Spotlight on Research

Researchers in Action

Game Design Through Mentoring and Collaboration

Mason education professors Kevin Clark and Kim Sheridan serve as coprincipal investigators on the National Science Foundation-funded project, Game Design Through Mentoring and Collaboration. The project takes place McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C., and is designed to teach high school students video game design and to provide mentoring opportunities for these students to teach middle school students. This video is from the George Lucas Foundation's Edutopia web site.

Lance Liotta and Emanuel Petricoin III: Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Scientists at Mason's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine are focusing their efforts in the war against cancer on two primary fronts: early diagnosis and discovery of new drug targets.

Virginia Espina: Pinpointing Individual Differences in Cancer

Professor Espina explains how laser capture microdissection technology allows scientists to compare cancer cells from different patients.

Lisa Pawloski: Investigating Childhood Obesity on a Global Scale

Although the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States has been well publicized, many people are not aware that the disease has also emerged as a threat to the health of children and adolescents in low- and middle-income countries around the globe. Once thought to be a strictly American phenomenon, childhood obesity rates are soaring in nations still plagued with hunger and poverty. According to World Health Organization statistics, at least 20 million children under the age of five years were overweight globally in 2005, putting them at risk for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In this presentation, Dr. Lisa Pawloski, associate professor and chair of the Department of Global and Community Health in Mason’s College of Health and Human Services, describes her investigations into this global crisis.

Rainald Lohner and Juan Cebral: Going with the Flow

Researchers at George Mason University’s Center for Computational Fluid Dynamics recently unveiled a first of its kind patient-specific blood flow simulation system that was assembled by Phillips Medical Systems using software components developed at Mason. The cutting-edge technology has the potential to improve diagnostics and treatments for millions of Americans who are affected by brain aneurysms — saclike bulges in the blood vessels — each year. A multidisciplinary team comprising of Mason’s computational scientists, Inova Fairfax Hospital’s neuroradiologists, and Phillips Medical System’s engineers produced the application to provide neurologists with hemodynamic (blood flow) information that is believed to be of fundamental importance for understanding the evolution and rupture process of brain aneurysms.

Understanding the Human Brain

Where do character traits like creativity and humor originate? By studying nerve tissue and building a computational model, neuroscientist Giorgio Ascoli and his team of researchers at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study are trying to answer these fundamental questions.