The concept of deriving medically useful compounds from the natural resources around us has been something that humans as a species have pursued for nearly the entirety of our existence. In fact, the earliest records of using natural resources to heal can be traced back to the documentation of oils in Mesopotamia and into the highly detailed pharmaceutical records of ancient Egypt.
Stang – a University of Utah distinguished professor of chemistry and former dean of science – now has been given major awards and shaken hands with leaders of the world’s two most powerful nations: Xi after the recent award and U.S. President Barack Obama in 2011, when Stang was honored with a National Medal of Science.
Universities are generally tasked with the organization, creation and transfer of knowledge. The most effective Universities transfer this knowledge in three ways: 1. To students 2. Publications, conferences, literature, books, etc… AND 3. To society to make an impact. Transitioning the knowledge created and organized in a University setting to society represents a vital function of Universities and one primary mechanism of doing so resides in what is referred to as Technology Transfer – at the University of Utah it is called Technology and Venture Commercialization (TVC). The University Utah has developed a functioning and productive TVC and it was my goal to go to Pakistan to help Universities in that great country determine how best to set up their own TVC.
A collaboration between the University of Utah’s College of Engineering, Health Sciences Center, Technology Venture Development Program, and the David Eccles School of Business, The Center for Medical Innovation [CMI], is every entrepreneurial medical student’s wildest dream come true. The center provides not only the seed grants necessary to pursue new solutions to medical issues across the globe, but the facilities and equipment to take ideas from concept to prototype and beyond.
As if it wasn’t enough to make a trip to the White House and collect a National Medal of Science from the president, U organic chemist Peter Stang and his wife soon will spend four all-expense-paid days in Beijing attending a celebration in his honor.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences recently informed Stang he is winner of the 2015 China’s Friendship Award, which the academy says is “the People’s Republic of China’s highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.”
In December 2014, The University of Utah, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development [USAID], announced a $10 million, five-year project to bring a Partner Center for Advanced Studies in Water [PCASW] to Pakistan.
Since the announcement of the project, significant progress has been made in the development of the program’s curriculum and course structure for the educational aspect of the center that will be partnered with Mehran University of Engineering and Technology [MUET] in Pakistan.
Ramesh Goel is an Associate Professor and Graduate Director for the University of Utah’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His work at the University of Utah focuses on three specific areas, nutrient and wastewater recovery-based treatment, surface water quality, and microbiology.
Dr. Michael Nelson, Chair of the Department of Mining Engineering, belongs to an organization called the Society of Mining Professors. A few years ago, Nelson attended a meeting for the group, and someone commented on the need for students to have the skills necessary to function in a global company; it is not enough for them to be able to do the math and know the science behind their work. Nelson was inspired to create an international exchange for students that would enable them to be more well-rounded in their business skills.
The University of Utah will be tasking students from around the world to tackle real-world issues ranging from health and fitness to psychological wellbeing at this year’s second annual Games4Health Grand Prix Competition. With prize money totaling $50,000, the Games4Health challenge is set to be the largest competition of its kind in the world.
This year there are 120 students competing on 40 teams from 10 universities across four different countries. Two teams will be flying in from South Korea as well as a team flying in from Australia and another from Spain. There will also be a number of American teams competing including teams from BYU Hawaii, BYU, The University of Utah, Utah State University, The University of Arizona, The University of Texas, among many others.
Here in America we often take our clean water for granted. With laws to regulate pollution run off from sources such as mining, we are generally able to access clean water at any given time, usually through something as simple as turning on our kitchen faucet.
That convenience is not something that extends to our South American neighbors, and what initially began as a research project on selenium discharges in the Great Salt Lake, has led William Johnson, Professor in the Geology and Geophysics Department of the University of Utah, to be pioneering research in Ecuador regarding water contamination.
When it comes to international scientific research and humanitarian effort, few organizations carry as much clout as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In December, 2014, the University of Utah announced a significant partnership with USAID-funded Partner Center for Advanced Studies in Water [PCASW] in Pakistan.
The USAID project is a 10 million dollar undertaking, with 2 million dollars in funding allocated for the center every year over the course of five years. The project involves more than fifteen faculty members just from the University of Utah, and will support a number of students and administrative staff for the center.