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David Kang, whose research defies conventional beliefs about East Asian defense budgets and possible war in the region, has received a three-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Researching the Pacific Rim

November 13, 2014

With headlines screaming “China, U.S. Moving Closer to Viewing War as Inevitable,” and “China Thinks it Can Defeat America in Battle,” you’d think a war with China was imminent. But USC…

Professor of Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences Katrina J. Edwards’ discoveries centered on life forms beneath the ocean floor, also called “intraterrestrial life.” Photo by Phil Channing.

In Memoriam: Katrina J. Edwards, 46

October 29, 2014

Katrina J. Edwards, professor of biological sciences and earth sciences at USC Dornsife, a leader in the field of geomicrobiology, has died. She was 46. Edwards of South Pasadena, California, died peacefully on Oct. 26 after…

Simons Foundation grant recipient Shang-Hua Teng, Seeley G. Mudd Professor of Computer Science at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, holds a joint appointment at the Department of Mathematics at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Teng Named Simons Investigator

July 25, 2014

Shang-Hua Teng will be a member of this year’s class of Simons Investigators, according to the Simons Foundation. He is one of the two outstanding computer scientists chosen nationwide. The five-year, $500,000 grants…

Henrike Moll (left) and Morteza Dehghani of psychology with books and toys they will use when they interview children for their study on how humans create alternative worlds to make decisions. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Pretending: Not Just Play

July 24, 2014

We all wonder what might have been. How would reality be different if a certain event had not occurred? If you had taken that job or married that person? “People especially tend to do this when a negative event happens,…

With his Simons Fellowship, Bonahon will study new connections between two fields of mathematics: quantum topology and hyperbolic geometry.

Bonahon Named Simons Fellow

July 8, 2014

A mathematician’s foundation will give a USC Dornsife math professor and 39 others the creative foundation they need: a year to think. The Simons Foundation, established by noted mathematician, investor and 2014 USC…

Research by USC Dornsife's Justin Wood showing how visual cognition emerges in the newborn brain could be used to develop new technology to help the blind. Wood has won an NSF award to further his research. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Early CAREER Award

May 27, 2014

Justin Wood, assistant professor of psychology at USC Dornsife, is interested in how humans and other animals learn to understand the world. His research, which examines the origins of knowledge by testing how cognition…

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…

USC Dornsife's Charles McKenna and Myron Goodman research crystal structures for the repair enzyme, DNA polymerase beta (seen here). The enzyme contains an inhibitor molecule (shown in yellow) which forms a complex with DNA. It is designed to selectively block polymerase beta DNA synthesis to kill cancer cells, while ensuring survival of normal cells. Image courtesy of Boris Kashemirov.

Killing Cancer

October 16, 2013

Chemotherapy offers cancer patients hope of a cure, or at least of remission. The problem with the treatment is that all too often a hard-won remission is only temporary. “A typical pattern is that people take the drug,…

Aaron Lauda and Aravind Asok have won National Science Foundation CAREER awards for outstanding research and teaching. Asok will use part of his award to fund projects with artist and mathematician Lun-Yi Tsai. Shown is Tsai's artwork depicting a "winding number" which counts the number of times a line — think of rope — wraps around a hole (circle in the center). © Lun-Yi Tsai.

Adding Up to a Robust CAREER

August 7, 2013

Aravind Asok and Aaron Lauda, both assistant professors of mathematics at USC Dornsife, have been selected to receive National Science Foundation CAREER awards. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a…

Frank Alber, associate professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has won the 2012 Beckman Young Investigators Award. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Alber Receives Beckman Young Investigators Award

August 24, 2012

Frank Alber, newly tenured associate professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has been honored with the prestigious 2012 Beckman Young Investigators Award, given to only five recipients this year. He is set to receive…