Northeastern University College of Science Catalyst Spring 2022

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Message from Dean Sive Dear Northeastern families, alumni and friends,

PRIORITIES OF DEAN SIVE FOR THE NORTHEASTERN COLLEGE OF SCIENCE • Build a Culture of Respect and Action towards Equity • Promote Communications, and that everyone uses Science, everyday • Solve the Greatest Research Challenges of our Planet • Promote Innovative Education across the World

Long ago, at exactly this time in March, Bennett’s Comet swung by the Southern Hemisphere, when I was growing up in South Africa. I was deeply interested in the stars and would spend evenings scanning the skies with binoculars. Wanting more magnification, I saw an advertisement in Scientific American for a book called Amateur Telescope Making and my dad let me order it. It was a small book covered in grey paper, even today on my bookshelf. The local planetarium sold supplies, and following directions, I ground my own lenses by rotating two six-inch discs of glass against one another, so one became concave (the lens) and one convex. Next steps involved polishing the lens with increasingly fine emery paper and rouge, then coating it with silver to make a mirror. The culmination was mounting the lens in a cardboard tube and attaching an eye piece. It didn’t matter that the lens was not successful, and nothing was in focus, the thrill of having made my own telescope was enough. Bennett’s Comet was very bright for a couple of weeks before dawn, around 4 A.M. The comet was not popularly viewed because people were asleep, but I was determined not to miss it. My friend Janine had slept over and the alarm clock dragged us out of bed. It was a chilly Johannesburg night, and we were freezing outside in our pajamas and barefoot. But as promised, there hanging in the sky was the comet, a long tail spreading from the head (the ‘coma’). I remember everything was very still and quiet. Except it seemed like the comet was loud, proclaiming its place. You could not have missed it. Even Janine was impressed. I can readily conjure a little movie from my mind of standing in the middle of the road in the sharp pre-dawn air, looking west and being jolted to see the comet, so bright and stunning. It really was a once in a lifetime experience, as Bennett’s Comet has an orbital period of 1700 years. March is the end of summer in South Africa, and the end of winter here. The temperatures are about the same. It’s a season switch you can rely on, year after year, and a night sky you can count on, even on Bennett’s Comet coming back someday. The reliability of the stars, sparkling there, seems to me a bit of comfort in our complex lives and in this turbulent time.

• Reinvent the PhD

We can count on you also, our wonderful families, alumni and friends, to help promote the Good Power of Science. I am deeply grateful for your interest and support, for your connection with the College of Science.

• Increase Undergraduate Research

With best regards,

• Build an Entrepreneurship Landscape Hazel Sive, PhD Dean, College of Science Northeastern University

Giving Day April 14, 2022 ON THURSDAY, APRIL 14, THE NORTHEASTERN COMMUNITY WILL COME TOGETHER FOR OUR FIFTH ANNUAL GIVING DAY. Now, more than ever, science is crucially important. On Giving Day, we will fundraise to further the education of future scientific leaders, to expand the impact of our research endeavors, and to foster an environment in which every member of the College of Science community can learn, grow and thrive. The College of Science Dean’s Fund allows the College of Science to respond to current and emerging needs and promotes leadership in such areas as student access, research, diversity and inclusion, developing science entrepreneurship programs, and access to global experiences.


Math Department Fund

Physics Department Fund

Biology Department Fund

Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department Fund

Behavioral Neuroscience Program Fund

Biochemistry Program Fund

Marine and Environmental Sciences Department Fund

Psychology Department Fund

College of Science Research Co-op Fund

College of Science Student Diversity Advisory Council

Advancing Women in Science Scholarship


DECEMBER 8, 2021

RESEARCH FOR IMPACT COS Connects is a series of virtual panel events featuring our accomplished faculty and students discussing groundbreaking College of Science research aimed at solving the greatest challenges of our planet. Each event in the series centers around a pressing global concern with panelists engaging in discussion around complex investigative challenges, exciting research breakthroughs, and a vision for the future that pushes the boundaries of discovery and innovation. Drawn into their world of research, audience members join the conversation and ask questions of presenters. Anyone with a curiosity about science and problem-solving is invited and registration is free.

What are Quantum Materials anyway? Quantum materials have the


potential to revolutionize the

Dean Hazel Sive, PhD College of Science

way we live. They contain unusual magnetic and electrical properties that could allow us to harness energy in new ways, create more efficient technology, and advance medical breakthroughs.

Paul Stevenson, PhD Department of Physics College of Science

Dean Hazel Sive spoke with professor Paul Stevenson about how physicists are researching ways to further understand quantum materials and their

potential benefits. Attendees learned about how researchers will help deconstruct the complexity of quantum science and explain the potential advancements and impact on daily lives.

The conversation explored new research including: • MRI at the nanoscale, a powerful new tool for studying chemical and biological dynamics • The potential of quantum networks for secure communication and computing


on the COS YouTube channel

JANUARY 12, 2022

Solving Antibiotic Resistance

Moderator: Dean Hazel Sive, PhD College of Science

It’s hard to imagine a world without powerful antibiotics to combat infection or to make life-saving medical interventions like surgery and cancer treatment possible. This amazing scientific discovery has changed our lives

Kim Lewis, PhD Department of Biology College of Science

in countless ways. But, the long- term overuse and misuse of antibiotics has contributed to an alarming rise in antibiotic resistance, which threatens the health of our global ecosystem. Biology professors Kim Lewis and Eddie Geisinger discussed how scientists are working to discover new antibiotics and seek novel ways to treat and eradicate

Eddie Geisinger, MD, PhD Department of Biology College of Science

some of our most aggressive infectious diseases. They examined ground-breaking inventions and unique research strategies that have contributed to sophisticated advances in drug development for infectious disease.

The conversation explored specific disease challenges and introduced exciting breakthroughs in the development of novel treatment therapies: • The mysteries of Lyme disease, its long-term impact, and (finally) finding some answers • The dangers of antibiotic-resistant, hospital-acquired infections and how to stop them • How a little chunk of plastic and some dirt led to the discovery of new antibiotics


on the COS YouTube channel



Clean Batteries, Clean Energy

In the United States, we largely depend on oil, coal, and natural gas to heat our homes, fuel our vehicles, power our manufacturing facilities, and provide us with electricity. In fact, more than 80% of our energy use comes from fossil fuels. We’ve not only reached the critical point where declines

Moderator: Dean Hazel Sive, PhD College of Science

in supplies are diminishing and costs are rising, but, even more concerning is the collateral damage of global warming and pollution on our planet’s climate and ecosystem. New energy sources are critical to the survival and wellbeing of our world. Join Dean Hazel Sive for a discussion with chemistry and chemical biology professor Sanjeev Mukerjee and COS students.

The conversation will explore new research including: • Electrochemical material science and the latest discoveries in battery, fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies and how they might transform the future of energy and sustainability of our environment.

Sanjeev Mukerjee, PhD Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology College of Science


The New Math

Many of us remember old math. Some of us remember old new math. And, now, there’s the new new math. So, what’s the deal with reinventing the ancient study of mathematics? Today’s math educators strive to help students gain strong foundations and a better conceptual understanding of what they are doing versus simply jumping straight

Moderator: Dean Hazel Sive, PhD College of Science

into procedures to problem solve in the classroom. New math stresses procedural skill and fluency as a tool to apply math concepts to solve problems in any environment. Join Dean Hazel Sive for a discussion with mathematics professor Jose Perea, PhD to discuss the impact of new math in their fields of study and in their classrooms. Jose Perea, PhD Department of Mathematics College of Science

Four Northeastern Professors Earn Their Place on 2021’s List of “Highly Cited Researchers” Papers regarding treatments for difficult diseases, energy efficiency, and understanding human emotion are among the multitude of groundbreaking research that has earned four College of Science professors a spot on 2021’s list of “Highly Cited Researchers.” Each year, Clarivate Analytics produces this list based on citation data from the Web of Science. This online platform tracks research papers’ mentions in other papers’ citations. The list features more than 6,000 global scientific researchers around the world who have produced papers that rank in the top 1 one percent by citations in their fields between 2009 and 2021.

The following College of Science faculty were named on 2021’s list, each of whom has appeared on the list in previous years: • Arun Bansil, a University Distinguished Professor of physics, studies how electrons behave in complex materials. His work provides novel insight into how to design new materials for quantum information systems, more efficient batteries, and superconductors that could eventually work at room temperature. • Albert-László Barabási, the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and Distinguished Professor of physics, studies the patterns in the networks that underpin our world and the chemicals in our food which can impact our health. His research into the science of success shows that the top performers aren’t always recognized as the best in their fields. • Lisa Feldman Barrett, a University Distinguished Professor of psychology, studies the nature of emotion from the perspectives of both psychology and neuroscience. Her lab’s research uses experiential, behavioral, psychophysiological and brain-imaging techniques to study emotions. • Kim Lewis, a University Distinguished Professor of biology, has produced major discoveries in the fight against bacterial infections. He has co-discovered a new antibiotic that kills pathogens without encountering any detectable resistance and investigated promising new treatments for Lyme disease.

Meet the Three Seas alumni making waves in their fields Graduates of The Three Seas Program pursue various careers in environmental consulting, non-profit work, state and federal government, outreach and education, and scientific research support.

Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley

Three Seas 18 (2001-2002) Three Seas Professor, Biology of Corals, Director of Research at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute After Three Seas, Gretchen accepted a research technician job with Dr. Ken Sebens, the former director of the Marine Science Center in Nahant and one of the program’s professors. She traveled with Dr. Sebens to several field sites, including Bermuda, where she became fascinated with the island and its northern coral reef system. As a result, Gretchen decided to pursue and complete a PhD from Harvard University investigating genetic connectivity between Bermuda and the Caribbean in 2009. She then accepted a postdoc position at Mote Marine Laboratory. Next, she held a second postdoc position at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) before receiving a fellowship to study at the University of Bologna for a year, investigating the population demography of a Mediterranean coral. Upon finishing in Italy, Gretchen rejoined BIOS as an assistant scientist, leading the Reef Ecology of Evolution Laboratory from 2014 – 2020. In January 2020, Gretchen became the director of research at the Central Caribbean Marine Research Institute in the Cayman Islands. She is responsible for developing research and education programs. Gretchen maintains her connection to the Three Seas Program as a professor and advisor.

Mark LoSavio

Three Seas 37 (2018-2019) Media and Outreach Coordinator National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mark graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2014 with a BS in Marine Science. While there, he was an active member of the school’s community— forming their SCUBA Club, sitting on the Diving Control Board, and leading the Marine Science Undergraduate Society. Mark completed the Three Seas with aspirations of a career in science communication. Instead, he chose to incorporate his personal interests and previous training in the Chinese language into his research project, which focused on evaluating the effectiveness of virtual reality in the STEM curriculum in the U.S. and China. After graduating, Mark honed his communication skills assisting the Marine Science Center’s community programming, acting as an ambassador for the Three Seas Program during recruitment, and as a guest on various science and diving podcasts. Mark also worked part-time as a program instructor at Kestrel Educational Adventures and volunteered at his local food bank while conducting his full-time job search during the pandemic. Almost a year after graduation, Mark accepted a position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Sanctuaries Office as the media and outreach coordinator for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

The Three Seas Program is an immersive and field-intensive program in marine biology with a focus on research, applied marine sustainability, conservation, and restoration. This unique program allows students to live and work in three distinct environments at world-renowned research facilities in the Northwest

Follow the Three Seas Program on Instagram

for an inside look at current program experiences! Photos by the Three Seas Program.

Atlantic, the tropics, and the North Pacific.

Simi Harrison

Three Seas 37 (2018-2019) Marine Biologist, Tetra Tech Simi joined the Three Seas Program after earning a bachelor’s degree from a small liberal arts school with an aspiration to work in coastal resilience. Simi felt she needed specialized training to be competitive in the job market and chose the Three Seas Program for its offering of field experience in various marine environments, which helped her hone her research skills without limiting her geographically. Simi also appreciated the freedom students were allowed in the research phase. She completed her Three Seas research at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

Between professors from the program, researchers at partner institutions, and the program’s vast alumni network, Three Seas has made the marine biology community feel that much smaller for Simi. (DMF) comparing the productivity of artificial and natural reefs in Nantucket Sound and later published her research in the journal Estuaries and Coasts. She is still in touch with her advisor and coworkers from DMF but now works at Tetra Tech, an environmental consulting agency. In her new role, Simi supports federal and private projects in the field and the office. She helps conduct trawl and grab surveys and analyzes towed video data while also supporting benthic and marine permitting sections for the offshore wind team. Between professors from the program, researchers at partner institutions, and the program’s vast alumni network, Three Seas has made the marine biology community feel that much smaller for Simi.

PARTNER WITH US The Northeastern College of Science is a hub of Research, Education and Innovation: Our faculty are pushing research frontiers to solve our planet’s greatest challenges. Through innovative, research-linked, experiential learning, our students are empowered to be confident, entrepreneurial, problem-solvers, with flexible skills for a vast spectrum of careers. And we embrace a culture of respect, equity and diversity, where each person feels valued for their contribution and is treated fairly.

There are many ways to support the College EDUCATION • Scholarships: The College of Science recruits exceptional students who reflect the diversity of society. Scholarships help us attract top students, and expands access to a Northeastern College of Science education through full and partial awards. • Support Experiential Learning: The College of Science is broadening access to and scope of work experience-based education at all levels. Support a co-op in research, medicine, and across a broad landscape of opportunities, or subsidize international co-ops. Help make these learning experiences a reality for our students! • INVEST in Faculty: The College seeks funding to recruit promising PhD candidates directly into tenure track positions, with extensive mentoring and research support. Through this innovative plan, the College will recruit a talented and diverse pool of faculty.

RESEARCH • Graduate Fellowships: In the College’s new Connected Science PhD, students understand how the PhD opens a vast array of top career options. Students carry out groundbreaking research, explore opportunities for cross-disciplinary research, and connect with outside work experience that may set up their next steps. COS seeks fellowship funding to support the outstanding next generation of science trainees.


Don’t miss out on receiving important information about what’s happening at the COS, both on campus and around the world. Click here and fill out the form to stay connected with us!

• Undergraduate Research: COS is committed to providing all of its undergraduate students with a labbased research opportunity during their time at Northeastern. Support for undergraduate research will promote the creation of additional opportunities for students to work alongside faculty and graduate student mentors, and gain valuable experience in traditional and emerging fields across the college. • Summer Research Program: The new College of Science Summer Research Program will bring outstanding undergraduate students to Northeastern where they will benefit from our hallmark experiential educational opportunities. Support will enable the College to place students in research positions, and encourage their future training at Northeastern.

INNOVATION • Entrepreneurship: The College of Science encourages a culture of entrepreneurship and translational innovation across faculty and students. Support helps the college establish an ecosystem with features such as venture bootcamps, grand challenge focused hack-a-thons, and funding that promotes a startup culture. • Space of the Future: The College of Science must be at the forefront of providing advanced research space that promotes collaboration and crossdisciplinary research, and supports platforms and technologies that accelerate the rate of discovery.

For more information contact Kevin Thompson, Associate Dean of Development, College of Science

CONNECT WITH COS Email our Associate Dean of Development, Kevin Thompson ( Subscribe to our weekly Connects email and other COS publications FOLLOW US ON:

ON THE COVER: A 3D-printed network is seen in the lab of Albert-László Barabási on November 26, 2018. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

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