NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Recognition & Honors

Vaughn Climenhaga (Mathematics) has been awarded a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics for the 2022-2023 academic year. Climenhaga will take a sabbatical research leave to focus on his studies of chaotic behavior in geometric systems, with the goal of finding a new mechanism for chaos in positive curvature. He also plans to work on a book project. Read More

Postdoctoral researcher Jan Dudenhoeffer, graduate student Noah Luecke and Kerri Crawford (Biology & Biochemistry) published research findings in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Their study examined the effect of precipitation on the plant-soil interactions of Texas coastal prairie plants. The research involved 2,300 plants grown in three different water conditions—low watering, to mimic drier conditions, average watering and high watering. Their results could help ecologists and agricultural leaders predict how future plant environments will look under different climatic conditions, and specifically, how changing climates could influence Texas grasslands. Read More

Ryan Nguyen (NSM Research Stores) received a Cougar Cudos award from UH Staff Council. These awards recognize staff for exceptional service to the University of Houston.

Weiyi Peng and Chunyu Xu (Biology & Biochemistry, CNRCS) published their findings in the journal Science Advances, along with researchers from Rice University, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and CellTrans Inc. The collaborative research discovered a new method to treat cancer in mice through “drug factories” implanted next to organs. The drug factories are small spherical capsules that release cytokines, a type of protein, to fight cancerous tumors. Peng and Xu’s role was to help Rice researchers figure out how the capsules reshape the environment surrounding the tumor to achieve superior tumor-fighting immune responses in preclinical cancer models. Read More

Panruo Wu (Computer Science) received a prestigious, five-year, $528,733 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. His work will focus on the development of algorithms and open-source software that use high-level computer processors. Through his CAREER award, Wu aims to acquire tensor processing units to carry out his work. These special units accelerate matrix operations. Wu seeks to bring the capability of the processing units to a broader set of applications, including scientific computing and data driven computing. Read More

Shaun Zhang, Xinping Fu and Lihua Tao (Biology & Biochemistry, CNRCS) developed a new way to detect very rare and highly heterogeneous circulating tumor cells with high specificity and sensitivity. The UniPro device was reported in the journal Molecular Therapy. UH’s Office of Technology Transfer & Innovation is working with industry partners to establish the best plan to commercialize the technology. Read More