies and programs in national security and energy.

University Honors

Microbiologist Thomas Sharpton received the 2019 Emerging Scholar Award from the OSU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. The award recognizes tenure-track faculty for outstanding research or creative activity in his or her field of study. Congratulations!

College Honors

Bob Mason, professor of integrative biology, has been selected as a 2019 Honors College Eminent Professor. He has been named the 2019 Sandy and Elva Sanders Eminent Professor, which recognizes outstanding faculty at OSU who participate in Honors College programs and stimulate creative advancements in teaching in the college.

Chemist Sandra Loesgen wrote an impressive feature article on her research with her students and collaborators for The Conversation. In a path-breaking pharmaceutical breakthrough, the Loesgen Lab has found that a new generation of antibiotics can be developed from chemicals found in the mucus coating of fishes. More good news! This scientific discovery generated significant media coverage, including a feature in The Guardian.

In its first week, OSU's new diffractometer generated data for eight publishable articles in peer-reviewed science journals. Not only is the new instrument fast—what used to take two hours now takes eight minutes—it is also capable of analyzing smaller crystals, has fewer runtime errors and has two X-rays to choose from in order to optimize imaging for different crystals.

The new diffractometer was funded through the generosity of the Murdock Charitable Trust with matching philanthropic funds including the College of Science Renaissance Fund and other donor-supported funds from the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Engineering and Pharmacy.

Give to science on OSU's inaugural Dam Proud Day! On April 30, the OSU community is coming together for the university's 2019 Dam Proud Day for, a single exciting day to support science worth doing. We encourage everyone in our community, alumni, students, faculty and staff and others to support science with a gift – no gift is too small. We are grateful for the generosity of four donors who have stepped up to match and amplify your gift. Dean Roy Haggerty and his wife Amanda are offering a $6,000 matching gift for transformative domestic and global experiences, which will support student travel for professional experiences.

In addition to student travel, the College's Giving Day will support undergraduate research and scholarships for first-year students. Learn more about the student learning opportunities you can support to make an outstanding science education possible. MAKE A GIFT before midnight April 30!

Mark your calendars! Recently appointed OSU Distinguished Professors Mas Subramanian (Chemistry) and Virginia Weis (Integrative Biology) will each present lectures as a part of the 2019 Recognizing Excellence events on Monday, May 13 in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. Join us to support them by attending their talks and a reception held in their honor. 

1 p.m., Mas Subramanian, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, presents "The Surprising Science of Discovery: Stumbling Onto a New Colorful Materials World."
2 p.m., Reception
3 p.m., Virginia Weis, Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology, presents "In Sickness and In Health: Studying Coral Symbiosis in the Age of Climate Crisis"

Matt Andrews, Executive Associate Dean in the College of Science, has been appointed as the new Director of NSF EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) and NIH Institutional Development Award (IDeA) for the state of Nebraska beginning July 1, 2019. He will split his time equally between the administrative role and his research program on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

2018 Presidential Scholars Eli Nicholas (Mathematics) and Jordyn Hamilton (BioHealth Sciences) reflect on their first year at OSU. The university's most competitive, merit-based scholarship for in-state undergraduates, the Presidential Scholarship is awarded to the highest-caliber high school seniors in Oregon with a record of academic excellence (3.85 GPA or above plus impressive SAT or ACT scores) among other accomplishments. In 2018-19, 35 OSU students including seven in the College of Science received a Presidential Scholarship. In total, 755 high school seniors were considered for the award.

One of the College's pre-eminent science outreach events, Discovery Days took place on April 23 and 24 at LaSells Stewart Center. Nearly 1,500 students and their teachers from more than 20 neighboring schools participated in a wonderful interactive experience that allowed them to explore hands-on STEM exhibits and activities. Discovery Days hosted clubs from each of our majors and cross-campus friends like the newly formed Ocean's 11 from the Marine Studies Initiative. A shout out to Gabrielle James and dedicated student volunteers from biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry and biochemistry who worked extremely hard to make Discovery Days a huge success!

The annual Health Professions Fair on April 23 introduced students across campus to graduate education and careers in health care. Students interacted with admissions representatives from more than 50 health professions schools in Oregon and across the country at the fair. Programs as diverse as audiology, biomedical sciences, gerontology in addition to medicine, dentistry and pharmacy were represented at the fair.

Upcoming events

April 30
All day long online
Dam Proud Day: Become a champion of science and make a contribution to science worth doing and to science education. Donations will support research opportunities, scholarships for first-year students and student travel.

April 30 and May 1
Memorial Union Horizon Room
1 - 2 p.m., April 30, Faculty session
2 – 2:45 p.m., May 1, Staff session
Listening Sessions: All faculty, staff, and students are invited to meet with the Board of Trustees "to share their perspectives about the university's strengths and the challenges it faces over the next 5-10 years and recommend skills, qualities and attributes that OSU's next president should possess."  It would be very valuable to have a strong College of Science perspective at these.

May 4
Learning Innovation Center (LInC), room 128
9 - 10 a.m. – Student Art Exhibit and Brunch
10 - 11:30 a.m. – Student Talent Show
Spring Family Weekend: All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend this special event to welcome students, parents and families to a brunch, art exhibit of student work and a talent show featuring the many talents of science and Honors students. For the third-straight year, the College of Science is teaming up with the Honors College to host these family weekend events.

May 6
Milam Hall, room 026, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Here on this Bridge: The ISM Project: This is a full production comprised of five short monologues exploring the intersections of race, gender, orientation and nationality, with stories specifically from Pacific Northwest perspectives.

May 10
8 a.m. to noon, with full breakfast
Academic Integrity Symposium: Academic integrity and accountability are integral to Oregon State University's standing as an international public research university. I encourage you to attend the first Academic Integrity Symposium to learn about the common causes of and ways to prevent academic misconduct. The Graduate School will distribute registration information, the full conference schedule, and breakout descriptions soon.

May 13
Memorial Union Horizon Room, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Recognizing Excellence: Distinguished Professor Lectures
Attend lectures by 2019 OSU Distinguished Professors Mas Subramanian (Chemistry) and Virginia Weis (Integrative Biology).

May 17
LaSells Stewart Center, Construction & Engineering Hall
5-6 p.m. Lecture, preceded by a light reception
Yunker Lecture: Dr. Kennedy Reed, a theoretical atomic physicist for the Livermore National Laboratory will present the Physics Department's 38th annual Yunker Lecture focused on the growth of physics in Africa. Reed will present a talk, "Physics in Africa," where he will share his own experiences as a visiting scientist in African countries and the daunting challenges physicists in African universities face when conducting research and training students.

May 23
Memorial Union Lounge, 3 – 5 p.m.
Scholarship Dessert: All faculty and staff in the College are encouraged to attend our annual dessert to recognizes scholarship students and our generous donors.

June 6
Kelley Engineering Center, Room 1001, 4 – 6 p.m.
State of the College: Dean Roy Haggerty invites all faculty and staff in the College of Science for a state of the college event. He will share updates on the College's budget, research, enrollment, capital campaign planning and his vision for the upcoming academic year. 
A Q&A session and a light reception will follow the presentation.

Recent Events

April 25
Pre-eminent marine biologist Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, presented a talk, Great Barrier Reef:  What are its chances?", on the health and future of the Great Barrier Reef. The well-attended lecture was followed by a science panel discussion featuring Rebecca Vega-Thurber, associate professor of microbiology, and Virginia Weis, an OSU Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology.

April 22
Nobel Prize Lectures: The College of Science presented a series of three talks by science faculty on the 2018 Nobel Prize Awards in Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology/Medicine. The inspiring talks explored the science behind the discoveries and advancements.

April 19
The Department of Mathematics presented its 34th Annual Lonseth Lecture, featuring Professor Mai Gehrke from the Laboratoire Jean Alexandre Dieudonné at the Université Côte d'Azur in Nice, France. 

April 18
Chemistry Professor May Nyman delivered the 2019 F.A. Gilfillan Memorial Lecture, "Scientific Discoveries from the Alphabet Soup of Nuclear Waste," to approximately 120 attendees in the Memorial Union, Horizon Room.

April 13
The College supported the annual Hatfield Marine Science Day where prospective students and parents got a behind-the-scenes experience of the research, education and outreach in marine sciences that makes this marine laboratory extremely unique in the Pacific Northwest. They were also able to meet scientists and learn about marine science while perusing biology and zoology marketing materials. This year's theme was marine science tools and technology.

March 25-28
The College supported the 25th International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis at OSU. The event was a great success thanks to the collective support of the OSU community. In addition to support from the College of Science, the symposium received funding from the Department of Chemistry, the Research Office, the Provost's Office, the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, and the BioEngineering Program. Chemist Vince Remcho and Karen Waldron served as the conference chairs. They welcomed 145 registrants and supported five students with scholarships.