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Investigator Spotlights

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Matthew Ayres, professor of biological sciences

ayresUnited States Department of Agriculture
Sirex Noctilio: Reproductive Success, Interactions with Native Species, and the Forensic Dendropathology of Infested Trees 

WHY: "To evaluate whether the European wood wasp, recently introduced into New York and Ontario, will be a multibillion dollar agent of forest pestilence, as it has become in the southern hemisphere, or will remain rare and relatively benign as in Europe."

GOING FURTHER: "This extends our studies beyond native bark beetles, tree-feeding caterpillars, and beech bark disease, but the big question remains: ‘Why do a few populations of plant enemies wreak pestilence while most remain rare?'"

TEAMWORK: Dartmouth collaborators include Ph.D. candidate Jeff Garnas, and Tina Harrison '09 and Jenna Sullivan '09, honors students in biological sciences. Also involved: scientists from the U.S. Forest Service, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the forest industry, Spain, and South Africa.

Jane E. G. Lipson, the Albert W. Smith Professor of Chemistry

lipsonNational Science Foundation
Studies on Polymer Glasses, Melts, and Solutions

WHY: "The proposed research aims at predicting whether certain local changes in polymeric systems will lead to global differences in their behavior and properties."

NEW GROUND: "Some of the work builds on our expertise regarding polymer melts and mixtures. However, a significant portion of the research will lead us into the territory of thin glassy films, which is of great current interest in the polymer community."

COLLABORATORS: For the mixtures research: at Dartmouth, chemistry Ph.D. candidate Elizabeth Clark and chemistry department Research Associate Ron White; Dame Professor Julia Higgins, Imperial College, London. For the thin glassy films study: Professor Scott Milner, Penn State.

Keith Paulsen, the Robert A. Pritzker Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Brian Pogue; professor of engineering; and John Weaver, professor of radiology

paulsenNational Cancer Institute
Frequency Domain Optical Imaging of Breast Cancer

WHY: "This award continues funding to develop Near-Infrared (NIR) light imaging (also called tomography) to improve breast cancer detection and diagnosis," says Paulsen.

ONGOING WORK: "Our teams have been studying breast cancer imaging technologies for about a decade. Over the last five years we have been working to incorporate NIR Tomography with breast MRI because the two methods appear to complement each other."

TEAMWORK: "Involvement from Dartmouth Medical School faculty and practicing physicians at DHMC is critical: it helps us at Thayer identify medical problems of significance, develop the right technology, and translate it into early stage clinical studies."


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Last Updated: 12/17/08