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Graduate Research News

NASA scientists recently announced data suggesting that there may be liquid water on Mars. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Shining Light on Mars

October 6, 2015

The red planet made a splash in the media this past week, due to the combined efforts of Ridley Scott’s film The Martian and NASA’s announcement of new evidence for the existence of water flowing on the surface of…

The new Ph.D. program will capitalize on the world-leading faculty expertise in population, place and health that already exists at USC.

Population, Health and Place

September 29, 2015

Physician John Snow’s use of a map to discover the contaminated water source that spawned the deadly 1854 cholera outbreak in the neighborhood of Soho in London, England, is widely recognized as one of the earliest…

The USC Dornsife Preceptor Program gives its recent Ph.D. graduates teaching experience as they seek tenure-track positions. English Ph.D. Alex Young is pictured here teaching undergraduates. Photos by Matt Meindl.

Teaching to Learn

September 16, 2015

In 1905, Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, introduced the preceptorial method — a style of learning wherein small groups of students meet regularly with a faculty member for more intimate learning…

Endangered chimpanzees in Uganda are adapting to life in fragmented forest patches, according to research by Maureen McCarthy, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in integrative and evolutionary biology at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of Jenny via Flickr.

Rare Chimps

August 31, 2015

Two years spent collecting and analyzing eastern chimpanzee fecal samples from an unprotected region in Uganda has revealed a far larger population of the primates than previous estimates suggested for the area. In the…

Sari Siegel earned a prestigious 2015-16 Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship to further her ground-breaking studies of Jewish prisoner-physicians in Nazi Germany. Photo courtesy of Sari Siegel.

Between Coercion and Resistance

August 25, 2015

In 1930s Cologne, Germany, Maximilian Samuel was a beloved obstetrician-gynecologist and decorated World War I hero. He was also Jewish. Deported to Auschwitz in 1942 with his family, Samuel was selected to become a…

Nadya Bair challenges the notion of the “great artist photographer” with her research, instead emphasizing the collaborative role of the network. Photo courtesy of Nadya Bair.

Rewriting Photographic History

August 7, 2015

Nadya Bair has long been entranced by photography. As a child in Moscow, she can remember her grandfather — an aerial photographer during World War II — developing photos in his kitchen. The materiality and…

The study findings may offer a tasty salvo against rising obesity rates and health care costs. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

A Gift for Better Eating

July 28, 2015

It’s not easy to lose weight in our “super-sized” nation, but researchers at USC Dornsife and the USC Marshall School of Business have found that even modest incentives to eat smaller portions work in a big…

Graduate student Melina Butuci and Matthew Michael, professor of biological sciences, study genome instability in primordial germ cells using special fluorescent dyes to help them visualize damage to DNA. Photo courtesy of Melina Butuci.

Germ Cell Genomics Discovery

July 23, 2015

The environment within a cell is a paradoxical balance of order and chaos. Proteins, DNA and countless other biological molecules tumble together in a wildly turbulent system that somehow holds together to engender life. In…

Individual populations of mosquitoes are likely to have evolved resistance to whatever local selection pressures are typical in their area. Photo by

Humans Push Mosquitoes to Adapt

June 25, 2015

Every time you put on bug spray this summer, you’re launching a strike in the ongoing war between humans and mosquitoes — one that is rapidly driving the evolution of the pests. Scientists studying mosquitoes in…

Professor of Psychology Margaret Gatz is determined to help families of dementia sufferers recognize early symptoms of the disease. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Forgotten Memories

June 11, 2015

When aging grandfather and Mariachi musician Don Memo Valdez becomes increasingly forgetful and irritable, his family starts to worry. Don Memo’s wife expresses dismay at her husband’s memory lapses while his…