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Faculty Research News



December 1, 2015

Every day USC Dornsife students, faculty and alumni are leading change on the frontlines of cutting-edge research and discovery that will transform our world and how we live in it. The generosity of thousands of alumni,…

USC Dornsife Interim Dean Dani Byrd. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Meet USC Dornsife’s Interim Dean

December 1, 2015

Dani Byrd’s Trojan Family ties run deep. Not only has she served as a USC Dornsife faculty member for 17 years and a vice dean for more than eight years, she is also the parent of a USC freshman and the spouse of an…

The nuclear membrane previously was thought to be mostly just a protective bubble around the nuclear material. Illustration by Taeyhun Ryu, Brett Spatola, Laetitia Delebaere and Irene Chiolo.

Nuclear membrane repairs the ‘dark matter’ of DNA

November 30, 2015

Scientists have found a new function of the nuclear membrane, the envelope that encases and protects DNA in the nucleus of a cell — it fixes potentially fatal breaks in DNA strands. The nuclear membrane previously was…

Scientists must reconcile the fundamental components of reality if humankind is ever to comprehend the cosmos.

The Universe As We Know It

November 25, 2015

Sitting in a small French bistro across from Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, Clifford Johnson held the pumpkin-hued drinking straw parallel to the table. “Essentially, this straw has two dimensions to it. I can…

While most obesity researchers avoid gathering data on major “food” holidays, for psychologist Donna Spruijt-Metz Thanksgiving offers an invaluable opportunity to monitor familial interactions and how they influence eating.

Thanksgiving offers data frenzy for obesity researchers

November 24, 2015

It’s Thanksgiving. The turkey is carved, potatoes are adequately mashed, and a buffet of pumpkin, pecan and apple pies lines the counter ready to be sliced as soon as the dinner plates have been cleared. You think to…

An image made by Aztec artists from the Codex Mendoza, an early cultural encyclopedia dating from ca. 1542 that traveled widely in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Scholars gain insight from the geographical and cultural movement of artifacts

November 19, 2015

When preserved specimens of birds of paradise — prized throughout 17th-century Europe for their vivid plumage, rarity and distant origins — were exported from their native Papua, New Guinea, by the Dutch, their…

USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Nagger is installed as the inaugural holder of the Robert D. Beyer (’81) Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences at a Nov. 10 ceremony. From left: USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay; Robert Beyer; Catherine Beyer (wife of Robert Beyer); Elizabeth Cochran (wife of Moh El-Naggar); Moh El-Naggar; Provost Michael Quick. Photo by Steve Cohn.

El-Naggar installed as first holder of Beyer Chair

November 18, 2015

USC Provost Michael Quick praised Moh El-Naggar, assistant professor of physics, biological sciences, and chemistry, as a “great contributor” to USC Dornsife for both his research and his teaching. The remarks came…

Alzheimer’s disease can affect men and women differently. Photo by Mark Spearman.

Men with Alzheimer’s gene at risk of brain bleeding

November 16, 2015

A common genetic variation that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease greatly raises the likelihood of tiny brain bleeds in some men, scientists have found. These “microbleeds” leave small points of damage…

“Eye Window” (detail) by Lorie Novak.

Through the Lens

November 16, 2015

Mirrored Images By Geoff Dyer Two related questions: How long do we have to go back to trace the origins of what happened last year in Ferguson, Mo.? And when does the aftermath of what happened begin? In terms of narrative…

Addressing Perception

Addressing Perception

November 16, 2015

A couple on the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay in Scotland were planning their wedding earlier this year when the bride’s mother sent her daughter a photograph of the dress she planned to wear. When the bride showed…