Rowe Researcher: Measuring Viral Titer to Analyze Transduction Efficiency in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Spring 2011: Measuring Viral Titer to Analyze Transduction Efficiency in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Dr. X. Cindy Tian, Yong Tang, and Michael Tassavor

Stem cells have the ability to dramatically change the medical landscape, allowing regrowth and regeneration of tissues previously irreparable to modern science. Severe burns, spinal breakages, and muscle damage all can benefit, as well as more abstract diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and cancer. Until quite recently, however, sources for stem cells were limited to embryonic material.

In 2007, researchers managed to convert specialized adult cells to pluripotent stem cells capable of taking any somatic form in mice. This is highly useful in that it negates any need for embryonic stem cells in stem cell therapy, sidestepping legal and moral issues, as well as public outcry. Furthermore, it allows customized cells grown from the patient’s own cells, preventing immune rejection. Non-embryonic stem cells also have the benefit of allowing research to proceed with government grants, which, depending on the state and federal agencies involved, prohibit embryonic stem cell research. Continue reading

Honors Program Alumni eNewsletter (Fall 2011)

A Message from the Director

To our Honors alumni,

Can you believe it has been nearly 50 years since President Babbidge envisioned an Honors Program to educate the best and brightest college students from the state of Connecticut and beyond? A handful of outstanding students joined the freshman class in 1964, and they were followed by thousands. Many of these accomplished alumni have, indeed, fulfilled President Babbidge’s dream.

As director of UConn Honors, I have had the privilege of working with extraordinary students and alumni during the past nine years. It has been a goal of mine to share their stories with you, and generally to keep you up to date with news on how—and what—your Honors Program is doing. Since I arrived in 2002 we have been growing and developing at a breath-taking speed, and there has been little time to step back and talk about our work. Continue reading

Honors Class Notes (Fall 2011 eNewsletter)


Holley (Hewitt) Ulbrich ’63 just published the second edition of her textbook, Public Finance in Theory and Practice, with Routledge Publishing. This is her ninth published book. Holley is Alumni Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics at Clemson University. Billie (Bill) DeWalt ’69 left the University of Pittsburgh as Distinguished Service Professor of Public and International Affairs in 2007 to serve as Founding President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Ariz. MIM opened on April 24, 2010, and has been recognized as one of the outstanding museums of the world. Continue reading

Honors graduate puts problem-solving skills into practice

By the Honors Program

Outside the window of his classroom was a view of the Mexican border. His students were children growing up too fast in a climate of border violence and poverty. But Jeffrey “Steve” Ferketic ’08 found a way to reach them. Ferketic joined Teach for America, seeking to make a difference in the lives of south Texas students. A biology and political science double major in the Honors Program, Ferketic was inspired by the other teachers in his family. He also knew his UConn education had prepared him for the challenges of this experience. Continue reading

Recent alumni pay it forward with new giving fund

By Cheryl Cranick, Honors Program

A $10,000 gift established a new Honors giving fund this summer. Its donors are three Honors alumni who’ve graduated within the past six years. According to one of the fund’s creators, Nate Eaton ’05, “Our vision for the Young Honors Alumni Fund is to provide a mechanism through which young alumni can give back to the students of the Honors Program so that they may fulfill their own vision of an Honors experience at UConn.” Continue reading

Young scholars discover potential through Holster grants

2011 holsters

By Cheryl Cranick, Honors Program

In September, Robert Holster ’68 witnessed the culmination of his generosity: the first Holster Scholar presentations. His $1 million gift, given jointly by his wife Carlotta ’68, funds the Holster Scholar First Year Project, sponsoring Honors student research. But it has a unique qualification: the grants are given to first years.

Holster felt giving back was an “obligation,” crediting UConn Honors as “fundamental to getting me off to a good start,” he said. He was a member of the inaugural Honors class in 1964. Continue reading

Rowe Researcher: Social Interaction and Anxiety in Mice

Ashley Bonet with her research poster.
Ashley Bonet with her research poster.

Spring 2012: Social Interaction and Anxiety in Mutant BXD29 Mice

By A.C.Bonet1 , D.T.Truong2 , R.H. Fitch, PhD1

            The purpose of this research was to observe anxiety and social interaction in the BXD29 mice strain. BXD29/Ty -wild type and BXD29-Tlr4lps-2J/J -mutant mice have never been tested for social interaction or anxiety related behaviors, thus this research offers a preliminary observation of the behaviors. The BXD29-Tlr4lps-2J/J mice have subcortical heterotopias formed by neurons destined for layers 2-4 of the neocortex as well as partial callosal agenesis. Continue reading

Rowe Researcher: Transition from NICU to Home

Stephanie Jorge in the NICU.
Stephanie Jorge in the NICU.

Summer 2011: Family Empowerment in the Transition from NICU to Home: Evaluating the March of Dimes Family Support Program

By Stephanie R Jorge, Regina M. Cusson, Ph.D., NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN

The University of Connecticut Health Center’s (UCHC) March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Program (MODFSP) provides families of NICU patients with programs, support specialists, educational materials, and community resources to aide in the emotional and physical adaptation to a new life with a premature infant. Continue reading

2011 Distinguished Alumni Award: Nicole M. Lindsay

Nicole Lindsay is Executive Director of New York Needs You (NYNY), a start-up non-profit which supports first-generation college students in realizing their college and career ambitions. Ms. Lindsay joined NYNY in September 2009 as the first staff person.  Now the organization has a six-person staff and an operating budget of $1.2 million. NYNY closes the opportunity gap through the most intensive career mentorship program in New York City, enabling high-potential, first-generation college students to realize their college and career aspirations. NYNY is the only non-profit in NYC that focuses exclusively on first-generation college students. The primary components of the NYNY curriculum are life planning, career development, and community leadership. The first class of 50 NYNY Fellows began the two-year program in June 2010 and recruitment for the second class is underway. Previously, she was the Vice President of Talent Development at Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), overseeing all program-related activities. Continue reading

2010-11 Faculty Member of the Year Award: William F. Bailey

Dr. William F. Bailey was born at the vanguard of the “Baby Boomer” generation on December 8, 1946, in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father was the proprietor of a plumbing business in Jersey City. Dr. Bailey spent his Saturdays and summers from the age of 12 to 22 years old learning the business as he rose to the status of a journeyman plumber. However, this was not to be his calling.

Dr. Bailey graduated from St. Peter’s College in 1968, escaping both the plumbing business and the Garden State. He received his Ph.D. from the University Notre Dame in 1973 and completed a two-year postdoctoral position at Yale University. In 1975 he began his independent career at the University of Connecticut where he is now Professor of Chemistry. Continue reading