Tuesday, July 24, 2007 * Volume 24, Number 16

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Alec Habig, associate professor of physics, presented a poster, “MINOS Atmospheric Neutrino Contained Events,” at the 30th International Cosmic Ray Conference, Merida, Mexico, July 3-11.

John Hiller, professor of physics, was awarded renewal of his grant from the Department of Energy for the project “Nonperturbative Analysis of Field Theories Quantized on the Light Cone.” $42,000 was awarded for this year, with the same amount expected for each year of an additional two years.

Mick McComber, RSOP director, has been elected Region V vice president of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) board of directors.

Robert Repinski, associate professor of art and design, assemblage “The Halliburton Flow Chart” has been selected for exhibition in the America’s 2000 national, juried, all-media competition. The exhibition will be on view in the Hartnett Hall Gallery of the Northwest Arts Center on the campus of Minot State University through September. This exhibition is drawn from submissions from across the 5-state upper Midwest region and runs through August.

Randall K. Skalberg, assistant professor of taxation and business law, has an article entitled “The U.S. Harbor Mainetnance Tax: A Bad Idea Whose Time has Passed?” in the October issue of the Transportation Journal in the Notes and Comments Section. A shorter version of the article has already appeared in the summer edition of the Great Lakes Seaway Review.


Randall Seifert, department chairman, has been named senior associate dean of the College of Pharmacy, Duluth, effective June 11, 2007. He replaces Stephen Hoag, who will continue as faculty in the Duluth program.

Michael Gulseth, assistant professor, is the lead author and editor of a newly released book published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists titled, Managing Anticoagulation Patients in the Hospital; The Inpatient Anticoagulation Service.


Mustafa al’Absi, professor of behavioral sciences, has developed and edited a book, Stress and Addiction: Biological and Psychological Mechanisms, to bring together the latest findings. Thirty-nine researcher/authors contributed to the text including UMD faculty al’Absi, Gary L. Davis, senior associate dean, and Jane Hovland, associate professor.
Gary L. Davis, clinical psychologist and 32-year faculty member of the UM Medical School - Duluth, has been named its new chief academic officer. Davis will be responsible for all aspects of the Duluth Campus mission: education, research, university service and outreach, and certain clinical service. He continues the school’s commitment to serving rural areas and and Native American communities.

Raymond G. Christensen, assistant dean for Rural Health, was named Minnesota’s Rural Health Hero in June by the Minnesota Commissioner of Health. Christensen was chosen as Minnesota Rural Health Hero for advocating on behalf of today’s health care consumers and educating tomorrow’s rural health providers.

Kent Froberg, associate professor, pathology, was named Clinical Scientist of the Year by the Association of Clinical Scientists. Froberg received the award because he is on the forefront of research on how to reduce arthrosclerosis. The disease causes hardening and narrowing of the arteries. It can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and gangrene. Froberg was a veterinarian for 10 years before he entered medical school in 1989 at UMD. For the last 10 years he has taught pathology.


Brian Brashaw and Earl Kline (Virginia Tech University) presented “Manufacturing Simulation Games for Change Management Training” at the 61st Annual Convention of the Forest Products Society in Knoxville, TN, June 10-13, 2007.

Subhash Basak was the U.S. chairperson of the Second Indo-U.S. Lecture Series on Discrete Mathematical Chemistry (with applications to drug discovery, environmental protection, genomics, and proteomics) and The First International Lecture Series on Discrete Mathematical Chemistry, Biology and Physics, with special reference to Computational Models on June 20-25. Michael Lalich, Director of NRRI, was a patron of the lecture series which was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, Government of India, and the International Society for Mathematical Chemistry.

Basak and collaborators gave the following lectures at the Second Indo-U.S. Lecture Series:

1) “Background and History of the Mathematical Chemistry Lecture Series” by b at the inaugural session.

2) “Mathematical Structure Descriptors: Development and applications in chemistry, drug discovery, environmental protection, and bioinformatics” by Basak.
3) “Realizing a balance via Mathematical Chemistry” by Basak at the valedictory session of the conference.

4) “Molecular similarity methods in property prediction” by Brian Gute and Basak

5) “Numerical characterization of molecular chirality” by Natarajan Ramanathan and Basak.

6) “Towards Comparative Genomics: Numerical descriptors for DNA sequences” by Ashesh Nandy.

Gute gave a demonstration presentation on NRRI research on Mathematical and Computational Chemistry. Natarajan also gave a demonstration on the use of molecular overlay in understanding the repellency of chemicals against mosquitoes.

Basak delivered the first A. N. Bhaduri Memorial Lecture on “Modeling in drug design and environmental protection” at the B. C. Guha Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Calcutta, organized jointly by Science for Society (India) in collaboration with the Eastern India Chapter of the International Society of Mathematical Chemistry on July 3 in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Przemyslaw Miszta (N. Copernicus University, Poland), Ramanathan Natarajan, Subhash C.

Brian Brashaw, Xiping Wang and Robert Ross (USDA Forest Products Laboratory) presented “It’s a Breeze! The Use of On-Line Meeting Platforms for Web-Based Technology Transfer” at the National Wood Utilization and Marketing Conference and Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters Forest Utilization Committee Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisc., June 4-7, 2007.

, and Wieslaw Nowal  (N. Copernicus University, Poland)  presented “Homology modeling of G-protein coupled odorant receptor AgOR1 from Malaria Mosquito Anopheles Gambiae” at the International conference Modeling and Design of Molecular Materials 2006 held in Wroclaw, Poland, September 10-15, 2006.  

Subhash C. Basak, J. Riviere and Ronald Baynes (both of North Carolina State University, Raleigh), Brian D. Gute, and Frank A. Witzmann (Indiana University School of Medicine) presented the paper “Predicting skin penetration and interaction with JP-8”  at the JP-8 jet fuel conference organized by the U.S. Air Force, Tucson, AZ, January 17-19, 2007.
Subhash C. Basak gave an invited keynote lecture on “Chemo-bioinformatics: Characterization of molecules and biomolecules using mathematical descriptors”  at the 15th International Symposium on Spectroscopy in Theory and Practice, April 18-21, 2007, organized at Nova Gorica, Slovenia, by the Slovenian Chemical Society, in collaboration with the JoÏef Stefan Institute, National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia.
Subhash C. Basak delivered an invited lecture on “DNA and proteomics-based biodescriptors and their applications” at the National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 23, 2007.  Basak also delivered an invited lecture entitled “Development and applications of chemodescriptors” at the same institute on April 24, 2007.
Subhash C. Basak chaired a scientific session at the International Academy of Mathematical Chemistry (IAMC) 2007 conference and presented a lecture on “Mathematical descriptors of proteomics maps and their biological applications” on June 7, 2007, in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Subhash C. Basak gave an invited lecture on “Use of arbitrary and tailored molecular similarity methods in the estimation of property/ bioactivity of chemicals” authored jointly by Basak, Brian D. Gute, Ramanathan Natarajan and Denise Mills at the the 22nd International Course & Conference on the Interfaces among Mathematics, Chemistry & Computer Sciences, Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 11-16, 2007.  Basak also gave a specialized, two-lecture course entitled “Chemodescriptors and biodescriptors: Mathematical basis and applications” at the conference.

The Biennial Award 2007 for Great Lakes science, presented by the International Joint Commission (IJC) of Canada and the United States, went to Gerald Niemi, director of the Center for Water and the Environment at NRRI. The award recognizes Niemi for his leadership in the Great Lakes Environmental Indicators (GLEI) project and acknowledges him as an outstanding scientist whose research has had a positive influence on environmental quality and the health of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. See http://www.nrri.umn.edu/default/newsrelease/jniemiaward.htm.


Jeff Gunderson, associate director, gave a presentation to the Duluth-Superior Harbor Technical Advisory Committee at their quarterly meeting in Superior, WI, during June. He provided an update on Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus and two other potential Twin Ports aquatic invaders.

Jesse Schomberg, coastal communities educator; Cindy Hagley, environmental quality educator; Diane Desotelle, consultant; Sue O’Halloran, University of Wisconsin Extension; and Nick Zlonis, former communication designer, earned an APEX award of excellence for design and layout for “Building Superior Coastal Communities,” a 26-page booklet that helps residents around Lake Superior understand the sensitive landscape and consider options for community development that protect natural resources. This annual international competition is sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc., an organization that helps public relations and marketing professionals improve communications products and programs. This year there were 578 design entries and a total of 37 awards given.
Schomberg hosted a roundtable discussion on “NEMO: Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials” at the League of Minnesota Cities Conference in Duluth during June, with John Bilotta and Shane Missaghi, both with University of Minnesota Extension.

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