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Faculty Research News

David St. John is the author of 10 collections of poetry, the newest is <em>The Auroras</em> (HarperCollins, 2012). Here, St. John of USC Dornsife stands in front of his home in Venice, Calif. Photo by Roger Snider.

The Goddess of the Dawn

July 3, 2012

In the poem, “The Aurora of the New Mind,” the narrator fluffs up the pillows then won’t let the reader get comfortable. There had been rain throughout the province Cypress & umbrella pines in a palsy of…

Dion Dickman studies synapse development, function and plasticity. The New Scholar Award in Aging will fund his research into the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the nervous system during the aging process. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Dion Dickman Wins Award to Fund Research on Neurobiology of Aging

July 3, 2012

Dion Dickman, assistant professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has received a 2012 New Scholar Award in Aging from the Ellison Medical Foundation. Over the next four years, the $400,000 award will fund…

Members of the Los Angeles Indian community at a celebration at USC on June 23 in honor of a new faculty chair in Hindu studies. Photo by Donald E. Miller.

New Hindu Studies Chair

June 25, 2012

The USC School of Religion will establish the first chair of Hindu studies in the United States funded by the Indian-American community. The $3.24 million gift from the Dharma Civilization Foundation to the School of…

This artist's rendition created from a photograph of Antarctica shows what Antarctica possibly looked like during the middle Miocene epoch, based on pollen fossil data. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Dr. Philip Bart, LSU

Antarctica Warmer 20 Million Years Ago

June 18, 2012

Ancient Antarctica was warmer and wetter than previously suspected, enough to support vegetation along its edges, according to a new study led by USC Dornsife’s Sarah Feakins. By examining the remnants of plant leaf wax…

From left, USC data analyst Shawn Irish and USC Dornsife undergraduate researchers Matthew Orr, Eric Hotchkiss, and Travis de Ronde stand with mirrors atop the 60-foot solar tower on Mt. Wilson. Photo by Jie Gu.

Black Pearls of the Sun

June 13, 2012

Atop Mt. Wilson overlooking Pasadena, dozens of stargazers peered through telescopes at a celestial wonder. A few people donned T-shirts declaring “I Witnessed the Transit of Venus.”  To mark the event that…

Quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, which can encode a one and a zero at the same time. Photo courtesy of D-Wave Systems Inc.

Quantum Computers Could Help Search Engines Keep Up With the Internet’s Growth

June 12, 2012

Most people don’t think twice about how Internet search engines work. You type in a word or phrase, hit enter and poof — a list of Web pages pops up, organized by relevance. Behind the scenes, a lot of math goes…

USC Dornsife assistant professor Sean Curran speaks to Manchester Avenue Elementary School students at its sixth annual science fair. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Science Ed: Never Too Cool for School

June 8, 2012

“How long do people live?” USC Dornsife’s Sean Curran asked a crowd of students at Manchester Avenue Elementary School. “Until they die,” one student quipped. “Good answer!” laughed…

Matthew Pratt, assistant professor of chemistry and biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has been named a 2012 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator for his discovery of a possible link between metabolism and protein modification in cancer. Pratt's focuses on understanding how chemical modification affects the function and expands the diversity of proteins, which participate in nearly all operations in a cell. Photo by Ben Pack.

Risk and Reward

June 8, 2012

The Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation supports young scientists with creative, groundbreaking ideas leading to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Unlike many larger organizations, it funds research in its earliest…

Missionary Rudolf Fisch captured this photograph, part of the International Mission Photography Archive, in early 20th-century Ghana. Photo courtesy of the Basel Mission Image Archive.

USC Historical Photography Project Gets Boost from NEH

May 22, 2012

Since 2002, USC Dornsife’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) and the USC Libraries have partnered with archives around the world to digitize more than 82,000 historical photographs by Christian missionaries…

The Liberty Hill Foundation presented Manuel Pastor with the 2012 Wally Marks Changemaker Award. The recognition honors an outstanding individual whose work in the community illustrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s insight that while "the arc of history is long, it bends toward justice." Photo by Carlos Puma

Change Over Charity

May 14, 2012

As a USC Dornsife researcher, Manuel Pastor is dedicated to improving the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income, urban communities. In honor of his work, the Liberty Hill Foundation presented Pastor…