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Faculty Research News

<em>Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians and Proliferation</em> by Jacques Hymans of USC Dornsife has won a third major award: the 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

Improving World Order

December 4, 2013

A book about nuclear proliferation by Jacques Hymans, associate professor of international relations at USC Dornsife, has won the 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. A $100,000 prize is attached to the…

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…

On the University Park campus, from left, USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay, Linda and Harlan Martens, and the Linda and Harlan Martens Endowed Director’s Chair for the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, Peter Mancall. The endowed chairship was made possible through a $1 million donation by the Martens. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Securing the Future

November 27, 2013

Growing up in Pasadena, Calif., Harlan Martens’ family would bring out-of-town visitors to the magnificent Huntington Library. His wife Linda, originally of Fullerton, Calif., also remembers visiting the library as a…

With a $1.5 million grant from the Mathers Foundation, University Professor Antonio Damasio of USC Dornsife is leading a study to understand how the axon insulator myelin affects the ability to process feelings in the brain. Photo by Philip Channing.

More Than a Feeling

November 25, 2013

The Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) based at USC Dornsife has received a $1.5 million grant from the Mathers Foundation to investigate the neurobiology of feelings at the cellular level.  One of the fundamental…

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…

Named a 2013 “Rising Star” by the Association of Psychological Science, Darby Saxbe, assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife, measures fluctuations in cortisol levels and uses neuroimaging to study how relationships with family and close friends affect health and well-being. Photo by Susan Bell.

Under the Skin

November 20, 2013

It’s difficult to forget the harrowing images of emaciated, hollow-eyed Romanian orphans whose plight was revealed after the fall of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu’s brutal regime in 1989. “When children…

University Professor Antonio Damasio of USC Dornsife led a panel on the brain and creativity before scientists from throughout the world. Here, he is seen in his office at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, housed in USC Dornsife. Photo by Philip Channing.

The Creativity Machine

November 18, 2013

Antonio Damasio, University Professor, David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and professor of psychology and neurology at USC Dornsife, spoke about the neuroscience of creativity during a recent conference held in San Diego…

On the left, bulk antimony triselenide (Sb2Se3) dissolves in the solvent mixture created by USC Dornsife's Richard Brutchey and David Webber. One the right, a thin film of antimony triselenide derived from that solution using low-cost and low-energy input processing methods. Some day, this could be used for the low-cost processing of semiconductors for transistors, solar cells, LEDs and more. Photo by Jannise Buckley.

Lower Cost Electronics?

November 13, 2013

Researchers at USC Dornsife have created a solvent that will dissolve semiconductors safely and cheaply, allowing them to be applied as a thin film that could create the next generation of low-cost electronics. The technology…

Maria Guzman helped PERE and other organizations collect air-quality data in the Pacoima, Calif., neighborhood, which is surrounded by freeways. Studies show that those living near air pollution sources have a higher risk of asthma, as her children experienced. They also risk cancer and respiratory illnesses. Photos by Damon Casarez.

‘Our Voices Have Been Heard’

November 13, 2013

The early morning hour was taking its toll on Maria Guzman as she stood near a freeway underpass in Pacoima, Calif. As the sun rose and traffic chugged by, she diligently recorded her coordinates with a Global Positioning…

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…