SIUE’s Bouvier Named U.S. Air Force Academy Distinguished Visiting Professor

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) has invited Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dennis Bouvier, PhD, to enrich Academy Cadets’ academic experience as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Computer and Cyber Sciences.(PRWeb February 20, 2020)Read the full story at

Harvard Professor Francisco Quintana Wins 2019 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research

“Professor Quintana collaborates on a global scale to apply creative approaches to very complex questions about what triggers brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis and to find ways to stop it,” said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D.,National MS Society.

NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 28, 2020
Francisco J. Quintana, Ph.D., a leading multiple sclerosis researcher at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, is the winner of the 2019 Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research.
Quintana has established innovative research programs that use advanced technology to make significant contributions to the understanding of the immune response and to identify potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for MS. He recently developed a new research platform to identify gene-environment interactions that control central nervous system inflammation that drives the damage that occurs in MS. The studies identified novel pathways involved in the regulation of this inflammation. Moreover, these studies map out a novel way to systematically investigate environmental factors in MS and other diseases.
“I am deeply honored to be selected for the Barancik Prize, and thank the Award Committee for recognizing our work,” said Quintana.
“Professor Quintana collaborates on a global scale to apply creative approaches to very complex questions about what triggers brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis and to find ways to stop it,” said Bruce Bebo, Ph.D., executive vice president at the National MS Society, which administers the award. “He has earned the Barancik Prize for being highly resourceful in applying advanced technologies to make progress toward developing new treatment approaches, especially for progressive forms of MS.”
Quintana earned a diploma in biology from the University of Buenos Aires and adoctorate in immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a Professor of Neurology at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, an Associate Member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and incoming president of the International Society of Neuroimmunology. His awards are numerous, including Young Investigator Awards in Ireland and Italy, a Pathway to Independence Award from NIAID/NIH, and recipient of a National MS Society Harry Weaver Scholar Award. He has trained more than 30 young investigators, and participates in several programs focused on training scientists from underrepresented minorities.
Quintana will receive the award and deliver the Barancik Prize lecture at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum on Feb. 27 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
About the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS ResearchThe Barancik Prize seeks to recognize and encourage exceptional innovation and originality in scientific research relevant to multiple sclerosis, with emphasis on impact and potential of the research to lead to pathways for the treatment and cure for MS, and scientific accomplishments that merit recognition as a future leader in MS research. The international prize is administered through the National MS Society and made possible by the generosity of the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation.
About Multiple SclerosisMultiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 and it affects women three times more than men.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis SocietyThe National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.
Media Contact: Gena 713-962-0420

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor Expands Green Energy Research with $2M DOE Grant

Professor Timko is combining his research on food waste with municipal green waste to create a a liquid biofuel.

“There’s no one silver bullet to creating green energy, but this is a piece of that puzzle.” – Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering at WPI

WORCESTER, Mass. (PRWEB) January 22, 2020
Chemical engineers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are broadening attempts to convert waste into environmentally friendly biofuels, lowering reliance on fossil fuels, cutting the amount of municipal waste going into landfills, and reducing water pollution and unhealthy emissions from petroleum products and landfills.
Michael Timko, associate professor of chemical engineering, has been developing ways to significantly improve the yield of biofuel that can be created from food waste. Now, with a $1,995,199 three-year grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) and $275,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, he is expanding his earlier research to mix food waste with municipal green waste, such as yard trimmings, leaves, and sticks. By combining the two kinds of waste, he’s aiming to create even more energy-dense oil that can be upgraded to a liquid biofuel. Timko is teaming up on the project with Andrew Teixeira, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Geoffrey Tompsett, assistant research professor of chemical engineering.
“We have shown that we have methods to convert food waste into energy products,” said Timko, who in 2019 received a prestigious F ulbright U.S. Scholar Award to develop a device he can use in his biofuel research. “Increasing scale is a big goal. If you can handle more waste—different kinds of waste—you can have a larger-scale process. There’s no one silver bullet to creating green energy, but this is a piece of that puzzle. Every time you can add a piece of that puzzle, it matters.”
Timko envisions energy-producing companies one day using his processes to turn food and yard waste from towns, grocery stores, schools, and other organizations into energy.
The U.S. generated more than 262 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2015, about 34% of which is made up of food and green waste. Typically, it’s disposed of in landfills. The problem is that landfill space is reaching existing limits and the landfills leach water pollutants, toxins, and greenhouse gases, like methane.
Timko notes that there is significant energy potential in food and green waste, which have a relatively high energy content (approximately 20 megajoules per kilogram; by comparison, kerosene has a heating value of 43.1 megajoules per kilogram).
Collaborators on the DOE grant include researchers at MIT, University of California, Riverside, Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Florida-based Mainstream Engineering Corp.
One of the main goals of the project is to develop a catalytic method for converting the municipal solid waste components into an energy-dense oil. The main process currently used is called anaerobic digestion, which involves a series of microbial processes to break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. However, anaerobic digestion cannot easily handle yard waste, especially if it contains whole biomass, such as wood.
Timko and his research team are investigating the use of hydrothermal liquefaction, a process that uses moderate heat and high pressure to convert wet biomass into crude-like oil. This process is faster than anaerobic digestion and also can be used with wet waste, so the waste doesn’t need to be dried first, which would take enough energy to make the process financially untenable.
The hydrothermal liquefaction process converts carbon contained in the feed into products that separate into oil, gas, char, and water phases. Researchers are working to improve the hydrothermal process to get the highest-quality fuel possible, to divert the carbon lost to the water into the production of oil, and to minimize the amount of energy put into the process, while maximizing the energy produced. To do that, they are adding various catalysts, such as red mud—an inexpensive, stable, and reliable waste product created during the production of aluminum. Another approach is promoting carbon-carbon coupling reactions that save carbon from being lost in the water so it can be used to create more oil, while also decreasing the cost of treating waste water.
“A big challenge in the field is the amount of carbon you lose to the water phase of biofuel production,” said Timko. “If you look at all the challenges to make this competitive with fossil fuels, cost is the biggest one.”
Timko and colleagues also are investigating the best temperature to use and the best mixture of food waste to yard waste to create different oils of different qualities.
Timko said he hopes to have a working pilot by the end of the three-year grant.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
WPI, the global leader in project-based learning, is a distinctive, top-tier technological university founded in 1865 on the principle that students learn most effectively by applying the theory learned in the classroom to the practice of solving real-world problems. Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering with the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, WPI’s pioneering project-based curriculum engages undergraduates in solving important scientific, technological, and societal problems throughout their education and at more than 50 project centers around the world. WPI offers more than 50 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across 14 academic departments in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. Its faculty and students pursue groundbreaking research to meet ongoing challenges in health and biotechnology; robotics and the internet of things; advanced materials and manufacturing; cyber, data, and security systems; learning science; and more.
Contact:Jessica Messier, Public Relations SpecialistWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcester, Massachusetts(508) 831-5937 (office)

New Book “Auggie The Dragon Who Lives On Gramma Sue’s Roof” is Author Professor Sue-C’s Latest Fun-Filled Collection

Recent release “Auggie The Dragon Who Lives On Gramma Sue’s Roof” from Page Publishing author Professor Sue-C introduces a friendly dragon and his attempts to be accepted.(PRWeb January 21, 2020)Read the full story at