San Diego, CA, United States

University of San Diego
San Diego, CA, United States

The University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic university in San Diego, California. The university offers 40 baccalaureate degrees, and several degrees in law, nursing, ,and other doctorate programs. The university comprises seven different academic colleges. Wikipedia.

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A device and method is described for electronic human prosthetics, and specifically a skull- and/or spine implantable bi-directional neural-communication/brain-machine interface (BBMI) device where the input, output and on-board computing are combined into a single unit to form a compact neuro-prosthetics device. This invention is also directed to a fully implantable wireless spinal electronic recording and stimulation system using the BBMI in a human. The bi-directional devices (BBMIs) communicate with other bi-directional brain-machine interface devices (BBMI) and/or with external controllers wirelessly. The compact implantable stimulator has ultrasonic secondary battery charging system. One or more BBMI can be wirelessly connected so that a closed loop of BBMIs, or a BBMI and an external controller, can wirelessly send trigger pulses to this fully implanted stimulator over the spinal cord.

Terkeltaub R.,University of San Diego
Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year: 2010

Gout, a disease recognized since antiquity, has increased in prevalence in recent years and the clinical profile of this disease has become increasingly complex, owing to large numbers of cases with iatrogenic factors, multiple comorbidities, advanced age, and hyperuricemia and arthritis refractory to treatment. In this Review, key advances in gout research made during the past decade are summarized. Revised strategies for safe and effective employment of dietary measures and pharmacologic treatments for active gouty arthritis, prevention of gout flares and urate lowering are also reviewed, with an emphasis on dosing of colchicine and allopurinol, and the evidence-based approach to systemic glucocorticosteroid treatment of acute gout. Also discussed are new and emerging treatments for gout and hyperuricemia, and the potential influence of dual energy CT imaging on treatment. In this context, the therapeutic role of febuxostat, and clinical development of pegylated uricase urate-lowering therapy and interleukin 1 antagonism for gouty inflammation are reviewed. Collectively, novel approaches will hopefully lead to improved management of hyperuricemia and gout, and also to improvements in patient-centered outcomes, even for those who have previously failed to respond to treatment. © 2010 Macmillan Publsihers Limited. All rights reserved.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 609.81K | Year: 2015

This National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) project at the University of San Diego (USD) will support, and retain a diverse group of mathematics, computer science, physics and biophysics majors. The project will recruit broadly for participants including those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds in STEM, by building on the results of a previous NSF S-STEM project. The data obtained from both projects will lead to successful recruitment, retention, and academic success of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in STEM at other institutions.

The project will fund two nine-student cohorts. Students who exhibit interest and talent in the identified areas during their first year in college will be encouraged to apply to join a cohort and receive financial and other support for three subsequent years. The S-STEM scholars will be extensively mentored throughout their undergraduate experience by project faculty, and will regularly participate in STEM enrichment and community-building activities. Scholars will take a one-unit course, especially designed by project faculty, to develop the communication skills and interdisciplinary-thinking strategies required to be successful while in school and after graduation. The program will establish several high-impact practices leading to student success that will be continued at USD beyond the duration of the project, and shared with other universities through publications and presentations.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OFFICE OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY AC | Award Amount: 270.00K | Year: 2015

The Division Of Chemistry (CHE) and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities in the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Directorate at NSF supports a Research Experience For Undergraduates (REU) site led by Debbie Tahmassebi and Sonia Zarate at the University of San Diego. Each summer, the REU Program supports ten students for 10 weeks of summer research. The program focuses on recruiting community college students (currently enrolled and recent transfers to USD) with special consideration for students that are veterans of the armed forces, are underrepresented in STEM, and have had limited opportunities to engage in research. Participants are mentored in modern research, and are trained to take an integrative approach to understand, and propose strategies to address complex climate change issues. Specifically, participants gain an understanding of how new knowledge is generated, learn how to synthesize scientific information, and learn to design experiments taking various disciplines into consideration. Through this integrative approach students develop into innovative scientists that are able to interpret data, form conclusions, and better understand the impact of climate change on the environment and other organisms. The USD NSF REU seeks to better prepare students from underrepresented populations and veterans for matriculation into STEM Academics and the 21st century STEM workforce.

The NSF REU Site at USD engages students in collaborative, interdisciplinary research alongside faculty in Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Engineering, Environmental & Ocean Sciences, Mathematics & Computer Science and Physics. The research projects involve students in studies centered on climate change across the various scales of system organization. Students will have a range of research opportunities from studying formation of aerosol particles, coral reef sedimentation, organism metabolism, predator and prey interactions, and coastal wetland community structure. More applied projects include efforts to develop a catalyst to convert a greenhouse gas into a fuel source, approaches to the collection and storage of solar energy and the development of alternative biodegradable composites to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: FLUID DYNAMICS | Award Amount: 75.00K | Year: 2016

PI: McKenna, Gregory B. / Schroeder, Charles / Anderson, Rae
Proposal Number: 1603943/ 1604038 / 1603925

The goal of this proposal is to explore the behavior of polymer molecules that form large ring, instead of the usual linear polymer molecules. Such polymers, example of which can be the DNA molecule, behave in a different way than linear molecules when processed or when they flow in a solution, because there are not ends in the chains. Results of this work can lead to improved polymer materials, to understanding in detail the behavior of bio-molecules and to new technologies for DNA sequencing.

Circular polymers are fascinating materials that have inspired polymer theorists and experimentalists for decades. The dynamics of circular chains differ fundamentally from their linear counterparts due to the absence of chain ends. Despite recent progress, however, the effects of circular topology on polymer dynamics remain a key unresolved problem in the field. In this proposal, the PIs are poised to make major progress in our understanding by preparing circular and linear DNA molecules that are monodisperse and of high topological purity. The assembled team has the expertise to synthesize and characterize circular and linear DNA, and will study the rheological behavior of these materials over a wider range of concentrations and molecular weights than previously achieved. A comprehensive approach is proposed that will include macroscopic and micro-rheology, single molecule polymer dynamics, and DNA synthesis, to provide new information regarding the dynamics of linear and circular DNA. Beyond providing a point of departure for understanding their circular counterparts, the parallel study of linear entangled DNA will provide unprecedented data using perfectly monodisperse DNA samples to directly test predictions from reptation theory, such as the cross-over to reptative behavior at extremely high entanglement densities. In addition to graduate student participation, educational activities are proposed in all three collaborating institutions, ranging from underrepresented minority student involvement at Texas Tech, to high school teacher engagement at Illinois and undergraduate student participation at the U of San Diego, a mainly undergraduate institution.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Science of Learning | Award Amount: 45.04K | Year: 2016

NSFs Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) program aims to produce revolutionary changes, creating knowledge about the implementation of sustainable changes in engineering and computer science education. Through this conference, future principal investigators on RED grants will benefit from sharing knowledge, engaging in dialogue, and participating in an online format to allow transfer of information and ideas, and broadly communicating their experiences about the scope of NSFs RED program. This conference aims to instigate exchanges of revolutionary ideas, stimulate new directions that are well-aligned with the RED program description, and cultivate innovative potential in the production of RED grant proposals. The conference offers potential awardees a better understanding of how to scale their projects, aiming to produce the widest possible impact at universities across the country. The objective is that through the conference the pool of submissions proposed to NSF will be increased and the quality will be enhanced. As NSF prepares to enter its third year of RED proposals, an additional goal of this conference is to broaden awareness of what it means to be revolutionary in engineering and computer science. This conference provides an excellent opportunity to deconstruct static and rigid formulations of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and to explore the radical possibilities for programmatic change.

The conference aims to instigate exchanges of revolutionary ideas, stimulate new directions that are well-aligned with the RED program description, and cultivate innovative potential in the production of RED grant proposals. The conference offers potential awardees a better understanding of how to scale their projects, aiming to produce the widest possible impact at universities across the country. The primary objective of this conference is to disseminate information to produce a greater yield of successful RED submissions by providing an online venue for prospective awardees. This conference will lead to three outcomes. Participants will 1) learn from panelists and share questions about understanding revolutionary change, 2) understand the importance of competently assembling a RED team with specific roles, and 3) critically consider the change model throughout the research process with the aim of producing sustainable and scalable outcomes. The impact of this conference will also broaden awareness of what it means to be revolutionary in engineering and computer science. This conference emerges from the pool of current RED projects engaged in creating institutional transformations in Engineering and Computer Science. The leadership teams from these RED projects are passionate and energized in helping others begin revolutions within their programs that can lead to widespread changes in engineering education. This conference provides an excellent opportunity to make a broader impact by sharing knowledge about current RED projects, offering mentorship to institutions interested in starting their own revolutions, and maximizing NSFs investment in the RED program.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY | Award Amount: 366.63K | Year: 2015

This Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) project is investigating the formation of brown carbon in the atmosphere. The identification of important photochemical sources of brown carbon are important because light-absorbing particles in the atmosphere (black and brown carbon) are the second largest anthropogenic driver of climate change, after CO2 emissions. At least 20 diverse undergraduate students will participate in this research as part of this project, making it more likely that they will choose careers in science.

The objectives of the research are: (1) to characterize aqueous-phase browning processes in droplets and in aerosol particles, with and without light and/or oxidants, (2) to measure the effect of dissolved SO2 on aldehyde partitioning and aerosol-phase products, (3) to determine the atmospheric significance of these reactions, and (4) to mentor and train a diverse cohort of undergraduate students, especially freshmen and sophomores, in atmospheric chemical research.

Brown carbon formation will be quantified using cavity-attenuated phaseshift single-scattering albedo (CAPS-ssa) spectroscopy on evaporating droplets and aging aerosol particles with and without added aqueous-phase oxidants in a lab chamber, in rooftop photochemistry experiments, and at the CESAM cloud chamber at University of Paris East at Creteil.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 79.63K | Year: 2016

We propose CADET (Cognitive Assessment During Evaluation and Testing), a flexible and minimally intru-sive machine learning enabled software sensor that classifies environmental, human behavior, and physiolog-ical features to measure and predict near real time workload (WL) and performance. We will combine SIFT's prior WL research in zero-intrusion techniques in linguistics, keyboard dynamics and video-derived heart rate (which achieved WL classification accuracy levels between 66-100%), with Dr. Bradley Chase's research in eye movement parameters for WL identification. CADET will tailor and further extend these measures to in-clude interaction dynamics, posture, and prosody to increase operational coverage for a Test and Evaluation (T&E) environment. CADET will include a multi-dimensional array of metrics to provide WL estimates, em-ploying statistical models to consider in-task cognitive load, and allow for changes in an operators WL rela-tive to learning. Further, CADET will customize result visualizations pertinent to different stakeholders, providing a truly flexible and actionable measure of WL useful for a wide variety of T&E situations. Addi-tionally, such a WL assessment assay would be compatible with both team and individually performed tasks. Phase I will provide the necessary requirement and design specifications to validate these measures in Phase II.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY | Award Amount: 100.74K | Year: 2016

Understanding how larvae are transported in the coastal ocean is key for characterizing the population fluctuations of marine organisms. Studies demonstrate that larvae of species that inhabit shallow waters can behaviorally respond to changing oceanographic conditions by moving vertically into currents that can promote their transport to coastal, nearshore habitats where they settle to bottom habitats and complete their life cycle. However, the oceanographic mechanisms that promote such transport, and how they might be impacted by infrequent events such as El Niño, are poorly resolved. Given that El Niño events might increase in frequency and magnitude under climate change, it is imperative to assess how El Niño affects larval transport and larval settlement. To this end, this study will use an unprecedented set of nearshore biological and physical measurements spanning pre-El-Niño, during El Niño, and the predicted return to El Niño neutral conditions, to test mechanistically how larval transport and settlement respond in a nearshore coastal environment. This project will also provide educational and research opportunities for students at the University of San Diego, a liberal arts university. At least one laboratory exercise demonstrating the impacts of El Niño on larval transport and settlement will be developed for undergraduate students, and students will be recruited to participate in all aspects of the project to provide them with hands-on research experience. This research will form the basis for the thesis work of at least one M.S. graduate student. Finally, given that the research falls within a Marine Protected Area, results will be broadly disseminated and shared with coastal managers and the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Larval transport and settlement are fundamental processes for understanding the population dynamics of benthic invertebrates. Previous studies and unpublished observations indicate that El Niño events profoundly impact community and population processes, and in Southern California, El Niño effects range from alteration of larval transport and settlement of local populations, to the geographic expansion of subtropical species. This research will test the hypothesis that the current (2015-2016) El Niño event will result in a reduction of barnacle larval transport and settlement in Southern California nearshore habitats. Two mechanisms might be involved; first, a deepening of the thermocline forced by El Niño would result in reduction of larval transport by internal tidal bores, a mechanism that requires shallowing of the thermocline. Second, the distribution of larvae of littoral barnacles would be deeper, more offshore, and less constrained to nearshore habitats during El Niño than in El Niño neutral conditions, resulting in a reduction of nearshore larval abundance and settlement. The effects of El Niño on nearshore circulation, hydrography, larval transport and settlement in Bird Rock, Southern California, will be measured by a) deploying an array of instrumentation to measure temperature, pressure (waves) and currents; b) measuring daily barnacle larval settlement, and; c) assessing cross-shore and depth distribution of invertebrate larvae. These observations will be contrasted with two years of comparable observations taken at Bird Rock in 2014 (El Niño neutral conditions) and 2015 (during El Niño). Additionally, the investigators will measure weekly settlement at Bird Rock, and at Dike Rock, a site 7 km to the north, where previous observations at the end of the 1997/1998 El Niño indicated that barnacle settlement was very high. This will enable the evaluation of the generality of the settlement response as El Niño conditions eclipse, and examination of how settlement varies along a coastline.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: PFE\RED - Professional Formati | Award Amount: 1.95M | Year: 2015

The University of San Diegos (USD) Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering is embarking on a multi-year project to revolutionize engineering education with the goal of developing Changemaking Engineers. The project addresses how an engineering education that integrates traditional technical skills, enhanced social awareness and an integrated professional spine produces connected learning that empowers graduates to improve society - by practicing engineering within the contexts of social justice, peace, humanitarian advancement, and sustainable practices. An incubation model is being developed where new courses in a general engineering program are designed to include rich changemaker context and professional skills. Learning modules from these classes are transferred to the more traditional, disciplinary engineering programs to promote change in those curricula. The project examines the impact of infusing a professional spine and the changemaker engineering canon on student motivation and attitudes by measuring the impact in attracting and retaining a more diverse population of engineering students. The new course materials developed are being published as companion materials for traditional course textbooks. Finally, a national symposium of scholars and commensurate community is being established to promote changemaking engineering.

This work explores how collaborative leadership can revitalize engineering culture to produce a transformative engineering canon. By co-generating a cultural transformation within all departments of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, a faculty learning community is being developed through a model of collaborative leadership and faculty empowerment. The project team includes all of the engineering department chairs, the dean of engineering, and the associate dean, and a faculty member in sociology. In building cultural consensus for the new initiatives in engineering education, an understanding of which mechanisms of leadership/shared-leadership can produce positive or negative responses is being developed. Workshops, faculty support mechanisms and other methods are being used to: 1) advance cultural development, 2) create collaborative abilities and values, and 3) develop a spine of professional competencies. The combined partnerships with industry, the community, and faculty outside of engineering help to promote the vision of creating changemaking engineers prepared to face societys challenges.

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