Overcoming crime in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known around the world for its rainforests, coffee and beaches. But despite Costa Rica's reputation for safety and its recent economic growth, criminals use its strategic location for smuggling activities.
A team of U.S. forensic science experts, led by two WVU professors — Tatiana Trejos and Luis Arroyo — aim to fix that.
Leading the ‘Charge’
While mass spectrometers require materials to be ionized, or gain an electrical charge, before they can be examined, Dr. Li and his research group have created an instrument that goes straight to the source. The vibrating sharp-edge spray ionization device collects and ionizes samples on the spot.
The High Stakes of Family Dynamics
True helicopter parents talk a good game in making their actions all about their children, but according to Dr. Kristen Moilanen, what they’re doing is reaping — and heaping — the rewards for themselves.
Resurrecting a forest giant
Dr. Kasson didn’t come to WVU to work on the American chestnut’s resurrection. But he soon realized the importance of the legacy left behind by his predecessor, William MacDonald, who was nationally renowned for his three decades of work preserving the American chestnut tree.
Rockin' on Mars
When samples from the Mars 2020 expedition eventually make their way to Earth, the scientists of tomorrow will have a Mountaineer to thank. Dr. Benison is one of 10 scientists selected as a Return Sample Selection Participating Scientist for NASA’s Mars 2020 expedition.
Breaking New Ground in COVID-19 Immunotherapy
WVU Medicine pediatric and adult allergist and immunologist Brian Peppers, DO, PhD, has received Investigational New Drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the experimental treatment of COVID-19 using convalescent donor plasma.
It’s the first FDA approved Investigational New Drug trial for COVID-19 immunotherapy to include pediatric patients.
How’s the weather up there?
With the aid of a $273,734-grant from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Mehta and a WVU graduate student will research more accurate ways to predict space weather via artificial intelligence and machine-learning.
Breaking the Code
Only 1.8 percent of West Virginia public school students are identified as “gifted,” well below the national average of 6 percent, according to the National Association for Gifted Children. But Dr. Carla Brigandi believes that West Virginia’s number is not representative of the talent in our local communities.
Supported by a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Dr. Campbell and WVU alumna Joanna Burt-Kinderman are working to expand a mathematics education program throughout five West Virginia counties.
Enter the Exosome
One way cells send each other messages is through exosomes — tiny, spherical “packages” of information they emit.
Dr. Klinke is deciphering the contents of exosomes that cancer cells release. Studying the information exosomes contain and how they influence other cells may suggest new targets for cancer immunotherapy.
Nature vs. Nurture
Through research focused on four ecosystems in Arizona, Dr. Morrissey uncovered how microorganisms respond to their surroundings.
“I think it is important for people to be aware that the soil under their feet is alive and is playing a really important role in determining the health of our ecosystems. Microbes in the soil respond to all the different ways humans are changing the environment.”
Warding Off Weedy Invaders
To the casual observer, Japanese stiltgrass appears as a harmless, leafy green plant that blends into the majestic scenery of your weekend hike through the woods.
Plant biologists like Dr. Barrett know better. He and his colleagues will receive $2 million from the National Science Foundation to understand how plants undergo rapid evolution to become invasive and provide insights into the management and prevention of invasive species.
Fighting the opioid crisis
Drawing on her 20 years as an addiction counselor, Professor Tack coordinates WVU’s new minor in addiction studies — one of the University's many efforts to combat the region's opioid crisis.
Dr. Herron and his collaborators at the University of Illinois and Florida International University were awarded a $1.1 million Minerva Research Initiative award to better predict how hostile powers might interfere with their neighbors.
Through Trees and Ice
The National Science Foundation awarded a three-year, $219,263-grant to Dr. Hessl to reconstruct a 2,000-year history of a westerly wind belt circling Antarctica.
To achieve that, she and her team will break down data from two of nature’s simple wonders: trees and ice.
Understanding a Forest's Response to Climate Change
The world’s forests are on a fast food diet of carbon dioxide, which is currently causing them to grow faster.
But Dr. McNeil, along with an international team of scientists, finds evidence suggesting that forest growth may soon peak as the trees deplete nitrogen in the soil over longer growing seasons.
An Unimaginable Cost
Having studied the economic impact of the opioid epidemic, Dr. Speaker says the presence — and easy accessibility — of the synthetic drugs fentanyl and carfentanil have had devastating economic effects on West Virginia and other states.
New Readings of Ugolino’s Treatise
Dr. MacCarthy is one of just 30 American artists and scholars to earn the highly competitive Rome Prize, which he’ll use to support his work on the encyclopedic treatise on music written by Ugolino of Orvieto, a fifteenth-century composer, music theorist and archpriest of the Cathedral of Ferrara.
What if we didn’t have towering power lines above us and instead the electricity flowed under our feet?
Dr. Hu and his colleague Debangsu Bhattacharyya have figured out exactly how to make this reality. They've created a liquid form of electricity that can be transported from coast to coast using existing infrastructure.
A dermatologist may distinguish a mole from a tumor based on a glance. But medical students don’t have enough experience to make such intuitive diagnoses. Dr. Kolodney has developed a smartphone app, called Skinder, to cultivate that intuition in medical students sooner.
Transformation through technology
MIT Technology Review Spanish edition named Dr. Savage a 2018 Innovator Under 35 in Latin America.
One of only nine women recognized, Savage was selected in the Pioneers category for her work using social media bots to mobilize people to collaborate in activities of positive impact.
The Psychology of Comfort TV
Can't stop binge watching "Seinfeld" and other reruns during the coronavirus pandemic? One WVU media psychology expert shares some insights. Dr. Cohen explains why we always turn to the comfort of familiar TV: "There’s a lot of comfort in knowing when something’s going to happen," she says. "You don’t have to exert a lot of cognitive energy, so it doesn’t feel taxing."