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Faculty Research News

Keynote speaker at the event launching USC Dornsife’s Economics Leadership Council (ELC), Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel McFadden (left), Presidential Professor of Health Economics at USC Dornsife and USC Price School of Public Policy, shakes hands with Hashem Pesaran, the John Elliott Distinguished Chair in Economics and professor of economics, and member of the ELC council. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Dawn of a New Econ

November 1, 2013

During the official launching of USC Dornsife’s Economics Leadership Council (ELC), organizers announced that within eight months nearly $8 million had been raised. The ELC was established to: enrich and strengthen…

University Professor Kevin Starr of USC Dornsife speaks at Virginia's Mount Vernon about George Washington's plan to extend the Western frontier of the nation. Photo by Edward Graham.

Kevin Starr on George Washington

October 29, 2013

The country’s first president had a lifelong fascination with the West and was committed to making the then-uncharted Western territory a unifying part of America, said University Professor Kevin Starr of USC Dornsife as…

USC Dornsife's Steven Lamy, professor of international relations and vice dean for academic programs, addresses the first Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland. More than 1,000 participants from 40 nations attended the conference. Photo courtesy of

In from the Cold

October 29, 2013

As climate change melts the polar ice caps, threatening wildlife, disrupting the food chain and affecting indigenous cultures, it has also created economic opportunities by opening up new shipping routes and accelerated the…

Mark Thompson, professor of chemistry, materials science and environmental sciences at USC Dornsife, speaks at the recent UCLA-USC-Caltech Nanotechnology & Nanomedicine Symposium about his groundbreaking research on nanoribbon biosensor chips for cancer diagnosis. Photo by Emily Bieghler.

Tiny Technology — Huge Results

October 28, 2013

Sometimes the smallest tools are required to tackle the biggest problems. At the forefront of innovative research on cancer treatment and regenerative medicine, experts from the top research institutions in the greater Los…

Edwin Hill, assistant professor of French and Italian, found inspiration for <em>Black Soundscapes White Stages</em> (cover on right) during his travels throughout the United States, France and the French Antilles. Meeting people of color from around the world motivated him to examine the ways race is constructed on a global stage. Photo of Edwin Hill by Michelle Boston.

Black Soundscapes White Stages

October 25, 2013

For Edwin Hill, the key to understanding the black Atlantic diaspora in the years between World Wars I and II is to listen. On a Parisian stage, a band beat their drums to the Caribbean rhythm of the beguine, a musical genre…

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…

Dana Johnson, Judith Freeman and Richard Rayner, all USC Dornsife writers and faculty members, share the same muse: the city of Los Angeles. Photos by Cody Pickens.

Los Angeles by the Book

October 22, 2013

It was the 1970s and Judith Freeman was living in Sun Valley, Idaho, a ski instructor and horse wrangler by day, an aspiring writer by night. She’d never set foot in Los Angeles, yet she knew instinctively she needed to…

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…

Alumnus Michael Dawson, Ph.D., '67 has taught psychology at USC Dornsife for nearly 30 years. He is well known for his application of psychophysiology to schizophrenia. Here, he teaches his class on emotion and the heart. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Preventing Relapse

October 16, 2013

One in a hundred people suffers from schizophrenia. Characterized by hallucinations, delusions and gross disorganization of thought and speech, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. During a…