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Graduate Research News

The newest fossil had a broad forehead similar to snow leopards and its front teeth were heavily worn. It was small for a big cat — probably about the size of a clouded leopard, a cat found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia that can grow to 50 pounds. Illustration by Mauricio Antón.

Research With a Roar

December 3, 2013

The oldest big cat fossil ever found — which fills in a significant gap in the fossil record — has been unearthed on a paleontological dig in Tibet, scientists announced. A skull from the new species, named…

Professor of Earth Sciences Thorsten Becker has been awarded a 2013 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. He will use the award to continue his research on the dynamics of earthquake faults in Potsdam, Germany. Photo by Michelle Boston.

Finding Fault

November 20, 2013

Thorsten Becker, professor of earth sciences, has won a 2013 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award will support his continued research in Potsdam, Germany, on the…

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Arieh Warshel’s journey to winning the Nobel Prize has been an intriguing one — from his birth on a kibbutz in Israel to his time at the University of Cambridge, England, where he published his seminal work, to his revolutionary research at USC Dornsife. Photo by Max S. Gerber.

A Nobel Victory

November 13, 2013

Fate was sealed after an off-the-cuff remark by Eliezer Finkman. Entering Technion ­– Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, a young Arieh Warshel asked his friend Finkman what he should study. “Chemistry…

Whether in the laboratory, on land or under water, students at the USC Wrigley Institute investigate ways to address environmental challenges. Photos by Corey Arnold.

Treasure Island

November 13, 2013

From a helicopter circling above Catalina Island, one might see gorgeous, bathing suit-clad couples sipping mimosas on yachts with names like Been There, Done That. But when the helicopter swoops past Avalon Bay, beyond the…

Laura Wang ’12 is an executive fellow for renewable energy in the office of California Gov. Jerry Brown. Previously, she worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Wang graduated from USC Dornsife with a progressive master’s degree in environmental studies. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Laura Wang

November 12, 2013

Describe your job working on Gov. Jerry Brown’s renewable energy team. I work in the executive branch on energy and environmental policy for the state, preparing talking points and memos on issues, and managing some of…

Elise Fabbro ’11, ’12 is attending law school at the University of San Diego, in San Diego, Calif. She graduated from USC Dornsife with bachelor’s degrees in political science and environmental studies and a progressive master’s degree in environmental studies. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Elise Fabbro

November 12, 2013

What prompted you to pursue a degree in law? I have known since high school that I wanted the environment to be a prominent part of my career, and that I wanted to pursue law. I am specifically interested in working with…

Professor of Physics and Astronomy Stephan Haas has been awarded a 2013 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. He will use the award to continue his research on quantum systems with collaborators from the University of Bremen in Germany. Photo by Ben Pack.

The Next Big Thing

November 6, 2013

Stephan Haas, professor of physics and astronomy at USC Dornsife, has won a 2013 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award allows him to continue his research on…

The new USC Dornsife study examined activity in the so-called “pain matrix” of the brain, a network that includes the insula cortex, the anterior cingulate and the somatosensory cortices — regions known to activate when an individual watches another person suffer.

I Feel Your Pain

October 23, 2013

Counterintuitive findings from a new USC Dornsife study show that the part of the brain that is associated with empathizing with the pain of others is activated more strongly by watching the suffering of hateful people as…

Nobel Laureate George Olah of USC Dornsife (right) receives a portrait of himself by the well-known Hungarian painter Kornél Zámbó from Hungarian Consul General László Kálmán of Los Angeles (left) and Ambassador Dán Károly, the consul general of the Hungarian consulate in New York. Photo by Janna Gould.

Honors from Their Other Homes

October 23, 2013

George A. Olah, a Nobel laureate and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and G. K. Surya Prakash, professor of chemistry and director of the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, are having a busy week. Shortly before…

George Olah (left) and G.K. Surya Prakash receive the 2013 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize award in recognition of their proposal to use methanol to replace fossil fuels and petroleum-based feedstocks.

Olah and Prakash Receive $1 Million for Fuel Research

October 16, 2013

George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash, pillars of the chemistry department at USC Dornsife, have received a first-ever $1 million prize from the State of Israel for their innovative research on alternative fuels. Olah, a Nobel…