Jacobs School News Archive


$39 Million to better integrate renewables into power grid

$39 Million to better integrate renewables into power grid

October 28, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded $39 million to a team of engineers and computer scientists at the University of California San Diego to build a first-of-its-kind testbed to better understand how to integrate distributed energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, smart buildings and electric vehicle batteries into the power grid. The goal is to make the testbed available to outside research teams and industry by 2025.    Full Story


Designing batteries for easier recycling could avert a looming e-waste crisis

Designing batteries for easier recycling could avert a looming e-waste crisis

October 26, 2020

As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. This, coupled with a growing volume of battery-powered phones, watches, laptops, wearable devices and other consumer technologies, leave us wondering: What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out? Full Story


Start-up receives up to $15 M to develop nanoparticle therapy for sepsis licensed from UC San Diego

Start-up receives up to $15 M to develop nanoparticle therapy for sepsis licensed from UC San Diego

October 21, 2020

San Diego-based Cellics Therapeutics, which was co-founded by UC San Diego nanoengineering Professor Liangfang Zhang, has received an award of up to $15 M from Boston-based accelerator CARB-X to develop a macrophage cellular nanosponge—nanoparticles cloaked in the cell membranes of macrophages—designed to treat sepsis. Full Story


UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla honored for technical and administrative achievements

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla honored for technical and administrative achievements

October 16, 2020

Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor of the University of California San Diego, is being honored by the Indo American Press Club for his contributions as both an engineering innovator and a university administrator. Full Story


We are building a more inclusive and equitable community at the Jacobs School of Engineering

We are building a more inclusive and equitable community at the Jacobs School of Engineering

October 13, 2020

Diversity is essential to innovation. The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has launched a Student and Faculty Racial Equity Task Force and is building on campus-wide initiatives as it works to ensure that all engineering and computer science students, faculty and staff can thrive and innovate.   Full Story


Introducing the 2020 Jacobs School Racial Equity Fellows

Introducing the 2020 Jacobs School Racial Equity Fellows

October 13, 2020

Four engineering students with a demonstrated commitment to racial equity have been selected as the inaugural cohort of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Racial Equity Fellows. These students, representing undergraduate and graduate perspectives from four different engineering departments, will serve as student advocates on the recently launched Jacobs School Student and Faculty Racial Equity Task Force. Full Story


Celebrating 10 years of IDEA Engineering Student Center success

Celebrating 10 years of IDEA Engineering Student Center success

October 13, 2020

This fall marks the 10th year of the IDEA Engineering Student Center, one of the cornerstones of student life at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. In the past decade, the IDEA—Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence, Achievement—Engineering Student Center has supported thousands of students through to graduation through its various programs, including summer prep and mentorship programs, peer-led engineering learning communities, support for student diversity organizations, and more.  Full Story


Broadening horizons in a pandemic

Broadening horizons in a pandemic

October 12, 2020

More than 1,200 students from around the world were able to gain experience, advice and insight into their field this summer thanks to the expansion of two previously in-person only summer research programs at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.  Full Story


UC San Diego Launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego Launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

October 9, 2020

Climate change, public health and equal access to food and water are some of the biggest challenges facing humanity--and materials science can help provide solutions for them all. That was the message researchers shared during the launch of the Institute for Materials Discovery and Design (IMDD) at the University of California San Diego, held virtually Sept. 29.   Full Story


Two UC San Diego Researchers Receive NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Awards

Two UC San Diego Researchers Receive NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Awards

October 6, 2020

Two University of California San Diego researchers have received prestigious awards through the 2020 National Institutes of Health (NIH) High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, including Duygu Kuzum, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Full Story


This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish

This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish

October 5, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a squid-like robot that can swim untethered, propelling itself by generating jets of water. The robot carries its own power source inside its body. It can also carry a sensor, such as a camera, for underwater exploration. Full Story


UC San Diego COVID-19 Forecast Now Part of CDC Model

UC San Diego COVID-19 Forecast Now Part of CDC Model

October 2, 2020

A computational model that forecasts the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States as a whole and in each state, which was developed by a team of researchers from the University of California San Diego and Northeastern University, is now part of the national mortality forecast issued by the Centers for Disease Control.   Full Story


DeepMind Gift Will Give a Boost to Machine Learning Graduate Students and Diversity Efforts at UC San Diego CSE

DeepMind Gift Will Give a Boost to Machine Learning Graduate Students and Diversity Efforts at UC San Diego CSE

October 2, 2020

UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) graduate students who are studying machine learning will receive additional support thanks to a generous gift from DeepMind, a London-based company leading artificial intelligence research and how it’s applied in the real world. UC San Diego alumnus Oriol Vinyals (M.A. ’09) is a principal scientist for the company. The gift, which contributes to the Campaign for UC San Diego, will also be used to enhance the department’s efforts to increase diversity.    Full Story


Researchers identify new factors for inflammation after a heart attack

Researchers identify new factors for inflammation after a heart attack

September 30, 2020

A team of engineers and physicians at University of California San Diego and Massachusetts General Hospital published new work Sept. 25 in Science Immunology that provides new comprehensive single-cell datasets defining the immune response to a heart attack, from its origins in the bone marrow and its translational potential in the blood, to its diversification and regulation within the heart. They also discovered new immune cell types and regulatory mechanisms.    Full Story


Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

September 24, 2020

A new 3D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. Researchers at UC San Diego show that by controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, or LCE, they can control the material’s degree of stiffness and ability to contract--also known as degree of actuation.  What’s more, they are able to change the stiffness of different areas in the same material by exposing it to heat. Full Story


Robots to Help  Children Touch the Outside World

Robots to Help Children Touch the Outside World

September 24, 2020

A team of University of California researchers is working to improve telepresence robots and the algorithms that drive them to help children with disabilities stay connected to their classmates, teachers and communities. The effort is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation.   Full Story


Engineering graduate students honored as Siebel Scholars

Engineering graduate students honored as Siebel Scholars

September 23, 2020

Five Jacobs School of Engineering graduate students pioneering tools to treat rare genetic disorders, studying microbes in cancer, developing noninvasive wearable biosensors, studying the physical principles underlying cell membrane deformation, and developing noninvasive methods for evaluating cardiovascular function, have been named 2021 Siebel Scholars. Full Story


Making space weather forecasts faster and better

Making space weather forecasts faster and better

September 16, 2020

 To improve the ability to forecast space weather, a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including Professor Boris Kramer at the University of California San Diego, received $3.1 million from the National Science Foundation. The researchers, led by Professor Richard Linares at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will also work on speeding up the forecasting abilities that are currently available. Full Story


Add human-genome produced RNA to the list of cell surface molecules

Add human-genome produced RNA to the list of cell surface molecules

September 10, 2020

Bioengineers at UC San Diego have shown that human-genome produced RNA is present on the surface of human cells, suggesting a more expanded role for RNA in cell-to-cell and cell-to-environment interactions than previously thought.  Full Story


UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Hires 24 Faculty in Fall 2020

UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Hires 24 Faculty in Fall 2020

September 8, 2020

The University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is proud to introduce the 24 new professors hired in Fall 2020. These professors are among the more than 130 faculty who have joined the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in the last seven years. Full Story



Eight teams of engineers and physicians work to tackle COVID-19 related challenges

Eight teams of engineers and physicians work to tackle COVID-19 related challenges

August 20, 2020

The Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine program at UC San Diego is supporting eight COVID-19 related projects in early stages with microgrants. The program is a collaboration between the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine launched in 2013 to bring engineers and clinicians together to develop innovative technologies and solve challenging problems in medical care.  Full Story


UC San Diego named 4th best public research university in prestigious global rankings

UC San Diego named 4th best public research university in prestigious global rankings

August 17, 2020

Shanghai rankings celebrate campus as a world-renowned research powerhouse. Full Story


Extrachromosomal DNA is common in human cancer and drives poor patient outcomes

Extrachromosomal DNA is common in human cancer and drives poor patient outcomes

August 16, 2020

The multiplication of genes located in extrachromosomal DNA that have the potential to cause cancer drives poor patient outcomes across many cancer types, according to a Nature Genetics study published Aug. 17, 2020 by a team of researchers including Professors Vineet Bafna and Dr.Paul Mischel of the University of California San Diego  and Professor Roel Verhaak of Jackson Laboratories.  Full Story


CMI Researcher Receives $7.3M DOE Grant to Address National Crop Productivity Through Soil Microbes

August 14, 2020

UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) Faculty Member Karsten Zengler and a team of researchers have been awarded a $7.3 million grant over a five-year period from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with a goal of making bioenergy feedstock crops more productive and resilient. Full Story


UC San Diego engineers selected for DARPA Secure Silicon program

UC San Diego engineers selected for DARPA Secure Silicon program

August 13, 2020

Engineers at UC San Diego have been selected by DARPA to participate in the Automatic Implementation of Secure Silicon (AISS) program to increase the security of our nation’s semiconductor supply chain.  Full Story


Nanoengineers, radiologists work toward immunotherapy for liver cancer

Nanoengineers, radiologists work toward immunotherapy for liver cancer

August 13, 2020

A team of nanoengineers and interventional radiologists at UC San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System received a $575,000 grant from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) to develop a new method to treat liver cancer by combining ablation—a treatment to destroy tumors—with an immunotherapy derived from a plant virus. Full Story


Flipping a metabolic switch to slow tumor growth

Flipping a metabolic switch to slow tumor growth

August 11, 2020

The enzyme serine palmitoyl-transferase can be used as a metabolically responsive “switch” that decreases tumor growth, according to a new study by a team of San Diego scientists, who published their findings Aug. 12 in the journal Nature. By restricting the dietary amino acids serine and glycine, or pharmacologically targeting the serine synthesis enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase, the team induced tumor cells to produce a toxic lipid that slows cancer progression in mice. Further research is needed to determine how this approach might be translated to patients.  Full Story


Nanoengineering and chemical engineering at UC San Diego in the spotlight

Nanoengineering and chemical engineering at UC San Diego in the spotlight

August 10, 2020

A creative group of faculty, students and staff within the University of California San Diego are taking innovative approaches to develop breakthroughs in nanomedicine, flexible electronics, and energy storage. Together, this group makes up the Department of NanoEngineering and the Chemical Engineering Program at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. A virtual issue of the journal ACS Nano highlights the wide ranging research, educational and workforce-development contributions of this extraordinary group.  Full Story


Engineer Earns Presidential Award for Improving Underrepresented Student Access to STEM Experiences

Engineer Earns Presidential Award for Improving Underrepresented Student Access to STEM Experiences

August 7, 2020

Olivia Graeve, a UC San Diego professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House. The award was created in 1995 to honor extraordinary individuals whose efforts have helped provide underrepresented groups with access to opportunities in STEM. Full Story


Biomedical Engineering Society earns Outstanding Chapter Award

Biomedical Engineering Society earns Outstanding Chapter Award

July 31, 2020

UC San Diego's chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) was recognized with the Chapter Outstanding Achievement Award for their 2019-2020 efforts. This is the second time the undergraduate BMES chapter received this prestigious award, after earning the honor in 2017. Full Story


New fabrication method brings single-crystal perovskite devices closer to viability

New fabrication method brings single-crystal perovskite devices closer to viability

July 29, 2020

Nanoengineers at UC San Diego developed a new method to fabricate perovskites as single-crystal thin films, which are more efficient for use in solar cells and optical devices than the current state-of-the-art polycrystalline forms of the material. Researchers in Professor Sheng Xu’s lab published their findings on July 29 in Nature. Full Story


Computer Scientist Receives NSF Grant to Identify Antibody Responses Against SARS-COV-2

Computer Scientist Receives NSF Grant to Identify Antibody Responses Against SARS-COV-2

July 27, 2020

Pavel Pevzner, Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science in UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering Department, has been awarded a $300,000 grant, through the National Science Foundation’s EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program. The grant will support efforts to investigate immune system genes in humans, bats and other mammals and identify successful antibody responses against SARS-COV-2. Full Story


Rare Glassy Metal Discovered During Quest to Improve Battery Performance

Rare Glassy Metal Discovered During Quest to Improve Battery Performance

July 24, 2020

Scientists from UC San Diego and Idaho National Laboratory scrutinized the earliest stages of lithium recharging and learned that slow, low-energy charging causes electrodes to collect atoms in a disorganized way that improves charging behavior. This noncrystalline “glassy” lithium had never been observed, and creating such amorphous metals has traditionally been extremely difficult.  Full Story


A Prototype for Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

A Prototype for Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

July 23, 2020

In the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that had UC San Diego researchers racing to understand the complexities around the virus’s spread and to find ways to combat it, engineers and fabrication specialists at the Qualcomm Institute’s Prototyping Lab leapt into action. Vacuum exhaused isolation lockers, or VEILs, produced in the Prototyping Lab are ready to be delivered to local hospitals. Full Story


Engineer and mathematician receive Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during COVID-19 pandemic

Engineer and mathematician receive Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during COVID-19 pandemic

July 21, 2020

Two UC San Diego professors—Melvin Leok from the Department of Mathematics (Division of Physical Sciences) and Boris Kramer from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Jacobs School of Engineering) are among the 13 award recipients of the Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Department of Defense.  Full Story


Non-invasive blood test can detect cancer four years before conventional diagnosis methods

Non-invasive blood test can detect cancer four years before conventional diagnosis methods

July 20, 2020

An international team of researchers has developed a non-invasive blood test that can detect whether an individual has one of five common types of cancers, four years before the condition can be diagnosed with current methods. The test detects stomach, esophageal, colorectal, lung and liver cancer.   Full Story


New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19

New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19

July 20, 2020

Respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze travel farther and last longer in humid, cold climates than in hot, dry ones, according to a study on droplet physics by an international team of engineers. The researchers incorporated this understanding of the impact of environmental factors on droplet spread into a new mathematical model that can be used to predict the early spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, and the role of respiratory droplets in that spread.  Full Story


Ron Graham, mathematician, computer scientist, juggler and magician: 1935-2020

Ron Graham, mathematician, computer scientist, juggler and magician: 1935-2020

July 16, 2020

Ron Graham, a professor of computer science and mathematics at the University of California San Diego, perhaps best known for the discovery of Graham’s number, passed away July 6, 2020 at his home in La Jolla, from complications due to bronchiectasis, a chronic lung condition. He was 84.   Full Story


Computer Scientists Brings Us Closer to Complete Genomic Sequences

Computer Scientists Brings Us Closer to Complete Genomic Sequences

July 16, 2020

In a paper that brings scientists measurably closer to assembling the entire human genome, UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering Professor Pavel Pevzner has outlined an algorithm, called centroFlye, that uses long, error-prone DNA reads to assemble centromeres, the DNA that connects chromosome arms. This is the first time an accurate centromere sequence has been automatically assembled. The paper was co-authored with graduate student Andrey Bzikadze and published this week in Nature Biotechnology.Though quite comprehensive, the first draft of the human genome had many missing sequences. Centromeres were the largest of these gaps. Working with data produced by the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium, Pevzner and Bzikadze have developed an approach that could close these gaps. Full Story


In memoriam: electrical engineering professor Elias Masry

In memoriam: electrical engineering professor Elias Masry

July 16, 2020

Elias Masry, a pioneer in the theory and application of stochastic processes and professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego, passed away on March 17, 2020 in La Jolla, California. He was 83. Full Story


BluBLE: Estimating Your COVID-19 Risk with Accurate Contact Tracing

BluBLE: Estimating Your COVID-19 Risk with Accurate Contact Tracing

July 16, 2020

Motivated by the prospect of creating protective, social-distancing “bubbles” around members of the public, researchers in the UC San Diego Wireless Communications Sensing and Networking Laboratory are developing BluBLE, a new app for contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.BluBLE employs ubiquitous Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and personalized algorithms to ensure intelligent and accurate contact tracing. The app aims to provide each user with a personalized risk score by considering their various social and physical interactions. Risk scores update in real time, offering a faster, more efficient means of alerting individuals to exposure than current methods. Full Story


Researchers Discover Two Paths of Aging and New Insights on Promoting Healthspan

Researchers Discover Two Paths of Aging and New Insights on Promoting Healthspan

July 16, 2020

Molecular biologists and bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have unraveled key mechanisms behind the mysteries of aging. They isolated two distinct paths that cells travel during aging and engineered a new way to genetically program these processes to extend lifespan.The research is described July 17 in the journal Science.Our lifespans as humans are determined by the aging of our individual cells. To understand whether different cells age at the same rate and by the same cause, the researchers studied aging in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a tractable model for investigating mechanisms of aging, including the aging paths of skin and stem cells. Full Story


A nanomaterial path forward for COVID-19 vaccine development

A nanomaterial path forward for COVID-19 vaccine development

July 15, 2020

From mRNA vaccines entering clinical trials, to peptide-based vaccines and using molecular farming to scale vaccine production, the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing new and emerging nanotechnologies into the frontlines and the headlines. Nanoengineers at UC San Diego detail the current approaches to COVID-19 vaccine development, and highlight how nanotechnology has enabled these advances, in a review article in Nature Nanotechnology published July 15. Full Story


$18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

$18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

July 9, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded University of California San Diego researchers a six-year $18 million grant to fund a new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).These research centers are transformative for the schools that earn them, putting their materials science research efforts into the global spotlight. In addition to research and facilities funding, MRSEC centers provide sustained research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, and resources to focus on diversifying the pool of students studying materials science.The UC San Diego labs funded by this new MRSEC will focus on two important, emerging approaches to build new materials aimed at improving human lives. Full Story


UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Predictive Assembly

UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Predictive Assembly

July 8, 2020

In some ways, the field of materials science is where the pharmaceutical sciences were twenty years ago. A team of University of California San Diego researchers is working to change that. The team makes up the "predictive assembly" research thrust of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Today, computational and predictive tools are used in the pharmaceutical industry in order to design "small molecule" drugs with particular properties and behaviors. The challenge is that the design-before-you-synthesize approach hasn't worked for the larger-scale materials that are critical for many applications beyond small-molecule drugs. That's the work that will be done by the team led by nanoengineering professors Andrea Tao and Tod Pascal from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Full Story


UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Living Materials

UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Living Materials

July 8, 2020

University of California San Diego researchers are using the tools of the biotechnology revolution—in particular, genetic engineering and synthetic biology—to build new classes of materials with novel kinds of abilities. Materials that can repair themselves are just one example of the applications of the "living materials" research thrust that is a key component of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The team's big idea is to incorporate living organisms, either from plants or microbes, into their new materials. Living organisms have evolved over billions of years to perform complex functions and to sense the environment around them. Synthetic materials still lag far behind what biological systems can accomplish. The UC San Diego researchers are asking: why not use biology to program materials? Full Story


UC San Diego receives $1.6 million to better prepare young adults for engineering and technical careers

UC San Diego receives $1.6 million to better prepare young adults for engineering and technical careers

July 2, 2020

Longtime University of California San Diego supporter Buzz Woolley has pledged $1.6 million over the next three years to fund an innovative new initiative that will significantly expand the region’s engineering and technical workforce. Much of the work to create inclusive problem-solving materials for students and teachers will be based in the EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio. Full Story


Women who mean business

Women who mean business

July 2, 2020

The University of California San Diego is proud to have been named a top 25 undergraduate university for female-founded startups by Pitchbook, a financial data and software company. Pitchbook tracked companies that raised their first round of funding between January 1, 2006 and August 31, 2019. UC San Diego landed in the No. 22 spot with 45 female founders whose companies raised over $580 million in first-round funding. Full Story


Creating an engineering senior design project...at home

Creating an engineering senior design project...at home

July 2, 2020

Curbside delivery of 3D-printed parts, the cooperation of roommates, weekend build sessions in Riverside and communication, communication, communication. This is what it took for graduating engineering students, staff and faculty at UC San Diego to transition the hands-on, team-based capstone mechanical engineering design course to remote instruction in the age of COVID-19. Full Story


Jacobs School of Engineering Launches Research Ethics Project

Jacobs School of Engineering Launches Research Ethics Project

June 25, 2020

Building a sustained culture where students, faculty and staff have the resources and comfort level to engage in ethical conversations on an ongoing basis is the goal of the Research Ethics Project at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), entered phase two in May. Full Story


Researchers develop low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Researchers develop low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients

June 23, 2020

A team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego has developed a low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients that is built around a ventilator bag usually found in ambulances.  The team built an automated system around the bag and brought down the cost of an emergency ventilator to just $500 per unit--state of the art models cost at least $50,000. The device's components can be rapidly fabricated  and the ventilator can be assembled in just 15 minutes. The device’s electronics and sensors rely on a robust supply chain from fields not related to healthcare that are unlikely to be affected by shortages.   Full Story


IEEE Spectrum Cover Story

IEEE Spectrum Cover Story

June 22, 2020

The cover feature of IEEE Spectrum this month is a feature on the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors: Why Sweat will Power your next Wearable. Full Story


NIH grant to bioprint nanoparticles for ovarian cancer immunotherapy

NIH grant to bioprint nanoparticles for ovarian cancer immunotherapy

June 19, 2020

Nanoengineers at UC San Diego received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an immunotherapy for ovarian cancer using plant virus nanoparticles. The particles will be produced using 3D-bioprinting, enabling them to be released at specified intervals, instead of a continuous slow release. Full Story


Using LEGO to test children's ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

Using LEGO to test children's ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

June 18, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a test that uses children’s ability to assemble LEGO pieces to assess their spatial visualization ability. Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize 3D shapes in one’s mind, which is tied to increased GPAs and graduation rates in STEM college students.  Full Story


Nanosponges Could Intercept Coronavirus Infection

Nanosponges Could Intercept Coronavirus Infection

June 17, 2020

Nanoparticles cloaked in human lung cell membranes and human immune cell membranes can attract and neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture, causing the virus to lose its ability to hijack host cells and reproduce. Instead of targeting the virus itself, these nanosponges, developed by engineers at UC San Diego, are designed to protect the healthy cells the virus invades.   Full Story


Nano-scale sponges for COVID-19 are already a win for San Diego

Nano-scale sponges for COVID-19 are already a win for San Diego

June 17, 2020

A team of nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego is taking a unique approach to COVID-19 drug discovery. Their strategy is to intercept virus particles and neutralize them with nano-scale sponges before the virus can enter healthy human cells and replicate. These nanosponges did not appear out of thin air back in January when troubling reports started coming in. Professor Liangfang Zhang leveraged a platform technology his team has been developing and methodically maturing for a decade. Full Story


How Stimulus Dollars are Spent will Affect Emissions for Decades

How Stimulus Dollars are Spent will Affect Emissions for Decades

June 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have led to a record crash in emissions. But it will be emission levels during the recovery—in the months and years after the pandemic recedes—that matter most for how global warming plays out, according to a new Nature commentary from researchers at the University of California San Diego. While the skies have been noticeably cleaner, countries like the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and others have recently relaxed laws controlling pollution and vehicle energy efficiency standards. Full Story


Graduating students honored with engineering Awards of Excellence

Graduating students honored with engineering Awards of Excellence

June 11, 2020

Six students were selected from among their peers to receive an Award of Excellence for their outstanding academic, leadership and community contributions.  Full Story


Pioneering Scientist and Innovator Larry Smarr Retires

Pioneering Scientist and Innovator Larry Smarr Retires

June 11, 2020

After 20 years at UC San Diego, Larry Smarr will step down as the director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and retire as a distinguished professor from the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Computer Science and Engineering Department at the end of this month. Dr. Ramesh Rao, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering, will serve as interim director of Calit2, in addition to his current position as the director of the Qualcomm Institute.During these two decades, Smarr grew the two-campus Calit2 into a collaborative discovery system that engaged hundreds of faculty, staff, students and companies. Full Story


Class Acts: 2020 Grads Step into the Spotlight

Class Acts: 2020 Grads Step into the Spotlight

June 4, 2020

They’ve worked hard, made an impact, inspired their communities, and most of all, they’ve demonstrated incredible resilience in challenging times. Help celebrate the class of 2020’s remarkable achievements by reading their stories of hope as these new alumni create better futures for themselves and the world. Full Story


International Symposium on Computer Architecture Honors Scientists for Paper's Lasting Impact

International Symposium on Computer Architecture Honors Scientists for Paper's Lasting Impact

June 3, 2020

The International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) is honoring a paper by UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering Department Chair Dean Tullsen — along with Rakesh Kumar, then a PhD student at UC San Diego and first author on the paper, and Victor Zyuban — with the 2020 Influential Paper Award for its lasting impact.   Full Story


Joel Conte Named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair for Structural Engineering

Joel Conte Named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair for Structural Engineering

June 2, 2020

Structural engineering professor Joel Conte was named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. Conte is the principal investigator for the operation and maintenance of the world’s largest outdoor shake table located at the UC San Diego Englekirk Structural Engineering Center at the University of California San Diego. The facility, which is also the second  largest shake table in the world overall,  is currently undergoing a major upgrade funded by the National Science Foundation. Once upgraded, the shake table will be able to reproduce all six components of ground motions experienced during earthquakes. Conte is the principal investigator on the $16.3 million upgrade grant.   Full Story


These flexible feet help robots walk faster

These flexible feet help robots walk faster

June 1, 2020

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed flexible feet that can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips. The work has applications for search-and-rescue missions as well as space exploration. Full Story


Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way

Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way

May 28, 2020

A few minutes into the life of the universe, colliding emissions of light energy created the first particles of matter and antimatter. We are familiar with the reverse process—matter generating energy—which occurs in an atomic bomb, for example, but it has been difficult to recreate that critical transformation of light into matter. Now, a new set of simulations by a research team led by UC San Diego’s Alexey Arefiev point the way toward making matter from light. Full Story


I'm gonna contribute to the revolution of the pharmaceutical world

I'm gonna contribute to the revolution of the pharmaceutical world

May 20, 2020

When Qiangzhe “Oliver” Zhang was still a high school student in China applying to colleges in the United States, UC San Diego’s chemical engineering program at Jacobs School of Engineering was at the top of his list. “I knew they had this very new, very innovative nanoengineering program,” he said. “It’s one of a kind, and that got me really excited.” Now, almost eight years later, Zhang is working at the leading edge of biomedical research under Liangfang Zhang in the Nanomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory, developing new technologies that could completely change how scientists combat viruses like HIV and SARS-CoV-2 Full Story


COVID-19: the Jacobs School community engages

COVID-19: the Jacobs School community engages

May 19, 2020

The Jacobs School community has stepped up to the many challenges the SARS-CoV-2 visus has put before us. This is a cross section of projects that Jacobs School faculty, students and staff have launched in response to COVID-19. Some of these efforts are sure to grow into larger, sustained efforts. Others will morph or conclude as needs and available resources change. Through it all, our commitment to bold innovation for the public good remains.  Full Story


eCOVID platform provides remote patient monitoring

eCOVID platform provides remote patient monitoring

May 19, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a remote monitoring platform for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 but aren’t in need of hospitalization. The system is being tested by patients in a clinical trial at UC San Diego Health. Full Story


Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

May 18, 2020

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed an affordable, easy to use system to track the location of flexible surgical robots inside the human body. The system performs as well as current state of the art methods, but is much less expensive. Many current methods also require exposure to radiation, while this system does not. The system was developed by Tania Morimoto, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Connor Watson. Their findings are published in the April 2020 issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.   Full Story


New wearable sensor tracks Vitamin C levels in sweat

New wearable sensor tracks Vitamin C levels in sweat

May 18, 2020

A team at the University of California San Diego has developed a wearable, non invasive Vitamin C sensor that could provide a new, highly personalized option for users to track their daily nutritional intake and dietary adherence. The study was published in the May 18, 2020 issue of ACS Sensors. Full Story


Computer Scientists Win Test of Time Award for Paper that Changed the Auto Industry

Computer Scientists Win Test of Time Award for Paper that Changed the Auto Industry

May 18, 2020

UC San Diego computer scientist Stefan Savage and his colleagues first gave the automotive industry a wake-up call when they published research demonstrating the ability to hack a car’s computer system in 2010. This research, and the resulting academic paper, was honored with the Test of Time Award at this year’s IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy for its broad and lasting impact. Full Story


A low-power, low-cost wearable to monitor COVID-19 patients

A low-power, low-cost wearable to monitor COVID-19 patients

May 18, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego are developing low-cost, low-power wearable sensors that can measure temperature and respiration--key vital signs used to monitor COVID-19. The devices would transmit data wirelessly to a smartphone, and could be used to monitor patients for viral infections that affect temperature and respiration in real time. The research team plans to develop a device and a manufacturing process in just 12 months.   Full Story


Undergraduate engineers design neonatal ECMO simulation

Undergraduate engineers design neonatal ECMO simulation

May 11, 2020

In collaboration with physicians and surgeons at Rady Children’s Hospital, a team of undergraduate mechanical engineering students developed a neonatal simulation system for a critical and rare surgical procedure called ECMO. They developed this realistic simulation system- believed to be the first for neonatal patients—for their senior design project.  Full Story


UC San Diego Team Delivers Protective Equipment to Hospitals in Baja California

UC San Diego Team Delivers Protective Equipment to Hospitals in Baja California

May 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies in Baja California, and researchers with UC San Diego’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering are developing solutions to help. Nadir Weibel, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and head of the Human-Centered and Ubiquitous Computing Lab, is collaborating with university colleagues, government and industry to develop PPE solutions and to transport  supplies, like masks and face shields, to hospitals in Baja. Full Story


COVID-19: What is obvious and clear for us may not be for a lot of people

COVID-19: What is obvious and clear for us may not be for a lot of people

May 7, 2020

This is my fifth year away from my family. If anyone knows about being out of reach from loved ones, it’s me. But unfortunately, with our current situation, it is likely you, too. Full Story


UC San Diego's Earth 2.0 COVID-19 Response Platform Connects Clinicians with Resources, Engineers and Answers

May 5, 2020

Everything about the COVID-19 pandemic is new: the virus’s transmission to humans, the stay-at-home orders, the challenges many caregivers are facing. With so much in flux, providers are often being asked to find solutions. In response, a group of UC San Diego faculty, with the help of hundreds of students, has stepped up to create an online portal called Earth 2.0 COVID-19 Rapid Response. Full Story


The heart of experimentation beats outside the classroom anyway...

The heart of experimentation beats outside the classroom anyway...

May 5, 2020

Working from home as an experimental scientist is a bit… impossible. My lab mates and I synthesize new materials destined for next-generation lasers, magnets, and batteries. We work with custom-built, expensive equipment with special power supplies and materials that are toxic, carcinogenic, and corrosive. These things don’t exactly fit nicely into graduate student apartments, or really any home outside the Stark family. Full Story


UC San Diego Researchers Optimize Microbiome Tool for Computer GPUs

UC San Diego Researchers Optimize Microbiome Tool for Computer GPUs

May 4, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have been applying their high-performance computing expertise by porting the popular UniFrac microbiome tool to graphic processing units (GPUs) in a bid to increase the acceleration and accuracy of scientific discovery, including urgently needed COVID-19 research.“Our initial results exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” said Igor Sfiligoi, lead scientific software developer for high-throughput computing at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego. “As a test we selected a computational challenge that we previously measured as requiring some 900 hours of time using server class CPUs, or about 13,000 CPU core hours. We found that it could be finished in just 8 hours on a single NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU, or about 30 minutes if using 16 GPUs, which could reduce analysis runtimes by several orders of magnitude. A workstation-class NVIDIA RTX 2080TI would finish it in about 12 hours.” Full Story


Green method could enable hospitals to produce hydrogen peroxide in house

Green method could enable hospitals to produce hydrogen peroxide in house

May 1, 2020

A team of researchers has developed a portable, more environmentally friendly method to produce hydrogen peroxide. It could enable hospitals to make their own supply of the disinfectant on demand and at lower cost. Full Story


Students harness their knowledge for ventilator challenge

Students harness their knowledge for ventilator challenge

April 28, 2020

Two groups of engineering students at UC San Diego spent their spring break harnessing their knowledge to contribute to the ventilator shortage the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Full Story


Creating an Early Alert System for COVID-19

Creating an Early Alert System for COVID-19

April 27, 2020

To better understand early signs of coronavirus and the virus' spread, physicians around the country and data scientists at UC San Diego are working together to use a wearable device to monitor more than 12,000 people, including thousands of healthcare workers. The effort is already underway at hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the University of West Virginia.  Full Story


Making recombinant-protein drugs cheaper

Making recombinant-protein drugs cheaper

April 23, 2020

By cleaning up mammalian cell lines that produce recombinant-protein drugs, researchers forge a path to purer, cheaper drugs that treat cancer, arthritis and other complex diseases Full Story


Marrying molecular farming and advanced manufacturing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

Marrying molecular farming and advanced manufacturing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

April 20, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation to develop—using a plant virus—a stable, easy to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine patch that can be shipped around the world and painlessly self-administered by patients. Full Story


Engineering student leaders honored by Gordon Center

Engineering student leaders honored by Gordon Center

April 20, 2020

The Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at UC San Diego recently announced the 2020 winners of its Engineering Leadership Awards, which recognize undergraduate and graduate engineering students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, technical ability, communication, and teamwork.  Full Story


'Decoy' nanoparticles can block HIV and prevent infection

'Decoy' nanoparticles can block HIV and prevent infection

April 20, 2020

Flipping the standard viral drug targeting approach on its head, engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a promising new “nanosponge” method for preventing HIV from proliferating in the body: coating polymer nanoparticles with the membranes of T helper cells and turning them into decoys to intercept viral particles and block them from binding and infiltrating the body’s actual immune cells.  Full Story


Engineering telemedicine app, universal control system for ventilators for COVID-19 care

Engineering telemedicine app, universal control system for ventilators for COVID-19 care

April 20, 2020

Engineers in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego have partnered with physicians at the Mayo Clinic to create a telemedicine to help critical care specialists provide the best possible care, even when resources are stretched thin. The team is also working on a universal control system that would work with any DIY ventilator. Full Story


Incoming President of Quiz Bowl Club Represents Campus in 'Jeopardy!' College Championship

Incoming President of Quiz Bowl Club Represents Campus in 'Jeopardy!' College Championship

April 16, 2020

UC San Diego was one of 15 schools represented in the 2020 Jeopardy College Championship, thanks to Alistair Gray, a second year computer science and linguistics double major. Full Story


Undergraduates simplify intubation tool for senior design project

Undergraduates simplify intubation tool for senior design project

April 16, 2020

A team of UC San Diego undergraduate engineers helped design a simple, all-in-one tool to perform endotracheal intubations, which could simplify the steps clinicians need to take when performing the time-sensitive, complex procedure. The mechanical engineering students took on the challenge as their senior design project, with direction from project sponsor Dr. Taylor Graber of the Department of Anesthesiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.  Full Story


Economic Impact of COVID-19 will Make the Fight Against Climate Change Harder

Economic Impact of COVID-19 will Make the Fight Against Climate Change Harder

April 15, 2020

Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have reduced the demand for fuel and slashed oil prices. Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the chief long-term cause of climate warming, have slid perhaps by one-fifth and pollution is down, but can we expect COVID-19 to create lasting change in reversing global warming?“I doubt it,” said David Victor, professor of international relations at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. “While the pandemic might alter societies permanently, the same market forces that drive our dependence on fossil fuels are still in play and may even be reinforced with the economic fallout of COVID-19.” Full Story


Part 2: Treating Cancer with Plant Viruses: A Conversation with Nicole Steinmetz

Part 2: Treating Cancer with Plant Viruses: A Conversation with Nicole Steinmetz

April 14, 2020

In this second episode of Stories from the NNI featuring UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Nicole Steinmetz, she describes her work using plant virus-based nanoparticles to train the immune system to fight cancer. Full Story


3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth

3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth

April 9, 2020

Researchers have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels, as well as new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs. Full Story


Call for Citizen Scientists to Contribute to COVID-19 Studies

Call for Citizen Scientists to Contribute to COVID-19 Studies

April 9, 2020

The Microsetta Initiative, a crowdsourced research effort based at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, has expanded its capabilities to now allow citizen-scientists around the world to help collect crucial information about SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing a COVID-19 pandemic.“We are now positioned to collect data that will help drive epidemiological studies of where the virus is and isn’t, and help researchers determine who is at greatest risk, who is already immune, how the virus is transmitted and how it spreads through a population,” said Rob Knight, professor and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and co-founder of The Microsetta Initiative, which is run by his research lab at UC San Diego School of Medicine under Scientific Director Daniel McDonald.  Full Story


UC San Diego researchers move closer to producing heparin in the lab

UC San Diego researchers move closer to producing heparin in the lab

April 9, 2020

In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of California San Diego researchers moved one step closer to the ability to make heparin in cultured cells. Heparin is a potent anti-coagulant and the most prescribed drug in hospitals, yet cell-culture-based production of heparin is currently not possible. Heparin is currently produced by extracting the drug from pig intestines, which is a concern for safety, sustainability, and security reasons.  Full Story


Bioengineers inducted into prestigious biomedical institution

Bioengineers inducted into prestigious biomedical institution

April 8, 2020

Two researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering were inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. Full Story


Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

April 8, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a new method that doesn’t require any special equipment and works in just minutes to create soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The structures were inspired by insect exoskeletons, which have both soft and rigid parts--the researchers called their creations “flexoskeletons.”    Full Story


Company founded by engineering alumni advances 1-hour COVID test

Company founded by engineering alumni advances 1-hour COVID test

April 7, 2020

Medical diagnostic company Fluxergy, founded by UC San Diego engineering alumni, submitted an Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA for their quick, point-of-care COVID-19 test. Full Story


WiFi-Boosting 'Smart Surface' Could Help Remote Workers and Students

WiFi-Boosting 'Smart Surface' Could Help Remote Workers and Students

April 2, 2020

UC San Diego engineers developed a "smart surface" that can be stuck on the wall to improve WiFi connectivity  in the home and office. It can make WiFi signal available in dead spots, and also make the existing connection twice as fast.  Full Story


Discovery of new biomarker in blood could lead to early test for Alzheimer's disease

Discovery of new biomarker in blood could lead to early test for Alzheimer's disease

March 31, 2020

UC San Diego researchers discovered that high blood levels of RNA produced by the PHGDH gene could serve as a biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The work could lead to the development of a blood test to identify individuals who will develop the disease years before they show symptoms. Full Story


UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators

UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators

March 26, 2020

Even as university campuses close across the nation in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego is rapidly developing simple, ready-to-use ventilators to be deployed if the need arises.The project kick-started several weeks ago when news started to trickle in that communities in Northern Italy with widespread COVID-19 were in dire straits.“One of the biggest things we heard was that there weren’t enough ventilators to treat all of the patients coming into the hospitals,” said James Friend, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego. “It’s clear that if we’re not careful, we might end up in the same situation.” Full Story


UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to #9 in U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools

UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to #9 in U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools

March 20, 2020

The University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to the #9 spot in the influential U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools. This is up from #11 last year and #17 four years ago. It’s the first time the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has broken into the top 10 of this closely watched ranking. Full Story


How Robots Can Help Combat COVID-19: Science Robotics Editorial

How Robots Can Help Combat COVID-19: Science Robotics Editorial

March 20, 2020

Can robots be effective tools in combating the COVID-19 pandemic? A group of leaders in the field of robotics, including Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, say yes, and outline a number of examples in an editorial in the March 25 issue of Science Robotics. They say robots can be used for  clinical care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling of contaminated waste; and reconnaissance such as monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines.  Full Story


Making cell modeling more realistic

Making cell modeling more realistic

March 17, 2020

UC San Diego researchers have developed a computational tool that makes modeling and simulation of complex cellular processes more true to life. The tool, dubbed GAMer 2, simplifies the process of using realistic cell geometries in mathematical models. Full Story


Undergraduate students bring Intranet to rural Ghanaian school

Undergraduate students bring Intranet to rural Ghanaian school

March 16, 2020

A team of undergraduates, who are part of the Global Ties program at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, developed a self-sustaining and scalable computer server and intranet system. The system will allow teachers at the Semanhyiya American School (SAS) in the rural village of Senase, Ghana, to download Internet pages and educational materials that students can access anytime at school—even when there is no Internet.  Full Story


Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

March 13, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization. The researchers describe their work to tackle these challenges over the past three years. Full Story


'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

March 12, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly overheating and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit. The clever tweak does not prevent battery failure, but rather provides advance warning of failure and makes it much safer. Full Story


New record set for cryptographic challenge

New record set for cryptographic challenge

March 11, 2020

An international team of computer scientists has set a new record for integer factorization, one of the most important computational problems underlying the security of nearly all public-key cryptography currently used today. Full Story


Computer scientists receive $1 million DARPA grant to address information onslaught

Computer scientists receive $1 million DARPA grant to address information onslaught

March 10, 2020

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $1 million grant to Computer Science and Engineering Department professors Tajana Rosing, Sanjoy Dasgupta and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department professor Tara Javidi to explore how hyperdimensional computing (HD) can help address informational onslaught. The project is called HyDREA (Hyperdimensional Computing: Robust, Efficient and Accurate). Full Story


UC San Diego synthetic biologists redesign the way bacteria 'talk' to each other

UC San Diego synthetic biologists redesign the way bacteria 'talk' to each other

March 4, 2020

Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have redesigned how harmless E. coli bacteria “talk” to each other. The new genetic circuit could become a useful new tool for synthetic biologists who, as a field, are looking for ways to better control the bacteria they engineer to perform all sorts of tasks, including drug delivery, bioproduction of valuable compounds, and environmental sensing. Full Story


Scientists Design Way to Use Harmless Bacteria to Detect Heavy Metals in Drinking Water

Scientists Design Way to Use Harmless Bacteria to Detect Heavy Metals in Drinking Water

February 27, 2020

A team from UC San Diego and the San Diego startup Quantitative BioSciences has a new approach to continuous monitoring of heavy metal contamination in drinking water using bacteria as sensors of contamination. The team recently published their advances in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Full Story


Light-shrinking device enables detection of ultra-tiny substances

Light-shrinking device enables detection of ultra-tiny substances

February 25, 2020

Engineers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley have created light-based technology that can detect biological substances with a molecular mass more than two orders of magnitude smaller than previously possible. The research could lead to the development of ultra-sensitive devices that can quickly detect pathogens in human blood and considerably reduce the time needed for patients to get results from blood tests. Full Story


Researchers Develop Framework that Improves Firefox Security

Researchers Develop Framework that Improves Firefox Security

February 25, 2020

Researchers from the University of California San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University and Mozilla have developed a new framework to improve web browser security. The framework, called RLBox, has been integrated into Firefox to complement Firefox’s other security-hardening efforts. Full Story


This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather

This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather

February 21, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes--a feat that current state of the art technology cannot match.  The technology can adapt to temperature changes in just a few minutes, while keeping the wearer comfortable.  Full Story


Controlling CAR T cells with light selectively destroys skin tumors in mice

Controlling CAR T cells with light selectively destroys skin tumors in mice

February 19, 2020

UC San Diego bioengineers have developed a control system that could make CAR T-cell therapy safer and more powerful when treating cancer. By programming CAR T cells to switch on when exposed to blue light, the researchers controlled the cells to destroy skin tumors in mice without harming healthy tissue. Full Story


Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

February 18, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed an ultrasound-emitting device that brings lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, one step closer to commercial viability. Although the research team focused on LMBs, the device can be used in any battery, regardless of chemistry.   Full Story


New chip brings ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT devices

New chip brings ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT devices

February 17, 2020

More portable, fully wireless smart home setups. Lower power wearables. Batteryless smart devices. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio developed by UC San Diego engineers. It enables Wi-Fi communication at 5,000 times less power than commercial Wi-Fi radios. Full Story


Building a new generation of software programming languages

Building a new generation of software programming languages

February 14, 2020

Nadia Polikarpova. a computer science professor, is a recent recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for work to help software developers increase productivity and reduce the number of mistakes in their code. She is also a 2020 recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship. Each year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards two-year fellowships to just over 100 early-career scientists and scholars who demonstrate a unique potential to make a substantial contribution to their fields. Full Story


Your AI stylist will see you now

Your AI stylist will see you now

February 13, 2020

Do you ever wonder what shoes or purse you should wear with your outfit? Well, have no fear: AI is here to help. Computer scientists at UC San Diego, in collaboration with Pinterest, developed “Complete the Look,” an AI-powered tool that recommends accessories and other fashion items to match your outfit based on just one photo.  Full Story


Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

February 6, 2020

In November, 2019, 10 UC San Diego students filed into a bustling amputee clinic in Jaipur, India. On one side of the room, men and women, some bearing crutches, watched as their new limbs took shape under the staff’s careful hands. For many of them, a prosthetic limb represented the chance to regain their mobility, independence and livelihoods. The students’ visit to the Jaipur Foot clinic—a non-profit known around the world for providing affordable, prosthetic limbs and other mobility aids to those in need—marked more than a year of painstaking work to develop technology connecting amputees directly to prosthetists. The work is part of Project Lim(b)itless, an initiative founded by Albert Lin, a recent amputee and researcher at the Qualcomm Institute (QI) at UC San Diego. Full Story


What's for Dinner? AI Can Help

What's for Dinner? AI Can Help

February 5, 2020

Research from computer scientists at the University of California San Diego could eventually lead to AI-generated recipes—customized to your personal taste. The study breaks new ground in natural language processing, which studies how AI understands and generates human (natural) language. The research was published on arXiv.org. Full Story


Integrating robots in public and private spaces for the common good

Integrating robots in public and private spaces for the common good

February 5, 2020

 UC San Diego alumna Hee Rin Lee, now an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Media and Information, explores how we can integrate robots into our lives for social good, whether it be in a retirement community or a bustling factory. The roots of her research go back to her time in the lab of computer science professor Laurel Riek here at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.  Full Story


Jacobs School faculty, student, staff honored with Inclusive Excellence Awards

Jacobs School faculty, student, staff honored with Inclusive Excellence Awards

February 4, 2020

Three members of the Jacobs School of Engineering community were awarded 2020 Inclusive Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions toward increasing diversity at all levels at UC San Diego.  Full Story


Algae Shown to Improve Gastrointestinal Health

Algae Shown to Improve Gastrointestinal Health

February 3, 2020

A widespread, fast-growing plant called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is famous in scientific laboratories due to its position as the world’s most exhaustively studied algae. Researchers at the University of California San Diego recently completed the first study examining the effects of consuming C. reinhardtii and demonstrated that the algae improves human gastrointestinal issues associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as diarrhea, gas and bloating. Results of the project are published in the Journal of Functional Foods. Full Story


Assessing 'stickiness' of tumor cells could improve cancer prognosis

Assessing 'stickiness' of tumor cells could improve cancer prognosis

February 3, 2020

Researchers led by UC San Diego built a device that sorts and separates cancer cells from the same tumor based on how “sticky” they are. They found that less sticky cells migrate and invade other tissues more than their stickier counterparts, and have genes that make tumor recurrence more likely. Full Story


Microsized bacterial bait could provide new treatment for infections

Microsized bacterial bait could provide new treatment for infections

January 31, 2020

Micromotors that swim to infected sites in the body to lure, trap and destroy bacteria could offer a more efficient form of treatment against pathogens. Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a “microtrap” that zips around in an acidic environment (like that found in the stomach) and serves as a toxic bait for E. coli bacteria. Full Story


Machine learning technique speeds up crystal structure determination

Machine learning technique speeds up crystal structure determination

January 30, 2020

A computer-based method could make it less labor-intensive to determine the crystal structures of various materials and molecules, including alloys, proteins and pharmaceuticals. The method uses a machine learning algorithm, similar to the type used in facial recognition and self-driving cars, to independently analyze electron diffraction patterns, and do so with at least 95% accuracy. Full Story


Passion drives True Tritons to service

Passion drives True Tritons to service

January 30, 2020

From creating scholarships and providing leadership, to student mentoring and preserving the arts, four shining examples of Triton passion and commitment will be honored Feb. 7 at UC San Diego’s True Triton Celebration to be held in the Great Hall on campus. Full Story


UC San Diego startup selected as finalist in UC Pitch contest

UC San Diego startup selected as finalist in UC Pitch contest

January 30, 2020

A startup founded by a UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering graduate student is one of five finalists in the 2020 UC Pitch Startup Showcase held Jan. 29 and 30 in tandem with the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit in Monterey, Calif. Full Story


Land, Sea & Air

Land, Sea & Air

January 29, 2020

Student engineering clubs push the limits of Tritons and their vehicles—here’s the fastest, deepest and highest-flying out there. Full Story


Ozgur Sinanoglu (PhD '05), Cybersecurity Trailblazer

Ozgur Sinanoglu (PhD '05), Cybersecurity Trailblazer

January 28, 2020

In Ozgur Sinanoglu’s Design for Excellence lab at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, a major development in cybersecurity has emerged. The Electrical and Computer Engineering professor and his team of eight researchers have made news over the last couple of years with their strides to create a chip that can stand up to a variety of threats and attempts to violate its security. A first-of-its kind chip that would be unhackable. Sinanoglu is an alumnus of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego.  Full Story


Mechanical engineering student awarded Brooke Owens Fellowship

Mechanical engineering student awarded Brooke Owens Fellowship

January 24, 2020

Surya Vohra, a mechanical engineering student at UC San Diego, has been selected as a 2020 Brooke Owens Fellow. The Fellowship is awarded to exceptional undergraduate women in aerospace. This marks the fourth year—since the beginning of the Brooke Owens Fellow program—that a UC San Diego engineering student has been awarded a fellowship.  Full Story


Engineer Transforms Personal Experiences into 'Bridges to Education' for Underrepresented Students

Engineer Transforms Personal Experiences into 'Bridges to Education' for Underrepresented Students

January 23, 2020

When he was 10 years old, Oscar Vazquez-Mena learned that his ancestors, the ancient Mayans, had once been a technologically advanced culture that excelled in mathematics, astronomy, art and architecture. He became inspired to follow in their footsteps. Now, as an assistant professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego, Vazquez-Mena is working to support the educational development of students from marginalized communities in the United States and across the border. Full Story


Engineering professor Graeve inducted into Mexican Academy of Sciences

Engineering professor Graeve inducted into Mexican Academy of Sciences

January 16, 2020

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Olivia Graeve has been inducted into the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (Mexican Academy of Sciences or AMC). The AMC, established in 1959, is a non-profit non-governmental association of distinguished members of the Mexican scientific community. Graeve, a Tijuana native and UC San Diego alumna, is one of only three corresponding members inducted in 2019. Corresponding members are researchers who reside outside of Mexico but have made significant contributions to the development of science in Mexico.  Full Story


Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

January 9, 2020

A new method could enable researchers to build more efficient, longer lasting perovskite solar cells and LEDs. By growing thin perovskite films on different substrates, UC San Diego engineers invented a way of fabricating perovskite single crystals with precisely deformed, or strained, structures. Full Story


Measuring Mutations in Sperm May Reveal Risk for Autism in Future Children

Measuring Mutations in Sperm May Reveal Risk for Autism in Future Children

January 9, 2020

In a study published Dec. 23, 2019 in Nature Medicine, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, describe a method to measure disease-causing mutations found only in the sperm of the father, providing a more accurate assessment of ASD risk in future children. Full Story


The Epic Lives of Albert Lin

The Epic Lives of Albert Lin

January 9, 2020

UC San Diego engineering alumnus Albert Yu-Min Lin can be described in many ways: explorer, engineer, scientist, artist, surfer, humanist, traveler, philosopher, father. It’s a challenge to capture Lin, whether in a few words or just for a quick phone call. He seems to have an endless supply of momentum—an energy, curiosity and optimism as big as the world he is continually exploring. Full Story


UC San Diego Researchers Receive $2.6M NSF Grant to Help Train Autistic Adults for Tech Employment

UC San Diego Researchers Receive $2.6M NSF Grant to Help Train Autistic Adults for Tech Employment

January 8, 2020

A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego has been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an employment-training program that will tap into the talent and potential of autistic adults for technology work.  Full Story


Preserving Libraries in the Sand

Preserving Libraries in the Sand

January 7, 2020

Interdisciplinary partners at UC San Diego are using drones and 3D-modeling to save Puerto Rico’s indigenous history from the sea. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in late 2018, Eric Lo, a Jacobs School alumnus who now works at the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, touched down in Puerto Rico with a single goal: find the ancient archaeological site he had helped monitor for more than a year and assess the damage.   Full Story


oSTEM earns Chapter of the Year award

oSTEM earns Chapter of the Year award

January 6, 2020

Just three years after it was founded, UC San Diego’s chapter of oSTEM — Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — was awarded the Chapter of the Year designation at the oSTEM Annual Conference in Detroit.  Full Story


2019 research highlights from the Jacobs School of Engineering

2019 research highlights from the Jacobs School of Engineering

December 28, 2019

From building drones for early wildfire detection to studying plant viruses for treating plant and human health, researchers at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are continually hard at work innovating solutions for today's global challenges. This year was no exception. Here's a look back at just a few of the ways our engineers made an impact in 2019. Full Story


News Obituary: Y.C. Bert Fung

News Obituary: Y.C. Bert Fung

December 20, 2019

Yuan-Cheng “Bert” Fung, known as “the father of biomechanics” and one of the founders of the discipline of bioengineering at the University of California San Diego, passed away Dec. 15, 2019 of natural causes. He was 100. Full Story


2019 Jacobs School of Engineering highlights

2019 Jacobs School of Engineering highlights

December 19, 2019

A lot happened at the Jacobs School of Engineering in 2019. Here's a look back at just a few of the ways we made bold possible.  Full Story


2019 Jacobs School student highlights

2019 Jacobs School student highlights

December 19, 2019

Our students continually bring fresh approaches to solving our world's most pressing challenges, and 2019 was no different. Here are just a few of the ways Jacobs School of Engineering students made an impact this year. Full Story


Thin hair is stronger than thick hair, study shows

Thin hair is stronger than thick hair, study shows

December 13, 2019

Despite being four times thicker than human hair, elephant hair is only half as strong -- that's just one finding from researchers studying the hair strength of many different mammals. Their work shows that thin hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way that it breaks. Full Story


UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

December 13, 2019

We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design, a joint initiative of the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences at the University of California San Diego. Our goal is to position UC San Diego as the recognized global academic leader in nanoscale and quantum materials design and discovery. The Institute’s unique approach will be to apply data analytics and machine learning together with rapid materials synthesis and multi-scale characterization in order to accelerate the discovery, design, synthesis and evaluation of novel functional materials. Full Story


News Obituary: Professor Joanna McKittrick

News Obituary: Professor Joanna McKittrick

December 12, 2019

Joanna McKittrick, a pioneering engineer at the University of California San Diego and a renowned expert in materials science, passed away Nov. 15, 2019. She was 65. McKittrick was one of the first women to join the engineering faculty at UC San Diego in 1988, in what is now the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and was then Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences (AMES). She is remembered by her colleagues as a generous collaborator and by students and alumni as an inspiring and caring mentor. McKittrick was a great advocate for under-represented students in science and engineering and served as research advisor for many undergraduate students through the years. Full Story


UC San Diego undergraduates design Birch Aquarium's first virtual reality exhibit

UC San Diego undergraduates design Birch Aquarium's first virtual reality exhibit

December 5, 2019

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is breaking a barrier this spring. Instead of allowing visitors to just watch local marine life from behind glass, the aquarium is making it possible for visitors to experience life as fish do—thanks to a 360-degree virtual reality exhibit built by UC San Diego undergraduates. Full Story


UC San Diego Engineering Dean Albert P. Pisano inducted into National Academy of Inventors

UC San Diego Engineering Dean Albert P. Pisano inducted into National Academy of Inventors

December 5, 2019

Albert P. Pisano, professor and dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, has been named a 2019 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). UC San Diego bioengineering faculty affiliate Paul Citron and electrical engineering alumna Mihri Ozkan (Ph.D. ECE ‘01) are also among the 168 new fellows inducted into National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellows in 2019. Full Story


Machine learning provides new paradigm in understanding microbial gene regulation

Machine learning provides new paradigm in understanding microbial gene regulation

December 4, 2019

UC San Diego bioengineers developed a method that would enable them to understand how E. coli coordinate their expression of thousands of genes. The method uses a machine learning algorithm to automatically interpret gene expression datasets. Full Story


New record set for cracking encryption keys

New record set for cracking encryption keys

December 4, 2019

An international team of computer scientists had set a new record for two of the most important computational problems that are the basis for nearly all of the public-key cryptography that is currently used in the real world.     Full Story


Understanding and Combating the Economic Pull of Cybercrime

Understanding and Combating the Economic Pull of Cybercrime

November 27, 2019

Neha Chachra works as an Engineering Manager at Facebook, where she has been employed since 2016, leading a team that protects Facebook against abusive links, protecting the platform from harmful URLs that expose users to phishing, spamming and malware. The work is a natural progression of her research and interests at UC San Diego, where she received her Ph.D. in 2015. Full Story


How diversity of respiratory quinones affects microbial physiology

How diversity of respiratory quinones affects microbial physiology

November 25, 2019

A new study provides a fundamental understanding of the diversification of small molecules called respiratory quinones and its adaptive consequences in bacterial species. Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego specifically examined how respiration is affected by different types of quinones present in bacteria growing in aerobic environments. Full Story


UC San Diego Bioengineering Department Makes Strong Showing in List of Highly Cited Researchers Around the World

UC San Diego Bioengineering Department Makes Strong Showing in List of Highly Cited Researchers Around the World

November 25, 2019

Eleven faculty members and affiliates of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego are among the world’s most influential in their fields, according to a new research citation report from the Web of Science Group. UC San Diego played key roles in launching the discipline of bioengineering over 50 years ago, and the new report is yet another indicator that the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering continues to shape the future of bioengineering.    Full Story


San Diego Union Tribune covers Franklin Antonio Hall

San Diego Union Tribune covers Franklin Antonio Hall

November 25, 2019

San Diego Union Tribune covers Franklin Antonio Hall groundbreaking celebration. Full Story


UC San Diego Institute for the Global Entrepreneur launches Medtech Accelerator, Shah Family Fellowships, and Founders Fund

UC San Diego Institute for the Global Entrepreneur launches Medtech Accelerator, Shah Family Fellowships, and Founders Fund

November 21, 2019

During its inaugural showcase, the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur announced it’s launching a new MedTech Accelerator, as well as the Shah Family Entrepreneur Fellowship, and a new IGE Founders Fund, seeded with an initial $1 million philanthropic gift from the Legler Benbough Foundation. Full Story


Franklin Antonio Hall Groundbreaking Celebration

Franklin Antonio Hall Groundbreaking Celebration

November 21, 2019

The University of California San Diego celebrated the groundbreaking of its newest engineering building, Franklin Antonio Hall, on Friday. The building is designed for active learning, collaborative research and the transfer of innovation to society.  Full Story


I Sit in the Red Chair Because...

I Sit in the Red Chair Because...

November 21, 2019

They came in droves to sit in the Red Chair–graduate students, undergrads, faculty, staff, deans, the chancellor. They came to express their thoughts on diversity—and the results were powerful.“I sit so that one day every student can look at their classroom and see people who are like them,” said undergrad Joyaan Bhesania."I sit for my ancestors who could not,” said Becky Petitt, Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “And I'm grateful that they opened doors for me to be able to sit here.” Full Story


Vicious Circles: Ring-shaped DNA Provides Cancer Cells with a Malignant Twist

Vicious Circles: Ring-shaped DNA Provides Cancer Cells with a Malignant Twist

November 20, 2019

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA encodes information, not only in its sequence but also in its shape. Building upon previous revelatory work, a team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego, the UC San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, report that in cancer, distinct doughnut-shaped circles of extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) are found abundantly in human tumor cells; change how cancer-related oncogenes are expressed; promote aggressive malignant behavior; and play a key role in the ability of tumors to evolve quickly and resist threats, such as chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. Full Story


This App Teaches Sketching Skills to Improve Graduation Rates in Science and Engineering

This App Teaches Sketching Skills to Improve Graduation Rates in Science and Engineering

November 19, 2019

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a touchscreen app to teach students how to sketch 2D projections and 3D views freehand. This teaches students spatial visualization--the ability to think in 3D. This skill is important in many STEM fields, from Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) in engineering to using ultrasound for medical procedures. The Spatial Vis Engineering app is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for phones and tablets, and can also run on newer Chromebooks.  Full Story


Thermodynamics could be the future of computing, researchers say

Thermodynamics could be the future of computing, researchers say

November 18, 2019

As Moore’s Law reaches its limits, thermodynamic computing might prove to be the future of the field, says a new report from an international team of 38 researchers led by UC San Diego professor of practice Todd Hylton, released this month.  Full Story


UC San Diego to celebrate Franklin Antonio Hall Groundbreaking

UC San Diego to celebrate Franklin Antonio Hall Groundbreaking

November 15, 2019

The University of California San Diego will celebrate the groundbreaking of its newest engineering building, Franklin Antonio Hall, on November 15, 2019. The building is designed for collaborative research, active learning and transfer of innovation to society.  Full Story


UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

November 14, 2019

From companies worth billions of dollars to startups employing a small number of people, UC San Diego engineering alumni are at the core of the robotics ecosystem here in San Diego County.This was clearly evident at the sixth annual robotics forum organized by the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute Nov. 7. The forum focused exclusively on local companies this year and was dubbed the San Diego Robotics Forum for the occasion. The goal was to showcase the breadth and depth of the region’s robotics strengths, and solidify San Diego’s reputation as Robot Beach. Full Story


New chip for waking up small wireless devices could extend battery life

New chip for waking up small wireless devices could extend battery life

November 12, 2019

A new power saving chip could significantly reduce or eliminate the need to replace batteries in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearables. The so-called wake-up receiver wakes up a device only when it needs to communicate and perform its function, saving on power use. Full Story


Self-Driving Mail Delivery Begins on Campus

Self-Driving Mail Delivery Begins on Campus

November 12, 2019

Harry Potter had his magical owl, Hedwig, to bring him mail. UC San Diego has driverless cars. If you’ve seen carts that look like they’re driving themselves on the road around Warren and Sixth College this quarter, you have not been imagining things. Two self-driving vehicles have been delivering mail to the two colleges since September. Full Story


From jungle huts to city apartments: how do chemicals and microbes differ?

From jungle huts to city apartments: how do chemicals and microbes differ?

November 7, 2019

Researchers at University of California San Diego, Rutgers and other universities compared microscopic materials in homes and people’s bodies, spanning the spectrum of urbanization in the Amazon basin. They found that the diversity of chemicals clinging to indoor surfaces increases dramatically with urbanization. Most notably, they found more fungi, industrial chemicals, cleaning agents and molecules derived from medications in city homes but not in rural or jungle homes. Full Story


The Race to Stay Ahead of Wildfires

The Race to Stay Ahead of Wildfires

November 7, 2019

As if to keep up with the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires throughout California, a network of wildfire-spotting cameras grew from 35 stations last year to more than 300 as of late October. The ALERTWildfire system co-developed by UC San Diego is one of several products created by the university that are improving the technological capability of western states to deal with wildfires now that the once-rare catastrophic events are becoming commonplace. Jacobs School researchers are also working on this effort, developing drones to spot wildfires before they get out of control. Full Story


Researchers receive $2.3M in NSF grants to investigate how robots can be used to provide personalized healthcare

Researchers receive $2.3M in NSF grants to investigate how robots can be used to provide personalized healthcare

November 6, 2019

Computer science professor Laurel Riek is the lead researcher on $2.3 million in new grants from the National Science Foundation to investigate how intelligent, personalized robots can be used to support neurorehabilitation for adults with mild cognitive impairment and adults recuperating from a stroke.   Full Story


Cubic Strengthens Private-Academia Partnership with UC San Diego

Cubic Strengthens Private-Academia Partnership with UC San Diego

November 6, 2019

Cubic Corporation has announced its philanthropic support of the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. In acknowledgement of this support, Cubic is the first corporate partner to be slated for recognition within UC San Diego’s planned new engineering building project, Franklin Antonio Hall. Full Story


Measuring cell-cell forces using snapshots from time-lapse videos of cells

Measuring cell-cell forces using snapshots from time-lapse videos of cells

November 5, 2019

A new computational method can measure the forces cells exert on each other by analyzing time-lapse videos of cell colonies. It could enable researchers to gain fundamental insights into what role intercellular forces play in cellular biology and how they differ in healthy and diseased states. Full Story


Hard to study mutations implicated in the expression of genes associated with schizophrenia and more

November 5, 2019

Hard-to-study mutations in the human genome, called short tandem repeats, known as STRs or microsatellites, are implicated in the expression of genes associated with complex traits including schizophrenia, inflammatory bowel disease and even height and intelligence. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Nature Genetics by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego. They were led by Melissa Gymrek, a UC San Diego professor of computer science and medicine, and Alon Goren, a UC San Diego professor of medicine.  Full Story


Researchers Receive $2.8 Million Grant to Study Hidden Biases in Healthcare

Researchers Receive $2.8 Million Grant to Study Hidden Biases in Healthcare

November 4, 2019

Nadir Weibel, an associate professor in UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering Department and head of the Human-Centered and Ubiquitous Computing Lab, and collaborators Andrea Hartzler, Wanda Pratt and Janice Sabin at the University of Washington (UW) have received a $2.8 million grant from the National Library of Medicine to launch UnBIASED, a project to study hidden biases in healthcare and develop methods to help rectify them. Full Story


UC San Diego Scientists Awarded Nearly $5 Million to Study Triggers of Deadly, Toxic Algal Blooms

UC San Diego Scientists Awarded Nearly $5 Million to Study Triggers of Deadly, Toxic Algal Blooms

October 29, 2019

Researchers from the University of California San Diego want to know what causes an oceanic algal bloom to turn deadly. To find out, researchers are gearing up to hunt for blooms along California’s coast using a suite of technologies that can target and sample ocean microbes and sift through genetic code in real time. All of this is made possible by a new $4.9 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The multidimensional effort will build upon recent discoveries about these temperamental microscopic algae under a project funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB), a nationally competitive research funding program. Full Story


Robotics Forum will showcase San Diego region's expertise

Robotics Forum will showcase San Diego region's expertise

October 28, 2019

The UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute is organizing its sixth annual robotics forum on Thursday, November 7, showcasing the breadth and depth of the San Diego region’s expertise in robotics. Full Story


Micromotors push around single cells and particles

Micromotors push around single cells and particles

October 25, 2019

A new type of micromotor—powered by ultrasound and steered by magnets—can move around individual cells and microscopic particles in crowded environments without damaging them. In one demonstration, the micromotor manipulated silica particles to spell out letters. Researchers also controlled the micromotors to climb up microsized blocks and stairs, demonstrating their ability to move over three dimensional obstacles. Full Story


Study provides framework for 1 billion years of green plant evolution

Study provides framework for 1 billion years of green plant evolution

October 23, 2019

An international consortium of nearly 200 plant scientists, including engineers at UC San Diego, has released gene sequences for more than 1100 plant species, the culmination of a nine-year research project. The advance was made possible in large part thanks to the development of new computational tools for sequence assembly and phylogenetic analysis.  Full Story


UC San Diego at Epicenter of Earthquake Research

UC San Diego at Epicenter of Earthquake Research

October 21, 2019

From the world’s largest outdoor earthquake simulator to an international network of seismic stations, UC San Diego is a living laboratory for seismic safety. Researchers across campus are trying to improve the understanding and detection of earthquakes; provide immediate information about damages sustained after an event; and improve the safety of structures to better withstand major earthquakes.  Full Story


Pioneering bioengineer Shu Chien retires after 31 years at UC San Diego

Pioneering bioengineer Shu Chien retires after 31 years at UC San Diego

October 17, 2019

UC San Diego bioengineering professor Shu Chien made many foundational scientific discoveries over the course of his 62-year academic career, ranging from uncovering a key reason why sedentary lifestyles can be unhealthy to how to more efficiently screen for adverse effects of small molecule drugs in patients. He taught hundreds of students, colleagues and collaborators not only how to do good science, but how to be a better person. Full Story


Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

October 16, 2019

Material scientists have discovered what makes the scales of the massive Amazonian freshwater fish, Arapaima gigas, resistant to breaking when a piranha bites. The answer could serve as inspiration for stronger, lightweight and flexible synthetic armors. Full Story


Drug-light combo could offer control over CAR T-cell therapy

Drug-light combo could offer control over CAR T-cell therapy

October 15, 2019

UC San Diego bioengineers are a step closer to making CAR T-cell therapy safer, more precise and easy to control. They developed a system that allows them to select where and when CAR T cells get turned on so that they destroy cancer cells without harming normal cells. Full Story


Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

October 15, 2019

A team of engineers and marine biologists built a better suction cup inspired by the mechanism that allows the clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes. Researchers reverse engineered the clingfish’s suction disk and developed devices that cling well to wet and dry objects both in an out of water. The devices can hold up to hundreds of times their own weight. They could be used in a wide range of applications from handling and packaging for produce, to robotic grippers in manufacturing, to the recovery of archaeological artifacts. Full Story


These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

October 11, 2019

UC San Diego engineers have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, which makes them easy to integrate with small electronic components. Full Story


Building binational bridges through STEM

Building binational bridges through STEM

October 10, 2019

For seven weeks this summer, 120 high school and college students called UC San Diego’s campus home as they conducted groundbreaking research on how the human brain works, how to design materials to withstand earthquakes, how to build safer batteries, and 57 equally challenging topics. These students hailed from both the United States and Mexico, and were here to use science as a means of developing friendships that will last a lifetime, and maybe even trickle down to more positive binational relations. Full Story


18 New Faculty Hires at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in Fall 2019

18 New Faculty Hires at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in Fall 2019

October 9, 2019

The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego welcomes 18 new faculty in 2019. The Jacobs School of Engineering hires faculty with clear-eyed determination, technical smarts, creativity, and the openness to collaborate across disciplines and industries. Full Story


Bioengineering Pioneer Y.C. Bert Fung Turns 100

Bioengineering Pioneer Y.C. Bert Fung Turns 100

October 3, 2019

Thousands of professors, engineers, scientists and students around the world work in the field of biomechanics, the study of physics and mechanics applied to living tissues. But they are all somehow connected to Professor Y.C. “Bert” Fung at the University of California San Diego. Some use Fung’s findings in their work. Others were trained by or worked with Fung’s students. A core group studied directly under him. Fung realized that physics and mechanics apply to living tissues just as they do to manmade structures. He is often referred to as “the father of biomechanics.” Full Story


Three UC San Diego Researchers Receive Top Honors with NIH Director's Awards

Three UC San Diego Researchers Receive Top Honors with NIH Director's Awards

October 1, 2019

Three UC San Diego researchers have received prestigious awards through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, including the Pioneer Award and the New Innovator Award. Full Story


Five UC San Diego Bioengineering graduate students honored as Siebel Scholars

Five UC San Diego Bioengineering graduate students honored as Siebel Scholars

September 25, 2019

Five UC San Diego bioengineering graduate students working at the interface of biology, engineering and health have been honored as 2020 Siebel Scholars. They are working to deepen our understanding of the gut microbiome; more accurately diagnose diseases like stroke; develop biomarkers for metastasis; innovate to repair the heart after a heart attack; and engineer T cells to suppress tumor growth. Full Story


Adding Code to High School STEM Classes

Adding Code to High School STEM Classes

September 23, 2019

Bootstrap seeks to change that. Based at Brown University, the nationwide program gives teachers better tools to integrate computing into their classrooms. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering  at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering has been part of the program for nearly a decade. In early August, assistant teaching professor Joseph Politz led a group of San Diego Unified School District math and science teachers through a three-day seminar.  Full Story


Strip Steak: Bacterial Enzyme Removes Inflammation-Causing Meat Carbohydrates

Strip Steak: Bacterial Enzyme Removes Inflammation-Causing Meat Carbohydrates

September 23, 2019

When we eat red meat, the animal carbohydrate Neu5Gc is incorporated in our tissues, where it generates inflammation. UC San Diego researchers discovered how gut bacteria enzymes strip our cells of Neu5Gc, introducing the possibility of using the enzymes to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. Full Story


Perturbed Genes Regulating White Blood Cells Linked to Autism Genetics and Severity

Perturbed Genes Regulating White Blood Cells Linked to Autism Genetics and Severity

September 23, 2019

Researchers at UC San Diego say they are getting closer to identifying the mechanisms of autism spectrum disorder, revealing a critical gene network that is disrupted and which helps predict severity of symptoms. Full Story


Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

September 19, 2019

Even millions of chewing cycles and regular contact with rocks and hard shells can’t dull sea urchins’ teeth. New research from Northwestern Engineering researchers, in collaboration with the University of California San Diego, reveals that the chemical composition and microstructure of sea urchin teeth are optimized for sharpness preservation – findings with the potential to influence the design of tools for mining, boring, and machining operations.  Full Story


Undergraduate engineers advance shock wave mitigation research

Undergraduate engineers advance shock wave mitigation research

September 13, 2019

A team of undergraduate engineers at UC San Diego has discovered a method that could make materials more resilient against massive shocks such as earthquakes or explosions. The students, conducting research in the structural engineering lab of Professor Veronica Eliasson, used a shock tube to generate powerful explosions within the tube—at Mach 1.2 to be exact, meaning faster than the speed of sound. They then used an ultra high-speed camera to capture and analyze how materials with certain patterns fared. Full Story


Phase 1 trial shows hydrogel to repair heart is safe to inject in humans--a first

Phase 1 trial shows hydrogel to repair heart is safe to inject in humans--a first

September 11, 2019

Ventrix, a University of California San Diego spin-off company, has successfully conducted a first-in-human, FDA-approved Phase 1 clinical trial of an injectable hydrogel that aims to repair damage and restore cardiac function in heart failure patients who previously suffered a heart attack. Full Story


Study uncovers metabolic cause for rare eye disease

Study uncovers metabolic cause for rare eye disease

September 11, 2019

An international team of researchers has discovered a cause for a rare eye disease affecting the macula that leads to loss of central vision, called macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel). Using genetic and metabolic data from patients with MacTel, researchers found that the disease is driven by reduced levels of the amino acid serine and accumulation of toxic lipids called deoxysphingolipids. Full Story


Synthetic Biologists Extend Functional Life of Cancer Fighting Circuitry in Microbes

Synthetic Biologists Extend Functional Life of Cancer Fighting Circuitry in Microbes

September 5, 2019

Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a method to significantly extend the life of gene circuits used to instruct microbes to do things such as produce and deliver drugs, break down chemicals and serve as environmental sensors. Most of the circuits that synthetic biologists insert into microbes break or vanish entirely from the microbes after a certain period of time—typically days to weeks—because of various mutations. But in the September 6, 2019 issue of the journal Science, the UC San Diego researchers demonstrated that they can keep genetic circuits going for much longer. Full Story


How to simulate softness

How to simulate softness

August 30, 2019

UC San Diego researchers discovered clever tricks to design materials that replicate different levels of perceived softness. The findings provide fundamental insights into designing tactile materials and haptic interfaces that can recreate realistic touch sensations. Full Story


NIH awards researchers $3.1 million grant to improve treatment of common pediatric heart condition

NIH awards researchers $3.1 million grant to improve treatment of common pediatric heart condition

August 26, 2019

An international team of researchers received a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to discover new and better ways to treat a pediatric congenital heart condition known as tetralogy of Fallot, which affects a total of 85,000 individuals in the United States. Full Story


Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

August 22, 2019

Using lasers, engineers have developed a new ceramic welding technology that works in ambient conditions, making it more practical than traditional methods that require melting the parts in a furnace at extremely high temperatures. This could make it possible to build ceramic-encased electronics. Full Story


Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

August 21, 2019

UC San Diego researchers have discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail, challenging a long-held belief in the field. The study presents new ways to boost battery performance and brings research a step closer to incorporating lithium anodes into rechargeable batteries.  Full Story


Triton RoboSub makes its debut at international competition

Triton RoboSub makes its debut at international competition

August 21, 2019

The UC San Diego Triton RoboSub team may be new, but they are already making a big splash. The team of 12 students was formed in 2019 and entered the International RoboSub Competition in July, qualifying for semifinals at their autonomous submarine competition debut. Full Story


Researchers Adopting Global Approach to Studying Microplastics and Microfibers

Researchers Adopting Global Approach to Studying Microplastics and Microfibers

August 20, 2019

Scientists at UC San Diego are working to understand plastic degradation in the ocean, particularly smaller particles called microplastics and related microfibers. They are monitoring microfibers around the world to better understand how these fibers enter and spread in the environment, while also partnering with industry to identify possible avenues to limit plastic pollution and develop remediation strategies. Full Story


New bioengineering master's degree bridges engineering and medicine

New bioengineering master's degree bridges engineering and medicine

August 19, 2019

The University of California San Diego Department of Bioengineering is launching a new master’s degree meant to provide engineering students with exposure to the practice of medicine. The Master of Science in Bioengineering; Medical Specialization is a one-year program at the Jacobs School of Engineering that will prepare engineering students for careers in the biomedical industry, or bolster students’ clinical exposure in preparation for medical school.  Full Story