Page 1

Health  Sustainability  Policy  Technology






C A L I F O R N I A ,


Explore more solutions:

PROMISE It’s about asking the right questions.

It’s about finding the right partner. It’s about providing real world solutions.


Can science make us happier? What is happiness, and what does it mean to be happy? How can I contribute to my own happiness and to that of others? As one of the most significant dimensions of human experience, happiness yields numerous rewards for the individual and for society as a whole. In recent years, nations around the world such as Canada, France and Britain have included citizen happiness in their official national statistics; the nation of Bhutan measures key indicators of “Gross National Happiness”; and the U.S. is also considering a happiness index. But what are the key factors that contribute to happiness and how can we identify, measure and consistently employ them to improve our quality of life?


Today the emerging science of positive psychology is providing data-driven answers to some of the most challenging questions. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research explores social comparison (how people compare themselves to peers), dissonance reduction (how people justify both trivial and important choices in their lives), self-evaluation (how people judge themselves), and person perception (how people think about others). Her first book, “The How of Happiness,” has already been used by countless individuals, mental health professionals, schools, companies and organizations to improve well-being, productivity and social policies.


Sonja Lyubomirsky

Professor of Psychology College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Templeton Positive Psychology Prize Winner

EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more

Do some anti-cancer medications actually cause cancer? Our DNA controls how our cells operate and reproduce. However, the vitally important process by which DNA accurately transmits genetic instructions from one cell to another is subject to disruption any time that a chromosome is compromised by exposure to environmental chemicals or certain drugs, including some anti-cancer medications. As a damaged DNA chromosome begins to transmit the errors in its code and the modified cells begin to replicate, the result may be the development of cancer or other human diseases.

The key to developing more effective drugs is to first understand the complex mechanisms by which our DNA and RNA molecules interact and produce proteins. Led by Yinsheng Wang, UCR chemists have developed a breakthrough method to test for and examine the various proteins involved in the repair of damaged or modified DNA. The CTAB, which stands for “competitive transcription and adduct bypass,” is one of several ways in which Yang’s research is helping to revolutionize the field of chemical toxicology and fast-track the development of safer, genetically-tailored medical treatments.

Yinsheng Wang

Professor of Chemistry College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Chemistry Director, Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program



Can we predict and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s? More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease today. As the nation’s population of aging Baby Boomers increases, the rates for this and other neurological diseases are skyrocketing. Recent studies project that both the number of patients with dementia and the financial costs of caring for them is set to double in the next 30 years. Can scientists more quickly develop customized, cost-effective methods for preventing, detecting and treating the onset of this devastating illness?


For many years, scientists believed that our brain and immune system functioned separately, with the brain isolated behind a “blood-brain barrier.” Consequently, medical research and treatments for various diseases were designed to prevent any interaction between the two systems. Today, research by Monica Carson and her team at the UCR School of Medicine has enabled scientists to realize that there is actually a constant, complex molecular interaction happening between the two systems. Her findings suggest a wholesale rethinking of our approach to the treatment of neurological disease, opening up new lines of scientific inquiry, new means of diagnosis, and new methods by which more effective drugs may one day be tailored to the physiology of each patient.


Monica Carson

Interim Dean, Biomedical Sciences Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences School of Medicine

EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more

How will rising numbers of AsianAmericans shape the nation’s future? As the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, Asian-Americans play an increasingly influential role in addressing such challenges as immigration policy, education reform and civic engagement. From business leaders to politicians to urban planners, all manner of policy experts require more sophisticated data sources to better understand and more strategically engage this important constituency.

Co-founded and directed by UCR political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan, the National Asian American Survey (NAAS) serves as one such important new resource. By regularly polling the opinions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders on a variety of key policy issues, this scientific, nonpartisan research tool provides the nation’s most complete representation of Asian-American political opinion. For example, post-election NAAS data demonstrated that Asian-Americans generally favor government services and voted to support President Barack Obama by a wider margin than Latinos in the 2012 presidential election, providing valuable food for thought to the leadership of both major political parties.

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Associate Professor of Political Science College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Director of the National Asian American Survey




Why do K-12 students need to know about climate change?


By the time today’s third-graders reach adulthood, the effects of climate change all over the world will be felt in a profound way, confronting this generation with unprecedented economic, health, agricultural and other public policy challenges. Yet studies show that many of these children and their parents remain unaware of the scientific methods used to assess climate change impacts, as well as the steps that they, as individuals and advocates, can take to help prevent or mitigate the problems that accompany them.

Working in partnership with NASA, Mary Droser has developed an innovative outreach program for elementary students. Components of the program include tours at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and sessions that teach students how to understand and use NASA’s climate data (which spans about 50 years) to predict climate trends. Prof. Droser and her team of volunteers also organize a community fair that helps the public learn about the science behind climate change and what individuals can do to live more sustainably.

Mary Droser

Professor of Geology College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more

What factors influence the accuracy of eyewitness identification? Stories about false or wrongful convictions are a common topic in the news. Mistaken eyewitness identification is the leading cause of wrongful conviction. It was a factor in 75 percent of U.S. cases that involved overturned convictions as a result of DNA evidence. But what are the key psychological and social factors that influence memory recall and identification, and how can we use our knowledge of them to improve the accuracy rate of eyewitness testimony?

Research by psychologist Steven Clark, director of the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies, suggests that subtle cues in the social interactions between police officers and witnesses often influence identification, for better or worse. As a growing number of states and local jurisdictions seek to develop more effective police line-up protocols, his work helps inform specific police techniques. By consulting with law enforcement and legal experts, Clark helps policymakers consider and analyze the trade-off between avoiding false identifications and the reduction of correct identifications as they test and adopt new procedures.

Steven Clark

Professor of Psychology College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Director, Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies




How can we protect California’s lucrative citrus industry? For more than a century, UCR scientists have played a leading role in protecting the health, sustainability and commercial viability of the Golden State’s lucrative citrus industry. To remain competitive in a global marketplace, commercial growers work in partnership with UCR geneticists to release new citrus varieties that exhibit favorable traits including glossy color, easy-to-peel rinds, resistance to disease and cold climates, low seed count, and a tangy sweet flavor. However, cultivating and producing these new varieties in a cost-effective manner — one that avoids unwanted crosspollination, seediness, and damage by pests — remains an ongoing challenge.

Over many years, Mikeal Roose and his team have developed a number of citrus varieties that can be grown year-round, producing higher incomes for farmers, steadier work for seasonal laborers and a constant supply of healthy and delicious fruit for consumers. One recent invention, the Tango mandarin, is a virtually seedless fruit (often marketed under the brand name Cuties) that has been designed to remain seedless wherever it is grown. The blooms on the Tango tree lack viable pollen, so it isn’t necessary to use expensive protective netting or other precautions against the risk of cross-pollination. Better yet, it is a fruit that looks, smells and tastes like the very best of California.


Mikeal Roose

Chair and Professor of Genetics College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Agriculture Experiment Station Member

EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more

What role do clouds play in climate warming? Each year, industrialized countries around the world pump billions of tons of carbon particles into the atmosphere, contributing to rising incidents of cancer, heart-related illness and infectious disease. Serving as seeds for rain formation, such particles reflect light and heat in different ways, contributing to global warming and the resulting cycles of severe floods or drought. In order to develop cleaner technologies and stronger environmental policies, scientists require a much deeper understanding of how carbon particles interact to form rain, how they affect temperature, and how they influence weather systems.

At the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), Akua Asa-Awuku employs the world’s largest indoor atmospheric research chamber to better understand the chemical interactions that create and mitigate air pollution. Her work focuses on the role of short-lived black carbon particles in cloud formation, as well as on the interaction of clouds and aerosol. To study the tiny particles, Asa-Awuku makes optical measurements based on the color of the particles. Like the difference between wearing a white or a dark shirt on a sunny day, the particles can have a cooling or warming effect in the atmosphere.

Akua Asa-Awuku

Assistant Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering Bourns College of Engineering | College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT)




How can low-income farmers better protect crops from drought? One of the most widely grown staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa is maize (also known as corn). Often, farmers have to contend with significant loss during the pre- and post-harvest stages caused by biotic stresses such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, and other pests and pathogens. Conventional means to improve protection of crops are often unattainable by small farmers in developing countries because of its high cost.

Hideaki Tsutsui and his group of researchers have designed a self-inking biosensor stamp that is printed directly on a corn leaf or the leaf of any crop. The printed biosensor detects biotic stress markers, such as toxins in the plant, and displays visual signs that could alert a farmer to potential infection or disease in the crop. The colorimetric paper test is a low cost way of providing farmers an early warning system of potential toxins or disease that could harm their crops. The biosensor allows a farmer to take necessary steps to treat or remove the affected plants and stop the spread of disease, therefore preventing catastrophic loss of crops and food supply.


Hideaki Tsutsui

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Bourns College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Gates Foundation Grant to Develop Corn Sensor

EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more

What can past earthquakes reveal about our seismic future? According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes each year. Most of them are small and many pass unnoticed by the average resident. However, the threat of the “Big One� is something every Californian has wondered or worried about, including homeowners, building inspectors, insurance companies, engineers and construction companies whose work depends, in part, on accurate seismic risk assessments. Unlike tornadoes or hurricanes for which relatively reliable early warning systems exist, the practice of earthquake predictions remains an evolving science.

Geophysicist James Dieterich is leading a team of researchers, along with David Oglesby, to develop and use large-scale computer simulations to study the dynamics of earthquake fault systems, such as the great San Andreas Fault. This new model enables scientists to integrate a vast collection of data from seismology and earthquake geology into a common framework, helping researchers better detect how stresses build up in fault systems. By simulating fault formations and earthquake events that span thousands of years, researchers are improving short and long-term earthquake forecasting capabilities.

James Dieterich David Oglesby

Distinguished Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus (left) Associate Professor of Geophysics (right) College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences


How do we turn hours of video surveillance into useful information?



Cameras, smart phones and video surveillance systems are a ubiquitous part of our modern world, serving to enhance our quality of life and to function as an essential tool for law enforcement. At any given time, in most cities around the world, video surveillance is virtually conducted in every building, landmark, and street corner. Yet if we are to successfully prevent crime and keep public events safe from the threat of domestic terrorism, innovative new data-mining technologies are needed to help agents quickly and accurately assess the enormous volume of daily data collected by surveillance networks.

Part of the solution comes down to building a smarter, more analytical camera. Amit K. Roy-Chowdhury’s research aims to develop camera networks that recognize and track patterns of movement, detect anomalies, identify persons of interest, and provide facial recognition data. It has many practical applications in areas such as homeland security, environmental monitoring, and the safeguarding of private and commercial property. By providing security professionals with a real-time, systemized analysis of video data, such tools can enable officials to more effectively focus their manual assessment of footage on suspicious individuals, clues and behaviors.


Amit K. Roy-Chowdhury

Professor of Electrical Engineering Bourns College of Engineering

EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more

Where will the next breakthrough in superconductivity come from? Superconductors are materials that conduct electricity with near-zero resistance at extremely low temperatures. Metals or alloys work best for such applications as electric power grids and magnetic resonance imaging machines, but the race is on to identify superconductive materials that function at higher temperatures to allow more powerful, affordable and wide-spread applications. For years, researchers have feverishly and contentiously debated the fundamental physics of the problem, testing and eliminating one theory after another. Though their work has yielded tantalizing clues about the nature of matter and the potential for developing materials with entirely new properties, the road forward for funding agencies, investors, and transportation and energy sector leaders remains unclear.

In the fierce competition among nations and corporations to develop game-changing new technologies, America’s research universities play a crucial role. While the benefits of applied research are readily apparent, some of the most valuable inventions require years—even decades—of funding support for basic and theoretical research before the concepts or products can be commercialized. For example, in 2006 a team of experimental scientists verified a once-radical theory on the relationship between time and temperature in superconductive materials. Hailed as a major turning point in the field, it was developed and refined over 25 years by physicist Chandra Varma, earning him the prestigious Bardeen Prize in 2012.

Chandra Varma

Distinguished Professor of Physics College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 2012 Bardeen Prize Winner




In the quest for new knowledge, we welcome opportunities to partner with entrepreneurs, philanthropists, businesses, community leaders and fellow research enterprises. The Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) Through the Office of Research and Economic Development (RED), UCR is bringing advanced research from the lab to the marketplace while generating $1.4 billion in economic impacts. In FY 2011-12, we attracted approximately $114 million in research funding, including 867 contracts and grants and 300 patents.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNIES Recruiting — Find our graduates seeking permanent employment opportunities or students looking for internships. Corporate Sponsored Research and Development— Fast-track your R & D through partnerships with research groups and/or individual faculty on specialized projects tailored to your interests and needs.

Advanced Facilities & Equipment — UCR research labs house a wide variety of advanced equipment which your company may access for a fee. Philanthropic Investment — Support UCR programs educating the next generation of corporate leaders and receive recognition for supporting UCR. Specialized Training — UCR provides an array of certificate programs and specialized classes that can be designed to meet your individual needs. Services — UCR can assist your company in many ways including statistical analysis of data and teaching you to search for prior art in patents.

Research Funding Overview CHART Pie Chart of Contract and Grant Awards 2012



8% 12%



Federal $67,616,547

Industry $9,469,587

State $9,532,279

Non-Profit $14,191,432

Other Government $3,981,474

UC System $9,420,406


EXPLORE MORE @ PROMISE.UCR.EDU Faculty profiles, videos, articles, lectures, events, more


Riverside-based Innovation Economy Corporation (IEC) commercializes research, technology, products and services with high-growth, global-market potential. Among several collaborations with UC Riverside faculty, IEC is working to commercialize patented, air-borne chemical detection technology in development by UCR’s Nosang Myung. The company’s cost-effective, scalable fabrication techniques allow research to be transformed into portable devices such as cell phones that detect minute quantities of harmful air-borne substances. It has the potential to be adapted to many industries, including agriculture (detecting concentrations of pesticides); industry (monitoring evaporation and leaks when using or storing combustible gases); homeland security (warning systems for bio-terrorism); and the military (detecting chemical warfare agents). IEC recently named Prof. Myung’s lab in the UCR Bourns College of Engineering.

The Idea Zoo, Inc., a leading developer and licensor of advanced materials and technologies, is partnering with BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, to jointly introduce COLR™ Technology, an on-demand photonic crystal color changing technology. Invented by UCR’s Yadong Yin, the technology utilizes a now patented synthesis process to create superparamagnetic crystals that can be controlled magnetically to refract specific wave lengths of light to create a form of structural color. Structural color has many characteristics that differ from those of chemical pigments or dyes. The unique colors originating from the physical structures are iridescent and metallic, and they cannot be mimicked by chemical dyes or pigments. COLR™ Technology is the first proprietary and patented photonic crystal system to create tunable structural color that can achieve unlimited colors and designs on demand.



Distinguished by sixty years of high-impact research, UC Riverside is a living laboratory for the exploration of issues critical to growing communities at home and abroad—air, water, energy, health, transportation, agriculture and more. Located in the third most populous region in a state whose economy ranks among nations, UCR annually contributes more than $1.4 billion (2010) to California. Recognized as one of the nation’s most diverse universities, with more than half of our 21,000+ student population made up of first-generation scholars, Washington Monthly ranked UCR second in the nation (2013) for civic engagement, research and social mobility. A member of the prestigious 10 campus University of California system, we are one of only six campuses named to the New America Foundation’s 2013 list of “Next Generation Universities,” as well as a Top-35 “Best Value School” according to U.S. News & World Report (2014). The premier world university ranking – the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Academic Ranking of World Universities—lists UCR among the Top 150 worldwide (2013).

For more than 100 years, our Agricultural Experiment Station, housed within the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, has developed more than 40 new citrus varieties. The Bourns College of Engineering is ranked in the top two nationally among public engineering colleges of similar size. The School of Business Administration is home to the largest undergraduate business program in the UC system. The Graduate School of Education houses C4, a consortium of California Community Colleges and the UC. The College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences provides a unique model for interdisciplinary research. The UCR School of Medicine is California’s first new public medical school in more than 40 years. A new School of Public Policy will open its doors in 2014. Innovative research collaborations such as the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology (IIGB), the Center for Invasive Species (CIS), the Center for Nanoscale Science, and the College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research (CE-CERT) bring world-class research from the lab to the marketplace.

CONTACT US UCR Office of Research and Economic Development (951) 827-5535 Michael Pazzani Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development Rebeccah Goldware Director of Industry and Research Relations or (951) 827-6411 UCR Office of Strategic Communications (951) 827- 6397

Non-Profit Org. U. S. Postage

PAID Office of the Chancellor University of California, Riverside 900 University Ave. Riverside, CA 92521



Living the Promise: 2013 Research Impacts  

Can science make us happier? Do some anti-cancer medications actually cause cancer? How will rising numbers of Asian-Americans shape the nat...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you