Marquette University is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Established as Marquette College on August 28, 1881 by the Society of Jesus, it was founded by John Martin Henni, the first Bishop of Milwaukee. The university was named after 17th century missionary and explorer Father Jacques Marquette, with the intention to provide an affordable Catholic education to the area's emerging German immigrant population. Initially an all-male institution, Marquette became the first coed Catholic university in the world in 1909, when it began admitting its first female students.Marquette is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and currently has a student body of about 12,000. Marquette is one of the largest Jesuit universities in the United States, and the largest private university in Wisconsin.Marquette is organized into 11 schools and colleges at its main Milwaukee campus, offering programs in the liberal arts, business, communications, education, engineering, law and various health science disciplines. The university also administers classes in suburbs around the Milwaukee area and in Washington, DC. While most students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, the university has over 50 doctoral and master's degree programs and 37 graduate certificate programs. The university's varsity athletic teams, known as the Golden Eagles, are members of the Big East Conference and compete in the NCAA's Division I in all sports. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Marquette 75th among national universities. Forbes ranked Marquette 87th among American research universities in 2013. Wikipedia.
Abbott A.L.,Marquette University
Current Biology | Year: 2011
In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, microRNA (miRNA) regulation of development was first observed in the striking abnormalities of lin-4 and let-7 loss of function mutants. However, after these first two miRNA mutant phenotypes were described, progress on the identification of miRNA functions in worms slowed considerably. Recent advances reveal new functions for miRNAs in embryonic and larval development as well as in the regulation of lifespan and stress response. Results from a combination of computational, biochemical, and genetic approaches have deepened our understanding of miRNA regulation of target mRNAs and support the hypothesis that miRNAs have an important role in ensuring the robustness of developmental and physiological pathways. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hunter S.K.,Marquette University
Acta Physiologica | Year: 2014
Sex-related differences in physiology and anatomy are responsible for profound differences in neuromuscular performance and fatigability between men and women. Women are usually less fatigable than men for similar intensity isometric fatiguing contractions. This sex difference in fatigability, however, is task specific because different neuromuscular sites will be stressed when the requirements of the task are altered, and the stress on these sites can differ for men and women. Task variables that can alter the sex difference in fatigability include the type, intensity and speed of contraction, the muscle group assessed and the environmental conditions. Physiological mechanisms that are responsible for sex-based differences in fatigability may include activation of the motor neurone pool from cortical and subcortical regions, synaptic inputs to the motor neurone pool via activation of metabolically sensitive small afferent fibres in the muscle, muscle perfusion and skeletal muscle metabolism and fibre type properties. Non-physiological factors such as the sex bias of studying more males than females in human and animal experiments can also mask a true understanding of the magnitude and mechanisms of sex-based differences in physiology and fatigability. Despite recent developments, there is a tremendous lack of understanding of sex differences in neuromuscular function and fatigability, the prevailing mechanisms and the functional consequences. This review emphasizes the need to understand sex-based differences in fatigability to shed light on the benefits and limitations that fatigability can exert for men and women during daily tasks, exercise performance, training and rehabilitation in both health and disease. © 2014 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Vranjkovic O.,Marquette University
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2014
The ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (vBNST) has been implicated in stress-induced cocaine use. Here we demonstrate that, in the vBNST, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) is expressed in neurons that innervate the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a site where the CRF receptor antagonist antalarmin prevents the reinstatement of cocaine seeking by a stressor, intermittent footshock, following intravenous self-administration in rats. The vBNST receives dense noradrenergic innervation and expresses β adrenergic receptors (ARs). Footshock-induced reinstatement was prevented by bilateral intra-vBNST injection of the β-2 AR antagonist, ICI-118,551, but not the β-1 AR antagonist, betaxolol. Moreover, bilateral intra-vBNST injection of the β-2 AR agonist, clenbuterol, but not the β-1 agonist, dobutamine, reinstated cocaine seeking, suggesting that activation of vBNST β-2 AR is both necessary for stress-induced reinstatement and sufficient to induce cocaine seeking. The contribution of a β-2 AR-regulated vBNST-to-VTA pathway that releases CRF was investigated using a disconnection approach. Injection of ICI-118,551 into the vBNST in one hemisphere and antalarmin into the VTA of the contralateral hemisphere prevented footshock-induced reinstatement, whereas ipsilateral manipulations failed to attenuate stress-induced cocaine seeking, suggesting that β-2 AR regulate vBNST efferents that release CRF into the VTA, activating CRF receptors, and promoting cocaine use. Last, reinstatement by clenbuterol delivered bilaterally into the vBNST was prevented by bilateral vBNST pretreatment with antalarmin, indicating that β-2 AR-mediated actions in the vBNST also require local CRF receptor activation. Understanding the processes through which stress induces cocaine seeking should guide the development of new treatments for addiction. © 2014 by the Society for Neuroscience. All rights reserved.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: MODULATION | Award Amount: 229.87K | Year: 2016
The ability to lay down long-lasting memories of events is crucial for survival. Being able to predict a threat that occurs seconds or minutes after an environmental cue allows for evasive or defensive action. Despite considerable progress towards understanding how memories are formed, many questions remain, such as how the brain learns about events separated in time. This project uses cutting-edge tools in neuroscience to address a previously intractable problem about how brain systems function on a second-by-second basis to link events in memory. This contribution is significant because it is expected to identify key principles of brain function that will advance our understanding of more complex forms of learning and memory. Undergraduate students, including underrepresented groups in science (women and minorities), participate in data collection, analysis, and dissemination. This project also provides an opportunity to develop educational tools to help stimulate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields within the broader community. These tools include an interactive demonstration of neuronal activity and brain stimulation for annual outreach efforts to high schools in the greater Milwaukee, Wisconcin area.
Nearly all forms of motivated behavior require the association of events that are separated in time, but very little is known about the underlying mechanisms supporting these associations, highlighting a critical gap in the study of memory: how are sensory inputs integrated in memory when they do not overlap in time? The principal investigator recently revealed a causal link between a neural signature of working memory in the prefrontal cortex and the formation of long-term fear memory. The objective of this project is to determine how an auditory cue held in short-term working memory systems within the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus is associated with shock inputs in the amygdala to drive plasticity and adaptive fear responses. With the recent development of optogenetic tools, it is now possible to interrogate the function of discrete patterns of firing in specific neural connections. Here, the investigators leverage this tool in combination with electrophysiology in awake, behaving animals to determine when short-term mnemonic information is integrated with sensory input during memory formation. Given the importance of the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus for the adaptive use of memory to guide behavior, a hallmark of executive function, determining how mnemonic input from these structures is integrated in downstream brain areas informs the understanding of a broad range of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 996.35K | Year: 2016
This National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) project at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will recruit, retain, graduate, and enable career change for academically talented low-income students, with a focus on students who are new to the field of computer science. The program provides an accelerated Master of Science (MS) degree for individuals who do not have an undergraduate degree in computing, but who wish to cross over into the field. The program is based on a highly-focused summer program combined with an innovative curriculum that allows people without computer science degrees to merge quickly and efficiently into this professional MS in Computing degree program. Recruiting will focus on unemployed and under-employed individuals seeking a career change into computing and areas of high demand by employers. The project will provide the computing profession with a model for attracting and training students that seek to cross over from non-computer science degrees to work in computing. The project is based on a successful pilot program and will help to meet the need for highly skilled individuals in a fast-growing area of technology that has excellent employment prospects. Scholarships and support for low-income and academically talented students, who may not otherwise be able to obtain computer science degrees, will help to produce a well-trained workforce that will contribute to the economic well being of the nation.
The project combines a summer program with a variety of student support activities including a cohort experience, mentoring by faculty, peer mentoring, opportunities for internships, and career advising and professional development. A customized curriculum pathway provides a rapid transition into graduate studies for people who have no undergraduate degree in computing. Building on the results of a pilot program, the project will examine the effectiveness of the summer bridge program and other activities that are aimed at significantly reducing the time spent earning a career-changing graduate degree in computing. Areas of study will include scholars perceptions about their ability to be successful in graduate studies, their beliefs whether their preparation is sufficient to support graduate study in computing, their beliefs about their own persistence to complete graduate study in computing, and their beliefs about their academic prospects. Controlling for prior computing study, the project will analyze the academic performance of students who participated in the summer bridge program and the accelerated MS curriculum and compare this to students following more traditional paths into the MS in computing degree program. The findings from the program will be disseminated widely to the STEM education community.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: SOLID STATE & MATERIALS CHEMIS | Award Amount: 215.56K | Year: 2017
Metal organic frameworks are an emerging class of nanoporous crystalline materials consisting of metal ions or clusters coordinated to organic ligands. With support from the Solid State and Materials Chemistry program, the Principal Investigators NSF CAREER grant Dr. Huang will focus on the fundamental design and investigation of a promising type of metal organic framework, which possesses intrinsic photoactivity, i.e. photoactive zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs). These materials have potential applications as catalysts in photocatalytic reactions and solar energy conversion. Dr. Huang and her team aim to uncover the unknown photophysical and photochemical properties of these materials and directly correlate these properties with their catalytic functions, thus initiating a new research direction in the field of porous materials for sustainable energy. Furthermore, the proposed research will serve as a basis to raise awareness around the critical issues of global energy production and consumption, and will help train the next generation of solar energy scientists, which are key to the long-term success of this research program and the continued development of the sustainable energy field.
The role of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), an emerging subclass of metal organic frameworks, in heterogeneous catalysis has largely been to act as a simple host or inert medium for dispersing the catalytic species. Inspired by the broad absorption in UV-visible-near IR region of ZIFs with paramagnetic transition metals, this research team hypothesizes that ZIFs could be used as intrinsic photocatalytic materials rather than as inert hosts. The goals of this NSF CAREER project are to fully test this hypothesis through elucidating the photophysical and structure/function relationships of ZIFs, properties essential for their photocatalytic applications. With its focus on elucidating the fundamental understanding of the molecular-level origins of light harvesting, charge separation, photocatalytic properties, and the factors that control the efficiency of these processes, the new insights from this project will be of immense value to the future development of efficient and stable ZIFs for photocatalysis and solar energy conversion. Specific objectives are: i) using the advanced time-resolved optical and X-ray transient absorption spectroscopy to reveal the optical and structural dynamics of ZIF frameworks at the molecular level; ii) systematically exploring framework dimension and chemical composition to reveal the correlation of macroscopic structure to their microscopic properties; iii) encapsulating various chromophores in the framework to enhance the light harvesting and photocatalytic properties of ZIFs; and iv) correlating these photophysical properties with the photocatalytic performance of the designed ZIFs to determine the structure-function relationship in these porous materials.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Integrative Ecologi Physiology | Award Amount: 207.24K | Year: 2016
Tropical forests were once thought to be resistant to global climate change; however, they are now changing. One of the largest structural changes occurring in neotropical forests is the increase in liana abundance relative to trees. This development is alarming because lianas substantially reduce tree recruitment, growth, reproduction, survival, and diversity. In fact, recent evidence indicates that the effects of increasing lianas may be so powerful that they alter the global carbon cycle, which, in turn, has serious implications for continued global climate change. Despite the profound potential ramifications of increasing liana abundance, the causes remain poorly understood. This study will use a series of cutting-edge approaches to address a pressing question in ecology: what are the putative factors responsible for the shift towards liana dominance in neotropical forests. Considering the importance of tropical forests to global diversity and the global carbon cycle, the proposed research is fundamental to understanding the ecology of tropical forests, how these critical ecosystems are changing, and how these changes may ultimately influence global climates. Broader impacts of this research include educational and international capacity building for Latin American students and biologists, and the mentoring of US-based undergraduate and graduate students. Findings of this research will be communicated to the public through both scientific and popular press articles, including articles that feature professional photographic images that illustrate important scientific concepts.
Given the evidence that lianas are increasing in neotropical forests and that lianas have the capacity and propensity to alter tropical forest dynamics, composition, and functioning, the proposed study is urgent and will provide critical data on the rate of liana increases and the putative factors responsible for these increases. Determining the increase in liana abundance in tropical forests will also allow a better understanding of the factors that control tropical plant abundance and distribution, one of the fundamental goals in ecology. Through a combination of approaches (large-scale demographic, fine-scale physiology and growth, and experimental manipulation of multiple factors), this research will identify the liana species in central Panama that are increasing, determine the suite of morphological and physiological functional traits that explain the increase in those species, and experimentally test the most likely factors responsible for liana increases (disturbance, drought, elevated CO2, and nitrogen deposition). By understanding the causes of liana increases, the project will address important basic and applied ecological issues. The mentoring and training of graduate and undergraduate students and biologists from both the US and from Latin America is an integral part of the project.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: STEM + Computing (STEM+C) Part | Award Amount: 999.94K | Year: 2016
Marquette University proposes a the PUMP-CS project, (Preparing Urban Milwaukee for Principles of Computer Science,) which will provide access to the AP CS Principles (CSP) course at all Milwaukee high schools by 2020. At a time of unprecedented interest in computer science (CS) in K-12, Wisconsin sees an increasing stratification of access to CS. High-resourced schools, with CS curricula in place, are rapidly expanding offerings to match enrollment. Under-resourced schools have zero CS, or are seeing meager access diminished as scarce, qualified CS teachers are drained away to the suburbs. Less than 7% of Wisconsins 500+ public high schools offer AP CS courses, and none of the 30 high schools in their largest urban district have any AP CS courses. Only two of the states twenty largest college campuses have a CS teacher education program. If this stratification continues in the coming decade, an unprecedented number of Wisconsin high school students -- a disproportionate number of them from underrepresented groups -- will have no access to CS.
In 2014, this team launched a three-year CS10K project that aimed to introduce Exploring Computer Science (ECS) in high schools across the state. To date, 26 school districts have added ECS, including 7 of the largest schools in Milwaukee. Over 1,300 students have had access to ECS in the last three terms, most having no prior CS options. The PUMP-CS Project aims to extend that work by creating a multi-track professional development (PD) sequence for endorsing teachers--regardless of prior CS-specific knowledge--to teach either ECS or AP CSP. The first track prepares in-service teachers to lead ECS, integrating an inquiry- and equity-based pedagogy to convey solid CS content while appealing to a more diverse student population than traditional CS offerings. The second track enables in-service teachers to add a CS-specific endorsement to their primary certification, while continuing to promote pedagogical reform. A third track provides supporting professional development for middle school teachers, elementary school teachers, and after school program facilitators.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2016
On a global scale, there is an overabundance of waste phosphorus with a simultaneous lack of commercially available phosphorus for use. This contradiction stems from the crucial role of phosphorus for the growth of all biological organisms, plants and animals. As a rate-limiting nutrient, excess phosphorus in the environment is responsible for eutrophication, the leading cause of freshwater impairment. Conversely, phosphorus is vital to global food security as it sustains high agricultural productivity. Worst-case estimates suggest that rapidly diminishing mineable phosphorus reserves could be depleted beyond the realm of economically feasible extraction within a century. In the face of this looming crisis, the recovery of waste phosphorus from wastewater and environmental surface waters is no longer a luxury, but an urgent imperative that is the focus of this project.
Unfortunately, conventional wastewater treatment is incapable of satisfying new sustainability metrics of capturing phosphorus at low levels and recovering it as a valuable resource. Therefore, the overarching project objective is to elucidate the fundamentals of phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein and evaluate phosphorus removal and recovery efficiency. This is directly relevant to the principal investigators (PIs) career trajectory as it integrates nutrient recovery, environmental microbiology, sustainability, and STEM education. The pursuit of mutually reinforcing research and educational objectives establishes a strong foundation for the PIs future portfolio of research discoveries and educational advancements. The proposed research will provide the first exploration of phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein in the context of phosphorus sorption and desorption for controlled phosphorus recovery applications. The study will elucidate the fundamental basis of phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein and quantify phosphorus removal and recovery using two protein-based systems: 1) E. coli bacteria engineered to surface-express phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein, and 2) phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein immobilized on synthetic media. Preliminary data indicate that phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein can remove phosphorus, but basic research is needed to improve understanding of the basis of phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein binding and its phosphorus recovery potential. By enhancing the fundamental scientific understanding of phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein capabilities, this project will substantially advance sustainable treatment in the context of the joint criteria of phosphorus removal and recovery. This work is novel in that, for the first time, the potential for controlled phosphorus removal and recovery using immobilized and surface-displayed phosphorus-specific high affinity phosphate-binding protein systems in both water and wastewater will be investigated. The proposed research advances broader societal outcomes, including improved understanding of sustainable technologies; increased minority participation in STEM; and development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce. The results will foster development and evaluation of sustainable biomimicry-inspired technologies for phosphorus recovery. This effort has broader implications for environmental water quality, wastewater infrastructure, mining, global food security, and associated economic and sociopolitical implications.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING | Award Amount: 49.93K | Year: 2017
There is an ongoing outbreak in the U.S caused by Elizabethkingia bacteria. Elizabethkingia is a ubiquitous group of bacteria whose presence in soil and water ordinarily pose little risk to human health. However, the current outbreak includes 63 confirmed cases, and has been associated with 18 confirmed fatalities since November 2015. This opportunistic human pathogen is particularly alarming because it tends to exhibit a high degree of antibiotic resistance and mortality. Given the emergence of this pathogen and the ongoing outbreak, it is important to develop a better understanding of how to effectively control these bacteria in drinking water.
This RAPID research project will provide the first direct assessment of inactivation of waterborne Elizabethkingia bacteria using chlorination, chloramination, ozonation, and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Specific objectives of the proposed work include the following. Characterize the disinfection response of: 1) planktonic cells, 2) attached cells, and 3) develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between disinfection efficacy and Elizabethkingia composition. Laboratory experiments will be used to establish concentration (or UV intensity) x time relationships (referred to as CT relationships). This disinfectant response data is currently unknown, and is urgently needed to develop effective disinfection strategies to curtail the current outbreak and avoid future public health disasters. Additionally, this project will probe the relationship between the bacterias composition (nucleic and amino acids) and susceptibility to different modes of disinfection. The proposed research will substantially contribute to advancing broader societal outcomes including improved understanding of drinking water disinfection strategies to better protect human health, which has immediate implications for curtailing the ongoing outbreak caused by Elizabethkingia bacteria and for preventing future outbreaks. Findings from this project will also be integrated into course modules/discussions in the PIs regular teaching rotation, a summer experience for high school students, and at the Emerging Contaminants Short Course offered annually at Marquette University for academics and professionals.