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Showing posts from December, 2021

OU Scientist Says State's Investment in People Transforming Landscape

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There’s no doubt that the Sooner State’s investment in the next generation of innovative technology inspires University of Oklahoma scientist Thirumalai “Venky” Venkatesan. As OU’s director for the Center for Quantum Research and Technology, he praises Oklahoma for making a commitment to new technology that advances the state’s competitiveness. “Oklahoma has developed a completely new frontier in terms of economic growth. We are investing in people who can transform both our technology and economic landscape,” he said. The investment includes state funding for new faculty in the OU Gallogly College of Engineering. Venkatesan is one of 20 faculty hired in 2021, with plans to hire an additional 48 in the next four years. The funding puts Oklahoma in line with other states that have realized the need for engineering support.  The goal of the center is to bring together faculty and students interested in quantum materials, sensors, quantum communications and computing. So, Venkatesan’s rar

OU Researchers Say New Protein Fragment May Improve Cartilage Regeneration

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Current methods to regenerate injured cartilage produce tissue that can break down. This deterioration can eventually lead to osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis that affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The problem with cartilage regeneration is that cartilage is not able to heal itself, so you end up with an inferior, fibrous kind of tissue – similar to scar tissue – that is susceptible to breaking down over time, leading to more serious interventions like a total knee replacement surgery,” said Michael Detamore, PhD, the founding director, professor and Stephenson Chair of Biomedical Engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Detamore (photo) is the principal investigator of a research project being conducted at OU and OU Health that is using a protein fragment identified by comparing two different molecules known to support stem cell conversion t

OU Scientist Named Fellow of National Academy of Inventors

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Thirumalai (Venky) Venkatesan has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the director of the OU Center for Quantum Research and Technology. He also holds positions as a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering and as a professor of physics and astronomy in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy. Venkatesan, an internationally noted researcher in advanced technology innovation, joined OU in 2021. The inventor of the pulsed laser deposition process, he has filed for 46 patents and been issued 33. He has over 800 publications and has mentored hundreds of students.  In addition to being a NAI Fellow, Venkatesan will be inducted into the Royal Society in 2022. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a fellow of the Materials Research Society, a recipient of the Bellcore Award of Excellence, a winner of the George E. Pake Prize and a recipient of the Distinguished Lectureship on Applications of P

OU Biomedical Engineering Student Named Top Senior

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Emmy Francek in the Gallogly College of Engineering has been selected as an Outstanding Senior at the University of Oklahoma. Francek, of Suttons Bay, Michigan, is a combined master’s and bachelor’s degree student in the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, one of seven schools in the college. She was selected for her exceptional achievements in scholarship, honors, awards, leadership and service.  “It is an incredible honor to have been selected as Outstanding Senior for the Gallogly College of Engineering. I am beyond thankful for everyone who has helped me along this journey,” Francek said.  Francek served as a research assistant in the Wilhelm Lab, a cancer nanomedicine and immunoengineering laboratory. Working with OU researcher Stefan Wilhelm , she helped to start an outreach program called BE4NANO (Bio-nanotechnology Engagement for Native Americans in Oklahoma), an outreach program that focuses on high school juniors, including students who are members of the Kiowa and W

OU Student Addresses Tar Creek Cleanup on Army Corps of Engineers' Program

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For as long as she can remember, Justine McCann has been fascinated by the outdoors and science. It was that fascination that led her from Georgia to Oklahoma to pursue a PhD in environmental science at the University of Oklahoma. McCann recalls the moment she charted a path to the Sooner State. She was working as a consultant for international engineering firm CH2M (now Jacobs Engineering Group) after having earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Penn State. After a few years, though, she learned that a desk job wasn’t for her. She missed being outside.  Enter engineering professor Robert Nairn, director of OU’s Center for Restoration of Ecosystems and Watersheds (CREW) . In a speech at a Geological Society of America meeting, Nairn talked about his research at Tar Creek, considered one of the most toxic areas in the United States. For the past 25 years, Nairn has worked to improve water quality at the federal Superfund site, finding success in using an unconventional approach – a