Letter From the Vice President - January 2015

It’s a new year and already we have some outstanding research successes to celebrate. Congratulations are in order for John H. Postlethwait, professor of biology and neuroscience, who was recently awarded the George W. Beadle Award for outstanding contributions to the community of genetics researchers by the Genetics Society of America. Congratulations are also due to Michael Pluth, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, for receiving a National Science Foundation CAREER Award — the NSF’s most-prestigious recognition of top-performing young scientists. In addition to supporting his research examining hydrogen sulfide interactions, the award will allow him to expand a successful science outreach program with students from area middle and high schools.

I am pleased to announce that our office has signed on as a sponsor of the upcoming Grad Forum, happening on Feb. 20. We’re proud to support this signature Graduate School event, which offers a great opportunity to showcase graduate student research and creative expression and the chance to engage with students and their research.

I would like to thank all of the principal investigators who have completed their PI certification modules. So far, nearly 40 percent of you have finished your certification. Remember, after March 31, 2015, the certification becomes mandatory for all PIs and Co-PIs, and those who haven’t completed the modules will be unable to submit awards, set up new awards or spend funds from existing awards. Completing the module should take approximately 15-20 minutes and it does not have to be finished in one sitting. So please complete your certification as soon as possible, and feel free to contact Analinda Camacho or one of her team members in Sponsored Projects Services with questions and suggestions.

This month we note the passing of two of our own. Retired chemistry and biochemistry professor John Schellman died recently at the age of 90. Dr. Schellman came to the UO in 1958 and was one of the early members of the Institute of Molecular Biology. His career spanned some 45 years and, in addition to conducting groundbreaking research in the area of protein chemistry, he helped secure funding for modern research facilities and played a key role in bringing about a new era of science and research at the UO.  We also note the very recent passing of my good friend and colleague Professor John Leahy. John joined the department of mathematics in 1966 and was a critical part of the department’s geometry group, specializing in both algebraic and differential geometry. A long-standing member of the Institute of Theoretical Science, John also served the university for many years as the vice provost in charge of academic programs in Bend. Both of our good colleagues will be missed.

Looking ahead, there are several research-related events on the horizon worth mentioning. On Friday, Feb. 6, UO’s James Tice will be delivering the Winter 2015 Presidential Research Lecture. A professor of architecture, specializing in the cartography and urban history of Rome, Tice will discuss the interactive Nolli Map of Rome that he co-created with the UO’s InfoGraphics Lab in a lecture sponsored by our office. And on Feb. 9-10 the Symposium for Mindfulness and Society returns to campus. Now in its second year, this increasingly popular event highlights an emerging area of interdisciplinary research and examines work being conducted by UO faculty and graduate students on the neurological basis of mindfulness practices.

On a final note, I’d like to encourage UO faculty members to submit nominations for our UO Research Excellence Awards. Nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, and can be submitted electronically to ncrow@uoregon.edu with the subject line: UO Research Excellence Awards Nomination.

Wishing you the best in 2015.

Brad Shelton
Interim Vice President for Research & Innovation
(541) 346-2090