science

Kennesaw State University develops first incubator company

Kennesaw State University’s Jonathan McMurry, associate vice president for research, is a co-founder of New Echota Biotechnology

New Echota Biotechnology the newest startup for innovative biotech research

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 29, 2016) —New Echota Biotechnology, Kennesaw State University’s first incubator company, is the brainchild of Kennesaw State University faculty and is supported by the KSU Research and Service Foundation Inc. (KSURSF). It is developing new technology that could prove helpful in the fight against cancer and other diseases.

Kennesaw State’s Jonathan McMurry, associate vice president for research, is a co-founder of New Echota Biotechnology, which has filed for several patents related to a research project to develop novel cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) capable of carrying other molecular ‘cargos’ into living cells.

“New Echota may be the first company, but we’re certainly not the last,” said McMurry. “The coming years will increasingly see KSU-developed technologies contribute to economic development and the betterment of humanity.”

McMurry’s research team, composed of KSU faculty and students, developed CPPs that could lead to new medical treatments ranging from improving cosmetic procedures to helping fight cancer.

A professor of biochemistry and the former associate dean for research in the College of Science and Mathematics, McMurry is an accomplished and federally funded researcher, with grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also mentors colleagues in the task of applying for grants. As the AVP for Research, McMurry uses his experience to grow KSU's research community, as well as its intellectual property portfolio.

“Universities are increasingly serving as platforms for startups,” said McMurry. “Although many people may not think of Kennesaw State as a ‘research university,’ there is a surprisingly vibrant and growing research culture here.”

Kennesaw State is ranked as a doctoral research institution with moderate research activity — designated “R3” — in The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning 2015 update. The University was previously classified among larger Master’s Colleges and Universities or “M1” institutions.

McMurry credited KSURSF with supporting the initial steps in forming the company and helping to secure patents. KSURSF, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation, serves Kennesaw State as a University System of Georgia-approved cooperative organization. McMurry said he hopes other Kennesaw State faculty and students will follow his company’s lead and work with KSURSF to develop their intellectual properties and take steps to commercialize them.

New Echota receives grant funding from the NIH Small Business Innovation Research program. The Georgia Research Alliance has also supported development of the business through their GRA Ventures Fund.

The late John Salerno, who was the Neel Distinguished Chair of Biotechnology at Kennesaw State prior to his death this past December, was a co-founder of New Echota.

# # #

 

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country. 

Can Cell Penetration Get Us Closer To A Cancer Cure?

Name of Publication: 
"On Second Thought" GPB/NPR
Excerpt of Article: 

A group of faculty and student researchers at Kennesaw State University have recently discovered a new method for delivering vital proteins into human cells. This new method of cell penetration could have a number of important applications down the road, ranging from improvements to cosmetics all the way to aiding the fight against cancer.

We talk to KSU’s associate vice president of research Jonathan McMurry and graduate student Verra Ngwa about the science behind their team’s discovery.

"We've thought of hundreds of applications for bio-technology, from research tools to diagnostics, and eventually to therapeutics that can be improved or created with this 'deliver then release' technology." -Dr. McMurry on the many viable uses of effective cell-penetration. Click to listen.

Science Update - Fukushima Daiichi Disaster

Name of Publication: 
Cobb TV 23
Excerpt of Article: 

Five years ago, an earthquake and tsunami rocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Cobb TV 23 reports on KSU's Dan Ferreira, assistant professor of environmental science, who is researching ways to deal with the radioactive soil surrounding the plant.

STEM students get grade boost for HOPE scholarship

Name of Publication: 
WSB TV-2
Excerpt of Article: 

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — 

Starting this fall, Georgia college students who take demanding courses in science, technology, engineering and math will get a boost in their final grade score.

State lawmakers passed a new provision for Hope scholarship qualifications.

The change will provide a half point increase in their grade point average. Currently, students must maintain a 3.0 average to qualify for the scholarship.The boost would apply to grades of B, C, and D.

Several students majoring in math and science at Kennesaw State University told Channel 2's Tom Regan they appreciated the extra hand when it comes to their grades.

"It sounds awesome. I would be grateful to have some extra help. Some of the classes are very hard," said math major Cayla Franzman.

Full story 

U.S. News & World Report Announces the Best Jobs of 2016

Name of Publication: 
U.S. News & World Report
Excerpt of Article: 

CAREERS

POSTED BY TERRI WILLIAMS ON FEBRUARY 15, 2016 AT 2:38 PM 

 

At least 9.8 million jobs are projected to be created by 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics...

To help students with this decision, U.S. News & World Report recently released its report on the best jobs of 2016...

EXAMINING THE METHODOLOGY

U.S. News and World Report uses the following components to determine the country’s best jobs...

According to Dr. Lori Trahan, associate director of Kennesaw State University’s Career Services Center,

“Students always want to know ‘How much will I get paid in XYZ field?’ and their parents want to know

about the other categories, because they’ve lived through tough job markets so they want to know their

kids will have some stability.”

EMERGING TRENDS

Looking at the list, Dr. Trahan sees several emerging trends. Dr. Trahan tells GoodCall, “What I see as emerging

trends for the ‘best jobs’ are (1) They aren’t all in the traditional fields people think of when thinking about the

world of work; (2) We’re going to see more jobs on that list requiring technical expertise beyond high school;

(3) Many of the jobs that will be on that list in 5 years haven’t been created yet.”


TERRI WILLIAMS

Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education,

U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition.

Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the

Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

 

Preparing for Big Data Careers: Interview with Jennifer Priestley, Kennesaw State University

Name of Publication: 
Generation SAS
Excerpt of Article: 
 
 
Georgia Mariani

8 Ways You're Failing At Data Science

Name of Publication: 
InformationWeek
Excerpt of Article: 

News

 

11/26/2015

10:06 AM

 
 
Lisa Morgan
 
Lisa Morgan

Slideshows
 
 

Data scientists and the Wizard of Oz have something in common: Few people really know what they do behind the curtain, which makes it hard to tell good from bad data science. These tips can help you discern the difference.

Data science would be easier to comprehend if there were a standard definition of it. True data science comprises several disciplines, including mathematics, statistics, machine learning, and computer science. A data science team must also understand how to curate and prepare data, analyze it, and present the results to business leaders in terms of potential business impact.

Many organizations are placing far greater emphasis on data than science, however. As a result, their outcomes may be falling short of expectations, and the reason for it may not be obvious.

Nevertheless, the search for the ultimate silver bullet continues. Companies are investing millions of dollars in platforms, solutions, and open source consulting resources hoping to get actionable insights that lead to competitive advantage. Doing data science right can take considerably more time and investment than may be apparent, however. ...

Hiring The Wrong People </p />
<p>Resumes are evolving to meet the demand for data scientists, but organizations are finding out the hard way that there are data scientists and there are 'data scientists.' Similarly, some universities and organizations are simply rebranding their educational programs or teams without significantly changing the curriculum.<br />
'People are assuming the [data scientist] title because it's a hot term and you get a lot more hits on LinkedIn. That creates a lot of confusion in the marketplace,' said Jennifer Priestley, director of Kennesaw State University's Ph.D. program in analytics and data science. 'Academia is equally irresponsible when it comes to this issue. You have a lot of programs that yesterday were operations research and today they're data science, or you had an MBA and now you have an MS in analytics or data science, but it's the same curriculum.'<br />
Rebranding is dangerous in business when expectations are the only things that change. 'There are a million traps you can fall into when interpreting data. A lot of business leaders think they can simply [rename] a data analytics team a data science team. They find it's not improving decision-making and, in fact, they're making worse decisions and they wonder what's going on,' said Michael Walker, founder and president of the Data Science Association.<br />
(Image: stevepb via Pixabay)<br />

 

Hiring The Wrong People

Resumes are evolving to meet the demand for data scientists, but organizations are finding out the hard way that there are data scientists and there are "data scientists." Similarly, some universities and organizations are simply rebranding their educational programs or teams without significantly changing the curriculum.

"People are assuming the [data scientist] title because it's a hot term and you get a lot more hits on LinkedIn. That creates a lot of confusion in the marketplace," said Jennifer Priestley, director of Kennesaw State University's Ph.D. program in analytics and data science. "Academia is equally irresponsible when it comes to this issue. You have a lot of programs that yesterday were operations research and today they're data science, or you had an MBA and now you have an MS in analytics or data science, but it's the same curriculum." ...

Lisa Morgan is a freelance writer who covers big data and BI for InformationWeek. She has contributed articles, reports, and other types of content to various publications and sites ranging from SD Times to the Economist Intelligent Unit. Frequent areas of coverage include big data, mobility, enterprise software, the cloud, software development, and emerging cultural issues affecting the C-suite.

National Institutes of Health awards Kennesaw State University $1 million grant

RAS_4651.jpg

Grant will fund research program to increase diversity in biomedical sciences

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 18, 2015) — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Kennesaw State University’s College of Science and Mathematics a five-year, $1.018 million grant to increase the number of doctorate-holding scientists from underrepresented groups.

The NIH award recognizes the strength of Kennesaw State’s biomedical research programs and its commitment to building diversity in the nation’s biomedical research workforce. Serving as the lead institution, Kennesaw State’s College of Science and Mathematics will work with partner institutions Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia to educate and train Ph.D.-level scientists.

The grant is designed to annually recruit college graduates who want to further their science education, eventually obtaining a doctorate degree. Participants will pursue master’s degrees in Integrative Biology or Chemical Sciences, learning modern research techniques using cutting-edge instrumentation such as optical biosensors, next generation sequencing and confocal microscopy in Kennesaw State’s 73,000-square-foot Science Laboratory building.

As part of their individual development plans, participants will also prepare for and, upon completion of their studies, bridge to biomedical doctoral programs.

“Kennesaw State’s programs are small and flexible enough to execute highly individualized training in an array of disciplines from synthetic chemistry to developmental biology and in interdisciplinary endeavors that may take participants from high performance computing to microliter-scale calorimetry,” said Mark Anderson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

The NIH selected Kennesaw State in part because it already has multiple NIH-funded researchers who will contribute to the students’ diverse mentoring and learning opportunities.

“With multiple externally funded researchers and a new research facility, Kennesaw State’s master’s programs in Integrative Biology (MSIB) and Chemical Sciences (MSCB) offer highly individualized, flexible and unique training and mentoring environments,” Anderson said.

Anderson said Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor Jonathan McMurry will direct the program, which will draw other professors and mentors from Kennesaw State’s Departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology, as well as Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“Our goal is to recruit participants from historically black colleges and universities and Appalachian-serving institutions that are not yet well integrated into NIH research enterprises as well as from other sources such as the Peach State LSAMP consortium and other primarily undergraduate institutions throughout the Southeast,” McMurry said.

Initial recruiting efforts drew applicants from around the state and across the nation. The first class of five students starts this week. Among the participants are a Gates Foundation Scholar, a McNair Scholar and a student body president. Their research interests range from neuroscience to human genetics to virology.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Research reported in this news release was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25GM111565. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

###

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country. 

 

 

International chemistry conference draws 400 educators to Kennesaw State

(Left to right) Michelle Dean, KSU; Regina Rüffler, University of Hamburg; 2015 contest winner Tom Kuntzleman, Spring Arbor (Mich.) University; Yvonne Clifford, Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, Cambridge, Ont., Canada; 2013 contest winner Sally Mitchell, East Syracuse-Minoa (N.Y.) High School; and Kimberly Linenberger, KSU.

Nearly 200 presentations and workshops conducted during 23rd annual ChemEd

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 6, 2015) — Kennesaw State hosted the 23rd annual ChemEd international conference for 400 chemistry educators last week. The five-day conference, the largest of its kind, offered close to 200 presentations and workshops and drew chemistry teachers from throughout North America and Europe to the Kennesaw Campus.

Michelle Dean, conference chair and an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said it was a week “filled with non-stop activities, with attendees choosing between several simultaneous presentations each day.”

Kimberly Linenberger, a conference coordinator, joined with fellow faculty members Heather Abbott-Lyon and Glen Meades conducting workshops to demonstrate topics that can be applied at the high school and introductory college level.

Abbott-Lyon conducted a workshop entitled “Chemistry of Meteor Surfaces,” while Meades and Linenberger’s workshop showcased an enzyme-modeling lab they have developed for a chemistry class at Kennesaw State.

“In addition to workshops, we had many local high school chemistry teachers present projects they had been working on while engaged in various professional service activities funded through opportunities provided by KSU faculty,” Linenberger said. “These collaborative programs include the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and the U.S. Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership.”

One of the more popular events, the “So You Think You Can Demo” contest held at the Bailey Performance Center on Friday, featured interesting and fun chemistry demonstrations, such as surprising changes of color, the impact of pressure changes on everyday objects, and how the oil from an orange can pop a balloon.

Tom Kuntzleman of Spring Arbor (Mich.) University was awarded first place for his demonstration using an orange peel to pop balloons. Yvonne Clifford of Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge, Ont., Canada, placed second and Regina Rüffler of the University of Hamburg in Germany placed third.

(Watch the finalists in action at: http://ccpe.kennesaw.edu/chemed/agenda/contest.html.)

The conference wrapped on Saturday with an address by American Chemical Society President-elect Donna J. Nelson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma and science advisor the popular TV series Breaking Bad.

# # #

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.                                                                      

—Robert S. Godlewski

 

Photos by Anthony Stalcup

                                                                   

 

A Look at the High School Biology Teacher Workforce

Name of Publication: 
Inside Higher Ed
Excerpt of Article: 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Kennesaw State co-authors include Samuel J. Polizzi, postdoctoral associate; Jeremy Jaggernauth, KSU alum and private sector statistical analyst; Herman E. "Gene" Ray, assistant professor of statistics; and Brendan Callahan, assistant prfoessor biology education.

July 28, 2015 

Biology educators occupy nearly half (44 percent) of all high school science teaching assignments -- more than double the percentage of chemistry educators, according to a new study published in BioScience. The biology education workforce increased some 50 percent between 1987 and 2007 due to biology’s “gateway” status among the high school sciences, the study says. The female proportion of the biology workforce also grew over the same period, from 39 to 61 percent. That’s more than in all other science, technology and math fields, according to the study.

At the same time, biology educators were more likely than their colleagues in other fields to teach outside the discipline. The number of biology educators with more than 20 years of teaching experience also dropped by some 20 percent between 1990 and 2007. Lead author Gregory T. Rushton, an associate professor of chemistry at Kennesaw State University, and his co-authors note that this is due in part to increasing numbers of teachers entering the workforce after careers outside education, for whom “the biologist identity may be stronger than that of teacher.”

Rushton and his colleagues propose stricter certification requirements for biology teachers and more targeted professional development. They also propose matching curricula to teachers’ expertise, as opposed to offering “a static, predetermined slate of science courses at each school.” The longitudinal study is based on the National Center for Education Statistics’ Schools and Staffing surveys from 1987 through 2007.

 

Syndicate content