Auburn, AL, United States
Auburn, AL, United States

Auburn University is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 20,000 undergraduate students, and a total of over 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state. Auburn was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, the college became the state's first public land-grant university under the Morrill Act and was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, the college became the first four-year coeducational school in the state. The curriculum at the university originally focused on arts and agriculture. This trend changed under the guidance of Dr. William Leroy Broun, who taught classics and science and believed both disciplines were important in the overall growth of the university and the individual. The college was renamed the Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1899, largely because of Dr. Broun’s influence. The college continued expanding, and in 1960 its name was officially changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. It had been popularly known as "Auburn" for many years. In 1964, under Federal Court mandate AU admitted its first African American student. Auburn is among the few American universities designated as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research center. Wikipedia.

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Disclosed are compositions, kits, and methods for inducing an immune response against an infection or a disease. The compositions typically include biodegradable particles having an average effective diameter that such that the biodegradable particles are phagocytosed by antigen presenting cells when the biodegradable particles are administered to a subject in need thereof. Optionally, the compositions include one or more of an adjuvant, an apoptosis inhibitor, and an antigen. The compositions, kits, and methods may be utilized to induce a cell-mediated response, such as a T-helper cell response, and/or a humoral response against a pathogen or a disease. In some embodiments, the compositions, kits, and methods may be utilized to induce preferentially a Th1 response versus other types of immune responses such as a Th2 response.

Auburn University | Date: 2016-06-23

In at least one illustrative embodiment, an electromagnetic filter may include a transfer pipe and multiple electromagnetic filter elements positioned in an interior volume of the pipe. Each electromagnetic filter element includes a support comb, a solenoid coupled to the support comb, and multiple magnetic members arranged in a planar array positioned within an opening of the support comb. Each magnetic member may rotate about an end that is coupled to the support comb. The magnetic members may be magnetostrictive sensors and may include a biorecognition element to bind with a target microorganism. A method for fluid filtration includes coupling the electromagnetic filter between a fluid source and a fluid destination, energizing the solenoids of each electromagnetic filter elements, and flowing a fluid media through the transfer pipe of the electromagnetic filter. The fluid media may be liquid food such as fruit juice. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

The current invention provides metal ion complexes with an organic ligand, compositions comprising such complexes. In particular, these complexes are capable of reacting with a reactive oxygen species in a subject and increase their T_(1)-weighted relaxivities so a clinical MRI scanner can detect an oxidative stress hotspot in the subject. The disclosed complexes also exhibit excellent anti-oxidant properties and low cell toxicity, therefore can be used as a therapeutic agent to relieve oxidative stress in the subject, or as both a MRI contrast agent and therapeutic agent in a composition.

Ortiz J.V.,Auburn University
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science | Year: 2013

Electron propagator theory provides a practical means of calculating electron binding energies, Dyson orbitals, and ground-state properties from first principles. This approach to ab initio electronic structure theory also facilitates the interpretation of its quantitative predictions in terms of concepts that closely resemble those of one-electron theories. An explanation of the physical meaning of the electron propagator's poles and residues is followed by a discussion of its couplings to more complicated propagators. These relationships are exploited in superoperator theory and lead to a compact form of the electron propagator that is derived by matrix partitioning. Expressions for reference-state properties, relationships to the extended Koopmans's theorem technique for evaluating electron binding energies, and connections between Dyson orbitals and transition probabilities follow from this discussion. The inverse form of the Dyson equation for the electron propagator leads to a strategy for obtaining electron binding energies and Dyson orbitals that generalizes the Hartree-Fock equations through the introduction of the self-energy operator. All relaxation and correlation effects reside in this operator, which has an energy-dependent, nonlocal form that is systematically improvable. Perturbative arguments produce several, convenient (e.g. partial third order, outer valence Green's function, and second-order, transition-operator) approximations for the evaluation of valence ionization energies, electron affinities, and core ionization energies. Renormalized approaches based on Hartree-Fock or approximate Brueckner orbitals are employed when correlation effects become qualitatively important. Reference-state total energies based on contour integrals in the complex plane and gradients of electron binding energies enable exploration of final-state potential energy surfaces. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Fergus J.W.,Auburn University
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2010

One of the challenges for improving the performance of lithium ion batteries to meet increasingly demanding requirements for energy storage is the development of suitable cathode materials. Cathode materials must be able to accept and release lithium ions repeatedly (for recharging) and quickly (for high current). Transition metal oxides based on the α-NaFeO 2, spinel and olivine structures have shown promise, but improvements are needed to reduce cost and extend effective lifetime. In this paper, recent developments in cathode materials for lithium ion batteries are reviewed. This includes comparison of the performance characteristics of the promising cathode materials and approaches for improving their performances. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Tao Y.-X.,Auburn University
Endocrine Reviews | Year: 2010

The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) was cloned in 1993 by degenerate PCR; however, its function was unknown. Subsequent studies suggest that the MC4R might be involved in regulating energy homeostasis. This hypothesis was confirmed in 1997 by a series of seminal studies in mice. In 1998, human genetic studies demonstrated that mutations in the MC4R gene can cause monogenic obesity. We now know that mutations in the MC4R are the most common monogenic form of obesity, with more than 150 distinct mutations reported thus far. This review will summarize the studies on the MC4R, from its cloning and tissue distribution to its physiological roles in regulating energy homeostasis, cachexia, cardiovascular function, glucose and lipid homeostasis, reproduction and sexual function, drug abuse, pain perception, brain inflammation, and anxiety. I will then review the studies on the pharmacology of the receptor, including ligand binding and receptor activation, signaling pathways, as well as its regulation. Finally, the pathophysiology of the MC4R in obesity pathogenesis will be reviewed. Functional studies of the mutant MC4Rs and the therapeutic implications, including small molecules in correcting binding and signaling defect, and their potential as pharmacological chaperones in rescuing intracellularly retained mutants, will be highlighted. Copyright © 2010 by The Endocrine Society.

Hill G.E.,Auburn University
Ecology Letters | Year: 2011

Condition is a nearly ubiquitous term in the behavioural, physiological and evolutionary ecology literature; however, existing definitions are incomplete or ambiguous. This poor conceptualization has led to confusion regarding what is being signalled by condition-dependent traits and how to interpret links between ornamentation and individual characteristics such as nutrient reserves, oxidative state and immunocompetence. I propose that the combined effects of the somatic state, epigenetic state and genotype of an organism determine condition. I define condition as the relative capacity to maintain optimal functionality of vital systems within the body. A condition-dependent trait is a conspicuous feature of an organism that enhances perception of condition. Ornament expression can link to system functionality in at least four ways: (1) resources are traded off between operation of physiological pathways and production of ornaments; (2) a regulatory agent necessary for ornament expression depresses a vital physiological process; (3) ornament production requires a product of a vital physiological process; and (4) pathways are shared between ornament production and vital physiological processes. If the honesty of ornamental traits derives from connections to vital cellular processes then there is no need to invoke a fitness cost of ornamentation to insure signal honesty. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Hill G.E.,Auburn University
Molecular biology and evolution | Year: 2015

Eukaryotes were born of a chimeric union between two prokaryotes--the progenitors of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Early in eukaryote evolution, most mitochondrial genes were lost or transferred to the nucleus, but a core set of genes that code exclusively for products associated with the electron transport system remained in the mitochondrion. The products of these mitochondrial genes work in intimate association with the products of nuclear genes to enable oxidative phosphorylation and core energy production. The need for coadaptation, the challenge of cotransmission, and the possibility of genomic conflict between mitochondrial and nuclear genes have profound consequences for the ecology and evolution of eukaryotic life. An emerging interdisciplinary field that I call "mitonuclear ecology" is reassessing core concepts in evolutionary ecology including sexual reproduction, two sexes, sexual selection, adaptation, and speciation in light of the interactions of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Chemical Synthesis | Award Amount: 411.28K | Year: 2017

With this CAREER Award, the Chemical Synthesis Program of the Chemistry Division supports the research of Professor Bradley L. Merner at Auburn University. The main objective of Professor Merners research is to develop new strategies for the controlled synthesis of carbon nanotubes. At the present, one of the chief problems interfering with the synthesis of carbon nanotubes is our inability to make them in a uniform manner. Modern carbon nanotube syntheses lead to mixtures that complicate correlations between nanotube structure and physical properties. To address this gap, the Merner group is developing the synthetic tools needed to build smaller sections of a carbon nanotube that can then be assembled into larger nanotubes in a systematic way. By controlling the size of the smaller pieces, the size of the larger nanotube can be intentionally controlled. Since carbon nanotubes are made of a series of benzene rings that are stitched together, the synthesis initially targets larger cyclic systems that contain both multiple benzene rings and the functionality needed to bind the them together and build the targeted nanotubes. The lynchpin of this approach is the use of an unstrained benzene surrogate during the construction of the larger rings. Once those rings are assembled, then strained, bent benzene rings are released so they are trapped with in the larger ring structure. The route offers many opportunities to access carbon nanotube building blocks that were previously unavailable. The educational component of the program involves the development of chemical synthesis-teaching modules that are offered to rising junior and senior-level high school students in the Southeast region as part of the Auburn University Summer Science Institute. Underrepresented undergraduate students wishing to pursue graduate-level training in STEM-related fields participate in a chemical synthesis summer research program. Furthermore, in order to expose more undergraduate students to graduate-level research experiences, students enrolled in honors organic chemistry at Auburn University synthesize important starting materials that are used in future synthetic method development by graduate students in Professor Merners laboratory.

Carbon nanotubes are of great interest in the fields of materials science, engineering and biological sensing. However their use in these areas is hampered by the inability to access carbon nanotubes that are of a defined, homogenous structure. In this research project, Professor Merner and his group are tackling this challenge with new synthetic strategies that imbed the nonplanar benzene rings that comprise carbon nanotubes within functionalized polycyclic building blocks. This is an important step in the construction of uniform carbon nanotubes because if the size and shape of the building blocks can be controlled, then the size and shape of the nanotube assembled from the building blocks can be controlled. In this project, the molecular complexity of the building blocks are increased systematically so that they can better understand the reactivity of strained molecules, possible releases of this strain energy to afford undesired by-products, and the reaction mechanisms by which these processes occur. This information guides the synthesis of the more complex systems eventually culminating in the construction of the carbon nanotubes themselves. The initial strategy being pursued uses a non-cross-coupling-based approach to prepare macrocyclic, functionalized carbon nanotube substructures. These functionalized systems are employed in programmed, late-stage carbon-carbon bond forming reactions to build larger structures. Several annulation strategies to join adjacent arenes are investigated and the reactions afford pi-extended macrocyclic segments that are representative of carbon nanotube sidewall structures. The target structures not only lead to development of new chemical tools for accessing these complex organic molecules, but also provide first-rate training in chemical synthesis to undergraduate and graduate students, and deepen the understanding of chemical reactivity in strained, complex hydrocarbons.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 2.03M | Year: 2016

Tuskegee University is leading a team of Alabama institutions, which includes Auburn University, Alabama A&M University, Auburn University Montgomery, Southern Union State Junior College, and Lawson State Community College, with support from Oakland University to implement a collaborative S-STEM project titled Making to Advance Knowledge, Excellence, and Recognition in STEM (MAKERS). The MAKERS project will provide scholarships to up to 158 students majoring in the biological, physical, mathematical, geological, and computer and information sciences; engineering; and associated technology areas. The MAKERS team will implement and assess a comprehensive list of hierarchical, evidence-based interventions designed to facilitate transfer, increase persistence and retention, and prepare Scholars for graduation and future careers in STEM fields. The MAKERS S-STEM model is designed to attenuate the potential factors that decrease persistence of low-income students in STEM degree programs by integrating STEM enrichment, research, and peripheral activities. The nature of many of the MAKERS project components and the wide range of institutional contexts show promise for improving outcomes for students at other institutions with similar demographics while capitalizing on their existing resources. MAKERS hallmark intervention will be Learning by Making, which will involve interdisciplinary Scholar clusters identifying and investigating problems affecting their local communities, and applying their STEM knowledge to make a product that has the potential to solve those problems.

The major objectives of MAKERS are to: (1) increase student retention and graduation rates; (2) prepare students with the STEM academic foundation, professional skills and experiences needed to enter the STEM workforce or graduate school in STEM disciplines; and (3) investigate the MAKERS models impact on recruitment, retention, success, and graduation of students in the target population and majors. The MAKERS project is innovative because, rather than focusing solely on developing the students academic potential or restructuring institutional variables, it will empower students as active agents in their education by creating connections between their majors and the local community, mitigating potential inhibiting factors in the students social context. Three unique aspects of the project - immersion of scholars in the Learning by Making process; strong cross-institutional social and professional networks; and the use of online platforms for support and collaboration - have the potential to transform the learning process for these students, helping them develop a STEM identity, fostering agency, and persisting to degree completion. A team of evaluation experts will continuously assess its interventions using mixed methods and provide feedback to the investigators to identify new best practices that will be added to the extant knowledge base on broadening participation of low-income groups in STEM fields.

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