Jacobs School News Archive


2020 News Releases

$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