Tag Archives: engineering

Apple’s 7 newest health-related job openings


Apple just lately posted a number of job openings associated to its well being enterprise.

Listed here are seven positions the corporate just lately posted:

  1. Accountant/monetary analyst, Apple Well being: will work together with a variety of companions to assist with the design, execution and monitoring of inside controls, finance insurance policies and procedures to make sure compliance with U.S. Typically Accepted Accounting Ideas.
  2. Software program engineer, Apple human interface machine and well being sensor division: will keep and design new software program stacks for Apple’s well being merchandise and sensing applied sciences.
  3. Product design engineer, Apple Well being {hardware}: will collaborate with cross-functional groups to conceptualize design, create three-dimensional computer-aided design, construct prototypes, consider execution and analyze failures for merchandise being certified into mass manufacturing.
  4. Utilized machine studying engineer, Apple Well being synthetic intelligence: will investigatie modern machine studying, pc imaginative and prescient, pure language processing and synthetic intelligence algorithms, design and implement machine studying pipelines, and co-develop machine studying options with product groups throughout Apple.
  5. Senior software program developer, Apple Well being applied sciences: will work on exploratory initiatives, examine new physiological sensing strategies, prototype well being merchandise and construct analysis knowledge assortment programs.
  6. Shopper gives account supervisor, Worldwide Apple Well being: will innovate and develop client gives and packages for Apple Watch and different merchandise, in addition to construct displays to display their worth proposition primarily based on strategic and monetary evaluation.
  7. Senior iOS programs engineer, Apple HealthKit: will develop options to enhance knowledge modeling, knowledge storage effectivity and knowledge question efficiency and create logical, scalable and forward-thinking utility programming interfaces.

Extra articles on well being IT:
5 healthcare innovation hubs launched within the final 30 days
NIH awards 7 contracts value as much as $22.8M for COVID-19 digital well being initiatives
How one can navigate the shift to a digital-first engagement technique: three Qs with Salesforce’s Dr. Sindhu Pandit and Wendy Cofran

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Vanderbilt engineers prolong standard on-line MATLAB course


Constructing on the distinctive success of their 2015 large open on-line course (MOOC), “Introduction to Programming with MATLAB,” Mike Fitzpatrick, professor emeritus of laptop science, and Akos Ledeczi, professor of laptop engineering, are including new programs to create an prolonged collection.

Fitzpatrick and Ledeczi have teamed up with Jack Noble, assistant professor {of electrical} engineering, laptop science and laptop engineering, so as to add two new Coursera lessons centered on MATLAB, a programming surroundings used to create computational fashions and analyze knowledge.

The primary newly launched course, “Mastering Programming with MATLAB,” covers superior programming ideas and instruments that allow engineers to write down extra advanced functions. The second, “Introduction to Information, Sign and Picture Evaluation with MATLAB,” teaches knowledge visualization and prediction with machine studying strategies in addition to picture processing and evaluation. Noble created this course, the third of the collection.

COVID-19 has boosted the signup charge for on-line programs general, whereas registrations for the MATLAB programs, specifically, have skyrocketed. Already, greater than 8,000 folks have enrolled within the three-course collection, which started September 11.

“We’re pleasantly stunned on the recognition of the course,” Ledeczi mentioned. “It’s a tremendous feeling to know that folks around the globe discover worth in what we now have spent a lot power creating and perfecting.”

The researchers have been decided to make a high-quality on-line course, which took a yr to create. After drafting the course materials, the group reviewed and edited classes for readability. The programs additionally embody rigorous assignments to make sure that college students perceive the fabric.

“Studying programming means with the ability to program. What’s enjoyable for us is that the best reward and strongest critique we obtain from college students is how difficult the assignments are,” Ledeczi mentioned. Coursework is reviewed by an auto-grader and last initiatives are peer-reviewed by different college students within the course.

“We’ve discovered that few establishments present greater than a primary introduction to MATLAB, if they supply it in any respect,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “Regardless of its ubiquity in so many technical fields, college students don’t acquire a adequate foundational data of MATLAB to allow them to work to their potential. Now we have labored onerous to fill that void and are happy to see how useful these programs are for thus many.”

Noble mentioned he has leveraged experience in knowledge, sign and picture evaluation in his personal collaborative work with Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt College Medical Heart researchers round scientific interventions.

“Becoming a member of my colleagues to develop a curriculum educating college students on learn how to use MATLAB for picture processing and knowledge and sign evaluation with MATLAB has been a terrific expertise,” mentioned Noble, who can also be a member of the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgical procedure and Engineering. “I’m fascinated to see what sorts of issues college students around the globe will deal with with data realized from these programs.”

The ultimate venture is a graphical consumer interface that visualizes COVID-19 associated knowledge from around the globe, in-built MATLAB from uncooked knowledge supplied by Johns Hopkins College (Akos Ledeczi)

contributors can register for the free MATLAB programming collection right here.


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Military Corps recommends changing Cape Cod Canal bridges


The U.S. Military Corps of Engineers has really helpful changing the 2 slender and sometimes backed-up bridges that carry site visitors throughout the Cape Cod Canal.

The Corps oversees the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. It issued a draft report Thursday following a examine that weighed the benefits of rehabbing the almost 85-year-old bridges versus changing them totally.

The Corps decided that changing them can be more economical than paying $1.5 billion to rehabilitate them.

The report recommends changing the four-lane bridges with wider four-lane constructions that embody auxiliary acceleration-deceleration lanes, and bike and pedestrian entry.

The bridges are sometimes choked with site visitors, particularly throughout the summer time vacationer season. Development of recent bridges in roughly the identical location might begin as early as 2025.

The Corps has scheduled 5 public conferences this month to debate the proposal.


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Hand-held robot points to less invasive prostate surgery | Vanderbilt News


Vanderbilt collaborators focused on minimally invasive prostate surgery are developing an endoscopic robotic system with two-handed dexterity at a much smaller scale than existing options.

A key part of the design – telescoping, curved, concentric tubes – received U.S. patent protection in March 2019, the same month the principal investigators secured a $2.1 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance the project. In January, Virtuoso Surgical, the team’s Nashville-based company, was highlighted as a “startup to watch” by MedTech Strategist.

Robert Webster III, the Richard A. Schroeder Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Duke Herrell, a urologic surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, seek to enable surgeons to remove the prostate through the urethra and perform delicate reconstructive suturing.

“The concentric tube idea lets us make our manipulators an order of magnitude smaller than the surgical robots doctors use today,” Webster said. “This, along with accessing the prostate from a natural orifice will dramatically reduce surgical invasiveness, helping patients heal faster.”

Both Webster and Herrell are core affiliates with the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering. Collaboration is central to the mission of VISE, where engineers, surgeons and other experts work side-by-side to develop next-generation instruments that require less tissue and organ disruption and improve surgical outcomes. Giving surgeons two-handed dexterity with small tentacle-like arms at the tip of the endoscope is a significant advancement.

“Making complex endoscopy easier is a game-changer for multiple surgical and interventional specialties, and most importantly for patients,” said Herrell, a Professor of Urologic Surgery, Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, and director of Minimally Invasive Urologic Surgery and Robotics at VUMC.

In American men prostate cancer is the second most common cancer behind skin cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. Up to 1 in 9 U.S. men will develop prostate cancer, and about 1 in 41 will die of it.

In the U.S. alone more than 90,000 prostate surgeries are performed each year, many as open procedures with an incision 8 to 10 inches long made below the navel. In laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomies, surgeons make several small incisions across the belly for insertion of surgical tools and a camera.

The Vanderbilt project would make the surgery much less invasive by introducing tiny surgical instruments through the natural opening provided by the urethra, a process called endoscopic transurethral prostatectomy. The approach would eliminate the need to dissect through healthy tissues from the abdomen into the pelvic area and cause less disruption to the the nerves that control continence and erectile function.

This is the first rigid endoscopic robotic system to provide two-handed dexterity at this size. Webster and Herrell jointed invented the concept to deliver needle-sized robotic arms through a standard endoscope.

The project, R01 EB026901, is funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization worked with the team on the intellectual property process and the university received a patent for a “system and method for endoscopic deployment of robotic concentric tube manipulators” in March.


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Student Athlete: The Graduates | Vanderbilt News


Video by Zack Eagles

For this installment of the student-athlete series, we take a look at three graduating seniors.

Fernanda Contreras: Women’s Tennis/Engineering

By Zac Ellis

Fernanda Contreras grew up as a kid knee-deep in a pile of LEGOs in her living room.

Now, as the Vanderbilt tennis senior prepares to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, Contreras feels her path has come full-circle.

“Honestly, after these four years, I feel like I can build anything,” Contreras said.

Contreras, an Austin, Texas native, has also built a remarkable college career during her time on West End. She is a three-time All-American, a top-five singles player in the country and will finish as the vaunted tennis program’s all-time leader in career singles wins. Contreras has helped the Commodores win four SEC championships during her career – earning MVP honors at 2018 SECs – and reach the Final Four three times, finishing as NCAA runner-up in 2019.

Off the court, Contreras has thrived as a mechanical engineering major. She has helped design and build robotic circuits as part of a mechatronics class, the kind of experience that helped her decide to attend Vanderbilt in the first place.

“In the recruiting process, I would tell coaches I was interested in engineering,” Contreras said. “Coaches would say, ‘No, you can’t do that. If you want to play tennis, you’ll have to pick something else.’ But when I told Coach [Geoff] Macdonald I wanted to do engineering, he was very excited for me. I knew Vanderbilt was going to work out right then.”

“I wanted to put myself in a position that I would have no regrets at the end of my four years at Vanderbilt. I took my chances and opportunities, and I’m happy.”

Since then, Contreras has made it a point to get the most out of her Vanderbilt experience. She spent time as a member of Vanderbilt’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as president as a junior. Contreras has taken part in Vanderbilt Student Government and embarked on service trips abroad, most recently to Morocco last August. She was named “Miss Commodore” for her all-around involvement at Vanderbilt athletics’ annual Golden Dores ball last month.

Macdonald said Contreras has grown immensely during her four years at Vanderbilt.

“She has come a long way,” Macdonald said. “There were a lot of schools who didn’t recruit Fernanda because they thought she was a little too slight and could get overpowered. But she’s proven to be a brilliant tactician and had a great career. She’s quite a remarkable young woman … You look at what these young people do, it’s amazing. I’m lucky to be here, because you get to offer SEC tennis and a world-class education.”

Contreras realized early on the importance of the full student-athlete experience. At Vanderbilt, she told herself, I can have it all. Now, as she prepares for her next chapter as a professional tennis prospect with an elite engineering degree, Contreras said she is thankful for her all-encompassing time at Vanderbilt.

“I think if you don’t do that, you’re letting yourself down,” Contreras said. “I just explored everything that Vanderbilt had to offer. I took classes I never expected, like theater and other random classes. I joined VSG for a year. Vanderbilt just has so much to offer, it’s insane. I wanted to put myself in a position that I would have no regrets at the end of my four years at Vanderbilt. I took my chances and opportunities, and I’m happy.”

Kristin Quah: Women’s Bowling/Engineering

By Rod Williamson

Vanderbilt graduate and highly decorated Commodore bowler Kristin Quah, who regularly displayed her talents on the lanes, recently represented Vanderbilt among another group of elite talent.

She traveled to Montreal May 15 to present an academic abstract on focused ultrasound (non-invasive surgery) at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’s 27th Annual Meeting and Exhibition – the world’s largest and most influential meeting of MRI professionals.

While the vast majority of collegiate athletes have had their hands full working toward graduation and giving their all for their sport of choice, Quah worked overtime as a dominating force on Vanderbilt’s nationally prominent bowling team, and performed research at Vanderbilt’s renowned medical center.

“Non-invasive surgery – focused ultrasound – is up and coming,” Quah said, “It is the ability to apply heat to a very focused part of one’s body without having to make a surgical incision. Surgeons need some kind of visualization and the MRI comes into play because you can get temperature maps from MRIs but the current methods don’t give enough volume coverage. You can only see a single slice so you need to increase the volume and that’s what I’ve been working on.”

This isn’t a topic that comes up between frames on the bowling lanes.

“She’s the best undergraduate student I’ve ever worked with,” William A. (Will) Grissom, Quah’s academic mentor and an associate professor of biomedical engineering,”said bluntly. “She has the unusual ability to work on open-ended problems and come up with her own solution to technical problems. Most students need solutions spelled out for them, a lot more guidance. Her research is the same thing – she will try things, trusting her own ideas.”

“When I first got to school I thought I was going to bowl when I got out; that’s what I wanted to do. But the more I got into school, the more I liked it. Last year, when I started research, I loved it and it’s changed my perspective on how I think of myself, my identity.

Quah will head to Stanford University to perform PhD research on full scholarship next year, perhaps being able to focus solely on academics for the first time after a prolific student-athlete career.

“I definitely think I had two lives on this campus,” Quah said. “I joked about it sometimes. A professor would ask me if I could do something and I’d say, ‘Hold on, I need to check into the other half of my life.’

“When I first got to school I thought I was going to bowl when I got out; that’s what I wanted to do. But the more I got into school, the more I liked it. Last year, when I started research, I loved it and it’s changed my perspective on how I think of myself, my identity. Now I think they are both fun.”

The three-time All-American says each discipline made her better. Academics taught Quah how to logically think through a process, a way to think outside the box. She now understands there is probably a solution out there, and if one way doesn’t work, try another.

Athletics taught Quah life skills such as time management, goal setting and, especially, communication.

“When I was younger I really couldn’t communicate,” Quah said. “I didn’t talk a lot. Through bowling and having to work with coaches and teammates it’s made me better. By no means am I great at it — in fact, I will say communication is one of my weaknesses. But my skills have definitely improved.”

It is tempting to assume all the success comes easily to Kristin, and that’s not entirely true. The Singapore native follows the old-school philosophy of early to bed, early to rise and manages to stay well organized.

“I usually am up by 6:30 a.m. and get some breakfast,” she said, “and then I do some work until my first class or meeting, which typically is about 8 or 9. I go to bed early, usually asleep by 10. I don’t compromise my sleep.”

She tries to keep some room on her agenda for relaxation.

“One of the reasons I like getting up early is so I can have my work done by 8:30 p.m. and have an hour or so at night to do things that relax me. Maybe that’s watching some TV or working on jigsaw puzzles. We have four or five of us that really like puzzles, especially in the fall when we were around more.”

Life was almost going too well for Kristin as last fall’s bowling schedule came to a close for the holidays. The Commodores were winning, she had made three all-tournament teams and was leading the Southland Bowling League in 17 of the possible 24 individual categories. That would have put her into the national player of the year conversation and a first-team All-America selection at the very least.

But Quah’s wrist began acting up, and her fingers would go numb if she threw too many practice balls. She made several visits to one of the nation’s leading hand-injury physicians at Vanderbilt Medical Center. The diagnosis was a rare condition that boiled down to this: she could continue bowling because she could not worsen her condition, but it also would not fade quickly into the Nashville night.

Quah worked to cut her practice time in half, although that caused her to lose her timing. Every once in a while, rolling a bowling ball would send a shock through her entire arm, which created a subconscious fear of when the next jolt would occur. She went from a mainstay in the Vanderbilt bowling lineup to a less frequent substitute.

“The most frustrating thing was the timing of the matter,” Quah said. “If this were earlier in my career or a different time of year, I could recover and come back.” But this was my last couple of months before I graduated … If I rested, I was done.”

Quah has received many honors during her Vanderbilt career. She won the Undergraduate Design Award for an early version of her research at the 2018 Biomedical Engineering Society meeting in Atlanta (“I’ve never had a student win this award,” Professor Grissom said). She is also a member of elite academic honor societies Tau Beta Pi and IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu. She also was a Vanderbilt Undergraduate Littlejohn Summer Research Scholar.

In April, Quah became just the third student-athlete in Vanderbilt history to garner the Boyd. H. McWhorter Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding female student-athlete in the Southeastern Conference. She also repeated as the NCAA Elite 90 Award winner at the NCAA Bowling Championship, which is given to the student-athlete at each championship who boasts the highest grade-point average. A double-major in biomedical and electrical engineering, Quah earned a 3.97 GPA.

On the lanes, Quah was named to nine all-tournament teams in her career, including four as tournament MVP. She was voted the program’s Harry Stoddard Award recipient for her leadership and team contributions, was the 2016 national Rookie of the Year and named All-America three times. Quah helped Vanderbilt win the 2019 NCAA Bowling Championship and finish as NCAA runner-up earlier this spring.

“I think I most appreciate winning the NCAA Elite 90 Award,” Quah said. “The way the team reacted when they announced my name, that it was an award I’d always heard was next to impossible for a Vanderbilt student to win …That was special.  And, of course, last year’s national championship. I’ll never forget that.”

Quah’s days as a Vanderbilt student-athlete have come to an end, but her legacy as an extraordinary woman of accomplishment on West End will long be remembered.

Evan Suzman: Men’s Cross Country/Peabody

By Zac Ellis

Evan Suzman smiles when asked to reflect on his growth as a student-athlete at Vanderbilt. “I’m definitely a lot faster,” Suzman laughs. “I can thank my coaches for that.”

Suzman, a cross country runner for the Commodores and a member of the Class of 2019, likes to clear his mind with long, winding runs across campus. Off the course, the native New Yorker is a double major in history and child development, with a focus on the history of science.

For Suzman, Vanderbilt’s athletics and academics have offered the perfect combination for his college career.

“I really like having something to do, but I also like competing,” he says. “Our team is a really great group of like-minded guys who like to compete and like to win. But we’re all serious about our academics, which is why Vanderbilt is unique. I have friends at other schools who play their sport, and that’s it. Our team here is very passionate about running, but we’re passionate about things outside of school, too.”

“Our team is a really great group of like-minded guys who like to compete and like to win. But we’re all serious about our academics, which is why Vanderbilt is unique.”

In addition to his time on the cross country team, Suzman has spent the past two years as a research assistant in the lab of Assistant Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences Tiffany Woynaroski at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. Suzman has teamed with Woynaroski’s lab to study biobehavioral approaches in neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically focusing on sensory and multisensory processing in individuals with autism.

“Our research tries to understand how early sensory differences are linked with later communication and language outcomes,” he explains.

As part of his history major, Suzman has studied the intersection of history and technology. His work through an independent study with Ole Molvig, assistant professor of history, involved the language of modernity today and its parallels to the Industrial Revolution.

While Suzman has enjoyed his academic work, competing as a Commodore student-athlete added another element to his time in college. He will graduate as a four-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll, and last fall he clocked a personal-best time of 24:44.1 in the 8K race at the SEC Cross Country Championships in Auburn, Alabama.

“I love running,” Suzman says. “If nothing else, it’s an excuse to spend an hour or two outside every day. You feel uniquely connected to nature that way. A lot of people view cross country very individualistically, but I’ve come to appreciate the team nature of the sport more since being at Vanderbilt.”

While graduation will mark the end to Suzman’s athletic career, his time at Vanderbilt remains unfinished. Next fall he begins a master’s program in biomedical sciences, an opportunity to continue his lab work and take another step toward medical school or a Ph.D. program.

“At Vanderbilt, I’ve grown a lot more comfortable in my own skin and grown more interested in subjects I am passionate about,” Suzman says. “Plus, cross country has provided me with a deep sense of camaraderie. It’s a unique kind of friendship that takes place on a team.”


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Yohn named Postdoc of the Year at annual symposium; Sappington named Mentor of the Year | Vanderbilt News


By Irene McKirgan

Samantha Yohn (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)
Samantha Yohn, 2019 Vanderbilt Postdoc of the Year. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

Postdoctoral scholar Samantha Yohn has been named Postdoc of the Year by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for her exceptional research scholarship. Since 2008, the Postdoc of the Year award has recognized excellence in research scholarship as evidenced by publications, presentations, honors, service and mentorship. Faculty mentors are invited to submit nominations that are chosen by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Postdoctoral Advisory Committee and the Graduate School.

The award was presented by Mark Wallace, dean of the Graduate School, at the 13th annual Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Symposium on April 9.

Yohn, a behavioral neuroscientist, studies psychiatric disorders and novel therapeutics to determine their potential relationship and implications for inducing or exacerbating motivational symptoms. Yohn has published an impressive 25 publications and is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, Society of Biological Psychiatry, and Schizophrenia International Research Society.

“Samantha is an exceptional postdoc who understands the broader impact and dimensions of becoming a successful independent researcher. She has not only achieved remarkable scientific and scholarly accomplishments the past three years, including generating enough data in three months to be awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award, but her effective mentorship has resulted in mentees receiving grants and winning scientific presentations,” said Yohn’s mentor, Jeffrey Conn, professor of pharmacology and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery.

Yohn said she was “truly honored’ to be named Postdoc of the Year for 2019. “I am greatly humbled to receive this recognition. It is so gratifying to have the acknowledgment of my mentors, whom I admire and respect. Their confirmation and support regarding my scientific work confirms I am on the right path to becoming an independent academic researcher. I am also grateful to the leadership of the VPA in hosting the Annual Postdoc Symposium. It is so important to have opportunities that bring Vanderbilt postdocs together as one collective community.”

“I am grateful to the leadership of the VPA in hosting the Annual Postdoc Symposium. It is so important to have opportunities that bring Vanderbilt postdocs together as one collective community.”

Tom Folland and Xing-Xing Shen were honorable mentions for the award.

Folland is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Mechanical Engineering under the mentorship of Professor Joshua Caldwell. His research focuses on controlling and manipulating long-wavelength infrared light at the nanoscale to even atomic-scale dimensions. These efforts promise novel, compact optics and on-chip photonics that can revolutionize the speed of computation, chemical spectroscopy and even enable free-space communications. Folland’s publications include several high-profile publications in journals such as Nature Communications and Nano Letters.

Shen joined Vanderbilt as a postdoc in December 2014 in the Department of Biological Sciences under the mentorship of Antonis Rokas. His research focuses on utilizing computational approaches and genomic data in animals and fungi with a focus on phylogenetic incongruence and relationships as well as developing bioinformatics tools. During his time at Vanderbilt, his research has harnessed a wealth of genomic data to address fundamental questions in phylogenetic inference and the evolution of the subphylum of budding yeasts. Shen’s scholarly accomplishments include 15 published manuscripts that have almost 250 citations.

Graduate School Dean Mark Wallace (left) and Rebecca Sappington, 2019 Vanderbilt Mentor of the Year. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)
Graduate School Dean Mark Wallace (left) and Rebecca Sappington, 2019 Vanderbilt Mentor of the Year. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

Rebecca Sappington, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was honored as Mentor of the Year. This award recognizes faculty mentors who demonstrate a willingness to advise and support mentees’ career goals and demonstrate a strong commitment to community service. Wallace, who presented the award said, “I have seen firsthand Rebecca’s tireless commitment for years to both our postdocs and graduate students. Rebecca is passionate about fostering an environment that supports and engages mentees to reach their goals. It is an honor to present this award to her.”

In addition, Anneke Sanders was the recipient of the inaugural Service of the Year award. Sanders, a postdoc in the School of Medicine, was selected for her significant contributions and service to others in her community.

“This year, the number of postdoc nominations submitted by faculty mentors nearly tripled. The level of scholarly activity by our postdocs is remarkable, and it’s great to see the symposium growing each year,” said Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Clare McCabe.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, founder of The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, gave the keynote address. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)
Lydia Villa-Komaroff, founder of The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, gave this year’s Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Symposium keynote address. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Symposium is sponsored by the Graduate School. The all-day event features postdoc oral and poster presentations, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. This year’s keynote address was given by Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Founder of The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science SACNAS.

For more information, visit the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Symposium featured postdoc oral and poster presentations, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)
The Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Symposium featured postdoc oral and poster presentations, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)


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Vanderbilt University Board of Trust names 4 new members, reappoints 6 | Vanderbilt News


(Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt)

The Vanderbilt Board of Trust met on April 18 and elected Lawrence Epstein, BA’89 and JD’92, Suzanne Perot McGee, BS’86, and Corey E. Thomas, BE’98, to five-year terms.

In addition, Somto C. Dimobi, BE’19, was elected as a Young Alumni Leader for a two-year term to begin July 1, 2022, following her three-year term on the board of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. Rebecca Chong, BA’16, will begin her two-year term on the board as a Young Alumni Leader on July 1.

Adolpho A. Birch III, Shirley M. Collado, Jay C. Hoag, John R. Ingram and Jeffrey J. Rothschild were re-elected to second five-year terms. Bruce R. Evans, who serves as board chair, was elected to a third four-year term to complete his term as chair in 2023. Lee M. Bass, who was elected to the board in 2009, was elected as an emeritus trustee to commence when his second term ends June 30.

Epstein, of Las Vegas, serves as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is responsible for all worldwide operations, from managing global business strategies to establishing policies that drive company culture and evaluating overall performance and growth. Epstein is also the president of IKE Gaming Inc., a family enterprise that owns the El Cortez Hotel and Casino. Previously, he was a law partner at Beckley Singleton. Epstein is a trustee and former board chairman for the Meadows School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Epstein earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1989 followed by his law degree in 1992, both from Vanderbilt. He serves on the Law School’s Board of Advisors and as a member of the Law School Campaign Cabinet and the Tech Transfer Committee. He has been a Giving Day Ambassador and volunteer for the Commodore Recruitment Program and his Class Reunion. He established the Ike Lawrence Epstein Scholarship Fund for students at the Law School and supports scholarships in the College of Arts and Science.

McGee, of Dallas, serves as a director of the Perot Foundation and chairs the Global Fund for Children’s Dallas Leadership Council. She is a former member of the board of directors at the Episcopal School of Dallas, where she co-chaired the school’s capital campaign. McGee has deep family connections to Vanderbilt, earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Peabody College of education and human development in 1986. She and her husband, Patrick K. McGee, BS’85; her sister Nancy Perot, BA’82; and nephew Ross Mulford Jr., BA’12; established the Margot and Ross Perot Scholarship in honor of Suzanne McGee’s and Nancy Perot’s parents. The scholarship provides financial support based on need for deserving undergraduates whose parents are first responders or military personnel. McGee also established the Priscilla Call Craven Scholarship on the occasion of her 20th class reunion in honor of her friend and classmate. Additionally, the McGees support Athletics, the School of Engineering, Peabody College, Kissam Residential College and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Building Fund at Vanderbilt. She is also a member of the Parents Leadership Committee.

Thomas, of Boston, serves as president, chief executive officer and director of Rapid7, a cybersecurity company that he took public in 2012. He has extensive experience leading technology companies to the next stage of growth and innovation. His previous positions include vice president of marketing at Parallels Inc., a virtualization technology company; group project manager of the Microsoft Server and Tools division; and a consultant at Deloitte Consulting. He is a co-founder of Pillar, a venture capital firm that invests in and supports entrepreneurs. In 2018, he was elected to the Cyber Threat Alliance Board of Directors and the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Strategy Council.  He also serves on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Board of Directors.  Thomas earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt and an MBA from Harvard Business School. As an alumnus, he has been engaged in efforts to help improve the success of all students, particularly underrepresented minority students. He provides support to the Engineering Dean’s Discretionary Fund and the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.

Chong, of Denver, grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, then moved to Orlando, Florida, before enrolling at Vanderbilt. She created her own interdisciplinary major, Multicultural and Diversity Studies, and minored in Human and Organizational Development. While on campus, Chong worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She was also involved in Vanderbilt Student Government, the Multicultural Leadership Council and Greek Life, and studied abroad in Morocco. She now works at the Google Boulder campus as a solutions consultant on the Global Customer Care team.

Dimobi, from Nigeria, will graduate in May from the School of Engineering with a major in chemical engineering and a minor in engineering management. She has been named consistently to the Dean’s List. Since 2016, Dimobi has worked at the Searle Systems Biology and Bioengineering Undergraduate Research Experience, and received the “Ultimate Crusher” award as its most productive summer research student in 2016. She currently serves as the regional international chairperson for the National Society of Black Engineers and chairs the International Students Office Advisory Board. Dimobi is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2018 Thomas M. Weser Award, part of the Vanderbilt Awards for Leadership Excellence. She earned her Federal Emergency Management Agency certification in emergency planning and speaks three languages. Following graduation in May, Dimobi will begin work with Bain & Company in Houston, Texas.



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Duddu awarded NSF CAREER grant to better understand Antarctic ice sheet fracture | Vanderbilt News


An assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering has been awarded a $555,000 NSF CAREER grant to analyze Antarctic ice sheet fracture, improve models for ice mass loss and reduce uncertainty in long-term projections of average sea level rise.

“There is concern that rapid changes to floating ice shelves can destabilize parts of the Antarctic ice sheet and accelerate its contribution to global sea level rise,” said Ravindra Duddu.


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Seven academic leaders honored at Spring Faculty Assembly | Vanderbilt News


Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos presented prestigious university awards to seven faculty members at the Spring Faculty Assembly. The awards recognize teaching, research, service and commitment to diversity, and recipients are honored for their contributions and commitment to the university.

“It’s so important for us to come together, connect and celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our colleagues and our peers,” said Zeppos. “These awards not only honor your dedication to our university, but also recognize the ways that you contribute to our mission and drive the change that matters so significantly.”

Recognized during the April 4 ceremony at the Student Life Center were:

Two teaching awards are presented annually. The Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching was established by the Board of Trust in 1964. The Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching was endowed by the Ingalls Foundation of Birmingham, Alabama, in 1965. Final selection for both awards is made by the chancellor on the basis of nominations made by undergraduates of all schools and colleges.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching recipient Gerald Roth and Faculty Senate chair Vickie Greene
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching recipient Gerald Roth and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

Gerald Roth, associate professor of the practice of computer science, earned his doctorate in computer science from Rice University and has taught at Vanderbilt since 2006. In addition to teaching, Roth is the faculty advisor for the VandyCS Club and serves as a member of the computer science department’s curriculum committee. Roth’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching shines through to his students, as students wrote in their nominations that he “makes data structures more interesting than most TV shows” and that “Vanderbilt should do everything possible to hire more professors like [him].”

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recipient Katherine Friedman and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recipient Katherine Friedman and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

Katherine Friedman, associate professor of biological sciences, earned her doctorate from the University of Washington and joined Vanderbilt in 2001. Since then, she has mentored numerous students engaging in undergraduate research and has taught both the introduction to biological sciences and principles of genetics courses. Friedman is described as a demanding, yet fair, teacher with great enthusiasm and commitment to her students. In their nominations, students said of Friedman: “Dr. Friedman is the first science professor that I have had that is not only an excellent scientist, but also an excellent teacher.”

The Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award recognizes the overarching contributions of a faculty member in creative scholarship, inspiring teaching and service to students and the university. The award was established in 1963 to honor retiring Chancellor Harvie Branscomb.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award recipient Benoit Dawant and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award recipient Benoit Dawant and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

Benoit Dawant, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE), received his doctorate from the University of Houston and joined the faculty of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in 1988. Dawant’s research focuses on image analysis to develop algorithms and methods that assist clinicians in their medical procedures. His research’s implication for improved societal health, strong teaching record and service through his leadership of VISE clearly demonstrate his commitment to the advancement of his colleagues, students and the university.

The Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award was created on the occasion of the retirement of Chancellor Alexander Heard in 1982 and honors faculty members’ contributions to the analysis and solution of contemporary social problems.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award recipients Doug Fuchs and Lynn Fuchs, and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award recipients Doug Fuchs and Lynn Fuchs, and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

Lynn Fuchs, Dunn Family Chair in Psychological Assessment, and Douglas Fuchs, Nicholas Hobbs Chair of Special Education and Human Development, study the academic development and education of children with learning disabilities. Both earned their doctorates at University of Minnesota and are investigators at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Together they have received numerous awards for their work, including the Distinguished Contributions to Research Award from the American Educational Research Association in 2014 and recognition from Forbes in 2009 as “revolutionary educators.” Their pioneering work has contributed to national and global understanding of best educational practices for teaching students with learning disabilities.

The Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Professor Award recognizes faculty leadership in equity, diversity and inclusion in the university’s academic endeavors and community. Established in 2016, the award honors Johnson, who in 1954 became the first African American to earn a Vanderbilt degree. In 1958, he became the first African American to earn a doctorate at the university.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Professor Award recipient Charlene Dewey and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Joseph A. Johnson, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Professor Award recipient Charlene Dewey and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

Charlene Dewey, assistant dean of educator development and associate professor of medicine, received her Doctor of Medicine from the Morehouse School of Medicine, where she was recognized as a community leader with the Ciba Geigy Award for Academic and Community Leadership. After earning her master’s in medical education with an emphasis on curriculum design and instruction, Dewey joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2007. Dewey’s strong record of leadership through her work on the Faculty Senate, role modeling to other female physicians and appointment as the co-director of the Center for Professional Health propel her continued achievements in equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the university.

The Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award was created to honor Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt upon his retirement in 2000 and recognizes faculty accomplishments that span multiple academic disciplines.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award recipient Steven Wernke and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award recipient Steven Wernke and Faculty Senate chair Vicki Greene (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt)

Steven Wernke, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory, earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin. Wernke is an archaeologist and historical anthropologist who studies the emergence of communities, landscapes and religious practice from the experiences of imperialism and colonialism on both sides of the Spanish invasion of the Andes. He brings interdisciplinary work to life through his research and projects that incorporate archaeology, history, pre-Hispanic and colonial studies, anthropology and cultural geography. Wernke has been described as a “truly transdisciplinary scholar.” He was named a Chancellor Faculty Fellow in 2016.

Each award winner received $5000 and an engraved pewter cup (Sarratt and Ingalls) or silver tray (Branscomb, Heard, Wyatt and Johnson) to commemorate the faculty members’ achievements.

Additional information about faculty awards can be found on the Office of Faculty Affairs website.

Taylor Carnes contributed to this story.


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Braun IdentityCollection Food processor, FP 5150 – Compact. Intelligent. Strong | Introduction

Introducing the Braun IdentityCollection Food Processor FP 5150. This simple and easy to use food processor makes cooking a snap, thanks to the new intelligent pre-set programs: simply select…