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Archive for February, 2020

Research Pioneer to Discuss Optic, Nanotechnology Tools to Treat Cancer

Dr. Brian C. Wilson, an expert in the field of photo-diagnostic research and photodynamic therapy for cancer, will visit The University of Toledo this week to talk about his work.

He will deliver the Physics and Astronomy Department Colloquium Thursday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. in McMaster Hall Room 1005. The title of his talk is “Translational (Nano) Biophotonics for Cancer Applications: Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Biology.”


Wilson is internationally known for his research on optical tools that can be used for minimally invasive cancer treatment and early diagnosis. With support from the Canadian Cancer Society, he started a program in translational research and clinical trials of photodynamic therapy — the use of light-activated drugs — for brain, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers.

The professor of medical biophysics at the University of Toronto played a pivotal role in the development of fluorescence and other endoscopic imaging techniques, as well as pioneered optical imaging to guide surgery for head, neck, prostate and brain cancer.

Moreover, Wilson also has expanded his work to include the development of nanotechnologies in cancer treatment, diagnosis and research.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Wilson to campus,” Dr. Aniruddha Ray, UToledo assistant professor of physics, said. “He is a world-renowned medical researcher and a pioneer in light mediate cancer diagnostics and therapy. His presentation will be of interest to those working and studying in the interdisciplinary areas of physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, bioengineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.”

Wilson, who is also a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, will explain how the application of optics in life sciences and medicine — with or without the complementary use of nanotechnologies — requires integrating physics, biomedical engineering, chemistry, biology and medicine.

He will illustrate this by highlighting four research and development projects focused on addressing unmet clinical needs in oncology: quantitative fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging to guide cancer surgery; multifunctional nanoparticles for image-guided phototherapies; non-linear optical microscopy for cancer pathology; and the use of optically active nanoparticle-linked photosensitizer molecules activated directly or indirectly by X-rays.

“Dr. Wilson will walk us through the journey from technology development to application on cancer patients,” Ray said.

Wilson is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the International Society for Optics and Photonics, and he has received numerous national and international awards, including the Canadian Cancer Society’s prestigious Robert Noble Prize.

For more information on the free, public colloquium, contact Ray at aniruddha.ray@utoledo.edu.

Feb. 27 Event to Discuss Studying Abroad in Spain This Summer

Students have the chance to learn a language, make new friends, earn three credits, and live in Toledo, Spain, from June 28 to July 24.

Learn more about this study abroad opportunity at an information session Thursday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2420.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures will provide refreshments at the event. Prospective students are encouraged to attend the session and hear about the class offered through UToledo and El Programa Español en Toledo.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to either begin your study of the Spanish language or continue to develop your language skills in the beautiful historical city of Toledo in the heart of Spain,” said Dr. Linda Rouillard, professor of French and chair of the World Languages and Cultures Department.

The summer program will take place at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Toledo. The four-week study of the Spanish language and culture will allow time for cultural discovery and excursions.

Applications are due Wednesday, April 1.

For details or to register for the Feb. 27 information session, contact Rouillard at linda.rouillard@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2029.

Sustainability Efforts on Campus to be Discussed Feb. 26

A sustainability forum will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

“The purpose of the Earth Rally is to get feedback from students, faculty and staff about sustainability and what the University can do to improve its initiatives,” said Grant Epstein, campus culture chair with Student Government.

Discussing UToledo’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint will be Jason Toth, senior associate vice president for administration; Michael Green, director of energy management; and representatives from several student organizations.

“When I joined Student Government, one of the changes I wanted to see on campus was making the University more sustainable,” Epstein said.

The sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering is a member of the Student Green Fund, which is made possible by voluntary student donations and finances student-proposed and executed projects that promote sustainability, renewable energy, efficiency, waste reduction and educational initiatives.

Thanks to the Student Green Fund, there is a solar field on Health Science Campus, and there are water bottle filling stations and air dryers throughout the University.

“While efforts continue to make the University more sustainable, it’s important to inform people about what UToledo is doing and receive feedback from campus community members,” said Epstein, who is a member of Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity.

“We have installed motion-sensor lighting controls in many buildings, and our exterior lighting is 99% LED,” Green said. “In addition, our recycling system is more efficient and effective.”

“Facilities and Construction is supportive of striving to improve sustainability on our campuses,” Toth said. “We look forward to continued opportunities to implement sustainable systems and also to work with our students, faculty and staff on future initiatives.”

Future sustainability initiatives will be discussed at the forum.

Reservations are requested for the free, public event: Go to the Earth Rally website.

For more information on the forum, contact Epstein at grant.epstein@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Distinguished University Professors Announced

Three Distinguished University Professors were named in honor of their exemplary career achievements in teaching, research, scholarship and professional service.

The newest faculty members with the honorary title, who were approved and recognized by the Board of Trustees Feb. 10, are:

• Eric Chaffee, professor of law in the College of Law;

• Dr. Mohammad Elahinia, professor and chair of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering; and

• Dr. Melinda Reichelt, professor of English in the College of Arts and Letters.

Three Distinguished University Professors were honored and approved by the UToledo Board of Trustees. They are, from left center, Dr. Mohammad Elahinia, Eric Chaffee and Dr. Melinda Reichelt. To Commemorate the moment, they were joined by, from left, President Sharon L. Gaber, UToledo Board of Trustees Chair Mary Ellen Pisanelli and Provost Karen Bjorkman.

“Being named a Distinguished University Professor is The University of Toledo’s highest permanent honor bestowed upon a faculty member,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are proud of these outstanding faculty members who contribute so much in the classroom and in their fields. The impact they have on our students is immense.”

Chaffee joined the University in 2013. He is a nationally recognized scholar of business law and has written extensively about securities regulation, compliance, and the essential nature of the corporate form. He has presented on these topics at prestigious schools, including Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley, and has published in numerous top-tier journals.

He is the co-author of three books, including a forthcoming title published by Cambridge University Press, and he is a founder of the National Business Law Scholars Conference, the premier conference in the business law field. In addition, Chaffee has served as chair of multiple sections of the American Association of Law Schools — positions elected by his peers.

“The Distinguished University Professors that I have encountered during my time at UToledo have all been phenomenal people,” Chaffee said. “I am deeply honored to receive this award. I am very grateful to all of those individuals who have supported me and challenged me to be more during my career, especially my colleagues at the College of Law.”

During his time at the College of Law, Chaffee has received four teaching awards thanks to votes from law students. He also has written and spoken extensively about the importance of incorporating transactional skills into law school curricula.

Elahinia is a global leader in advance manufacturing of shape memory alloys with applications in energy, medical, and mobility applications. He brought his expertise in smart and active materials to UToledo in 2004. During his tenure at the University, he has received more than $13 million in sponsored research funding for 36 projects as principal investigator. Sponsors of his work include the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Ohio Board of Regents.

With his students, Elahinia has authored or co-authored three books, seven book chapters and more than 100 journal articles. These publications have been cited more than 4,700 times. He and his students have presented nearly 280 conference papers. Elahinia has 19 invention disclosures.

“The scholarly success of my group is due to the dedication of my students and research scholars, eight of whom have become professors in other universities around the country,” Elahinia said. “I am honored and humbled by the recognition. Over the years, I have been fortunate to work with a very talented group of students and colleagues inside and outside of the University who have been very supportive. This recognition belongs to them all.”

A strong mentor, Elahinia has supervised nearly 20 visiting scholars and postdoctoral researchers. He received the University’s Faculty Research and Scholarship Award in 2017 and the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2019.

Reichelt became a faculty member in the Department of English Language and Literature in 1997. She teaches linguistics and English as a second language writing. Additionally, Reichelt directs the University’s English as a Second Language Writing Program.

Her research focuses on the role of English and English-language writing instruction around the world, including in Germany, Turkey, Poland, Spain, Cuba and the United States. She co-edited two books, “Foreign Language Writing” and “L2 Writing Beyond English.” Reichelt also has published in various edited collections and prestigious journals, including Composition Studies, Modern Language Journal, World Englishes, Foreign Language Annals, and the Journal of Second Language Writing.

“I am pleased to receive this honor and am grateful to my family, colleagues and students,” Reichelt said.

She has presented her work at conferences in China, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Germany, Cuba, Ukraine and the United States. Her international reputation has led to delivering keynote addresses at several global conferences. Reichelt has received two Fulbright Scholar awards, and she serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Second Language Writing.

University Libraries Offering Workshops This Semester

From conducting research for a paper or a job search to learning more about digital publishing, University Libraries has a workshop for you.

During spring semester, University Libraries is offering workshops designed to build practical skills and improve scholarship and research habits. No need to register — just show up.

UToledo librarians are here to help undergraduate and graduate students in their research success.

One-hour workshops will be:

• Life Hack: UToledo Libraries;

• Finding Resources Your Professor Will Love;

• Mastering Citations in EndNote;

• Scholarly Attribution and Citation: What You Need to Know;

• Business Research for the Job Hunt;

• American Psychological Association Updated: Using Seventh Edition APA Style; and

• Digital Publishing.

Workshop descriptions and details can be found on University Libraries’ website.

For questions or more information, contact Julia Martin, associate professor, director of reference and instruction, and business librarian, at julia.martin@utoledo.edu or 419.530.2492.

From UToledo to NASA, Recent Graduate’s Discovery Sheds New Light on Newborn Stars

Making her dreams come true, a recent graduate of The University of Toledo’s physics program is in the midst of a sky-rocketing year.

Dr. Nicole Karnath earned her Ph.D. last summer and quickly moved to California to serve as instrument scientist at the SOFIA Science Center, which is based in NASA Ames Research Center, where she flies regularly aboard the world’s largest airborne observatory.

Dr. Nicole Karnath, UToledo alumna and instrument scientist at the SOFIA Science Center in California, stands in front of SOFIA, the world’s largest airborne observatory.

On top of her already soaring career success, this week the Astrophysical Journal published Karnath’s research completed while she was a UToledo student, sharing her discovery that reflects a new understanding of what happens at the early stages of star formation.

She credits her student research and the support of her advisor, Dr. Tom Megeath, UToledo astronomy professor, for the job offer from NASA before she had her diploma.

“I am very happy. I enjoy the science, and I love studying the universe,” Karnath said. “Astronomy is an international, collaborative field because we’re working on telescopes all over the world and taking in huge amounts of data. The opportunities are there for students to break in. UToledo astronomy professors know so many people all over the world. Take advantage of their expertise, connections and need for help analyzing data. That’s how I ended up here.”

“Nicole made one of the most exciting discoveries to come out of our UToledo star formation group,” Megeath said. “Just as a talent agent’s biggest dream is to find the actor or actress who will become the next star, for an astronomer, the dream is to find the blob of gas that’s in the process of becoming a star. Nicole has found four such blobs — collapsing gas clouds that are in the first 6,000 years of forming what is called protostar. In ‘star years,’ this is the first 30 minutes of their lives.”

While a graduate student at UToledo, Karnath was part of an international team of astronomers who used two of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world to create more than 300 images of planet-forming disks around very young stars in the Orion molecular clouds.

Pointing both the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to the region in space where many stars are born, the result is the largest survey to date of young stars, called protostars, and their protoplanetary disks, or planets born in rings of dust and gas.

Among the hundreds of survey images, four protostars looked different than the rest and caught Karnath’s attention.

“These newborn stars looked very irregular and blobby,” Karnath said. “We think that they are in one of the earliest stages of star formation and some may not even have formed into protostars yet.”

It is significant that the scientists discovered four of these objects, which Karnath estimates to be younger than 10,000 years old.

“We rarely find more than one such irregular object in one observation,” said Karnath, who used these four infant stars to propose a schematic pathway for the earliest stages of star formation.

To be defined as a typical protostar, stars should not only have a flattened rotating disk surrounding them, but also an outflow — spewing away material in opposite directions — that clears the dense cloud surrounding the stars and makes them optically visible. This outflow is important because it prevents stars from spinning out of control while they grow. But when exactly these outflows start to happen is an open question in astronomy.

One of the infant stars in this study, called HOPS 404, has an outflow velocity of only 2 kilometers per second, or 1.2 miles per second. A typical protostar outflow has a range of 10 to 100 kilometers per second, or 6 to 62 miles per second.

“It is a big puffy sun that is still gathering a lot of mass, but just started its outflow to lose angular momentum to be able to keep growing,” Karnath said. “This is one of the smallest outflows that we have seen, and it supports our theory of what the first step in forming a protostar looks like.”

“These very young protostars don’t match existing theory very well, meaning that we still have a lot to learn from future studies,” Megeath said.

This schematic shows a proposed pathway, top row, for the formation of protostars, based on four very young protostars, bottom row, observed by Very Large Array (orange) and Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) (blue). Step 1 represents the collapsing fragment of gas and dust. In step 2, an opaque region starts to form in the cloud. In step 3, a hydrostatic core starts to form due to an increase in pressure and temperature, surrounded by a disk-like structure and the beginning of an outflow. Step 4 depicts the formation of a class 0 protostar inside the opaque region, which may have a rotationally supported disk and more well-defined outflows. Step 5 is a typical class 0 protostar with outflows that have broken through the envelope — making it optically visible — an actively accreting, rotationally supported disk. In the bottom row, white contours are the protostar outflows as seen with ALMA. This image is courtesy of ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), N. Karnath, and NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton and S. Dagnello.

Karnath’s stellar work continues in California at the SOFIA Science Center. SOFIA is a flying observatory made out of a modified Boeing 747, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes.

SOFIA, which stands for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a partnership of NASA and the German Aerospace Center and under contract with the Universities Space Research Association.

As an instrument scientist, Karnath is responsible for one of five instruments rotated on and off the telescope on the plane, depending on the type of data astronomers are looking to gather.

“I work on an instrument called FORCAST. It’s an imaging instrument and also a spectrometer,” Karnath said. “I’m up there making sure we’re getting the filters needed or the different wavelengths, or looking at a certain target for the right amount of time, and also troubleshooting issues.”

Karnath also is using SOFIA to continue her own research. She submitted a proposal and was awarded observation time on SOFIA scheduled for February 2021.

The curiosity and determination that first fueled her journey as a little girl still powers this successful woman in science today.

“My dad was an amateur astronomer who had a telescope and regularly had me looking at Saturn or a meteor shower,” Karnath said. “I thought astronomy was the most fascinating subject I ever studied. In high school I enjoyed physics and learned that you could make a living off of this. I never looked back, and I’m so lucky that I still love it.”

Karnath said she couldn’t have accomplished so much so soon without the support of Megeath, the UToledo astronomy program, and past advisors at Lowell Observatory and Ohio State University.

“The best part of my job is handing over astronomical data from a cutting-edge observatory, such as the Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, ALMA, or the Lowell Discovery Telescope, to a graduate student and seeing the discoveries they make from the data. They never know exactly what they will find,” Megeath said.

“In Nicole’s case, she did an extraordinary job working with an international team spanning three continents and involving universities and institutes across the U.S., Chile and Spain. She combined data from two of the most powerful radio telescopes on Earth to discover these objects. The exciting part is that every discovery brings new mysteries to solve.”

Prior to UToledo, Karnath earned a master’s in applied physics from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s in physics and astronomy from Ohio State University.

UToledo is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, a prestigious consortium of 47 U.S. institutions and three international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories for the National Science Foundation and NASA.

Students From Across U.S. to Travel to UToledo for Sales Competition

Professional sales students from 36 universities across the United States will visit the University’s College of Business and Innovation this weekend to compete in the fifth annual UToledo Invitational Sales Competition.

The sales competition, which features nearly 200 role plays selling a product and more than 300 interviews, will take place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, in classrooms and meeting rooms throughout the Savage & Associates Business Complex. The awards ceremony will occur Saturday afternoon in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

The Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales in the UToledo College of Business and Innovation organizes this first and only national sales competition dedicated exclusively to juniors, sophomores and freshmen because graduating seniors are typically already placed in jobs due to high corporate demand.

Formed in 2000 and endowed in 2002, the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales believes in transforming the profession of sales by creating knowledge, shaping people and making connections, and the UToledo Invitational Sales Competition is an ideal platform to accomplish just that.

“The UToledo Invitational Sales Competition plays a central role in increasing sales program enrollments nationwide and fueling the tomorrows of future sales leaders and organizations,” said Deirdre Jones, director of the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the UToledo Invitational Sales Competition.“The competition is the conversation starter for universities nationwide to engage early with freshman and sophomore students, and it is also a vehicle for students to pay it forward and shape their leadership skills as a peer coach.”

The first rounds of the competition will take place from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, followed by the wild-card round from 1:45 to 3 p.m. and quarterfinals from 4 to 5:40 p.m. The competition will conclude Saturday with the semifinals from 8:30 to 9:20 a.m. and the finals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Approximately 100 sales leaders and recruiters who participate serve as buyers and judges for the role plays and also interact with the students during coaching and interviewing sessions.

Sponsors include 3M Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Mediasite, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans and Polymershapes, among others.

Participating universities that will be in attendance at this year’s event include Kansas State University, the University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, Clemson University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Akron. The University of Toledo Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales also will have a team competing.

Yoga With Lola This Semester

She proved to be such a popular four-legged yogini last year that the Department of World Languages and Cultures will present Yoga with Lola again this semester.

Sessions with the department’s emotional support dog will take place in Memorial Field House Room 2420:

Lola, the emotional support dog of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, presided over a yoga session in December. Two sessions were held to help students and employees relax and take a mental health break before finals last semester.

• Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 25 and 26, from 2 to 3 p.m.;

• Wednesday, March 25, from 3 to 4 p.m.; and

• Tuesday and Wednesday, April 28 and 29, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Charlene Gary, secretary in the World Languages and Cultures Department, and certified yoga instructor, will lead the sessions.

“We invite students and employees to bring their mats to an easy flow yoga class. No experience or flexibility is needed,” Gary said. “Or feel free to bring a blanket to meditate.”

Lola also will be accepting visitors during the sessions.

“Stop by to meet Lola and take a break,” Gary said. “Research shows pets have amazing healing powers, including lowering blood pressure and calming anxiety. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedules to make a new friend or two.”

Those who wish to reserve a space for their mats are asked to visit the Yoga With Lola website.

For more information on the free sessions, contact Gary at charlene.gary@utoledo.edu.

Employees: Winter Break Dates Posted to Allow Planning for Holidays

The University again will be closed for winter break this year to enable eligible employees extra time off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

“We’re very pleased to be able to continue offering winter break because it contributes to our employee’s health and well-being,” said Wendy Davis, associate vice president and chief human resources officer. “Winter break also has become yet another important differential in attracting exceptional new talent because most area employers are unable to offer such a generous time-off benefit.”

To help faculty and staff plan in advance to make the most of their holidays, the following winter break schedule is being announced:

• Thursday, Dec. 24 — Holiday (Columbus Day);

• Friday, Dec. 25 — Holiday (Christmas);

• Monday, Dec. 28 — Paid day off provided for winter break;

• Tuesday, Dec. 29 — Paid day off provided for winter break;

• Wednesday, Dec. 30 — Paid day off provided for winter break;

• Thursday, Dec. 31 — Paid day off provided for winter break; and

• Friday, Jan. 1 — Holiday (New Year’s Day).

In addition to existing holiday pay, UToledo provides additional paid days off, as designated above.

During winter break, certain essential services must still be provided on our campuses, such as hospital operations at UTMC, approved research activities and public safety. Therefore, winter break does not include UTMC employees nor certain required positions, which might vary annually depending on need.

If you work in an area that must continue providing essential operations during winter break and are in a collective bargaining unit requiring vacation planning, your supervisor soon will advise you if you may need to work.

Much more information, including frequently asked questions, is available on Human Resources’ website. If you have any questions after reviewing these details, contact your Human Resources consultant.

Student Designers Needed: Enter for Chance to Win $1,500 Scholarship

Attention students: Do you have a talent for digital design? Enter the Coca-Cola Contest for a chance to win a $1,500 scholarship.

UToledo students are invited to design a Coca-Cola/UToledo co-branded mural. The mural must contain Coca-Cola and UToledo elements, but also could include details from the city and surrounding areas — be creative!

The mural size is 22 feet and 6 inches by 7 feet and 10 inches.

View the UToledo brand guide for inspiration.

Submissions are being accepted through Sunday, March 1. Go to the Auxiliary Services website to upload the design.

UToledo staff will narrow down the designs to the top three, then bring the vote to the students.