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Fall 2020

Our communities rise to the challenges of a global pandemic

TRACE field staff walking along parking lot.
Volunteers in Newport set out to gather samples as part of TRACE-COVID-19. The study is a collaboration of five OSU colleges – Science, Agricultural Sciences, the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Public Health and Human Sciences – in partnership with the Benton County Health Department. Photo by Mark Farley.  

Among the values the College of Science espouses is: “Collaboration to solve the world’s problems and create opportunities.” Collaborations among scientists trained in different fields have become essential for exploring and tackling problems. In recent months, I have had the privilege of seeing this value in practice among Oregon State scientists like never before.

In April, the university launched the groundbreaking public health project called TRACE-COVID-19, led by researchers from the College of Science and four other OSU colleges in partnership with the Benton County Health Department. In this issue, you will read how TRACE-COVID-19 volunteers have tested residents in the greater Corvallis, Bend and Newport communities to determine the prevalence of the virus.

The College and our dedicated team of scientists and volunteers have played a critical role in enhancing testing in Oregon communities and providing useful information to public health officials about the prevalence of the virus as the state gradually reopens.

Other values in our mission that we are deeply committed to include: “Diversity to build the best teams to do the best science” and “An inclusive community.”

The anguished multiracial protests that emerged in response to the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police are echoing in the halls of science. The College strongly supports the Black Lives Matter movement. Our faculty, staff and administrators are deeply committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment where all can learn and thrive. Black students and faculty are very underrepresented in the sciences, and we as scientists and teachers must do the antiracist work of overturning systemic injustices and racial inequities – i.e., racism – in STEM disciplines.

In the last two years, we have put in concerted efforts to make equity, justice and inclusivity critical and central in every way to the functions of the College of Science. In the coming months, we will continue our ongoing conversations with undergraduate and graduate students as well as the Office of Institutional Diversity, to create a new anti-racism action plan to achieve meaningful change and support initiatives devoted to increasing diversity and inclusion.

Thank you for your interest in the mission and work of the College of Science.

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science

Biomedical Science

Managing an epidemic with a groundbreaking public health project

Scientists at Oregon State University acted swiftly to the greatest public health emergency of our time, leveraging the College of Science’s unique capabilities in biomedical research and the quantitative sciences to investigate and contain the coronavirus crisis.

Diversity in Science

Biology alumna at the forefront of migrant healthcare in Oregon during the Covid-19 pandemic

Dr. Eva Galvez’s (Biology ’99) family background and passion for holistic care have led her into migrant labor camps, radio stations, mobile clinics, and the world of public policy.

Alumni and Friends

From Botswana to Los Angeles, OSU biochemistry alum now on the front lines of COVID-19

Since graduating from OSU with a degree in biochemistry & biophysics, Bango has been in the Peace Corps, worked in a malaria research laboratory in Botswana and is now working on the front lines of COVID-19 testing and treatment in Los Angeles County, California.

News

Biochemists receive NSF award to probe protein in coronavirus genome

Biochemists at OSU have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue research on the SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Microbiology

Steve Giovannoni to lead Department of Microbiology

Giovannoni is an internationally recognized microbiologist whose research on microbial diversity, genomics, carbon cycle and ecology in oceanic ecosystems is globally impactful. His research team is deeply engaged in predicting what will happen as the oceans warm and become more acidic.

Materials Science

Historic blue pigment discovered at Oregon State approved for commercial use

The vibrant blue discovered by Oregon State University researcher Mas Subramanian has cleared its final regulatory hurdle: The Environmental Protection Agency has approved its use for commercial purposes, including in paint for the artists who have long coveted it.

Students

The class of 2020 finishes strong!

Congratulations to the Oregon State College of Science class of 2020! Despite massive challenges, our Science students have shown incredible resilience, grit and determination to succeed in their courses and complete their degrees.

June 13, 2020
Integrative Biology

Dee Denver to lead the Department of Integrative Biology

Dee Denver brings highly innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research strengths, an extensive record of service in the areas of diversity and inclusion and a proven commitment to graduate and undergraduate education.

News

Chemistry student picked for DOE research program

A Ph.D. candidate in the OSU College of Science has been selected for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research program.

Students

Biochemistry senior credits Science faculty with helping him realize his ambition

An award-winning scholar and undergraduate researcher in biochemistry assistant professor Afua Nyarko’s lab, Diego Rodriguez exemplifies the power of using perseverance and dedication to achieve one’s goals.

Mathematics

Mathematics and writing senior awarded Department of Energy fellowship

Megan Tucker will graduate next month with a substantial amount of research experience under her belt: She was awarded the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship, which gave her the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary team at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Albany, Oregon, during the summer of 2019.

OSU Press Releases

Fulbright Award will take biochemistry senior to Spain to study neuroscience

Isabella Karabinas, a senior double majoring in honors biochemistry & biophysics, has received the 2020 Fulbright Award to study in Spain.

Graduate students

2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships awarded to alumni and students

Two Ph.D. students in the College of Science Grace Deitzler in microbiology and John Stepanek in integrative biology — are among three OSU students to receive prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards in 2020.

Statistics

Statistics assistant professor receives Ecampus award for teaching excellence

The College of Science is proud to congratulate Charlotte Wickham, an assistant professor in the statistics department, for receiving the 2020 Ecampus Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award.

Chemistry

Chemist makes key advance toward production of important biofuel

An international research collaboration, led by Kyriakos Stylianou, an assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University, has taken an important step toward the commercially viable manufacture of biobutanol, an alcohol whose strong potential as a fuel for gasoline-powered engines could pave the path away from fossil fuels.

Alumni and Friends

Microbiology alumna and surgeon's journey from refugee camps to healthcare leadership

In her role as a Health Innovators Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Kuy developed a Covid-19 Preparation Tool to help healthcare facilities, businesses and communities rapidly gauge their preparedness for the outbreak, identify areas of weakness and strategically target resources for their greatest impact.

News

Bruce Menge elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Marine ecologist Bruce Menge was elected a member of the American Academy of the Arts & Sciences. He is only the sixth OSU faculty member to earn this distinguished honor. 

Students

One club’s mission: Supporting more representative future doctors

The Minority Association of Premedical Students, or MAPS, supports students from underrepresented backgrounds get into medical school. 

Chemistry

OSU spinout company Inpria raises $31 million

A scientific breakthrough leads to an innovative solution for the marketplace.

College of Science

Lending a hand: College of Science donates PPE to help battle public health pandemic

The College of Science is stepping up during this national pandemic, joining in Oregon State’s drive and providing much-needed supplies to the OSU community and healthcare workers here in Oregon. The impact so far? Thousands of donations, including sanitizer, gloves, masks and lab coats.

April 10, 2020
Microbiology

Smaller than expected phytoplankton may mean less carbon sequestered at sea bottom

For the first time, scientists have taken a winter sampling of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic. The results revealed that the carbon-absorbing cells were smaller than what scientists expected, meaning a key weapon in the fight against excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may not be as powerful as previously believed.   

Microbiology

Microbiology alum helps produce critical COVID-19 test component for Oregon hospitals

When Samaritan Health Services asked Oregon State University last week if there was anything the university could do to help, researches in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine realized there was something they could do. 

Microbiology

Unique non-oxygen breathing animal discovered

Oregon State microbiologists have made a stunning discovery. The researchers have discovered the first animal that doesn't need oxygen to live. Their unexpected finding changes one of science's assumptions about the animal world.

March 2, 2020
Research

New grants to advance science that benefits humankind

How are devastating plant diseases are spread? Is there a better way to predict HIV prevalence in a city? How can we detect toxic algae blooms before they occur? And which of the thousands of metal-organic frameworks can be used for storing and separating gases, like CO2 from industrial plants? Four faculty members received College of Science Research and Innovation Seed (SciRIS-II) awards this February to pursue answers to these questions over the course of the next year.

Faculty and Staff

Scientists garner innovation awards for cancer and materials research

The Science Research and Innovation Seed awards were given to four multidisciplinary research teams working on cancer diagnostics and materials science.  

News

A science building for the 21st century: Cordley Hall to undergo renovation

Renovations to Cordley Hall – home to Integrative Biology and Botany and Plant Pathology – will begin this summer. When the project is complete in 2024, Cordley Hall will be transformed into a welcoming, attractive academic home for the thousands of students the two departments service each term.

Biomedical Science

Removing bottlenecks to metastatic cancer through biophysics

Physicist Bo Sun had a breakthrough discovery that remove bottlenecks to making more effective metastatic cancer treatments a reality with tremendous social impact.