New England Cable News reported on Professor Yi Li‘s plant research using gene-editing technology to produce non-GMO varieties for use in several situations. For one, Li, who is on the plant science and landscape architecture faculty, hopes to develop cultivars that are resistant to the most devastating citrus disease worldwide, citrus greening disease. See also UConn Today.
As a child growing up in Albania, Arlind Mara was frequently sick. In order to understand his diagnosis and the discussions between his parents and doctors, he would read his older brother’s medical textbooks. The experience sparked a lifelong interest in science and medicine and led him to pursue a Ph.D. in bacteriology in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Sciences (PVS), where he studies pathogens with the hopes of creating safe and effective vaccines to protect humans and animals. Here is what he said in an interview.
Where did you study as an undergraduate?
I was an undergraduate here at UConn and graduated in May 2017.
What was your major?
I began in general biology, but then I changed majors and graduated with a BS in molecular and cell biology.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school?
I knew that I wanted to study infectious diseases very early on, but I did not know that I was going to end up studying them at the graduate level. I grew up in Albania, where wet lab research and PhD programs were practically non-existent, although they are becoming more common now. So graduate school was not really an option for me until my family moved to the US.
I started becoming involved in undergraduate research as part of Dr. Steven J. Geary’s laboratory in PVS. I researched the prevalence of the house finch strain of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, primarily a pathogen in poultry, in wild songbird populations. Some of the work I did on this project eventually ended up being published and that, combined with the fact that I loved doing research, was the final push I needed to decide that I definitely wanted to pursue a graduate degree. Continue reading →
Professor Emeritus of Political Science Curt Frederic Beck recently self-published a memoir entitled From Wannsee to Storrs: A Perpetual Optimist’s Journey. Beck penned the book while a member of an ongoing weekly memoir writing club offered through UConn’s Center for Learning in Retirement. CLIR is a UConn Extension program.
Beck is past president of CLIR, and currently serves on its board of directors. He was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1924, but with growing political concerns among the Jewish community during the early 1930s, his family fled Germany for Czechoslovakia in 1933, then emigrated to the United States five years later.
“As a writer and publisher of a philosophical magazine, my father had no intention of staying in a country run by Adolf Hitler, who had been appointed chancellor in January of 1933,” Beck explains. “When Hitler took neighboring Austria in March 1938, my parents decided to escape Hitler’s expected conquest of Central Europe and seek refuge in the United States, where we arrived on September 13,1938.”
Beck studied at Cornell, where he felt pulled toward political science. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history, his master’s from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and then his Ph.D. in government and international relations from Harvard. He was hired in the summer of 1947 as the first faculty member in UConn’s newly established Department of Government and International Relations. Continue reading →