Posts Tagged Research

The Wendy Walk

In 2010, Ali Landes, A08, started the Wendy Walk with her two siblings after their mother, Wendy, was diagnosed with Liposarcoma. The Wendy Walk is the first event created that focuses exclusively on raising money for research of Liposarcoma, a rare form of tissue cancer.

Since 2010, the Wendy Walk has raised more than $1 million to fund research. Annual Wendy Walks now take place in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami.

The Wendy Walk’s Twitter account offers updates on fundraising and events while also spreading news on advances in liposarcoma research and treatment. Check it out!

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How Engineers Make a World of Difference

The Tufts chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers recently released a video entitled “How Engineers Make a World of Difference.” The short clip introduces several Tufts students who study everything from environmental engineering to human factors and ergonomics. They talk about what attracted them to engineering, why they love the programs that Tufts offers, and what kind of research interests them most. Check it out!

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Graduate Student Research Abroad

Tufts’ Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) blog is a wealth of information and advice for students currently enrolled in graduate school. Their most recent pearls of wisdom discuss the topic of going abroad for research. The blog post goes into detail about staying focused on your project, absorbing culture, and reaching out to colleagues and friends who have visited the area before. The post highlights short quotes from other students and professors who have experience with abroad research, such as student Philip Mallon’s, E17, who stressed the importance of time:

For about a week after I arrived, I traveled around the area, settled my housing, and got to know the transit system. Taking the time to become comfortable with the area made a big difference.

You can check out their recent post here.

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Post Grad Advice

If you’re thinking about going into scientific research post-graduation and need a little advice, fear not, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Phd. genetics student Sohini Mazumdar has your back. She recently blogged about the five things you should consider when looking for a lab to work in after college in Nature Network, a professional networking website for scientists around the world. Her post is colored by her experiences, which may give an invaluable voice for those struggling to find a lab.

4. Lab culture-
“Serious/hardcore” scientists dont like to consider this.. but it is critical. You are going to be spending the next 4-5 years of your life here, if you hate your lab you will be miserable. Lab culture comes in two flavors- 1: “is everyone in your lab a workaholic?, does your mentor monitor when you time stamp in and out? (eek!), is this going to take over your entire life? and 2: “Is your lab social? Are people friendly and collaborative?”.
I am all set on flavor one- I make my own schedule and do my own thing. I epic failed on flavor two- but I made up for it by having a social network at school outside of my own lab.

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Text Your Teacher?

Imagine if, in high school, you had the option of communicating with your teachers through text messages. Though the idea may raise some questions, Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE and research director of the Tisch College of Citizenship, spent some time with OneVille, a community research and action project in Somerville, Massachusetts, discussing tools to foster communication between high school students and their community. Together they went over the pros and cons of the application of this idea in an alternative school for students who had been expelled from, or opted out of, the main public school:

They  used Google Voice as the texting service, which meant that the messages were archived. Having an archive creates advantages for the students and teachers (they can go back and see what they wrote), and it enables research. It may also have some disadvantages. Among other things, it creates a record that may have to be disclosed to parents under certain circumstances.

We reviewed anonymized transcripts of teachers texting students to wake them up; students disclosing health problems and depression to teachers (and explicitly preferring to communicate by text as opposed to voice); and a traditionally angry teenager thanking his teacher by text. Clearly, the medium affected relationships and power hierarchies, although not necessarily in a uniform way. Whether the changes were educationally beneficial is one big question. Another question is what would happen if the experiment moved from a small, alternative school to a regular high school in which each teacher briefly meets more than 100 kids every day?

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Dr. Edith “Edie” Widder, A73, “is a biologist and deep-sea explorer who is applying her expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation.” On Sept. 23, 2011, she spoke about bioluminescence at TEDxThePineSchool in Hobe Sound, Fla.

Widder received a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant in 2006 (the same year as fellow Tufts graduate David Carroll, A65). You can read a profile of her in the 2005 Tufts magazine or see her essay and photographs about bioluminescence from the Fall 2007 edition of Tufts magazine.

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Tufts Scientists Win Innovator Award

This year the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Innovator Award was given to a group of Tufts scientists. According to the grant website, the Innovator Award,

supports visionary individuals who have demonstrated creativity, innovative work, and leadership in any field including, but not limited to, breast cancer.

This groundbreaking research, headed by Tufts Chemistry Department’s David Walt, Ph.D, aims to use single-cell technology to find breast cancer at its early stages. Walt’s lab focuses on single-cell and single molecule technology, genetic variation, and other biochemical areas of research.

Other team members include associate professors at Tufts School of Medicine Rachel Buchsbaum, M.D., and Charlotte Kuperwasser, Ph.D., and Professor Gail Sonenshein, Ph.D. All three also work as faculty at the Sackler School.

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Diving into the Diversity Visa Lottery

For many Tufts students, senior year means one thing: the senior thesis. After a year or more of research into a specific topic of intellectual interest, graduating seniors leave academia with a wealth of knowledge and research skills under their belts. For Tufts IR students, the knowledge they take from their studies goes hand-in-hand with our principles of active citizenship and global awareness. Last year, students dove into topics ranging from resurgent China to cyber deterrence. Michael Kremer, A11, chose to tackle the issue of immigration, specifically, the Diversity Visa. In his abstract, he includes,

Every year, 50,000 immigrants obtain Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) in the United States through a program called the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. […] In Congress, the debate over the program has revolved primarily around the assumption that the lottery encourages increased diversity in the U.S. immigration system at the cost of attracting primarily low-skilled immigrants. The data show, however, that this perceived tradeoff does not actually exist.

The rest of Michael’s abstract as well as his entire thesis can be found on the Tufts IR Department blog, along with other student theses and IR event highlights. For more information on the IR Department, check them out on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re part of the IR program and hoping to get more involved, then be sure to join their LinkedIn group.

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The Music of Morocco

Music graduate student Tamara Turner researches the music of Morocco. Check out these photos from her travels.

Of her research, she explains:

I work with a particular group of musicians called the “Gnawa” who are primarily located in Marrakech and Essaouira but there are also groups scattered throughout the country.

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Visualizing Research at Tufts Awards

Recently, select Tufts students and faculty participating in research projects were awarded top prizes in the Visualizing Research at Tufts competition. Contestants of the competition, which was divided into categories of “Illustration,” “Photography” and “Non-Interactive Media,” used artistic mediums to capture their research.

The awards ceremony for the competition will showcase winning submissions and take place from 2-4 pm on Friday, April 29 at 51 Winthrop Street on the Medford campus.

A video of winning entries can be viewed here.

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