Boca Raton, FL, United States

Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL, United States

Florida Atlantic University is a public university located in Boca Raton, Florida, with five satellite campuses located in the Florida cities of Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and in Fort Pierce at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. FAU belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida and serves South Florida, which has a population of more than five million people and spans more than 100 miles of coastline. Florida Atlantic University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity. The university offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs within its 10 colleges in addition to its sole professional degree from the College of Medicine. Programs of study span from arts and humanities, the science, medicine, nursing, accounting, business, education, public administration, social work, architecture, engineering, computer science, and more.Florida Atlantic opened in 1964 as the first public university in southeast Florida, offering only upper-division and graduate level courses. Although initial enrollment was only 867 students, this number increased in 1984 when the university admitted its first lower-division undergraduate students. As of 2012, enrollment has grown to over 30,000 students representing 140 countries, 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its inception, Florida Atlantic has awarded more than 110,000 degrees to nearly 105,000 alumni worldwide.In recent years Florida Atlantic has undertaken an effort to increase its academic and research standings while also evolving into a more traditional university. The university has raised admissions standards, increased research funding, built new facilities, and established notable partnerships with major research institutions. The efforts have resulted in not only an increase in the university's academic profile, but also the elevation of the football team to Division I competition status, the on-campus stadium, more on-campus housing, and the establishment of its own College of Medicine in 2010. Wikipedia.

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Fuster J.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Bressler S.L.,Florida Atlantic University
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2012

Working memory is critical to the integration of information across time in goal-directed behavior, reasoning and language, yet its neural substrate is unknown. Based on recent research, we propose a mechanism by which the brain can retain working memory for prospective use, thereby bridging time in the perception/action cycle. The essence of the mechanism is the activation of 'cognits', which consist of distributed, overlapping and interactive cortical networks that in the aggregate encode the long-term memory of the subject. Working memory depends on the excitatory reentry between perceptual and executive cognits of posterior and frontal cortices, respectively. Given the pervasive role of working memory in the structuring of purposeful cognitive sequences, its mechanism looms essential to the foundation of behavior, reasoning and language. © 2012.

Bressler S.L.,Florida Atlantic University | Menon V.,Stanford University
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2010

An understanding of how the human brain produces cognition ultimately depends on knowledge of large-scale brain organization. Although it has long been assumed that cognitive functions are attributable to the isolated operations of single brain areas, we demonstrate that the weight of evidence has now shifted in support of the view that cognition results from the dynamic interactions of distributed brain areas operating in large-scale networks. We review current research on structural and functional brain organization, and argue that the emerging science of large-scale brain networks provides a coherent framework for understanding of cognition. Critically, this framework allows a principled exploration of how cognitive functions emerge from, and are constrained by, core structural and functional networks of the brain. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tognoli E.,Florida Atlantic University | Kelso J.,Florida Atlantic University | Kelso J.,University of Ulster
Neuron | Year: 2014

Neural ensembles oscillate across a broad range of frequencies and are transiently coupled or "bound" together when people attend to a stimulus, perceive, think, and act. This is a dynamic, self-assembling process, with parts of the brain engaging and disengaging in time. But how is it done? The theory of Coordination Dynamics proposes a mechanism called metastability, a subtle blend of integration and segregation. Tendencies for brain regions to express their individual autonomy and specialized functions (segregation, modularity) coexist with tendencies to couple and coordinate globally for multiple functions (integration). Although metastability has garnered increasing attention, it has yet to be demonstrated and treated within a fully spatiotemporal perspective. Here, we illustrate metastability in continuous neural and behavioral recordings, and we discuss theory and experiments at multiple scales, suggesting that metastable dynamics underlie the real-time coordination necessary for the brain's dynamic cognitive, behavioral, and social functions. How does the transient coupling of neural ensembles that supports cognitive function occur? Tognoli and Kelso consider a mechanism known as metastability, discussing theory and data at multiple scales that suggest that metastable dynamics underlies the coordination necessary for the brain's dynamic functions. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Schmidt-Kastner R.,Florida Atlantic University
Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Transient global ischemia selectively damages neurons in specific brain areas. A reproducible pattern of selective vulnerability is observed in the dorsal hippocampus of rodents where ischemic damage typically affects neurons in the CA1 area while sparing neurons in CA3 and granule cells. The "neuronal factors" underlying the differential vulnerability of CA1 versus CA3 have been of great interest. This review first provides on overview of the histological pattern of ischemic-hypoxic damage, the phenomenon of delayed neuronal death, the necrosis-apoptosis discussion, and multiple molecular mechanisms studied in the hippocampus. Subsequently, genomic studies of basal gene expression in CA1 and CA3 are summarized and changes in gene expression in response to global brain ischemia are surveyed. A formal analysis is presented for the overlap between genes expressed under basal conditions in the hippocampus and genes responding to ischemia-hypoxia in general. A possible role of the elusive vascular factors in selective vulnerability is reviewed, and a gene set for angiogenesis is then shown to be enriched in the CA3 gene set. A survey of selective vulnerability in the human hippocampus in relation to genomic studies in ischemia-hypoxia is presented, and neurodegeneration genes with high expression in CA1 are highlighted (e.g. WFS1). It is concluded that neuronal factors dominate the selective vulnerability of CA1 but that vascular factors also deserve more systematic studies. © 2015 IBRO.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-01-2015 | Award Amount: 10.23M | Year: 2016

The objective of SponGES is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use vulnerable sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic. The SponGES consortium, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration of research institutions, environmental non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, will focus on one of the most diverse, ecologically and biologically important and vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep-sea - sponge grounds that to date have received very little research and conservation attention. Our approach will address the scope and challenges of ECs Blue Growth Call by strengthening the knowledge base, improving innovation, predicting changes, and providing decision support tools for management and sustainable use of marine resources. SponGES will fill knowledge gaps on vulnerable sponge ecosystems and provide guidelines for their preservation and sustainable exploitation. North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds will be mapped and characterized, and a geographical information system on sponge grounds will be developed to determine drivers of past and present distribution. Diversity, biogeographic and connectivity patterns will be investigated through a genomic approach. Function of sponge ecosystems and the goods and services they provide, e.g. in habitat provision, bentho-pelagic coupling and biogeochemical cycling will be identified and quantified. This project will further unlock the potential of sponge grounds for innovative blue biotechnology namely towards drug discovery and tissue engineering. It will improve predictive capacities by quantifying threats related to fishing, climate change, and local disturbances. SpongeGES outputs will form the basis for modeling and predicting future ecosystem dynamics under environmental changes. SponGES will develop an adaptive ecosystem-based management plan that enables conservation and good governance of these marine resources on regional and international levels.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Biomechanics & Mechanobiology | Award Amount: 399.75K | Year: 2016

Red blood cells experience a tremendous amount of shearing, stretching and bending as they circulate through the body. Progressive damage occurs in the circulating cells before they are removed and replaced with new ones. Much of the research on cellular biomechanics focuses on a single application of load, which does not reproduce the dynamic repetitive loading that the cells experience in the body. This research will use a new microfluidic tool to apply repetitive cell loading to create a fundamental understanding of the mechanical origins of damage in circulating red blood cells. The results will provide quantitative links between cellular biomechanics and cell biology, thus advancing our understanding of the significantly shortened lifespan of transfused red blood cells and those made abnormal by diseases. The multidisciplinary approach will broaden participation of underrepresented groups in Science and Engineering. The PI is placing special emphasis on encouraging women students to participate research at the interface of engineering and life sciences.

The objective of this research is to establish the fundamental correlations between the cellular dynamic and fatigue properties, the in vivo circulation history and influences from pathophysiological factors in human red blood cells. This work specifically addresses questions: (a) how to implement the dynamic viscoelasticity and fatigue measurements of individual cells at a relatively high throughput, and (b) how to quantify the pathophysiological influences on cellular biomechanics. This research will develop an experimental strategy for dynamic and fatigue measurement of single cells, by integrating knowledge and techniques of microfluidics, alternating current electrokinetics, digital modulation and biomechanics. The damage process in cell membranes caused by the mechanical forces in circulation is significantly analogous to material fatigue. Experimentally determined Wöhler curves in combination with Miners rule will be used for remaining life prediction in red blood cells influenced by in vivo aging and sickle cell disease. Novelty of this research lies in the new experimental strategy and a new perspective in cellular biomechanics.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: OCEAN TECH & INTERDISC COORDIN | Award Amount: 403.03K | Year: 2016

A myriad of particles with vastly varying shapes and sizes, ranging from suspended organic/inorganic material to single celled, colonial, and multi-cellular plankton, densely populate the worlds oceans. They are major drivers in fields as diverse as sediment transport, remote sensing/ocean optics, ecological studies of marine food webs, and carbon sequestration. Thus, instruments that can directly quantify particle characteristics, distribution, and concentration are critical to numerous science disciplines. Digital holography is an ideal tool to study particles, providing 3-D information within free stream sampling volumes that vastly exceed the 2-D cross sections sampled by conventional imaging instruments. Holographic images of undisturbed particles and their related flow fields can provide data critical to science questions requiring an understanding of particle motions and interactions, particle size, shape, fine-scale distribution, and spatial-temporal dynamics. The instrument being developed through this project could encourage interdisciplinary studies at the intersection of ocean optics, marine biology, biogeochemical cycles, and small-scale fluid dynamics, and lead to significant advancements in each of these areas.

The objective of this project is to design, fabricate and rigorously test/validate an autonomous digital holographic camera system capable of quantifying the characteristics of in situ particles within a size range of ~ 1 micron to 2 cm. The instrument will be designed to sample an undisturbed volume of water and quantify particle number, size and shape (e.g. cross-sectional area, surface area, aspect ratio, sphericity), the 3-D spatial structure of the particle field (e.g. nearest neighbor distances), and the local fluid flows at the scale of the particles (via holographic PIV of the imaged volume). Identification of particles with unique shape characteristics (e.g. bubbles, oil droplets, phytoplankton and zooplankton) and particle orientation will be achievable. The instrument will be compact, submersible, biofouling resistant, fully autonomous with self-contained data logging and power, with adjustable resolution and sampling volume, and will be adaptable for use on vertical profilers, AUVs, tow-bodies, and long-term deployment on moorings. The device will be designed with the goal of science versatility and future commercialization for routine use by the scientific community.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY | Award Amount: 289.13K | Year: 2017

Phytoplankton have an intimate connection to the hydrodynamic environment in which they live.
Previous studies have examined the role that turbulence and shear play in nutrient uptake, patch/layer formation, and predator-prey encounters, but the role of phytoplankton orientation to increase light capture (and ultimately primary production) has been largely overlooked. Compelling evidence of persistent horizontal orientation of chain-forming diatoms, obtained from novel in situ holographic imaging, has led to a hypothesis that in regions of strong stratification, shear flows will lead to systematic horizontal orientation of elongate phytoplankton forms that maximizes their cross-sectional area (and light capture) in the ambient downwelling light field. It has also been suggested that variations in phytoplankton size and shape are fundamental traits conferring selective competitive advantages in certain hydrodynamic environments, thus modifying/mediating community composition. The interdisciplinary research of this project crosses three scientific disciplines (biology, optics and fluid dynamics) and will advance our understanding of the function of diverse forms of phytoplankton, their interactions with fluid flows, and the resultant impacts on the optics of the environment. The project will support a number of undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers.

This project combines analysis of previously collected field data with laboratory experiments and modeling. For the field data analysis, phytoplankton orientation is quantified from in situ holographic images of the undisturbed water column along with concurrent high resolution measurements of critical physical (turbulence/shear/stratification) and optical parameters collected from a ship-based holographic bio-physics profiler. In the laboratory, the orientation response of different phytoplankton species and morphologies is evaluated in custom built shear tanks under controlled laminar and turbulent conditions to confirm that elongate forms can orient in certain hydrodynamic environments to maximize light capture. In addition, controlled growth/physiology experiments in various shear tank treatments will explore the effects of orientation on growth, photosynthetic parameters and productivity. Lastly, the project results will be incorporated into a global analysis of observed and modeled physical, bio-optical and ecologically-relevant parameters, to quantify the relevance of this phenomenon to primary production and the carbon cycle.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Campus Cyberinfrastrc (CC-NIE) | Award Amount: 498.01K | Year: 2016

Florida Atlantic University is installing intra- and inter-campus networking facilities to establish a 10-gigabit regional DMZ for research computing that supports data-intensive research and education in science and engineering. The DMZ establishes high-performance data pathways among multiple campuses and research partners and addresses critical performance bottlenecks on the critical path to the sustained growth of data-intensive science and engineering at Florida Atlantic University. The DMZ supports collaborative research and education activities across Florida Atlantics campuses, strengthens its connections to statewide research computing resources, and solidifies new ties to regional partners. The merit of the project lies in the research and training activities that the DMZ enables. The benefits of the infrastructure span disciplines, including computer science, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, medicine, chemistry, genomics, ocean engineering, and marine science; in areas that include big data research and training, transportation logistics, nanomaterials, biomarker analysis, computational chemistry, marine mammal classification, and undersea communication. The new DMZ enables Florida Atlantic University to more effectively engage in data-intensive science and engineering activities that are critical in sustaining the nations positions of technological and economic leadership.

The DMZ separates Florida Atlantics research network from its academic and administrative infrastructure to support congestion-free network transfers among researchers working across multiple campuses in an increasingly data-intensive research environment. The infrastructure establishes three types of connections: (i) The DMZ connects three of Florida Atlantic?s campuses, linking its main campus in Boca Raton to its Jupiter and Harbor Branch Oceanographic campuses in Jupiter and Fort Pierce, respectively. The infrastructure federates access to data centers resident at each campus and provides bridge access to those resources. (ii) The infrastructure extends the science and engineering DMZ to Floridas Scripps Research Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience, building on new institutional agreements between the two research giants and Florida Atlantic, focused on collaborations headquartered in Jupiter. (iii) Finally, the infrastructure links all five sites to computation and storage capabilities provided through the Sunshine State Education and Research Computing Alliance (SSERCA) via Florida Atlantics existing link to the Florida Lambda Rail. In aggregate, the networking infrastructure provides high-speed data pathways among distributed research teams, as well as to computational and storage resources on each campus and the broader community of Sunshine State Education & Research Computing Alliance (SSERCA) institutions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 339.98K | Year: 2017

This award establishes a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at Florida Atlantic University. Faculty in the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering will host cohorts of undergraduate students for summer research in the area of sensing and smart systems. Smart systems represent an emerging class of distributed systems that provide real-time awareness of conditions, trends, and patterns to support improved decision-making and automated control. Smart systems offer a significant application potential that should be appealing to undergraduate researchers. The recruitment and selection procedures will ensure that the program engages a diverse demographic, including a significant number of women and veterans as well as members of underrepresented minorities. Many of the participants will be recruited from institutions where there are limited research opportunities for undergraduates. In addition to conducting research the students will participate in other professional development activities such as industry field trips, professional seminars, speakers, career guidance, and graduate school preparation. An external evaluator will measure the success of the site and the impact on the students. The culminating event of the summer will be a mini-conference where the students present their research results in a professional setting.

The REU site is led by faculty mentors from the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering. The faculty of the Institute have significant research expertise and offer state-of-the-art facilities that should provide a compelling research experience to undergraduates. The undergraduates will be woven into existing research groups and projects that are working on current and emerging applications that have real-world connections. The research will focus on three main areas of application expertise including infrastructure systems, marine and environment, and health and behavior. The projects span diverse contexts of exploration and application unified in their focus on sensing and smart systems. The resulting exploration space presents a myriad of challenges at the confluence of computing and data-intensive science and engineering. The site focus and associated research projects present and outstanding opportunity for catalyzing interdisciplinary exploration and discovery that will excite students and demonstrate scientific discovery and exploration at a high level.

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