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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Historical image of the week

Hay Piles, Agricultural Experiment with Fertilizer

Hay Piles, Agricultural Experiment with Fertilizer. By Harry Garrigus. From the Harry L. Garrigus Photograph Collection; University of Connecticut Photograph Collection. 1897–1912

Meet graduate student Phil Estrin

Phil Estrin

Phil Estrin

Phil Estrin is a PhD student in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UConn in molecular and cellular biology, he began studying the growth of hemp for medicinal uses with aspirations to start his own gene consultation company. Here is what he said in an interview.

Where did you study as an undergraduate?

I studied at UConn and graduated in 2014.

What was your major?

My major was Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

After I graduated, I was very afraid that I knew nothing and so, in an attempt to delay an introduction into the real world, I sought solace in academia. I started by earning my master’s degree in MCB at UConn as well. Then, I was still worried, so I decided to come back one more time.

I really decided my path when I was looking at internships as a master’s student. I saw the big pharma options, companies like Pfizer or Boehringer Ingelheim, and I wanted to go a different way. Since medical marijuana had recently been legalized, I sent my resume to the four producers in the state and got a job at one of them. Once I had the internship, I knew this was something I was interested in studying further.

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Awards and accolades for CAHNR

Awards and accoladesThe Office of the Vice President for Research announced the recipients of the Fall 2017 Scholarship Facilitation Fund Awards, which aim to assist faculty in the initiation, completion or advancement of research, scholarly activities, creative works and interdisciplinary initiatives. Two CAHNR faculty members are among the 33 awardees.

Assistant Professor Dennis D’Amico’s project is Characterizing the Microbial Ecosystems of Traditional Farmstead Cheese Production and Their Roles in Microbial Transfer and Population Succession. D’Amico is on the faculty of animal science.

A Department of Nutritional Sciences Assistant Professor, Yangchao Luo, is investigating Development of an Organic Solvent-free Preparation of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles.

By Patsy Evans

CAHNR in the news

newsprintPeople magazine quoted Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics Assistant Professor John Bovay in an article about why avocados are so expensive now.

New York Times reported on the opening of the MISSION Heat Lab at UConn’s Korey Stringer Institute. The lab is housed in the Department of Kinesiology. See also SGB Media, Omaha World-Herald The Washington Post, The Daily Campus and UConn Today.

CNN quoted Department of Allied Health Sciences Associate Professor Jennifer Harris about a public health concern. Harris said that product placements in video games aimed at youth make them less skeptical than classical ads.

The Westerly Sun ran an article by Dawn Pettinelli about growing castor bean plants. Pettinelli is an assistant cooperative extension educator in plant science and landscape architecture. (more…)

One-of-a-kind heat lab opens in CAHNR

Treadmill in KSI heat lab

Ryan Curtis, associate director of athlete performance and safety for UConn’s Korey Stringer Institute (KSI), runs on a treadmill at the MISSION Heat Lab at UConn’s KSI on Sept. 21, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Competing, training and doing physical work in hot or humid conditions trigger complex responses in the body, which diminish performance and put some people at risk for heat-related illness or death.

Now, UConn has a one-of-a kind facility to test individuals in a tightly controlled environment to see how their bodies react to heat. It is the MISSION Heat Lab at UConn’s Korey Stringer Institute (KSI), which was unveiled to key donors, corporate partners and UConn dignitaries on September 22.

“The new heat lab allows KSI to expand the capacity to access athletes, warfighters and laborers in their quest to enhance performance and maximize safety,” said Professor Douglas Casa. Casa is chief executive officer of KSI and on the faculty of the Department of Kinesiology. Luke Belval, manager of the project and a graduate student, said that he is excited that the heat lab has finally come to completion three years after the initial idea was proposed.

Casa likened the heat lab at UConn to the one he visited at Nike, Inc. and said that the facility is “the best heat lab on a college campus in America for human use.”

The structure and equipment cost $700,000 and were funded by UConn, KSI, MISSION and numerous benefactors. KSI is a not-for-profit organization housed in kinesiology and named in honor of Korey Stringer, a professional football player who fell prey to exertional heat stroke. The corporate sponsor, MISSION, sells thermoregulation clothing and accessories that keep athletes cool in summer and warm in winter.

What is in the heat lab?

The 450 square foot heat lab, which is conveniently situated across from KSI in Gampel Pavilion, has space for four to five people to exercise at one time. It is equipped with a restroom, a cooling area, flat screen TVs, and a small door for passing food and drinks into the room without significantly changing the temperature. In addition, it is equipped with two research grade treadmills that are worth about $15,000 each and two exercise cycles. Large graphics of professional athletes who partner with MISSION, such as tennis star Serena Williams and professional basketball player Dwayne Wade, as well as inspirational banners decorate the walls and serve as motivation for the participants. (more…)