research update

Medical Anthropologist Studies Skin Disease Transmission In West Africa

James Kennell, a medical anthropologist and SMU adjunct professor, has logged numerous field seasons with Benin’s Aja people, research that helped him earn his doctoral degree in cultural anthropology from SMU in 2011. His dissertation was named one of the best 40 cultural anthroplogy dissertations in North America in 2011.

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SMU Biochemists Super-compute A Cancer Drug

Biochemists Pia Vogel and John Wise in the Department of Biological Sciences in Dedman College are using SMU’s supercomputer to search for a drug that will combat super cells that develop resistance to chemotherapy.

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Faculty Receive National Science Foundation Awards

The National Science Foundation has recognized two SMU faculty members with the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award. The NSF career grants recognize junior faculty whose research will have a broad impact on society.

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Engineering Students Tackle Real World Problems

By design, students in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineeringget the opportunity to solve engineering problems for real customers during the course of earning an undergraduate degree. Yasmin Ara ’11, a mechanical engineering major who graduated in May, says the hands-on opportunity reinforced what she learned in classes. Ara and six other students

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Documenting A Shifting Landscape

Photographer Debora Hunter’s research explores the modern world’s imprint on the iconic New Mexico landscape and the resulting social and environmental contradictions. Her latest study is “Land Marks: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico.” She says about the documentary project she started in 2004: “I make portraits of houses – houses

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Making A Big Discovery With Tiny Fossils

Dinosaur bones in a museum sparked SMU graduate student Yuri Kimura’s childhood fascination with fossils. “I was given a piece of 100-million-year-old sedimentary rock,” Kimura recalls of her visit to a museum in her native Japan. “I could not imagine how many stories this stone had experienced through 100 million

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Calling For An End To Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment in the United States remains controversial. But for SMU Psychology Professor George Holden, there is no debate. Based on his own research and that of other parenting and child development experts, Holden wants to end spanking as a means of discipline. He spoke about the issue on Anderson Cooper’s

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Research Engages Underserved Groups In Improving Health

Georita Frierson was 19 years old when her father, an African-American, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and subsequently died of an infection. That experience shaped Frierson’s interest in health psychology, especially in improving the health behavior of underserved groups such as African-Americans, Hispanics and non-English-speaking minorities. “There is a silver

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Compounding Hope For Nerve-Degenerating Diseases

Synthetic compounds developed in the lab of Chemistry Professor Edward R. Biehl one day may help the millions of people who suffer from nerve-degenerating diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. Biehl developed and tested the compounds with SMU postdoctoral researchers Sukanta Kamila and Haribabu Ankati, and Santosh R. D’Mello,

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Digging The Ancients: Archaeologist Explores Early Maya Culture

Maya culture has fascinated scientists for decades, but many mysteries remain about the ancient people that rose to prominence for their highly developed civilization in what is now Central America and Mexico. Archaeologist Brigitte Kovacevich, assistant professor of anthropology in Dedman College, is part of a growing effort to understand

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