Tag Archives: UC Riverside

UCR Medical School Achieves Second Step In Accreditation Process

(This article contains excerpts from the article written Kathy Barton and published in UCR Today on June 26, 2015.)

UCR’s School of Medicine Education Building. Photo Credit: Ross French, UCR Today

The School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for educational programs leading to the M.D. degree in the U.S. and Canada.

Provisional accreditation is the second of three steps that all new M.D.-granting medical schools must complete, culminating in full accreditation. The UCR medical school was granted preliminary accreditation by the LCME in October 2012, which permitted it to recruit and enroll its first class of 50 students in August 2013. This coming August, the UCR medical school will enroll its third class of medical students.

“This is tremendous news, not only for the School of Medicine and UCR, but for the entire Inland Southern California community which is served by this medical school,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “It is a credit to hard work of both the leadership of the School and the community that we have reached this milestone.”

“Achieving provisional accreditation is a major objective for the UCR School of Medicine,” said G. Richard Olds, UCR vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school. “Meeting the rigorous educational and infrastructure standards of the LCME demonstrates that this medical school has built a strong foundation for expanding and diversifying the physician workforce in Inland Southern California and improving the health of people living here.”

A survey team appointed by the LCME conducted a site visit of the UCR medical school in February, and the school was notified of the LCME decision this month.

The UCR School of Medicine, one of more than 15 new medical schools established in the U.S. over the last decade, is the sixth medical school in the University of California system. Establishment of the UCR School of Medicine was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in July 2008 and Olds, the founding dean, was appointed in February 2010.

The foundation of the UCR School of Medicine is the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which for more than 30 years has partnered with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to train physicians. The UCR medical school maintains the tradition of the former two-year program at UCR, with about half of the seats each year designated for UCR undergraduate degree holders through the Thomas Haider Program at the UCR School of Medicine.

“Achieving this second important step in the accreditation process is a testament to the dedication of the faculty and staff of the medical school in creating an optimal learning environment for our medical students,” said Paul Lyons, the school’s senior associate dean for education. LCME evaluation of the medical school for full accreditation status will be expected in 2017, the same year the UCR medical school will graduate its first class of medical students.

The medical school also offers a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, a long-standing graduate degree program at UCR.  The school additionally operates five residency training programs in the medical specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery and psychiatry, and partners with Loma Linda University in a primary care pediatrics residency training program.

Accreditation is one of the top priorities when students are choosing a school to attend. UCR School of Medicine provisional accreditation makes not only the school of location of choice for students, but the entire city.

UC Riverside Has Identified A Safe Repellent That Protects Fruit

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Iqbal Pittalwala and published in The Press Enterprise on June 22, 2015.)

Spotted wing Drosophila on ripe blueberries. Photo Credit: Ray Lab, UC Riverside
Spotted wing Drosophila on ripe blueberries. Photo Credit: Ray Lab, UC Riverside

Insects destroy a very large fraction of the global agricultural output – nearly 40 percent.  The spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), for example, feeds on ripening fruits.  A nuisance especially in Northern California and Europe, it lays its eggs inside ripe berries, and, when its larvae emerge there, the fruit is destroyed.  As a result, each year D. suzukii causes hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of agricultural damage worldwide.

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have now identified a safe repellent that protects fruits from D. suzukii:  Butyl anthranilate (BA), a pleasant-smelling chemical compound produced naturally in fruits in small amounts.  In their lab experiments, the scientists found BA warded off D. suzukii from blueberries coated with it.  The finding, when extrapolated to other agricultural pests, could provide a strategy for controlling them and increasing the productivity of crops and fruit.

Study results appear June 22 in Scientific Reports, an online and open-access Nature publication.

Christine Krause Pham (left) and Anandasankar Ray use ripe blueberries to test in the lab the effect of butyl anthranilate on the spotted wing Drosophila. Photo Credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside
Christine Krause Pham (left) and Anandasankar Ray use ripe blueberries to test in the lab the effect of butyl anthranilate on the spotted wing Drosophila. Photo Credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside

“Toxic insecticides are often risky to use directly on fruits – especially when they are close to being harvested,” said Anandasankar Ray, an associate professor of entomology and the director of the Center for Disease Vector Research at UC Riverside, whose lab performed the research project.  “A safe and affordable repellent such as BA could provide protection and reduce use of toxic chemicals.”

“The natural repellents discovered by Dr. Ray are particularly promising for supporting multiple possible applications,” said Michael Pazzani, the vice chancellor for research and economic development.  “The safe and inexpensive compounds are not only effective for the protection of fruit and agricultural produce from pests, but also from biting insects that transmit disease to us and livestock.”

This discovery is an outstanding representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. The students and staff at UCR cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To read the full article, click here.

Mantis Shrimp Inspires New Body Armor Design At UCR And Purdue

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on June 17, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carlos Puma, UCR Today
Photo Credit: Carlos Puma, UCR Today

The mantis shrimp is able to repeatedly pummel the shells of prey using a hammer-like appendage that can withstand rapid-fire blows by neutralizing certain frequencies of “shear waves,” according to a new research paper by University of California, Riverside and Purdue University engineers.

The club is made of a composite material containing fibers of chitin, the same substance found in many marine crustacean shells and insect exoskeletons but arranged in a helicoidal structure that resembles a spiral staircase.

This spiral architecture, the new research shows, is naturally designed to survive the repeated high-velocity blows by filtering out certain frequencies of waves, called shear waves, which are particularly damaging.

The findings could allow researchers to use similar filtering principles for the development of new types of composite materials for applications including aerospace and automotive frames, body armor and athletic gear, including football helmets.

“This is a novel concept,” said David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. “It implies that we can make composite materials able to filter certain stress waves that would otherwise damage the material.”

The “dactyl club” can reach an acceleration of 10,000 Gs, unleashing a barrage of impacts with the speed of a .22 caliber bullet.

“The smasher mantis shrimp will hit many times per day. It is amazing,” said Pablo Zavattieri, an associate professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and a University Faculty Scholar at Purdue University.

The researchers modeled the structure with the same mathematical equations used to study materials in solid-state physics and photonics, showing the structure possesses “bandgaps” that filter out the damaging effects of shear waves traveling at the speed of sound.

Findings were detailed in a research paper published online in the journal Acta Biomaterialia. The paper will appear in a future print issue of the journal.

The paper’s lead author was Purdue doctoral student Nicolás Guarín-Zapata and it was co-authored by Juan Gomez, a researcher from the Civil Engineering Department, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia; doctoral student Nick Yaraghi from UC Riverside; Kisailus; and Zavattieri.

The research, which is ongoing and also will include efforts to create synthetic materials with filtering properties, has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

This research is an outstanding representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. The students and staff at UCR cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

UC Riverside Accepted As Yellow Ribbon Campus

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on May 28, 2015.)

UCR students and veterans join Chancellor Kim Wilcox as he signs the Yellow Ribbon agreements. Photo Credit: UCR Today
UCR students and veterans join Chancellor Kim Wilcox as he signs the Yellow Ribbon agreements. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside has been accepted as a Yellow Ribbon institution by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is designed to help students avoid up to 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with educational programs.

How does it work? The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays 100 percent of in-state tuition and fees for fully-eligible veterans attending public colleges and universities. But, non-resident supplemental tuition is not covered. Veterans and their families who have residency in other states are then forced to pay those fees out of their own pocket, at least until they have established residency.

Chryssa Jones, the veteran’s services coordinator at UCR says military families tend to be more transient than others, and many veterans have found themselves excluded by residency policies.

Last fall Congress attempted to fix this issue by passing Public Law 113-146: The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 explained Jones. The law essentially required public institutions to allow all eligible veterans to attend academic institutions at in-state rates. But, still she said, some students were excluded by the eligibility rules under this law, particularly the children of active-duty military service members who are stationed outside of California.

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Chancellor Kim Wilcox jokes with UCR veteran students as he signs the Yellow Ribbon paperwork. Photo Credit: UCR Today

UCR decided to fill in the gap for these students by signing up to participate in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a supplement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Charles Kim, a veteran and senior at UCR said this is a monumental step forward for veterans and active duty service members.

“This program benefits those who serve but cannot claim California Residency due to their service. California has many major military installations and draws service members from all over the country but they could not attend our prestigious university without taking student loans,” Kim explained.

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows institutions and the VA to share the cost of nonresident tuition for students who qualify and are not already covered under the new law. As a result, all fully-eligible veterans, and their dependents, will have their tuition and fees fully covered by the VA and Yellow Ribbon.

Other UC campuses have participated in Yellow Ribbon in the past, but only for specific colleges or majors, and with a limit on funding.  UCR has decided to cover all students in all majors, with no limit. “With the signing of the new yellow ribbon program UCR can attract the best and brightest from our military,” said Kim. Participating in Yellow Ribbon helps make UCR and Riverside a location of choice for veterans by providing a great education at a great price.

UC Riverside Receives $4.5 Million Nasa Grant

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Leila Meyer and published in CampusTechnology.com on May 4, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside (UCR) has received a grant of nearly $4.5 million as part of NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). The grant will provide funding for a five-year research project called “Fellowships and Internships in Extremely Large Data Sets” (FIELDS), which aims to develop research and education opportunities in big data and visualization, according to information from the university.

FIELDS is a collaborative project between UCR, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the California State University system and the state’s two-year community colleges. The program will train underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

NASA currently has nearly 100 active missions and collects about 2 gigabytes of data per minute. It expects that volume of data to increase by a factor of 1,000 in the near future, and is looking for better ways to visualize the data for analysis. The FIELDS project will support this goal through several research and education programs.

The FIELDS research and education initiatives include:

  • Undergraduate training and research for students in physical, biological, computer science and engineering disciplines at UCR and partner institutions;
  • A new master’s course in big data and visualization, with students attending courses at UCR and doing research at JPL;
  • Support for doctoral and postdoctoral research; and
  • Support for high school STEM teacher training at UCR to help encourage more high school students to develop an interest in STEM fields.

UCR faculty and JPL staff will supervise the education and research activities. Each fall, students and mentors participating in the program will attend a FIELDS workshop at either UCR or JPL.

Undergraduates will complete two 10-week summer internships at JPL and receive a stipend of $2,000 each year. During the school year, they will conduct research with UCR faculty and receive a stipend of $3,000 each year. Graduate students will work with UCR faculty and JPL staff and earn an annual stipend of $70,000 for two years.

“A major goal of the project is advancement by students to research universities, gaining research experience, acquiring advanced STEM degrees, and taking up careers in STEM, including NASA employment,” said Bahram Mobasher, professor of physics and astronomy at UCR and the grant’s principal investigator, in a prepared statement. “We expect that collaborative research by JPL and UCR scientists and their students will generate preliminary results for further grant proposals to outside agencies.”

Grants like this increase the great work done at UCR and equips their STEM students with the knowledge needed to succeed. UCR is known for catalyzing innovation in many fields of study and thus promotes the aspirations of Seizing Our Destiny.

To read the complete article, click here.

UC Riverside Extension Offers Summer STEM Programs For Grades 3-8

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Lauri Topete and published in UCR Today on May 18, 2015.)

Keep your high-achieving and motivated children engaged this summer by exposing them to creative and challenging material they might not get in their regular classrooms. UCR Extension is offering two summer programs that will provide enrichment and

Expanding Horizons is set at UC Riverside for Summer, 2015

education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The dates are as follows:

Expanding Horizons STEMDiscovery (grades 3-6); June 22-26

Expanding Horizons (grades 3-5); July 13-24

Expanding Horizons (grades 6-8); July 13-24

Expanding Horizons: STEM Discovery for Grades 3 through 6 will focus on computer programming, technology and electricity. Karen Dodson, UCR Extension’s youth program coordinator, said the teachers include Michael Hanson, who recently received a “STEM the Gap” science grant from the Dow Chemical Co.

In addition to hands-on cooperative learning experiences, students will hear presentations from STEM experts on topics ranging from 3-D printing to aquaponics. “Students will not only be exposed to the various STEM fields, they will engage in hands-on cooperative learning,” Dodson said. “And, they’ll have the time to create, produce and present a final project to share with their families on Friday.”

The two-week Expanding Horizons program for children in grades 3 through 5 provides innovative instruction in science, technology, art, math, history and language arts from July 13 through 24. Both elementary-level programs will be taught at the UCR Extension Center.

Middle school students will attend Expanding Horizons courses on the UC Riverside campus. Tours of several campus locations and panel discussions with UCR students were added to the program this year.

“They should really experience the texture of college life, what it means to be part of college and really interact with college students in a structured format,” Dodson said. “STEM education is vital to the future of our economy. A growing number of jobs today from healthcare workers and computer technicians to financial examiners and athletic trainers demand workers have a strong background in STEM subjects.”

The Expanding Horizons Middle School program, July 13 through 24, will feature the same topics and instructors as in the STEM Discovery program, with the rigor adjusted to the middle school level. Some of the course titles include: Math in Animation, Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy.

Scholarships are available and discounts will be applied to students who attend multiple sections, or who have siblings that also are participating.

Programs like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. UCR is dedicated to educating the next generation of students and helping them succeed. These programs play a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.

To read more about the Expanding Horizons Middle School program, click here.

Volunteer Action For Aging Helps Seniors Create Art And Stimulate Minds

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Anne Marie Walker and published in The Press Enterprise on May 18, 2015.)

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

Seniors and students gathered this month at the Magnolia Grand Senior Living Center in Riverside for an afternoon of collage-making and trading stories.

The event was organized by Volunteer Action for Aging, a nonprofit group focused on improving the lives of senior citizens across Southern California. UC Riverside’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, sent students to the May 1 event to help the seniors create art.

The class consisted of seven ladies and two tables full of magazines, utensils and cardboard paper. Veora Erwin, a retired artist whose work has been showcased at the Riverside Art Museum, was in attendance to present her work to the other seniors, some of whom had never made a collage before. Erwin displayed three pieces – all abstract pieces predominantly in tan and green. Erwin said she makes collages because she strives to be original and believes that “a true artist never copies.”

Another resident artist was Laura White, who created a collage titled “Bad Trip,” featuring a car and a picture of two people standing in front of an explosion. Plastered all over the walls of the workroom were her drawings of owls. She became fascinated with them after taking a class called Brain Strains, also operated at the center, where she learned about the animal.

“They like to keep you stimulated here,” she said.

Also present were students from Alpha Phi Omega. Christine Billones, a second-year psychology major, said the fraternity teamed up with Volunteer Action for Aging to help their community.

“I’ve never (had)] a chance to do this, and when I joined Alpha Phi Omega I had the opportunity to help and meet new people,” she said.

The students helped residents cut out paper and create designs while sharing stories.

Jan Derny, a retired schoolteacher, had said it was her first time making a collage, but had decided that it “wasn’t (her) forte.”

“I need a focal point to make something,” Derny said. “I like quilting better.” Derny, however, was very appreciative of the students’ charity work. “It’s nice of them to volunteer their time and it’s nice to meet young people.”

Giselle Cruz, the volunteer coordinator for Volunteer Action for Aging, was excited by the turnout.

“We work to keep seniors out of the nursing home and very happy and independent.” Cruz, said adding that the organization recruits mostly through volunteermatch.org and hopes to have more volunteers for future events.

Events like this truly demonstrates what makes Riverside such a unified city. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For more information about volunteering, contact Cruz at 562-637-7110 or visit independenceathome.org.

Program Brings Science to University Heights Students

(This article contains excerpts from the article posted in the RUSD news feed.)

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise

A group of about 50 University Heights Middle School students spent their day on Thursday, April 23 hiking Sycamore Canyon and learning about the plants and animals there as part of the SISTERS program – Success in Science and Technology: Engagement with Role Models. The girls got a chance to interact with a UC Riverside professor as well as the UC Riverside Science Ambassadors. This was just one of many fun and informative interactions the girls have had as they have spent the year exploring science in hands-on activities. They also have spent time in a college laboratory and visited the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. It’s all designed to give young women hands-on experience in STEM fields to encourage them that they can succeed in and pursue careers in these areas. It is hoped that this pilot program soon can be expanded to serve other schools as well.

Programs like this are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. Encouraging students to pursue an education in STEM is no easy task, but the UCR students can relate to the young girls and encourage them to purse a career in the STEM field. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To read a in-depth article about the program, click here.