News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Font size: +

College welcomes 18 new faculty

College welcomes 18 new faculty
The College of Natural Sciences welcomes 18 new faculty for 2006-07.

Astronomy
Milos Milosavljevic, Assistant Professor

Chemistry & Biochemistry
Sang-Hyun Lim, Assistant Professor

Computer Sciences
Dana Ballard, Professor
Keshav Pingali, Professor

Human Ecology
Henry Ciolino, Assistant Professor
Su Yeong Kim, Assistant Professor
Susan Perkins, Research Assistant Professor
Max Snodderly, Professor

Integrative Biology
Hans Hofmann, Assistant Professor
Mikhail Matz, Assistant Professor

Marine Science
Deana Erdner, Assistant Professor
James McClelland, Assistant Professor
Gerald Shank, Assistant Professor

Mathematics
Lexing Ying, Assistant Professor

Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Christopher Sullivan, Assistant Professor
Marvin Whiteley, Assistant Professor

Neurobiology
Kristen Harris, Professor

Physics
Christina Markert, Assistant Professor

Astronomy

Milos Milosavljevic, Assistant Professor







Milos Milosavljevic obtained his A.B. degree in Physics (Magna Cum Laude) from Harvard University and finished his Ph.D. degree in Physics in 2002 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He most recently was a Hubble Fellow and a Senior Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Milosavljevic’s research interest is in theoretical problems concerning the formation and evolution of the cosmic structure. While working on his Ph.D., he developed numerical simulations of mergers of stellar systems with central supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in an effort to understand the formation of galactic nuclei and the presence of cores in elliptical galaxies.

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Sang-Hyun Lim, Assistant Professor







Sang-Hyun Lim received his B.S. degree in 1994 and his M.S. degree in 1998 from SeoulNational University. He went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned his Ph.D. degree in 2003. In addition, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley from 2003–2006.

The main focus of Dr. Lim’s research is to study biological processes by monitoring the spatial distribution and chemical transformation of multiple molecular components in a cell or biologically relevant systems.

Computer Sciences

Dana Ballard, Professor







Dana Ballard received his B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. He went on to obtain his M.S. in Information and Control Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1970 and his Ph.D. in Information Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 1974.

Dr. Ballard’s main research interest is in computational theories of the brain with emphasis on human vision. In 1985 Chris Brown and he led a team that designed and built a high–speed binocular camera control system capable of simulating human eye movements. The system was mounted on a robotic arm that allowed it to move at one meter per second in a two–meter radius workspace. This system has led to an increased understanding of the role of behavior in vision. The theoretical aspects of that system were summarized in “Animate Vision,'' which received the Best Paper Award at the 1989 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Currently he is interested in pursuing this research by using model humans in virtual reality environments. In addition he is interested in models of the brain that relate to detailed neural codes.

Keshav Pingali, Professor







Keshav Pingali received a B.Tech. in 1978 from Indian Institute of Technology. He completed his S.M. and E.E. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1983 and went on to complete his Sc.D. in 1986 at MIT.

Dr. Pingali’s research group works on programming languages and compiler technology for understanding, restructuring, and optimization, particularly in the context of high-performance parallel, distributed and grid architectures. The goal is to develop the algorithms and tools required to raise the level of abstraction at which people program computers, freeing them from having to worry about low-level details of machine architectures, memory hierarchies, processor pipelines, etc.

Human Ecology

Henry Ciolino, Assistant Professor







Henry Ciolino graduated from the University of New Orleans and earned a doctorate in Anatomy from the Louisiana State University Medical School. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, he served as Staff Scientist in the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Ciolino’s research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms responsible for the protective effect of diets rich in fruits and vegetable on chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. The goal of his studies is to further the understanding of how dietary components exert their protective effects and to identify promising new preventive regimens.

Su Yeong Kim, Assistant Professor







Su Yeong Kim received her B.A. degree in Psychology and her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. She subsequently earned her Ph.D. degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis in 2003. She did postdoctoral research with Mexican American families at Arizona State University.

Dr. Kim’s expertise is in ethnic diversity in human development and family processes. She studies the intersection of family and cultural contexts in shaping adolescent development. Her focus is on Asian-American (Chinese- and Korean-American) and Latino (Mexican-American) families in the United States.

Susan Perkins, Research Assistant Professor







Susan Perkins received her B.S. in biochemistry from North Carolina State University. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in physiology at the University of Virginia. She obtained further training in neuro–endocrinology during postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University (Department of Medicine) and the Johns Hopkins University (Department of Neuroscience).

Dr. Perkins joined the Department of Human Ecology in January 2006 after serving as the Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute Prevention Fellowship Program from 2000–2006.

Dr. Perkins’ research uses transgenic mouse models to study the interactions among nutritional factors, hormones, and genetic susceptibility to cancer.

Max Snodderly, Professor







Max Snodderly received his B.S. degree as well as his M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963. He subsequently earned his Ph.D. degree from Rockefeller University in 1969.

Dr. Snodderly is a most distinguished scholar in the area of visual neuroscience and clinical ophthalmology. His current research evolves around the impact of carotenoids, fatty acids, and antioxidants on the degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium; the functioning of cortical neurons in perceptual and decision processes involved in vision; the measurement of macular pigment in humans; and the way in which neurons code visual information.

Integrative Biology

Hans Hofmann, Assistant Professor







Hans Hofmann received his M.S. in Animal Physiology in 1993 from the University of Tübingen. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in Biology 1997 at the Max-Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology and the University of Leipzig.

Dr. Hofmann’s research seeks to understand the molecular and hormonal mechanisms that underlie social behavior and its evolution.

Mikhail Matz, Assistant Professor







Mikhail Matz received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Molecular Biology from Moscow State University in 1989 and 1991, respectively. He completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in Moscow, Russia in 1999.

Dr. Matz’s research currently has three major directions. The first is to explore long-term evolution of gene regulatory networks on the model of coral stress response, using subtractive hybridization, cDNA arrays and network alignment technique. The second is a focus on the rules and limitations of evolution of novel complex features in proteins by using coral fluorescent proteins as a model and by using approaches of resurrection of ancestral molecules, artificial evolution and modeling of structure-function relationships. The third research direction is to look for novel genetically encoded fluorescent probes in oceanic organisms, also aiming at general characterization of the ecological role of fluorescence in the ocean environment.

Marine Science

Deana Erdner, Assistant Professor







Deana Erdner received her B.S. in Biological Sciences in 1991 from Carnegie Mellon University. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in 1997 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She completed postdoctoral work at both the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K. and Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Erdner’s research focuses on genes that the growth and distribution of marine phytoplankton. The regulation of phytoplankton growth in the oceans is of fundamental importance because of the role this organism plays in primary production – global carbon fixation by marine phytoplankton equals or exceeds that of terrestrial ecosystems. The majority of her present work focuses on toxic algae (red tides).

James McClelland, Assistant Professor







James McClelland received his B.S. in 1991 from the University of Washington. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in 1998 at Boston University.

Dr. McClelland’s research focuses on environmental changes as a consequence of human activity, including changes in land use, land cover, and global warming. These changes are having a profound influence on the transport of water and water-borne constituents from land to sea. In turn, changes in the fluxes of water, carbon, and nutrients to the coastal ocean are altering fundamental ecosystem properties such as primary production and food web structure. Changes in land-sea fluxes have broader implications as well, including alteration of the global carbon budget and potential impacts of freshwater inputs on global ocean circulation and climate. To identify and explore changes in land-sea coupling, Dr. McClelland uses a wide variety of approaches including analysis of historic data sets, field studies of biogeochemical cycling and constituent transport, and modeling.

Gerald Shank, Assistant Professor







Gerald Shank received his M.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993. He subsequently earned his Ph.D. degree there in 2003.

Dr. Shank is a marine geochemist. He recently held a National Research Council Research Associateship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s laboratory in Athens, Georgia, where he conducted research on how photochemical reactions affect trace metals in the marine environment and on the effects of sunlight (including ultraviolet light) on marine chemistry, including coral bleaching.

Mathematics

Lexing Ying, Assistant Professor







Lexing Ying received his B.S. degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the Shanghai Jiaotong University in 1998. He subsequently earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from New York University in 2000 and 2004, respectively.

Dr. Ying’s research lies in the field of scientific computing and computational mathematics. Specific areas of interest include fast approximate algorithms, multi–scale methods, high frequency wave propagation, geometric modeling, integral equation techniques, and parallel computing.

Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Christopher Sullivan, Assistant Professor







Christopher Sullivan received his B.A. in Biology from Penn State University in 1995, and his Ph.D. in 2000 in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at The University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Sullivan’s research focuses on the understanding of the interaction of viruses with the RNAi machinery in mammalian cells. His goals are twofold: (1) to understand the functions of viral and host encoded microRNAs and how they contribute to viral lifecycle, pathogenesis and tumorigenesis, and (2) to identify novel interactions of mammalian viruses with the host RNAi machinery.

Marvin Whiteley, Assistant Professor







Marvin Whiteley received his B.S. in Zoology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1995 and his M.S. in Biology in 1997 from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Iowa in 2001 and did postdoctoral research in the Department of Biology at Stanford University from 2001–2002.

Dr. Whiteley uses genetic, molecular biological, and biochemical techniques to address novel bacterial physiology questions. His future goals and aims are to determine the mechanism of vesicle formation in P. aeruginosa, to characterize the role of membrane vesicles in cell–cell signaling in P. aeruginosa biofilms and to examine the ubiquity of vesicle signal trafficking in prokaryotes.

Neurobiology

Kristen Harris, Professor







Kristen Harris received her B.S. degree in biology from Minnesota State University (now called Moorhead State University). She then went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her M.S. degree in Neurobiology in 1979. From there she went to Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Kent State University where she obtained her Ph.D. in Neurobiology in 1982. She completed postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and was Director of the Neuroscience Program at the Medical College of Georgia prior to coming to UT Austin.

Dr. Harris pioneered computational methods for difficult serial electron micrographic reconstructions of synapses in the brain. Her most important observation is that during synaptic plasticity, which is a cellular correlate of learning and memory formation, the structure of synapses changes within half an hour, much more rapidly then was previously believed possible.

Physics

Christina Markert, Assistant Professor







Christina Markert comes to UT Austin from Kent State University, where she was a Senior Research Scientist. She received her diploma in physics from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt in 1996. She completed her Ph.D. in physics at Goethe University in 2001.

Dr. Markert’s research has covered many aspects of experimental heavy-ion physics. She is one of the leading researchers of the STAR experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York—one of the country’s premier experiments in relativistic heavy ion nuclear physics.
Wildflower Center officially becomes part of UT-Au...
R/V LONGHORN to be retired after 35 years

Comments

 
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, 23 September 2017

Captcha Image