June / July 2017
Hahn will lead Humanities and Arts,
joins DT Executive Committee
Peter Hahn, dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, has been named lead dean of the Humanities and the Arts Discovery Theme. He assumes that position from Arts and Sciences Vice Dean Susan Williams who, along with former Vice Provost Michael Boehm, has worked to guide planning since the theme's inception in 2015. Williams will continue to support H&A through September 2017. In his new role, Hahn becomes part of the DT Executive Committee led by Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron. He also will oversee the evolution of the Humanities and the Arts theme and will continue to lead its pilot project program, which is providing two-year grants to 11 clusters of faculty and students working on interdisciplinary topics. With guidance from colleagues, Hahn will develop and implement a plan for the theme’s focus area on the Human Dimensions of Global Challenges, which includes a cluster hire initiative in the area of Global Mobility and Migration. Up to five faculty members over the next two years will be appointed as part of this cluster hire. A second focus area is likely to be identified within two to three years. Read more.
Public universities urged to seek food security solutions 
Ohio State is joining other public universities and their partners to solve food-security challenges that pose humanitarian, environmental and national security risks. The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities convened the Challenge of Change Commission with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron and Casey Hoy, co-lead of the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation, served as members. In its report, released in mid-May, the commission called on APLU members in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to reduce barriers to interdisciplinary research, advocate for funding of anti-hunger initiatives, and to undertake collaborations with public and private entities in agriculture, public health, nutrition, health care and beyond. Read more.
Joint meeting combines metabolomics, mass spec
More than 240 people from 40 organizations took part in the Inaugural Conference on Food and Nutritional Metabolomics and the 14th Annual Ohio Mass Spectrometry Symposium, a joint two-day meeting in mid-May at the Ohio Union. Gary Patti of Washington University and Dr. Robert Gerszten of Harvard were keynote speakers. Ohio State researchers Rafael Bruschweiler, Ewy Mathé and Devin Peterson also addressed the conference. Pictured above: Mengxuan Jia, a graduate research associate in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, explains her research on gas-phase dissociation products of protein dimers during a poster session. View conference program 
Foods for Health offers 50% support for three postdocs
The Foods for Health program is offering 50 percent support for up to three postdoctoral fellows for one year beginning in August. Recipients will each work on a collaborative project that uses metabolomics/foodomics and preferably one or more other "omic" technologies: genomics, epigenomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, metatranscriptomics. The project should address a relevant problem in the food-nutrition-health axis and represent collaboration between two or more faculty affiliates in the FFH initiative. See the RFP for details.
Mumbai conference looks at India’s emerging waste crisis
Through the efforts of Ohio State and the U.S. Consulate General, more than 400 professionals from the private and public sectors met in Mumbai to consider innovative possibilities to manage waste in India – a problem that poses profound environmental and economic ramifications for the country. “India faces daunting challenges due to escalating municipal and industrial waste driven by urbanization, population increase, and economic growth,” said Joseph Fiksel, executive director of the Sustainable and Resilient Economy program. A key goal of the conference, held April 17-18, was to initiate collaborative networks among individuals and organizations in the United States, India and South Asia to explore ways to build on conventional and new waste management concepts. The consulate has established a seed capital fund to invest in promising initiatives, such as innovative waste reduction or avoidance technologies and practices. Ohio State will award and monitor the grants over the next year. Read more.
4-H Center forum to focus on expanding circular economy
The Sustainable and Resilient Economy program is seeking poster submissions or videos that illustrate innovative research being carried out by affiliated faculty and students, including Discovery Theme hires and seed grant recipients. The material will be included in the annual summer conference of the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development on July 18-19 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on the Ohio State campus. SRE is co-hosting the event, which will focus on expanding the circular economy. Plenary sessions will explore topics such as Smart and Resilient Cities, Human and Natural Systems in a Circular Economy, Cyclical and Resilient Supply Networks, and Digital Platforms for Co-Creation of Value. All participants will be involved in a series of breakout discussions on these topics. The Ohio State/SRE speakers and discussion leaders include Elena Irwin, Bhavik Bakshi, Kate Bartter, and Joseph Fiksel. To gain free registration and reserve a space for your SRE-related poster or video, please contact Melissa Amos at SRE will provide the poster template and can create and mount your poster based on Powerpoint slides or other visual materials that you supply. See the full agenda.
TDA institute moves Ohio closer to being data science hub
The Translational Data Analytics program, a cornerstone of the Discovery Themes initiative since its creation in 2014, was recently granted approval to establish a university-level institute to help Ohio become a global hub for the development, application and study of translational data analytics solutions. TDAI’s focus will be supporting faculty research, education, and industry and community partnerships. The institute is featured in the latest Ohio State Alumni magazine. The series of stories highlights six faculty affiliates, explores TDAI’s academic programming work, and quotes two additional affiliates about data-related privacy and governance issues. Read more.
Institute creating master's in translational data analytics
The TDA institute is creating a new professional science master’s degree in translational data analytics and gathering input from faculty and industry partners as part of curriculum development. The new degree is an outcome of an internal scan of academic programming related to data science and analytics that was conducted by TDAI faculty in residence Dorinda Gallant and Joyce Wang, and Raghu Machiraju before becoming TDAI’s interim executive director. Roundtable discussions with Ohio State faculty and industry partners started in April and will run through the summer, with the PSM degree expected to launch in 2018.
Professor DK Panda recognized as a “rock star”
TDAI affiliate and computer science and engineering professor DK Panda is officially a rock star, according to insideHPC. The blog features Panda in its “Rock Stars of HPC” series, which highlights people impacting society through their work in high-performance computing. Watch Panda’s “Rock Star” video and read the full interview.
TDAI co-hosts exchange program and NSF workshop
TDAI has engaged with two new partners to advance translational data analytics as a scientific approach. In May, Interim Executive Director Raghu Machiraju presented at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., on TDAI’s new faculty exchange program with Nagoya University. And in June, TDAI will co-host the NSF’s first workshop on translational data analytics with the University of Chicago, highlighting the importance of translational data applications.
Research that's distilled, not dumbed down
It's the academic equivalent of the elevator pitch: 180 seconds to simply and cleverly explain complex research that took months, perhaps years, to conduct. A group of graduate students got a taste of just how hard that can be during the Three Minute Thesis competition sponsored by the Institute for Materials Research. The event, new to Materials Week this year, challenged students to describe their work to a general audience in less than three minutes using no additional tools other than a PowerPoint slide. A four-judge panel awarded first place to Matthew Souva, far right, a PhD student in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Other receiving recognition were, from left, Silvia Duarte-Sanmiguel, biomedical engineering, who won the People's Choice award; and Xinpeng Du, materials science and engineering, and Xianjie (Tony) Ren, food, agricultural and biological engineering, who tied for second place. Read more.
Campus discussion with DARPA yields two white papers
Two faculty members will be submitting white papers to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a result of a campus-wide discussion in early June with the director of the agency’s Biological Technologies Office. The Infectious Diseases program, led jointly by Mike Oglesbee and Cathie Smith, identified DARPA as a target sponsor after an assessment revealed that the goals of the Biological Technologies Office aligned with Ohio State’s strengths. BTO’s research portfolio includes issues related to the potential impact of infectious diseases on national security. The white papers to be submitted examine programmable wound care, by Shaurya Prakash, an associate professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering; and biomimetic nanotechnology for gene delivery, by Yizhou Dong, an assistant professor in pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry.
TED-style training expanded to graduate students
Building on its efforts to coach faculty in Ted-style talks, the Infectious Diseases program is supporting the training of an additional six doctoral students in partnership with the TEDx-OSU student organization. The six, all with expertise in microbiology or infectious disease, will train for approximately 10 hours before taking part in a public presentation at 1 p.m. on July 20 in the Biomedical Research Tower. Previously, the Infectious Diseases program trained two groups of faculty members, 19 in all, under the guidance of Ruth Milligan, the former curator of TEDx-Columbus. “Ted-trained” faculty and students are encouraged to take part in the Discovery Talks program, which serves the dual purpose of educating the community about infectious diseases and increasing awareness of Ohio State research.
High-schoolers explore neuroscience in summer camp
Ohio State recently held its second annual Explorations in Neuroscience summer camp in June for high school students. Featuring talks and activities led by Chronic Brain Injury faculty Vibhor Krishna and affiliates Ali Rezai, Courtney DeVries, and Zachary Weil, the weeklong camp immersed rising juniors and seniors in scientific techniques and clinical therapeutics. Courtesy of the Department of Neuroscience, campers got an up-close look at deep brain stimulation surgery, neurotechnology and virtual reality, animal models of behavior, and cell biology.  Campers and their parents also learned about Ohio State’s new neuroscience undergraduate major, which prepares more than 100 students for graduate and professional neuroscience careers. 
Panels look at new ways to use art to treat brain injuries
Chronic Brain Injury led two panel events in April and May to discuss the role of the arts in rehabilitating brain injuries. Partnering with Ohio State’s Neurological Institute and The Humanities & the Arts Discovery Theme, CBI brought together faculty and staff to develop and promote new services and research. Combining the neuroscience and arts communities has produced programs such as Art on the Brain at the Wexner Center for the Arts and is the basis for cross-disciplinary research proposed by Discovery Themes faculty Yune Lee and Eugenia Costa-Giomi to examine the role of music in treating aphasia, a communication disorder in pediatric traumatic brain injury survivors.
Smith Lab garden: Productive land on main campus
InFACT has partnered with the Sustainable Growing Club at Ohio State (GrOSU), Knowlton School of Architecture, the Department of Anthropology, and Ohio State landscape services to create the Smith Lab Garden Project. Consisting of two 20-foot by 20-foot plots on the 18th Avenue side of the building, the garden contains crops that serve as food and pollinators and are aesthetically enriching. Growing organic and non-GMO varieties of corn, as well as lesser-known grains like millet and amaranth, will allow the GrOSU students to make an educational statement about the state of modern agriculture. Planted in mid-May, the garden will be in bloom just as students return to campus in fall. Read more.
More on Randy Moses' role in Discovery Themes
In a recent email to the Discovery Themes team, Provost Bruce McPheron and Senior Vice President for Research Caroline Whitacre outlined the role that Randy Moses will play as the point person for the initiative. Recently named senior associate vice president for research, Moses will help set the strategic course for the Discovery Themes, assess their needs and identify resources, review performance, and update and advise the DT executive team. He will provide operational advice and oversight, and will work closely with Vice Provost Kay Wolf and Assistant Provost Brad Harris to support recruitment and retention. He will jointly lead the DT assessment process with Vice Provost Ryan Schmiesing, and will guide the university's development of sustainable oversight, management and operations for the Discovery Themes.

Ohio State is a founding university partner with The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. The Conversation develops articles two ways: by soliciting specific subject-matter experts through its newsletter, and by encouraging academics to pitch their ideas directly to the editors. Once an idea is accepted, The Conversation works with faculty to produce the story, typically 800 to 1,000 words. Ohio State professors have seen their work republished in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, Newsweek and other major outlets.
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