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Engaged

Scholarship RESEARCH AT CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

OFFERING NEW HOPE FOR A RAVAGING DISEASE cover story - pg. 4

TO DIE OR DIFFERENTIATE? THAT IS THE QUESTION pg. 25 CHALLENGING THE MENTAL HEALTH MYTHOLOGY pg. 23

DISCOVER. TRANSFORM. ENGAGE. TO VIEW ENGAGED SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE, PLEASE VISIT CSUOHIO.EDU/RESEARCH

Research continues to expand at Cleveland State University. The progress and investment in creative, groundbreaking research by this “young” University is recognized more and more for the impact it is having across our region and around the globe. As our research programs grow, we are attracting more top faculty who are drawn to the many opportunities the University provides– to improve healthcare, diagnose and cure disease, increase school success, harness energy, create jobs and improve our lives. Our faculty researchers’ efforts are recognized and funded by such prestigious organizations as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, NASA and many others. Most recently, Dr. Roman Kondratov was awarded $1.5 million from the NIH to further his work in understanding the link between human circadian rhythms and the aging process. Dr. Michael Walton, meanwhile, was named the lead investigator in a groundbreaking study to make urban communities healthier and more sustainable, funded by the U.S. Forest Service And Drs. Mark Tebeau and Mark Souther have received major funding for their novel use of technology to rethink how we teach and learn history. Research will play a critical role as Cleveland State moves forward with its mission to transform our community, the lives of our students, and our world for the better. And nowhere is our culture of engaged learning, teaching and scholarship more evident than in these inaugural pages of Engaged Scholarship. We’re proud to showcase the important work of nearly 30 faculty researchers, and eagerly await the opportunity to recognize hundreds more. We hope you enjoy learning how research at Cleveland State University is making a difference.

George E. Walker, Ph.D. Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies

Cleveland State University

TABLE OF CONTENTS

featured research articles College of Sciences and Health Professions

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OFFERING NEW HOPE FOR A RAVAGING DISEASE by Dr. Bibo Li

Fenn College of Engineering

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NATURE-INSPIRED ENGINEERING by Dr. Dan Simon

College of Sciences and Health Professions

12 SILENT NO MORE by Dr. Anton A. Komar

College of Sciences and Health Professions

16 THE LIFE CLOCK by Dr. Roman Kondratov

College of Sciences and Health Professions

20 THE INFLAMMATION SWITCH by Dr. Barsanjit Mazumder

College of Education and Human Services

26 TEACHING THE TEACHER by Dr. Joanne Goodell

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

32 HISTORY ON YOUR PHONE by Drs. Mark Tebeau and Mark Souther latest news

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CENTER FOR DISEASE REGULATION RAMPS UP AT CSU

research articles College of Sciences and Health Professions

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College of Sciences and Health Professions

10 HEALTHY DIVISIONS By Dr. Valentin Börner

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

FIGHTING DISEASE ONE CELL AT A TIME By Dr. Sailen Barik

11 BEST PRACTICES FOR MOTIVATION By Dr. Jeffrey L. Brudney

Fenn College of Engineering

14 SUCCEEDING WHERE ALL ELSE FAILS By Dr. Norb Delatte

Fenn College of Engineering

15 A RESEARCH TRIFECTA By Dr. Stephen Duffy

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs College of Sciences and Health Professions Fenn College of Engineering

18 NOT SO BLACK AND WHITE By Dr. Ronnie Dunn 19 THE CHEMISTRY OF INNOVATION By Dr. Baochuan Guo 22 INSPIRED BY NATURE By Dr. Nolan Holland

College of Education and Human Services

23 CHALLENGING THE MENTAL HEALTH MYTHOLOGY By Dr. Elliott Ingersoll

College of Sciences and Health Professions

24 TRASHED TO TREASURED By Dr. Michael Walton

College of Sciences and Health Professions

25 TO DIE OR DIFFERENTIATE? THAT IS THE QUESTION By Dr. Crystal M. Weyman

Monte Ahuja College of Business

28 SMART BUSINESS GROWTH By Dr. Rajshekhar (Raj) G. Javalgi

College of Education and Human Services

29 MAKING THE FUTURE WORK FOR URBAN STUDENTS By Dr. Justin Perry

College of Sciences and Health Professions

30 CELLS, CILIUM AND DISEASE By Dr. Andrew Resnick

Fenn College of Engineering College of Sciences and Health Professions

31 FINDING THE CRACKS By Dr. Jerzy Sawicki 34 NEW HOPE FOR CANCER TREATMENT By Dr. Girish Shukla

Fenn College of Engineering

35 USER-FRIENDLY SENSORS By Dr. Nigamanth Sridhar

Fenn College of Engineering

36 LEADING THE WAY IN FUEL EFFICIENCY By Dr. Orhan Talu

Fenn College of Engineering

37 ALLOYS MADE IN SPACE By Dr. Surendra Tewari

Fenn College of Engineering

38 THE ELECTRO-MECHANICAL SOLUTION By Dr. Siu-Tung Yau

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

39 SEARCH WARRENTS, CONSENT AND THE “HEAT OF PASSION” By Prof. Jonathan Witmer-Rich

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CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY college name

OFFERING NEW HOPE FOR A RAVAGING DISEASE cover story

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FEATURED RESEARCH

RESEARCH LEADS TO BREAKTHROUGH UNDERSTANDING OF SLEEPING SICKNESS AND NAGANA EPIDEMIC DR. BIBO LI

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ithout a plastic seal at the end of a shoelace, the shoelace will fray. Likewise, telomeres—the physical ends of linear chromosomes in human cells— keep chromosomes from “fraying” or becoming unstable and breaking in random ways, which leads to aging and lethal consequences such as cancer and other devastating disease. The primary research Dr. Bibo Li, Associate Professor of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, is to understand the functions of telomeres, which are made up of a number of proteins and DNA. These telomere proteins play essential roles in regulating telomere length and protecting the chromosome ends from instability. Dr. Li’s research is focused on the characterization of functions of telomere-specific proteins and telomerase, the enzyme that synthesizes telomere DNA, in Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei), a protozoan parasite that has ravaged sub-Saharan Africa by causing sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle. These diseases are fatal, mainly because in the mammalian host, T. brucei cells regularly switch the variant surface glycoproteins presented on the cell surface so as to evade host immune attack. Such a process is apparently essential for T. brucei to develop into full-blown disease, and its underlying

mechanisms have been the focus of the parasitology field for four decades. The pathogen known as T. brucei is estimated to infect 300,000-500,000 people, making sleeping sickness the number one or two cause of human mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Southern Sudan. And nearly as catastrophic to the region is the nagana epidemic in the cattle of West Africa. Nagana is considered to be the only disease that has profoundly affected the settlement and economic development of a major part of Africa. Dr. Li’s research is a major breakthrough, providing direct evidence for the first time that the telomere structure is essential for regulating Variant Surface Glycoprotein gene expression. She has identified and continues to identify genes that influence T. brucei’s ability to evade the host immune attack, which it does by replacing its existing major surface antigen with a new one that the host does not recognize immediately, gaining T. brucei precious time to multiply and survive. The ability to interfere with this antigenic switching event could lead to the remission of infection, or better, the elimination of T. brucei. Studying telomere biology also has great significance and broad implication for preventing aging and tumor development and in creating better cancer therapies. Dr. Li’s work is supported by over $3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and was featured on the cover of the April 3, 2009 issue of Cell, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals. Her work is cited in thousands of research reports and publications.

Studying telomere biology also has great significance and broad implication for preventing aging and tumor development and in creating better cancer therapies.

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College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

CENTER FOR GENE REGULATION RAMPS UP AT CSU NEW CENTER GARNERS $10 MILLION FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

GRHD is comprised of outstanding faculty from Cleveland State’s College of Sciences and Health Professions. They are recognized internationally for their expertise; together, they have earned more than $10 million in competitive research grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and other top funding organizations. Their work is routinely published in leading peer-reviewed journals and their research collaborations span the U.S. and the globe. CENTER FOR GENE REGULATION IN HEALTH AND DISEASE Dr. Sailen Barik, Director

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s Cleveland State ramps up its investment, international profile and success in biomedical research, the University created the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) to improve understanding of biological processes at the molecular level, and how malfunction of these processes results in a host of deadly diseases. Research by GRHD scientists is improving our understanding of the mechanisms and specific molecules that control reproductive health and the aging process, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of many of the most common diseases found around the world, including heart disease, neurological disease, infectious disease and cancer. Their fight continues in the pursuit of new molecular techniques that can treat and prevent diseases, with the ultimate goal of individually tailored medical interventions and other novel therapeutic targets.

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Faculty Members: Dr. G. Valentin Börner, Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BGES) Dr. Michael Kalafatis, Chemistry Dr. Anton Komar, BGES Dr. Roman Kondratov, BGES Dr. Bibo Li, BGES Dr. Barsanjit Mazumder, BGES Dr. Andrew Resnick, Physics Dr. Girish Shukla, BGES Dr. Bin Su, Chemistry Dr. Xue-Long Sun, Chemistry Dr. Crystal Weyman, BGES Dr. Aimin Zhou, Chemistry

Their fight continues in the pursuit of new molecular techniques that can treat and prevent diseases.

College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

FIGHTING DISEASE ONE CELL AT A TIME DIRECTOR OF GRHD FOCUSES ON FIGHTING INFECTIOUS DISEASES DR. SAILEN BARIK

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r. Barik joined CSU’s Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, where he and his team investigated a number of biomedically important areas relevant to the lungs and brain. At GRHD, his focus is on human host-pathogen interactions that are strategically important for understanding the progression, structure and function of infectious diseases in these two organs. He studies two major pathogens: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Toxoplasma gondii (a protozoan parasite). RSV is the leading cause of pediatric lung disease and death worldwide, infecting virtually 100 percent of all babies within the first 2 years, and resulting in roughly 50,000 hospitalizations and 2,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone. There is currently no reliable antiviral or vaccine for RSV. The second pathogen, T. gondii, causes toxoplasmosis, also prevalent globally. It is transmitted through ingestion of raw or under-cooked meat

and via domestic cats. In the U.S., nearly a third of the population is toxoplasma-positive. Toxoplasmosis often leads to severe brain dysfunctions, encephalitis, miscarriage, and blindness. In adults with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients and organ recipients, toxoplasmosis can cause blindness and death. Dr. Barik’s team has discovered important mechanisms by which RSV suppresses the immunity of the human host. An understanding of this suppression is currently in progress, which may lead to developing genetically engineered viral vaccine strains in which the suppression is crippled by mutation. In the T. gondii area, Dr. Barik has discovered novel cellular proteins that are anti-parasitic in nature. These cellular proteins, as well as T. gondii itself, are found to be intimately associated with cellular mitochondria, which also regulate apoptosis, or programmed cell death. His goal is to decipher how these proteins work, which may allow a novel approach to be developed to fight intracellular parasites such as T. gondii. Dr. Barik’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Dr. Barik has discovered novel cellular proteins that are anti-parasitic in nature. These cellular proteins, as well as T. gondii itself, are found to be intimately associated with cellular mitochondria, which also regulate apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

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FEATURED RESEARCH

NATUREINSPIRED ENGINEERING CSU RESEARCHER PIONEERS BIOGEOGRAPHY-BASED OPTIMIZATION (BBO), A NEW FAMILY OF OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHMS DR. DAN SIMON

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ngineers often look to nature for inspiration, for motivation, and sometimes for unique solutions to engingineering problems. Nature’s elegant yet complex systems and processes can be translated into mathematical equations, which can then be applied to a multitude of situations, including the optimization of prosthetic limbs or the interpretation of medical data. Dr. Dan Simon, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at

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CSU, looked to biogeography, a natural process that he felt could be modified, computer simulated, and applied to optimization problems in engineering. Biogeography is the study of the geographical distribution of biological organisms. Biogeography was pioneered as a study by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace in the 19th century, translated into mathematical models by Eugene Munroe in 1948, and developed and popularized by the work of Robert MacArthur and Edward Wilson in the 1960s. “Mathematical models of biogeography describe how species migrate from one island (or isolated habitat) to another, how new species arise and how species become extinct,” says Dr. Simon. The model looks at biogeography in terms of habitats and their suitability index. For example, if a location is well suited to support biological species based on rainfall, availability of food, and other topographical features, that habitat is said to have a high habitat suitability index (HSI). Those habitats that do not have those benefits are said to have a low HSI. Habitats with a high HSI are saturated with species and have high rates of emigration, but low rates of immigra-

Dr. Simon has applied BBO to the detection of cardiac abnormalities using ECG data, the tuning of mobile robot controllers, and the training of control algorithms for prosthetic legs.

tion. Habitats with low HSI have fewer species and higher rates of immigration. If the immigration to the low HSI habitats improves biodiversity, the HSI may increase and the habitat may begin to thrive. If, however, the HSI does not increase, species unique to that habitat may become extinct. By examining the

Fenn College of Engineering

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habitability of environments, and creating a mathematical model to simulate them, Dr. Simon was able to develop a new algorithm for solving optimization problems across disciplines. Biogeography-based optimization (BBO) is the title of the article published in 2008 by Dr. Simon, which established this optimization method. BBO joins other established nature-based process models that are currently used to solve engineering problems, including genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimization models, which model the behavior of swarming insects. The design of the BBO algorithm allows the natural process of biogeography to be applied to an optimization problem that is of interest to the designer. The optimization problem is arbitrary, as the algorithm can be applied to a multitude of diverse problems.

During the process of applying BBO, several “candidate� solutions are evaluated, and the designer looks for the solution that is the best fit. BBO helps the designer evaluate each solution. Solutions are compared to high HSI and low HSI habitats. The more mathematically similar the candidate solution is to a high HSI habitat, the better the evaluation and the more likely it is to be chosen for emigration. The more mathematically similar the candidate solution is to a low HSI habitat, the less likely it is to be chosen. Having established the BBO algorithm, Dr. Simon has demonstrated its validity through his continuing research by applying the algorithm to real world engineering problems. His lab has applied BBO to the detection of cardiac abnormalities using ECG data,

the tuning of mobile robot controllers, and the training of control algorithms for prosthetic legs. His innovative research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Cleveland Clinic. Top left: Flocking birds demonstrate biogeography, a natural process that Dr. Simon is translating into mathematical equations that can be applied to create engineering solutions.

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College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

HEALTHY DIVISIONS GENOMICS RESEARCH ADVANCES THE FIGHT AGAINST AGING, CANCER AND BIRTH DEFECTS DR. VALENTIN BÖRNER

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uring the process of normal human cell division, a single cell strives to split into two new cells, both perfect copies of the original. During meiosis, the process responsible for creating reproductive cells like the human egg and sperm, making a replica is not the only goal. Instead, the cell attempts to recombine the human genetic material in order to increase reproductive success. Problems that occur during this recombination of genetic material can lead to severe health problems, including cancer and chromosomal birth defects such as Down Syndrome. Dr. Valentin Börner, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, is researching these problems to find solutions that will ultimately contribute to the detection and prevention of chromosomal health problems. Dr. Börner’s research is focused on finding the determinants of double strandbreak (DSB) repair during meiosis and mitosis. DSBs allow the inversions and translocations of genetic material within the chromsomes. During mitosis, or standard human cell division, where the cell makes a perfect

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copy of itself, translocations and inversions create imperfect copies with chromosome aberrations. These translocations and inversions are present in malignant cells of most patients with lymphoma or solid tumors. While DSBs frequently result in precancerous genome rearrangements, they are also an integral part of meiosis, where new genetic combinations are necessary and healthy. In meiosis, multiple programmed DSBs are induced along each chromosome and are repaired by homologous recombination, giving rise to crossovers. These crossovers are important for achieving accurate chromosome segregation during meiosis, which is crucial for reproductive health. Sperm and eggs carrying a surplus of deficit chromosomes are associated with severe health problems, including cancer, aging and birth defects such as Down Syndrome. Dr. Börner’s research discovered some important characteristics about the crossover site, which ensure successful cell reproduction in meiosis. Specifically, crossover sites are designated earlier in the process than predicted by classical textbook models. Dr. Börner has also identified important proteins that contribute to normal meiotic recombination by preventing the completion of meiosis if chromosomes have been damaged. Both of these discoveries represent important advances in the study of chromosome transmission and the many negative health effects that result when the process fails. Dr. Börner’s research has been recognized with a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation as well as several awards from the National Institutes of Health.

These discoveries represent important advances in the study of chromosome transmission and the many negative health effects that result when the process fails.

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

RESEARCH

BEST PRACTICES FOR MOTIVATION TOP RANKED RESEARCHER PROVIDES BEST PRACTICES TO MOTIVATE VOLUNTEERS AND ASSIST NONPROFIT AND GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS DR. JEFFREY L. BRUDNEY

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merica runs on volunteers. Passionate volunteers. More than 63 million Americans, or 27 percent of adults, donate time to an organization annually. Nonprofit organizations could not do their valuable work without them; eight in ten rely on them. Even government enlists substantial volunteer labor, with up to one-third of public agencies recruiting volunteers. “The federal government has encouraged Americans to volunteer dating back at least to the Presidency of John F. Kennedy,” says Dr. Jeffrey L. Brudney, the Albert A. Levin Chair of Urban Studies and Public Service at CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. “We would not be able to offer quality services in culture, the arts, libraries, education, recreation, youth, senior, and many other services without volunteers. It’s considered public policy in the U.S.” Which begs the question—who is coordinating all of this volunteer effort, and is it being managed effectively? Answer: not really. But there’s help. Organizations lag in learning how to manage volunteers to achieve maxi-

mum impact, Dr. Brudney says, a mistake when one considers that in 2009, Americans gave 8.1 billion hours of service worth an estimated $169 billion to nonprofit and government organizations. Volunteers extend the labor force, offer detailed attention to clients and generate cost efficiencies, yet organizations often do not know how to recruit, manage, and retain them effectively, thus squandering these valuable human resources. Dr. Brudney’s research offers a practical path on how to involve volunteers to satisfy the volunteers themselves and help organizations meet the needs of their publics. First, organizations must create jobs or assignments that motivate and satisfy volunteers. “Volunteers are not self-sacrificial. They benefit from their involvement,” says Dr. Brudney. Organizations should also offer more creative ways to volunteer. Successful ones do not use volunteers with the thought of “filling gaps,” but rather recruit, train, and manage volunteers more strategically to provide the greatest effect. Volunteers can provide emergency medical services, assist clients, offer legal advice, conduct strategic planning, mentor young people, and much more. Third, while less than half of organizations have adopted best practices for volunteer management, these practices are available through Dr. Brudney’s work. Finally, only three in five charities have a paid staff person whose job includes volunteer coordination, and this person often lacks training. Volunteer management is not free, and through Dr. Brudney’s efforts, more organizations and their funders are investing in the time and training required to achieve the best results with their volunteers. Dr. Brudney’s research adds greatly to the national and international focus on more effective use of volunteers. The Urban Institute calls Dr. Brudney “the foremost research expert on volunteer management programs and

community volunteer centers in the United States.” His work is used by The Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the two leading volunteer support and grantmaking organizations in the U.S. He was invited to the White House to hear President Bush’s Remarks on Volunteering. In addition, the United Nations Volunteers Programme has invited him to serve on the Technical Advisory Board to help prepare the first study ever on the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report. Dr. Brudney ranks 10th in research productivity among scholars worldwide based on article publication over the past decade in all referred journals affiliated with the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Brudney’s research offers a practical path on how to involve volunteers to satisfy the volunteers themselves and help organizations meet the needs of their publics.

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FEATURED RESEARCH

SILENT NO MORE OVERLOOKED LAYER OF GENETIC CODE IMPACTS UNDERSTANDING OF THE ORIGIN OF DISEASE DR. ANTON A. KOMAR

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ssociate Professor of Biology Anton A. Komar is among a prominent group of researchers worldwide who are discovering hidden layers of meaning in the genetic code, and how that impacts our understanding of the origin of disease. The genetic code establishes a set of rules that determines how information encoded in DNA and subsequently messenger RNA (mRNA) is translated into proteins (polymers of amino acids). Specifically, the code establishes correspondence between the sequences of three nucleotides, called codons, and

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the encoded amino acids. The code is redundant, meaning that a number of codons encoding the same amino acid can be more than one. For example, GGU, GGC, GGA, and GGG triplets encode the same amino acid called Glycine. Such triplets/codons encoding the same amino acid are called synonymous. For a long time, it was assumed that synonymous codons are equivalent, and that substituting one synonymous codon with another (e.g. due to a mutation) will not have any impact on the synthesized protein. However, this premise appears to be not entirely true. Dr. Komar is among those scientists who have found that synonymous mutations, also called “silent” since they were largely presumed to have no effect on gene function, might nevertheless have profound effects on the function of synthesized protein and thus lead to the origin of diseases. At a time when most scientists ignored these synonymous/silent mutations, Dr. Komar was among the first to suggest that synonymous mutations may play a critical role in protein folding (acquisition of the protein’s threedimensional structure or shape, which largely determines protein function) and misfolding, and that proteins made of identical amino acids can behave differently. His work shows that synonymous codon substitutions can change the three-dimensional structure of the protein by changing the timing of the folding as the just-born proteins peel away from ribosomes (the protein synthesis factories in the cell) and head off to perform their function in the body. “Synonymous codons in mRNA are read by the ribosome with different speed and thus substitution of one synonymous codon with another may affect the rate by which the codon at a particular place in mRNA is translated and the protein synthesized,” Dr. Komar says. This in turn may affect the process of protein folding, which starts simultaneously with protein synthesis on the ribosome and thus forces the new protein

Dr. Komar’s findings bring a new paradigm to the study of protein folding and are of immense importance for understanding the origin of many diseases and advancing both personalized medicine and the biotechnology industry.

to acquire a different shape and subsequently affect its function. Dr. Komar’s findings bring a new paradigm to the study of protein folding and are of immense importance for understanding the origin of many diseases and advancing both personalized medicine and the biotechnology industry. “Understanding how these mutations impact gene function will help doctors create a more personalized approach to treatment based on a patient’s genetic profile—which drugs work for you, how much medication you need and so on,” he says. “We’re getting closer to offering treatment based on personal genetic profiles. Much work has yet to be done, before such strategies can be implemented.” Dr. Komar’s work is funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program.

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Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

SUCCEEDING WHERE ALL ELSE FAILS “FAILURE” EXPERT HARNESSES FORENSICS TO BUILD SAFER STRUCTURES DR. NORB DELATTE

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n the world of civil engineering forensics, you can learn as much from a dead bridge as from a dead body. Finding out why buildings, bridges and dams collapse – and how to keep it from happening again – is the life’s work of Dr. Norb Delatte. As Professor and Chair of CSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, he is a nationally known expert on how engineering failures provide clues that, like the phoenix of old, give rise to structures that are better designed and safer. “When structures and systems fail, the impact on society is enormous,” Dr. Delatte says. “It’s important for engineers to understand failure mechanisms. By studying these failures, we can learn to design better structures and systems and reduce the risk to the public.” Through his work, CSU is taking a lead role in an innovative program supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Delatte and his team have developed over 50 detailed case studies of structural failures and share them with 10 universities across the U.S., who in turn are developing their own cases. The case studies and the analysis process are embedded in all of the uni-

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versities’ curriculums. From these cases, students learn how failures happen from a wide array of disasters, from the Johnstown Flood of 1889 to the 2007 Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse. There are even case studies on failed project management such as the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and terrorist acts like the bombing and massive collapse of the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building in 1995. Dr. Delatte, Dr. Joshua Bagaka’s from CSU’s College of Education and Human Services, and Dr. Paul Bosela from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are collecting data from their university partners on the use of failure case studies in the classroom. Data analysis will determine whether the inclusion of failure case studies has a significant effect on student engagement and learning. The case studies are found online at http://matdl.org/failurecases and are a companion to Dr. Delatte’s book, Beyond Failure: Forensic Case Studies for Civil Engineers (ASCE Press 2008). In cooperation with the NSF Materials Digital Library and Kent State University, the web site has been transformed into an interactive Wiki format with several dozen new case studies added. In addition, Dr. Delatte, Dr. Bosela and their colleagues lead workshops around the world on how to teach with failure case studies, reaching out to faculty throughout the U.S., England, Costa Rica, China, Ecuador and India. The researchers also recently obtained an Ohio Department of Transportation research contract to investigate premature cracking of concrete parapets on four bridges in the Cleveland area. “Failure prevention is the essence of engineering,” Dr. Delatte says. “Through our work, we want to improve the education of the next generation of engineers.” Dr. Delatte’s research and international lectures are supported by the NSF, National Institute of Technology, American Society of Civil Engineers,

American Society for Engineering Education, Ohio Department of Transportation, University of North Carolina, and ASCE International Groups in Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Failure prevention is the essence of engineering... Through our work, we want to improve the education of the next generation of engineers.

Fenn College of Engiineering

RESEARCH

A RESEARCH TRIFECTA PROFESSOR MAKES MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO TRANSPORTATION, NUCLEAR POWER AND HEALTH FIELDS DR. STEPHEN DUFFY

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rom safety in nuclear power plants to the internal workings of a bioartificial kidney—the breadth and applications of the research of Stephen Duffy, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the University Transportation Center, run deep. In his work as Director of CSU’s Transportation Center, Dr. Duffy is responding to the increased need for temporary and long-term work zones caused by the decline in pavement conditions and increase in vehicle traffic on the roads throughout the U.S. These deteriorating road conditions have created a vital need for improved work zone safety for both the public and the men and women who wok in these zones. Two goals of sponsored research at the Transportation Center address this need for safety. First, Dr. Duffy is focused on improving the quality of temporary traffic control and evaluating the overall quality and effectiveness of work zone traffic control. His research identifies areas where improvement is needed, facilitates an open public discussion on traffic control issues and addresses and corrects project-specific work zone issues.

In his work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Nuclear Engineering University Program and the Next Generation Nuclear Power Program, Dr. Duffy is developing stochastic failure models and predictive models to assess how mechanical properties in nuclear power plants degrade with radiation exposure. His research aims to uncover the stress-strain information necessary for graphite component design in order to predict failure probabilities. “I’m developing computer models to predict how graphite components will behave inside a nuclear reactor,” he says. “Nuclear power is one of the cleanest, greenest forms of energy, and now it’s also becoming one of the safest.” Dr. Duffy’s research will go a long way in ensuring that safety. A co-investigator with the University of California San Francisco and the Cleveland Clinic Renal Assist Device project team, Dr. Duffy has also utilized micro electromechanical systems technology and compatible nanotechnology strategies as part of a team effort to miniaturize a Renal Assist Device (RAD), or bioartificial kidney. Dr. Duffy’s work focused on designing ceramic hemofilters, which are crucial for the operation of the RAD. In different stages and with such a wide variety of applications, Dr. Duffy’s work is contributing to and advancing the study of many technologies that help us survive and thrive.

I’m developing computer models to predict how graphite components will behave inside a nuclear reactor… Nuclear power is one of the cleanest, greenest forms of energy and now it’s also becoming one of the safest.

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THE LIFE CLOCK PROFESSOR IS UNLOCKING THE INFLUENCE OF CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS ON HUMAN LIFESPAN DR. ROMAN KONDRATOV

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biological timekeeping system buried deep in the hypothalamus that causes jet lag may also have a dramatic effect on how people age. It is widely understood that dietary restriction can substantially affect aging, but not until recently has there been an in-depth examination into the correlation of diet on circadian rhythms and what role this connection plays on the human lifespan. Cleveland State University researcher Roman Kondratov, Assistant Professor of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2011 to study the effects of circadian clocks on aging. The project will explore ways to manipulate the internal timekeeping system in an effort to

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delay the aging process and significantly extend lifespan in model organisms. Circadian rhythms, dictated by a circadian clock, are 24-hour internal cycles found in most biochemical, physiological and behavioral processes. Circadian rhythms have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi and even bacteria. They are self-sustained and adjusted by environmental cues, such as changes in daylight. Earlier research by Dr. Kondratov established a connection between the circadian clock and aging in mammals. His new research will study the effects of circadian clocks on aging under certain dietary restrictions – a powerful intervention that has long been recognized as a way to extend lifespan in many organisms, including mammals. With a better understanding of circadian rhythms, the study might suggest ways to control it through diet or pharmaceutical manipulations, prolong life and prevent age-related diseases such as heart disease. Dr. Kondratov’s research is part of CSU’s Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, which focuses on research to improve understanding of biological processes and how the malfunction

Earlier research by Dr. Kondratov established a connection between the circadian clock and aging in mammals.

of those processes result in various diseases. The center is fully funded by the NIH and has received more than $6 million from the NIH in the past year. Top: Lung cells of a mouse with a disrupted circadian clock undergo an accelerated senescence (aging).

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Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

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NOT SO BLACK AND WHITE PROFESSOR’S WORK REDUCES RACIAL BIAS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT DR. RONNIE DUNN

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r. Ronnie Dunn wants to be perfectly clear. His groundbreaking research on racial profiling is not meant to label police officers as “racists;” rather, his work uncovers practices and policies that result in racial bias, and provides solutions that benefit communities and officers alike. “My research in the area of policing and law enforcement is often perceived as being critical of those professions,” the Professor of Urban Studies says. “Part of my work is helping people overcome their fear of being labeled ‘racist’ so we can examine such issues.” By addressing inequities in policing and the criminal justice system, Dr. Dunn says, we can increase trust in the system—enhancing citizens’ trust in the police and their willingness to work along with them to reduce crime in neighborhoods, particularly in low-income ones and those of color. “Racial profiling is one of the most divisive public safety issues confronting law enforcement and public officials across the country,” he adds. “It will become more so as the U.S. becomes a more racially and ethnically diverse society as we move further into the 21st century.”

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Dr. Dunn’s research revealed that during traffic stops, blacks were disproportionately ticketed throughout Cleveland, receiving 58 percent of all tickets although they represented 40 percent of the driving population. Whites, on the other hand, represented 53 percent of the driving population but received just 36 percent of tickets. Overall, blacks were 2.13 times as likely to be ticketed by police driving in the city as were whites, and other minorities were 1.26 times as likely to be ticketed as whites. His work led to the city adopting his recommendation to install traffic cameras to address the racially biased traffic ticketing patterns found in his study. The city installed 36 stationary cameras and has 6 mobile units throughout the city. In addition, the city increased the speed limit on 34 streets (21 on the East side and 13 on the West side) from 25 to 35 mph. Now the cameras provide an objective record of those violating traffic laws, reducing the likelihood of racially biased traffic enforcement. From his research, Dr. Dunn has authored a textbook, Racial Profiling: Causes & Consequences (Kendall-Hunt Publishing 2011) meant for college classrooms, but it is written so that it can be used across the country to educate the public and law enforcement officials about the issue, its adverse impact on society, and what can be done to prevent it. An unintended consequence of Dr. Dunn’s research is that the traffic cameras in Cleveland have generated $6-10 million annually since 2005, divided between the city and the camera company. Other cities throughout the state have adopted traffic cameras, too, often with the precise intent to generate revenue. “Nonetheless, the cameras still enhance public safety and reduce the racial bias in traffic enforcement,” says Dr. Dunn.

By addressing inequities in policing and the criminal justice system, Dr. Dunn says, we can increase trust in the system.

College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

THE CHEMISTRY OF INNOVATION RESEARCHER MAKES MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO DIAGNOSIS OF COLON CANCER AND ADVANCED SPECTROMETRY TECHNIQUE RESEARCH DR. BAOCHUAN GUO

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r. Baochuan Guo, Professor of Chemistry at CSU, has diverse research interests within the world of chemistry. One of the primary generators of intellectual property at Cleveland State University, Dr. Guo’s most recent project has made major advances in cancer research. Currently, testing for colon cancer suffers from challenges and limitations. Patients often have the choice between an uncomfortable colonoscopy, which can require fasting and cleansing, or the current stool sampling methods, which have not been shown to be adequately reliable. Because of the limitations and barriers, many people who should be screened for colon cancer are not being tested. Dr. Guo’s research has developed a new and more reliable analysis technique that allows for the early detection of colon cancer using stool samples. Taking only two years to reach the patent stage, this innovative health solution

is currently patent pending. Dr. Guo is in the process of commercializing this new technology for widespread use. In addition to his research in cancer prevention, Dr. Guo is also interested in the development of an innovative, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometric technique to elucidate the identity and structure of large biopolymers such as protein and DNA. This technique can be applied to the diagnosis of genetic diseases and disorders. MALDI-TOF Based DNA Sequencing is a more efficient, faster and more cost-effective way to examine the human genome. Traditional methods for examining, including gel-electrophoresis, which separates proteins or DNA by separating the proteins in a gel, are more expensive and time consuming. In addition, gel-electrophoresis is not as accurate or exact as the new MALDI-TOF method being developed by Dr. Guo. This lower-cost DNA sequencing method is essential to major projects like the Human Genome Project. Dr. Guo is also attempting to apply MALDI-TOF to polymer characterization, which proves to be much more challenging. “Our research group is interested in developing new MALDI-TOF approaches to solving the mass discrimination problem,” says Dr. Guo.

Dr. Guo’s research has developed a new and more reliable analysis technique that allows for the early detection of colon cancer.

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FEATURED RESEARCH

THE INFLAMMATION SWITCH GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH HAS BROAD IMPLICATIONS IN TREATMENT OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE DR. BARSANJIT MAZUMDER

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ouldn’t it be great to f lip a switch and turn off the harmful effects of inflammation? Inflammation is a contributor to many medical conditions, including atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease where plaque builds up in a person’s arteries. It can eventually lead to a heart attack (a myocardial infarction) or a stroke. With the high rate of deaths thought to be caused by atherosclerosis and heart disease, research on inflammation may offer some answers or new directions.

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Dr. Barsanjit Mazumder, Associate Professor of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, is dedicated to researching inflammation at the genetic level. His research, which has attracted major funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association, has the potential to facilitate the discovery of a new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs that would slow the progression of cardiovascular disease. It all started with a switch. Dr. Mazumder and his team identified a novel and endogenous cellular mechanism for resolving inflammation. Think of this cellular mechanism as a light switch. When flicked to the on position, the switch allows the expression of a cohort of genes that accelerate a person’s inf lammatory response. When flicked to the off position, the switch effectively silences the expression of these inf lammatory genes, slowing the inflammatory response. Dr. Mazumder’s team has not only identified the switch, they have also discovered a way to flick it into the off position. It all comes down to Ribosomal protein L13a. L13a is a molecular switch, discovered by Dr. Mazumder and his team, which directly blocks protein synthesis and slows the expression of inflammatory genes. “The newly discovered cellular target to block inflammation has significant potential to facilitate the discovery of a new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs that could effectively slow the progression of cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Mazumder. Taking the research one step further, he and his team are testing the molecular switch with a laboratory mice model. The model shows no expression of L13a in the cells of myeloid lineages because the researchers have successfully manipulated those embryonic stem cells. By blocking the expression of L13a in the mice, the researchers were able to recreate the results from their cell

Dr. Mazumder’s team has not only identified the switch, they have also discovered a way to flick it into the off position. It all comes down to Ribosomal protein L13a.

culture model. When given an external inflammatory stimuli, the mice exhibited an increased inflammation response, providing support for the link between the L13a protein and uncontrolled inflammation. This groundbreaking animal model of uncontrolled inflammation shows tremendous potential for this research, which ultimately has the potential to lead to the search for a new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs. The importance of Dr. Mazumder’s research has not gone unnoticed. He has attracted major funding on the basis of national peer review, including an RO1 grant award from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and a Scientist Development Grant and Grantin Aid Award from the American Heart Association. In addition, several of his trainees received funding from the American Heart Association and one of his graduate students was the recipient of the “Future of Science Award 2011” by the Keystone Symposium of Immunoregulatory Networks, a major international symposium on immunology.

FEATURED RESEARCH

College of Sciences and Health Professions

With broad applications in antiinf lammator y medications and diseases like atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, Dr. Mazumder continues his research into inflammation in hopes of improving the lives of those who suffer with any inflammation-related disorder.

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Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

INSPIRED BY NATURE PROTEIN BIOSYNTHESIS IS KEY TO FASTER, IMPROVED DRUG DELIVERY DR. NOLAN HOLLAND

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r. Nolan Holland, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, and his team are developing nanoparticles of proteinbased polymers, which could be used to carry drugs to targeted areas within the body. It’s part of his research to design new responsive or “smart” materials that respond to environmental stimuli, such as temperature, light or pH, in a predicable and useful way that can therefore be directed and controlled. His approach focuses on synthesizing polypeptides (protein-based polymers) that are inspired by the protein elastin, which provides elasticity to human tissue such as skin and arteries. These elastin-like polypeptides can be used to form hydrogels that swell in the presence of aqueous solutions, much like gelatin. The high water content and elasticity of hydrogels mimic biological tissues, making them ideal for biomaterials and “scaffolds” for tissue engineering. In the swollen state, water and other substances can move in or out of hydrogels with relative ease. In their collapsed state, however, any compounds in them are trapped and cannot readily escape.

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“Drugs can be loaded into hydrogels in the swollen state and when the hydrogel is collapsed they become trapped,” says Dr. Holland. “These particles can then be injected into the body and will only release the drugs when stimulated by something (temperature, pH, light, etc.) that results in them swelling again.  In this way, drugs that are generally toxic (e.g. cancer drugs) will only be released in the desired region of the body.  Targeting to specific tissues can additionally be accomplished by the incorporation of small peptide signal molecules at the surface of the particles.” The problem is the often-slow response of hydrogels—they can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks to swell or collapse, the result of how the polymer chains in the hydrogel are arranged. Dr. Holland’s team is designing polymers that arrange differently at the molecular level, that results in a much faster response. The smaller the hydrogel is, the faster it responds, so making nano-scale hydrogel particles is one way to obtain a fast response. The goal is to show that these smart materials can be used to establish a new foundation for developing fast responsive materials that, in addition to their potential as better drug delivery devices, can lead to improvements in nanomachines, biosensors, and other specialty biological applications. Dr. Holland’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Drugs can be loaded into hydrogels in the swollen state and when the hydrogel is collapsed they become trapped.

College of Education and Human Services

RESEARCH

CHALLENGING THE MENTAL HEALTH MYTHOLOGY PROFESSOR ADOPTS INTEGRATED MODEL TO EDUCATE FUTURE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS DR. ELLIOTT INGERSOLL

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he pharmaceutical industry often paints a strikingly simple picture of mental illness. Dr. Elliott Ingersoll might call this a mythology. With animated illustrations of tiny circles representing neurotransmitters like serotonin bouncing between nerves, they explain mental disorders as a “chemical imbalance” in the brain. Dr. Ingersoll, a psychologist, licensed clinical counselor and Professor of Counseling at CSU, is working to correct the oversimplifications, myths and misperceptions of mental illness in order to ensure that his students’ future patients receive more than just a prescription. His upcoming book on psychopathology (co-authored with Dr. Andre Marquis from the University of Rochester) examines mental disorders and illnesses through an integrated model that creates a more accurate map of the causes and contributors. “Many people do not know that there is no such thing as a chemical

imbalance,” says Dr. Ingersoll. “In fact, the chemistry of the brain is so complex that science cannot say with certainty what balanced brain chemistry would look like. What we know at this point is that we are able to successfully intervene chemically in some cases, but this does not necessarily imply that the chemistry was imbalanced to begin with.” Dr. Ingersoll is not opposed to chemical intervention. He sees it as a potential solution to one of the many contributing factors that may lead a person to experience a mental illness. “Some people will have decreased symptoms when they take medication, and that’s an important part of the picture, but others may not respond at all,” he says. “Some disorders run in families, some emerge and go away, and some are permanent.” In order to understand the inconsistencies in mental illnesses and to treat the whole person efficiently and successfully, Dr. Ingersoll believes one must address all of the contributing factors. “If you look at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it does not offer an etiology,” he says. “We do not know why people get these disorders. My upcoming book will present four perspectives that break down the potential variables contributing to etiology and paint a more complete picture of the reality.” Dr. Ingersoll borrows from the work of Ken Wilber, the creator of Integral Theory. In fact, Dr. Ingersoll is one of the first to adopt and apply the theory in an educational setting. “We present four perspectives,” he says. “In this model we look at mental illness from the physiological, psychological, cultural-familial and socialenvironmental perspectives.” “The combination of these perspectives helps the mental health professional create a complete map of an individual and the variables contributing to their mental illness,” says Dr. Ingersoll. By recognizing the

complexity of mental illness, it becomes possible to treat the root causes rather than the symptoms. Dr. Ingersoll’s research and writings may be geared toward educating future mental health professionals, but it’s easy to see how they will help treat the patient and educate their family as well. “Imagine a child who is suffering from a mental illness,” he says. “The parents get a pill from the doctor, but the symptoms don’t improve. Then, six months later they’ve tried a number of different medications without results, and don’t really know what the problem is. “A mental health professional trained in the integrated model will not only examine the many factors that may be contributing to the child’s mental health issues in order to find a root cause,” he continues, “he or she will be able to educate and assist the parents in understanding their child’s disorder and provide a multifaceted approach to treatment that will be more efficient and ultimately, more successful.”

There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance... the chemistry of the brain is so complex that science cannot say with certainty what balanced brain chemistry would look like.

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College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

TRASHED TO TREASURED CSU RESEARCH HELPS TURN VACANT LOTS INTO URBAN GARDENS DR. MICHAEL WALTON

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leveland harbors over 3,000 acres of vacant land, and Associate Professor of Biology Michael Walton is helping city planners decide what to do with it. “The use of vacant lots for urban agriculture is growing rapidly, and is a major piece of the city’s plan to reimagine Cleveland as a more sustainable city,” Dr. Walton says. “People employed in community gardening are healthier, eat more vegetables, and create more attractive neighborhoods.” Together with researchers from Cleveland Metroparks, The Ohio State University, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Cleveland Botanical Garden, CSU developed the Vacant Lands Rapid Assessment Procedure, a unique tool to help community members and planners make decisions about vacant land. The two-page guide takes one through a series of simple questions to score a parcel’s potential as a garden: location, size, shape, connection to other green space, soil qualities, vegetation and so on. The final score places the parcel into one of three categories: 1) high potential, 2) intermediate potential, but could be improved with some ecological

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restoration, or 3) low potential, meaning the parcel should be considered for commercial or industrial development. The team’s research found that vacant lots in Cleveland are often nutrient rich with a high biodiversity of organisms that are vital for productive gardening, e.g. nutrient recycling, pollination and bio-control of pests. However, conversion of these lots to gardens and farms can actually cause a decline of biodiversity and increased degradation of the ecosystem. “For example, conversion of vacant lots to gardens is associated with a reduced diversity in pollinating insects, loss of predatory insects and birds that feed upon pests, and increases in pest species,” Dr. Walton says. The key to conserving and managing the vacant land, the team found, is to convert it to gardens that are accompanied by natural, native vegetation that add a reservoir of beneficial biodiversity. The vacant land project is the first in a major, long-term research program led by Dr. Walton focused on improving sustainability in urban areas, funded by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.

The use of vacant lots for urban agriculture is growing rapidly, and is a major piece of the city’s plan to re-imagine Cleveland as a more sustainable city.

College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

TO DIE OR DIFFERENTIATE? THAT IS THE QUESTION INNOVATIVE RESEARCH OFFERS NEW HOPE FOR MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY DR. CRYSTAL M. WEYMAN

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uscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders involving progressive muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue. According to the CDC, children are most often diagnosed with muscular dystrophy between ages three and six, after experiencing frequent falling and difficulty walking and standing. As the deterioration of their skeletal and heart muscles continues, children often lose the ability to walk around age 12. Survival beyond their 30th birthday is extremely rare. Treatment strategies based on discoveries made in the lab of Dr. Crystal M. Weyman, Professor of Biology at CSU, may bring new hope to these children and their families. Currently, there is no cure and strategies aimed at controlling the symptoms are minimally successful. The underlying cause of muscular dystrophies can often be traced to the mutation of genes coding for structural proteins. One possible treatment is the transfer of adult stem cells from

healthy donors. These healthy cells can differentiate, fuse with diseased muscle and serve as a supplier of nonmutant genes. However, the poor survival of transplanted myoblast stem cells severely limits the efficacy of this approach. Strategies to increase the survival and differentiation of transplanted myoblasts are critically needed. Such strategies are the focus of Dr. Weyman’s research. With support from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Weyman found that increased expression of the protein PUMA plays a pivotal role in the death of skeletal myoblasts. By blocking the expression of PUMA, Dr. Weyman was able to block the death of myoblasts. Further, these myoblasts that escaped death were still able to undergo differentiation into functional muscle. But Dr. Weyman hasn’t stopped there. She is currently studying whether or not her genetically altered adult stem cells that are incapable of expressing PUMA are more effective than unaltered stem cells when transplanted into muscle that has been damaged. Herein lies a potential treatment for those suffering with muscular dystrophy. Dr. Weyman’s research may also help those who suffer from muscle wasting (cachexia) caused by cancer or chronic AIDS. In addition, research into differentiation and apoptosis (a special form of cell death) could unlock new therapies for patients with cancer, whose cells have lost the ability to undergo apoptosis in response to local cues. The potential applications for Dr. Weyman’s research, which keeps these very important cells alive, are truly remarkable.

One possible treatment is the transfer of adult stem cells from healthy donors. These healthy cells can differentiate, fuse with diseased muscle and serve as a supplier of non-mutant genes.

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FEATURED RESEARCH

TEACHING THE TEACHER PROFESSOR TRAINS STEM EDUCATORS, BUILDS BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR U.S. INNOVATION DR. JOANNE GOODELL

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TEM education, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, has become a hot topic. In order to remain competitive in the 21st century, and continue to innovate in areas like alternative fuel, biomedical engineering and information technology, the U.S. needs to expand and strengthen its STEM workforce. We are falling behind. The U.S. is currently ranked 48th in the quality of its mathematics and science education by the World Economic Forum, and China has replaced the

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U.S. as the world’s number one hightechnology exporter. The President of the United States has put out a call for increased attention to our lagging position in STEM education and innovation, making it a national priority. Dr. Joanne Goodell, researcher and Associate Professor of Teacher Education, is answering that call every day – and has been for more than 10 years. Since 1999, Dr. Goodell has focused on improving mathematics and science education in middle school, high school and college classrooms. “Research shows that students in classes taught by teachers who receive sustained, high quality professional development outperform their counterparts in classes not taught by these teachers,” says Dr. Goodell. Her mission is to ensure teachers receive this sustained high quality professional development. To that end, Dr. Goodell has applied for and won over $13 million in grants from organizations like the National Science Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Project Discovery, which have supported her work. She looks for grants for programs that both interest her

Students in classes taught by teachers who receive sustained, high quality professional development outperform their counterparts.

and are a good fit with the needs of local STEM educators. Once she has received a grant, Dr. Goodell works with curriculum developers, school administration, teachers and her team at Cleveland State to research, design and implement programs that will improve STEM education. These programs include everything from enabling elementary STEM teachers to become licensed to teach at the middle school level to professional development programs for in-service teachers. “My overall goal is to improve mathematics education in the world,” says Dr. Goodell, “but more specifically, here in Cleveland. I want to help students maximize their opportunities by doing well in math.” Her programs have provided such opportunities for more than 1,600 people, including high school students, pre-service teachers, elementary, middle and high school teachers, and college faculty.

FEATURED RESEARCH

College of Education and Human Services

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Monte Ahuja College of Business

RESEARCH

SMART BUSINESS GROWTH GLOBAL BUSINESS RESEARCH PROVIDES VITAL ROAD MAP TO COMPANIES’ GROWTH DR. RAJSHEKHAR G. JAVALGI

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ompanies looking for smart ways to expand into global markets have a good friend in Dr. Rajshekhar (Raj) G. Javalgi. For more than 20 years, businesses, business schools and economies the world over have benefitted directly from his research; as Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing and International Business at CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business, he is a leading expert in the fields of global business, international marketing, exporting and entrepreneurship. From guiding companies on how to enter new markets, to investment strategies, to cross-cultural issues, Dr. Javalgi’s work provides a road map to navigating dozens of issues companies face when trying to expand beyond their country’s borders. His work is noted for its practical relevance to managers and economic development planners alike. For instance, his research on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) go global found that, surprisingly, SMEs are more critical to a region’s sustainable economic growth than large companies. His work on knowledge-based services further points out the vital role

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that professional service SMEs –such as accounting, legal and technical SMEs -- in emerging markets play in the economic development of a nation. Dr. Javalgi is also discovering how internal resources, such as entrepreneurial orientation and human capital, affect company performance and lead to SME success in the global marketplace. His work has helped launch the College of Business to international acclaim and a premier place to earn a degree in global business. In 2011, the College received the Presidential “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the highest recognition a U.S. organization may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. In 2006 and in 2010, the College received the Ohio Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award for helping local companies expand their operations internationally. Dr. Javalgi also played an important role in obtaining four consecutive Title VI-B Business International Education grants from the U.S. Department of Education. Fewer than five percent of business schools nationwide share this accomplishment.

Dr. Javalgi’s work in global business and international entrepreneurship provides a road map to navigating dozens of issues companies face when trying to expand beyond their country’s borders.

College of Education and Human Services

RESEARCH

MAKING THE FUTURE WORK FOR URBAN STUDENTS RESEARCHER IMPLEMENTS PILOT PROGRAM TO HELP STUDENTS STAY IN SCHOOL AND PREPARE FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER SUCCESS DR. JUSTIN PERRY

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merica is currently suffering from a “silent epidemic”—students dropping out of school, especially those enrolled in urban school districts. The costs of dropping out are well documented in terms of the detrimental impact it has on the lives of individuals, as well as the negative impact it has on our economic stability. With alarmingly high school dropout rates, our nation is in a precarious situation. Dr. Justin Perry, Associate Professor of Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning, and Director of the Center for Urban Education at CSU, is applying his research and experience to find a solution to this urgent problem. “Integrating career education activities and positive youth development into the traditional curriculum is a major focus of college and career readiness initiatives being implemented around the country,” says Dr. Perry. “Research throughout the social

sciences provides a substantial body of evidence for the utility and need for these approaches in preventing high school dropout.” Dr. Perry is working to implement a new career and college readiness initiative in Northeast Ohio and eventually in schools around the country. His knowledge of the need for career and college readiness programs, and his personal and professional relationships with area educators and administrators, inspired him to assemble an interdisciplinary research team, leveraging those relationships to design a unique program: “Making My Future Work.” “The Making My Future Work program is based on my earlier work with the Boston Public Schools on a school-to-work intervention,” says Dr. Perry. “It is designed to promote self and career exploration, and to help youth acquire 21st century work readiness skills.” During the 2010–2011 academic year, Dr. Perry and his team designed the curriculum of Making My Future Work. Based on ongoing dialogue, research and the examination of materials and lesson plans from various sources, a truly unique curricular program was born. The program is currently being piloted in four different high schools in Northeast Ohio. Over the next three years, Dr. Perry’s project, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, will implement Making My Future Work and initially evaluate its impact on academic, career and socio-emotional outcomes. The project will provide empirical foundations to help stakeholders better understand “what works” in urban education, and train others to replicate Making My Future Work across schools and educational settings.

The costs of dropping out are well documented in terms of the detrimental impact it has on the lives of individuals, as well as the negative impact it has on our economic stability.

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College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

CELLS, CILIUM AND DISEASE RESEARCH ADVANCES UNDERSTANDING OF FLUID FLOW AND ITS LINK TO DISEASE DR. ANDREW RESNICK

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esearchers at CSU are integrating physics and biology to better understand diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, cystic liver disease and Bardet-Biedel syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause blindness. Assistant Professor of Physics Andrew Resnick is leading the effort to find out how cells sense and measure the flow of fluid through the body— blood, urine, bile, etc.— via tiny hairlike projections called cilium. His theory is that organs use information captured by the cilium to regulate blood pressure, bone density, body weight and several developmental stages in utero. Many diseases occur if the primary cilium is defective in some way. For example, Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) typically appears in the fifth decade of life and is one of the most commonly inherited human diseases, affecting about 600,000 in the U.S. each year. Using mouse cells, Dr. Resnick is testing whether fluid flow targeting the cilium is an important indicator that ADPKD is progressing. He is also testing if steady and pulsing fluid flows can provoke different cell responses.

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Results so far show that cilium are indeed extremely sensitive; the cell will respond to a very slight mechanical stimulus, and changing the pattern of fluid flow can keep the cell in a progrowth state similar to wound healing, with relevant proteins moving to the base of the cilium. Dr. Resnick’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is an important contribution to efforts to better treat such diseases. His work also has broad applications to other organ systems such as the liver, bones, pancreas and central nervous system.

The cell will respond to a very slight mechanical stimulus, and changing the pattern of fluid flow can keep the cell in a pro-growth state similar to wound healing.

Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

FINDING THE CRACKS RESEARCHER DEVELOPS NOVEL METHOD TO DETECT STRUCTURAL DAMAGE IN POWER GENERATION AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS DR. JERZY SAWICKI

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inding and diagnosing faults in machinery is crucial to ensuring the safe performance and operation of the machines that make our everyday life possible. Dr. Jerzy Sawicki, Bently and Muszynska Endowed Chair, Professor and Associate Vice President for Research at CSU, is focused on the health and safety of some very important machinery—machinery in our power plants and the engines of our aircrafts. The most dangerous kind of fault that can occur in a power generation or propulsion system is an invisible crack in the rotor. Research on detecting these insidious faults has been ongoing for the past several decades, and has produced methods that examine the response of the machine to unbalance excitation as it is starting or stopping, or during normal operation. Because these methods have proven to be unreliable, Dr. Sawicki is working towards such a machine health monitoring system, which will provide reliable on-line diagnosis of rotating machinery conditions, machine life prognosis and advanced warning of component failure. With a reliable method to monitor and diagnose these

systems for structural damage, accidents and unsafe conditions can be minimized. Dr. Sawicki compares his method for diagnosing machine faults to the way a physician diagnoses a patient. “If a cardiologist wants to check the health of your cardiovascular system, he or she applies stress to the system by having you run on a treadmill,” he says. “The stress applied to your system maximizes the signature of any abnormalities, so the doctor can detect them.” Dr. Sawicki does the same with rotors. Like a doctor who knows the baseline for a human system, Dr. Sawicki knows the amount of force and vibration that is generated when a rotor is rotating under normal conditions. To test his method for crack detection, he employs two machines, one with an undamaged rotor and one with a damaged rotor. By applying very specific amounts of additional force or “stress” to both systems, and measuring and analyzing the resulting vibrations, Dr. Sawicki has been able to differentiate the responses, and extract information about the size and location of the crack or damage in the unhealthy system. This novel method of rotor crack detection is especially innovative,using active magnetic force actuation to inject specially designed force perturbations into the system in specific locations. The magnetic force is applied in a controlled manner, with a specific amplitude and frequency, which allows the resulting vibrations to be interpreted and the structural damage to be assessed, located and diagnosed with far more reliability than current methods. Dr. Sawicki’s research has been supported by NASA and industry funding. He has presented his research to industry and is positive about its future implementation. With the potential to provide advanced warning for component failure in power plants and airplanes, this research may not only save money, it may also save lives.

The magnetic force is applied in a controlled manner, with a specific amplitude and frequency, which allows the resulting vibrations to be interpreted and the structural damage to be assessed.

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FEATURED RESEARCH

HISTORY ON YOUR PHONE PIONEERING APP LINKS TO LOCAL HISTORY IN A SNAP DRS. MARK TEBEAU AND MARK SOUTHER

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elcome, History, to the mobile age. Created by CSU History professors Mark Tebeau and Mark Souther, Cleveland Historical is a fascinating new way to experience and connect with the city’s past—through a mobile smartphone application that brings 200 years of history alive, at your fingertips. The app transforms the entire city of Cleveland and its suburbs into a living history museum. More than 50 pins on a map identify stories about historic homes, parks, neighborhoods, businesses, churches and more that hold important links to the city’s past and present. By clicking on each pin, users are treated to interpretive media rich stories that include photographs, oral histo-

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ries, and short videos. Users can also explore the city’s history through tours that connect stories thematically or through historical context. Downloaded more than 6,000 times to date, the app is unique because of how it illuminates the city’s history and because hundreds of those users developed its stories, including scores of CSU students, teachers and local history buffs. For “city curators” Tebeau and Souther, mixing old and new is all in a day’s work. “About 50 percent of Americans now use smartphones,” says Dr. Tebeau. “The scale and swiftness of this change presents exciting new opportunities for scholars, cultural institutions and educators. “By the end of 2011, nearly 20 million apps will be distributed worldwide,” he adds. “And by 2015, more than 1.4 billion people will engage the Internet through mobile devices.” Cleveland Historical is the latest project from CSU’s Center for Public History + Digital Humanities, also founded by Drs. Souther and Tebeau. The Center explores how digital technologies and techniques cause teachers and scholars to rethink how we teach, learn, and research history. The Center has garnered more than $5 million in funding, including large grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been recognized for excellence by the National Council for Public History and e-Tech Ohio. In addition, the Center’s teacher development programs have trained more than 250 teachers across Ohio and through them improved the history knowledge of tens of thousands of students. Through the Euclid Corridor History Project, the Center created 19 touch-screen history kiosks along Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland, which earned it the Ohio History Academy’s best public history project award. The Center’s success is proving to be a model for similar efforts across

The app transforms the entire city of Cleveland and its suburbs into a living history museum.

the U.S. Cleveland Historical is the first instance of Mobile Historical, a broader initiative through which the Center licenses its technology to other users. Eastern Washington University has licensed Mobile Historical technology to deploy Spokane Historical; Baltimore Heritage, Inc. has licensed it to create mobile apps under the name Baltimore Historical. Universities and cultural groups throughout the U.S. are also considering how to bring this new and exciting technology to their communities. (Cleveland Historical is available from the App Store for iPhones and Adroid Market for Androids.) Clockwise from left: Welcome! The first page of Cleveland Historical; buses and streetcars on historic Euclid Avenue; brewmaster Otto Kalsen and refrigeration systems engineer Julius Gisi in the rathskeller of Leisy Brewing Company; vintage view of Cleveland’s lakefront; Dr. Souther instructs a class downtown.

FEATURED RESEARCH

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

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College of Sciences and Health Professions

RESEARCH

NEW HOPE FOR CANCER TREATMENT PROFESSOR UNCOVERS POTENTIAL ROLE OF microRNAs IN THE CARCINOGENESIS OF PROSTATE CANCER DR. GIRISH SHUKLA

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he research of Dr. Girish Shukla, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, focuses on studying novel RNA-based molecular mechanisms that lead to the genesis of prostate cancer. His team has identified a subset of tiny ribonucleic acid or RNA molecules called microRNAs that can regulate the expression of Androgen Receptor, a steroid hormone receptor implicated in a majority of prostate cancer cases. Dr. Shukla’s research shows that a microRNA labeled Hsa-miR-488* can modulate Androgen Receptor expression in prostate cancer cells. The experimental use of miR-488* activated programmed cell death in prostate cancer cells, which are otherwise genetically programmed to proliferate and promote Androgen Receptor mediated carcinogenic cell signaling. His lab is currently using a whole genome approach to identify novel miRNAs that might be involved in the transition of prostate cancer from an indolent disease to a lethal form known as castration resistant cancer.

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These findings hold the potential for developing novel nucleic acid-based therapeutics to target prostate cancer at an earlier stage, increasing the opportunity for treatment options. Dr. Shukla’s research is an important contribution to understanding the regulation of extremely complicated human gene expression in normal and disease states. His human gene expression and cancer research projects are funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense prostate and breast cancer programs.

These findings hold the potential for developing novel nucleic acid-based therapeutics to target prostate cancer at an earlier stage.

Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

USER-FRIENDLY SENSORS RESEARCH OPENS UP A NEW WORLD OF IDEAS THAT HELP SAVE LIVES DR. NIGAMANTH SRIDHAR

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r. Nigamanth Sridhar imagines a day when a thousand cheap wireless sensors, lying on the ocean floor, perceive changes in water pressure and quickly predict an earthquake or tsunami. He dreams of a sensor network that cuts accidents and saves lives in highway work zones. And that improves homeland security through a network of sensors in urban areas. The Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering is designing innovative new methodologies and tools for building software that are achieving such dreams—software that links many wireless sensors so they can “speak” to each other, collaborate on a problem, and carry out a decision. His work is so cutting-edge, the National Science Foundation bestowed its prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award on him, along with $450,000 to further his research. Fewer than 20 percent who apply earn this coveted award that honors researcher/educators most likely to become leaders in science in this century. The beauty of Dr. Sridhar’s software is that it is so user-friendly, noncomputer programmers will easily be able to design sensor networks on their own. This opens up a vast new world of

ideas for sensor applications, designed by those “non-programmer experts” who are best equipped to dream up creative new uses. Like a civil engineer trying to predict a killer tsunami. “Most countries can’t afford the current system for tracking tsunamis,” says Dr. Sridhar. “It costs millions of dollars and requires a lot of expensive computer equipment mounted on buoys. “But with this vision, you could throw a thousand sensors into the ocean, hook a few nodes up to a computer via satellite, and it would cost a fraction of what it does today.” Closer to home, Dr. Sridhar is working with Cleveland State’s University Transportation Center to reduce accidents in highway work zones. Thousands of drivers crash into work zones each year, too often with tragic results. To reduce injuries and save lives, Dr. Sridhar’s software allows sensors to measure driver behavior and track how accidents happen, leading to better ways to keep both motorists and highway workers safe. On the health care front, Dr. Sridhar is collaborating with physical therapy researchers who study patients recovering from stroke. The group has designed sensor devices that, when attached to a patient’s limb during a rehabilitation session, can help therapists accurately monitor the patient’s recovery and progress. Dr. Sridhar’s work also contributes to the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering, a partnership between Cleveland State, industry, higher education and government. The Center aims to power economic growth by designing new sensor applications; the nearly 40 Wright Center partners know that sensors already do a lot, but can do much more. They’re pushing sensors beyond today’s boundaries, to a world where, one day, sensors will search for cancer cells and destroy them, or monitor aircraft mechanical systems and fix them before they fail.

A sensor network that cuts accidents and saves lives in highway work zones. And that improves homeland security through a network of sensors in urban areas.

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Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

LEADING THE WAY IN FUEL EFFICIENCY WORLD RENOWNED RESEARCH YIELDING MORE EFFICIENT FUEL CELLS, GAS STORAGE AND POWER SYSTEMS DR. ORHAN TALU

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n equilibrium and kinetics of mixture adsorption at f luid-solid interfaces, Cleveland State houses the leading research laboratory that serves as a worldwide benchmark. Research by Orhan Talu, Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and one of the world’s top experts in adsorption phenomena, has been supported with almost $4 million from the National Science Foundation, NASA, U.S. Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology and by industry, including General Electric, Eaton Corp. and British Oxygen Corp. Dr. Talu holds four patents and his work encompasses both fundamental and applied aspects of engineering, including adsorption equilibrium and kinetics, gas(hydrogen) storage, oxygen production from air, wastewater treatment and the synthesis and characterization of novel materials. His research using nanoporous solids has found that the process can be harnessed to help power vehicles

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(similar to hybrid cars without using batteries), improve the quality of offgrade natural gas, and store hydrogen gas in vehicle fuel tanks more safely and efficiently. As gases and vapors approach solids, they form a dense, liquid-like, surface phase next to the solids called adsorption phenomena. When this happens, an extremely thin layer of molecules in the gases or vapors adheres to the surfaces of the solid bodies with which they are in contact. Adsorption phenomenon is exploited in many industrial processes, says Dr. Talu, including oxygen production, hydrogen purification and air pollution control, especially the removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is also exploited in everyday applications, such as silica gel pouches in electronics packaging, carbon filters for odor removal and “breathers” for automobile gas tanks. At CSU, adsorption research is conducted from the nanometer scale —conducting molecular simulations to understand the primary interactions between gas/vapor molecules and solids, for example—to larger scale research on product development. Recent finding of engineering significance include developing subnanostructured metal hydride grids for hydrogen storage in order to enhance the capacity performance of the fuel system in fuel cell vehicles. Dr. Talu is also providing breakthroughs in the safer use of adsorptive storage of natural gas for on-board vehicle fuel tanks, intended to replace very high pressure, compressed natural gas storage.

His research using nanoporous solids has found that the process can be harnessed to help power vehicles (similar to hybrid cars without using batteries), improve the quality of off-grade natural gas, and store hydrogen gas in vehicle fuel tanks more safely and efficiently.

Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

ALLOYS MADE IN SPACE SPACE-MADE ALLOYS MAY LEAD TO IMPROVED ENGINE PERFORMANCE DR. SURENDRA TEWARI

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etal alloys created in space have fewer defects than those made on Earth, a team of Cleveland State, NASA and University of Arizona researchers has found. These findings may lead to increased performance and safety in the high-speed aircraft and power turbine industries, which use single-crystal alloy castings that are critical components in high-temperature, gas-turbine engines. Surendra Tewari, Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at CSU, and his team focused on gaining better control and understanding of how single-crystal alloy castings solidify after they are melted and cooled. Dr. Tewari’s hypothesis is that alloys solidified in a low gravity environment will have fewer defects than those made terrestrially. To prove it, the team sent aluminum-silicon alloy samples prepared at CSU up to the International Space Station via the space shuttle Discovery. There the astronauts re-melted and solidified the samples in specialized furnaces and sent them back by the shuttle. The team found that because of reduced convection, the sample solidified in the low gravity environment of space has a more uniform microstructure and fewer defects than

samples solidified in an Earth-based furnace subject to the Earth’s gravity. Dr. Tewari’s research in this field is supported by funding from NASA. Dr. Tewari’s second major area of research is in collaboration with Dr. Joanne Belovich, Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at CSU, and Dr. Ronald Midura from the Cleveland Clinic’s renowned Lerner Research Institute. They are examining the attachment and proliferation of bone-forming osteoblast cells on nano-textured metallic alloy surfaces. Osteoblasts are large cells responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone during initial bone formation and later bone remodeling. Attachment, migration, and proliferation of osteoblast cells on an implant surface immediately after surgery determine how readily the implant becomes integrated into the surrounding bone by the formation and attachment of new bones on its surface. It is believed that the quality of this initial osteo-integration also determines the useful life of the implant. An inadequate initial integration leads to an accelerated implant loosening, a serious issue in orthopedic surgeries since the replacement of an artificial hip tends to be less successful than the initial hip replacement surgery. Osteoblast cytoskeletons are made up of a complex network of 10-20 nm diameter microfilaments. Their biological interaction with an implant substrate is a strong function of its micro and nano-surface topography and its surface chemistry. Initial results indicate that sodium hydroxide etched topography is more conducive for cell adhesion, as compared with polished surface or surfaces textured by other techniques.

Alloys solidified in a low gravity environment will have fewer defects than those made terrestrially.

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Fenn College of Engineering

RESEARCH

THE ELECTROMECHANICAL SOLUTION ELECTROMECHANICAL DEVICES DETECT DISEASE AND OFFER RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS DR. SIU-TUNG YAU

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n the early 21st century, science is focused on finding ways to improve the health of the population and the health of the environment we live in. Human survival and our ability to thrive is dependent on finding solutions to the problems inherent in prolonging life and finding clean fuel to power our technology. Dr. Siu-Tung Yau, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is hard at work, finding those solutions each day in electromechanical devices. Dr. Yau’s contribution in healthcare is in the development of an ultrasensitive bio-detection device that has potential applications in the early diagnosis and detection of disease. An enzymatic field-effect transistor invented by Dr. Yau is being used to detect glucose molecules that are very, very small. His biosensing device has potential applications in the early detection of cancer biomarkers and bacterial pathogens. This project is in response to a need for ultrasensitive devices that can not only assist in the early detection of diseases, but can also assist homeland security and others in detecting environmental dangers.

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Dr. Yau is also making important contributions to the development of renewable energy through his innovations in viable microfuel cell technology. His laboratory has shown that ultrasmall light emitting colloidal silicon nano particles behave as electrocatalysts for the oxidation of renewable fuel such as ethanol and methanol. Because of his findings, he and his team have been able to build and test prototypes of single and double-compartment fuel cells, which demonstrate their potential use in microfuel cell technology. Another highly usable innovation that has emerged from Dr. Yau’s lab is the use of nanocomposite materials to build supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are electrochemical devices that can store the electrical energy generated from intermittent renewable sources like wind or solar power, and store them to ensure that energy is available at all times. In order to be useful, supercapacitors must have high storage capacity and must be highly durable. Dr. Yau has developed nanocomposite materials for use in these supercapacitors using conducting polymers, ultrasmall silicon nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes and graphemes. Using nanocomposite materials, Yau has enhanced specific capacitance, which has resulted in higher power and better energy-storage capabilities. His nanocomposite materials have been used to construct flexible sheets of supercapacitors, which were able to power portable LED lamps for over 2,000 charging and discharging cycles. From diagnosing disease and sensing security threats to optimizing renewable fuels like ethanol and solar power, Dr. Yau’s research is on the cutting edge of the human innovation necessary to ensure the survival of our species. Dr. Yau’s research is supported by the American Diabetes Association, National Science Foundation and ARAMCO.

This project is in response to a need for ultrasensitive devices that can not only assist in the early detection of diseases, but can also assist homeland security and others in detecting environmental dangers.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

RESEARCH

SEARCH WARRANTS, CONSENT AND THE “HEAT OF PASSION” RESEARCH SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURES PROF. JONATHAN WITMER-RICH

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onathan Witmer-Rich, Assistant Prof. of Law at CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, is nationally known for his research on criminal procedure— including police interrogations and search warrants—and the philosophy of criminal law, including the concept of consent and its foundations. In 2011, Prof. Witmer-Rich published “Interrogation and the Roberts Court” in the Florida Law Review, one of the top law journals in the country. He looks at all of the interrogation law cases that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts decided through early 2011. “These cases deal with the rights of suspects under the 5th and 6th amendments, including suspects’ Miranda rights,” says Prof. Witmer-Rich. “I explain that the Roberts Court has continued to follow Miranda as a matter of form and claims not to be overruling it, but is severely undercutting Miranda as a matter of substance. “When the Court announced Miranda and related cases in the 1960s, it created a set of procedural protections for suspects in interrogations,” he continues. “The Court took the view that when a suspect is in police custodial interrogation, that suspect is in a very vulnerable position, subject

to subtle but powerful police pressures, and the Court needed strong protections like Miranda warnings.” The new cases, Prof. Witmer-Rich argues, show that the Roberts Court has fundamentally abandoned this vision. The current Court still “follows” Miranda, but the decisions show that the Court no longer believes that suspects in interrogation need to be protected. Instead, it operates with the idea of “fair notice.” So long as police give you “fair notice” of your rights, it is up to individual defendants, who are presumed to be intelligent and autonomous, to protect themselves. The Professor concludes that the Roberts Court has little interest in making sure suspects in police interrogation are protected against inherent police pressures. He argues that decades of empirical research show that the Warren Court (in the 1960s) was correct in diagnosing that suspects in police interrogations are subject to subtle but powerful coercive pressures, and if confessions are to be voluntary, protections need to be in place. Prof. Witmer-Rich is also investigating the increasing phenomenon called “delayed-notice” or “sneak and peak” search warrants. These warrants, authorized in the Patriot Act, allow the government to conduct a search, and sometimes seize evidence, without notifying the subject of the search that the search is occurring. Sometimes police make the search and seizure look like a break-in, so the subject will not suspect they were conducting a search. Prof. Witmer-Rich is evaluating whether these warrants comply with the Fourth Amendment, both from a historical perspective—was anything like this occurring when the Bill of Rights was drafted—and in light of existing caselaw. A second current project involves the “Heat of Passion” defense. Under criminal law, a defendant’s murder charge is sometimes reduced to manslaughter if he can show that the killing occurred in the “heat of passion”—that the defendant was reasonably provoked, who killed while in a state of extreme emotional dis-

turbance resulting from that provocation. There is much confusion about whether and when juries should consider individual characteristics of a defendant when deciding if the provocation was “reasonable.” For example, if the defendant was taunted for stuttering, it is obviously relevant for the jury to consider the facts that the defendant does have a stutter, and perhaps his long history of being taunted for stuttering, in determining if it was reasonable for him to become extremely upset as a result. In contrast, consider a defendant who killed an African-American man after seeing that man kissing a white woman in public. That defendant might argue that the jury should consider the fact that he is very racist, thus asking not whether a reasonable person would be angered, but whether a “reasonable racist” would be. In that sort of case we would NOT want the jury to consider the racist characteristics of the defendant. “Is there any way to explain this intuition, that sometimes a defendant’s individual characteristics matter, and sometimes not?” asks Prof. WitmerRich. “Or is the law just inconsistent? I try to articulate a neutral standard that distinguishes between these cases and should guide judges and jurors when evaluating the heat of passion defense.”

The Professor is evaluating whether “delayed-notice” search warrants comply with the Fourth Amendment.

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NOTES

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