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Women in Science and
Engineering at Oakland University

217 Varner Hall
2200 N. Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4401 (map)
(248) 370-2338

Achievements at OU

Celebrating Faculty Achievements
Highlights of the achievements and accomplishments of women and under-represented populations in STEM at Oakland University will be posted on this webpage.  More information coming soon.

Biological Sciences
  • Assistant Professor Mi Hye Song received a $200,000 grant from the NIH which will fund her research using the C. elegans embryo as an in-vivo model to study centrosome assembly.  As her research aims to understand the mechanisms of  centrosome assembly, it will likely provide insight relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases such as cancers and ciliopathies that are associated with centrioles/basal bodies. (April 2014)
  • Assistant Professor Gerard Madlambayan received a grant from the National Cancer Institute for studying how endothelial cell activation regulates AML (acute myeloid leukemia) growth and relapse.  He received funding of $430,000 for his research over the next three years.  His long-term goal is to develop novel treatment strategies that aim to eliminate proliferating leukemia cells and prevent relapse. (February 2014)
  • Assistant Professor Lan Jiang has been awarded a $324,338 grant from the National Institutes of Health.  The 3-year project, titled The Drosophila Expansion Gene Controls Tracheal Tube Diameter, began April 1.  Her specific aims are to identify the cellular processes that are regulated by the protein Expansion, and to determine how Expansion regulates Epithelial Growth Factor signaling to control tube size. (April 2013)
  • Assistant Professor Zijuan Liu received a grant from the National Institutes of Health, which supported her research on how arsenic can be transported into cells and exert toxicity.  Professor Liu's study determined the uptake pathway of arsenate in aquatic animals and through examination of Zebrafish tissue, revealed that NaPi-LLb1 is the most likely transport protein responsible for arsenic accumulation in vivo. (September 2011)
  • Assistant Professor Amy Banes-Berceli received a grant from the National Institutes of Health.  Her research focused on the physiological role of activation of the JAK/STAT pathway in hypertension. (July 2011)
  • Assistant Professor Lan Jiang published a video in the Journal of Visualized Experiements (JoVE) to show how her experiment involving branched tubular networks was prepared.  Her study focused on the development of these networks in many organisms, such as airways in the lungs or blood vessels.  Click here to see the video (must be subscribed to JoVE to see the video). (May 2011) 

  • Professor Xiangqun Zeng received a million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with Andrew Mason from Michigan State University.  The five-year grant will fund their efforts to develop wearable sensors for environmental pollutant monitoring.  Find more information on Dr. Zeng's research group website. (December 2013)
  • Professor Xiangqun Zeng received a grant from the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE).  The proposed project will demonstrate that the sensor technology developed in her lab is ready and can achieve specifications heretofore unavailable in the current markets for the next generation of gas sensors for health, EPA, and transportation applications. (July 2012)
  • Professor Maria Bryant received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (Division of Chemistry) for a project entitled, "Intermolecular Forces from Interacting Densities."  This project aims at developing new methods based on density functional theory for computing forces between large molecules.  These forces are relevant to macromolecular chemistry, materials, and in drug design. (April 2012)
  • Professor Xiangqun Zeng received a U.S. patent for a Portable Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor.  Click here to read more about it. (May 2011)

Computer Science and Engineering
  • Assistant Professor Wenjin Zhou became the newest member of the Center for Biomedical Research at OU.  Find more information here. (June 2013)
  • Assistant Professor Wenjin Zhou was invited to talk with the Department of Radiation Oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC on January 22, 2013. She is collaborating with them to study the cancer radiation therapy effects on brain structure. The meeting included Dr. Chandan Guha (vice chair), Dr. Mahdur Garg (clinical director), and Dr. Xiaodong Wu (president of Biophysics Research Institute of America). (March 2013)
  • Assistant Professor Wenjin Zhou has been awarded a $25,000 Research Excellence Fund Support of Biomedical Research on her project titled: "A MRI-based Framework for Measuring Brain Micromorphology and Diagnosis of Neurological Disorders." She will be developing a new computational framework for in-vivo direct measurement of brain tissue micromorphology. These computational tools will operate on diffusion magnetic resonance (MR) datasets of the nervous system and will produce microstructure properties that cannot otherwise be obtained in vivo. (July 2013)
  • Associate Professor Huirong Fu received the SECS Outstanding Faculty award for Research. (May 2012)
  • Associate Professor Huirong Fu received a grant from the National Science Foundation, which helped focus her efforts to promote graduate studies in Computer and Information Science and Engineering to undergraduate students with little exposure to research. (April 2011)

Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Professor Hoda Abdel-Aty-Zohdy received the OU URC Research Excellence Award. (April 2013)
  • Assistant Professor Jing Tang has been awarded a 2-year grant from the National Science Foundation.  She will be studying Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assisted Dynamic Positron Emission Topography Imaging.  The award is part of the NSF's BRIGE program (Broadening Participation Research Initiation Grants in Engineering).  This research will integrate anatomical information (MRI) with functional image formation (PET), and will provide a technique to noninvasively quantify myocardial blood flow, contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease.  Click here for a related paper on her work with PET from the Journal of Physics in Medicine and Biology. (August 2012)
  • Professor Hoda Abdel-Aty-Zohdy received a Dodge Chair of Engineering award. (May 2012)
  • Associate Professor Qian Beth Zou received the Distinguished Associate Professor award. (May 2012)
  • Associate Professor Jia Li received a grant from Chrysler Group, LLC for her project entitled, "Wireless Location Awareness of Portable Pendant."  She also received funding from the Hughes Research Lab for the project entitled, "Evaluation of UWB Antennas." (March 2012)
  • Associate Professor Jia Li received the 2011 SECS Outstanding Faculty award for Research. (May 2011)

Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Associate Professor Barbara Oakley is the author/editor of 7 books, including the soon-to-be-published A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra), (Penguin, July, 2014).  Dr. Oakley's recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Concepts and implications of altruism bias and pathological altruism," has been cited as "revolutionary" by the Wall Street Journal.  She received the 2013 Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award (July 2013).  She was also recently elected the Vice President, Members, for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.
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Mathematics and Statistics
  • Assistant Professor Libin Rong was awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation.  More information about his research and this prestigious award can be found here. (May 2014)
  • Assistant Professor Xiaoli Gao published a paper on the topic of DNA copy number variation (CNV).  The analysis of DNA CNV is an important aspect in understanding the genetic basis of diseases such as Crohn's disease, psoriasis, and several forms of cancer.  Click here to read her paper. (September 2010)
  • Associate Professor Anna Spagnuolo published a mathematical model describing cholera dynamics in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.  This model may help improve therapies to combat this vicious disease.  Her project was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. (November 2011)

Mechanical Engineering
  • Associate Professor Laila Guessous was awarded the 2014 SECS Outstanding Faculty award for Service. (May 2014)
  • Associate Professor Xia Wang received the 2014 SECS Distinguished Associate Professor Award.  The title was previously held by Associate Professor Beth Zou.
  • Associate Professor Laila Guessous won the Lorrie Ryan Memorial Poster Award at the 2013 Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching and Learning in Traverse City, MI for her presentation, titled "Connections Class - An Easy Way to Improve Faculty-Student Interactions." (October 2013)
  • Associate Professor Laila Guessous spent the summer teaching an undergraduate engineering course at Changchun University of Technology (CCUT) in China.  She is the first professor from Oakland University to teach at CCUT.  Read more here. (August 2013)
  • Associate Professor Xia Wang received a fellowship award from the OU Research Committee for the project entitled, "Through-Plane Temperature Measurement in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell using Phosphor Thermometry." (March 2012)
  • Associate Professor Laila Guessous received the Phyllis Law Googasian Award.  This award recognizes distinguished leadership and sustained service on behalf of women at Oakland University.  Her research and teaching interests lie in the areas of computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, and include a balance of fundamental and applied research.  She also received the 2011 SECS Outstanding Faculty award for Teaching. (March 2012)
  • Associate Professor Laila Guessous was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation.  The grant supports a 3-year REU site for undergraduate students during the summer, focusing on automotive and energy related problems that have a direct impact on U.S. energy consumption, climate change, and related national security issues. (April 2010)

  • Zhe Wang, from Professor Xiangqun Zeng's lab, received a competitive tenure track assistant professor offer from Xavier University of Lousiana. (December 2013)
  • Anais Brown and Iva Sinamati attended the Sigma Xi annual meeting and presented posters on their original research, under the direction of Assistant Professor Fabia Battistuzzi.  In addition, Iva won an award in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Environmental and Geo-sciences category for undergraduates.  (November 2013)
  • Talia Sebastian (Chemistry) received a highly competitive scholarship from the Department of Defense, under the National Defense Education Program, entitled SMART - Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation.  Her Ph.D. research project, to which the award will be applied, is entitled, "Fate of the nano-tungsten lubricant oil in a calcareous roadside soil environment".  The scholarship will fund 3.5 years of study.  The research project will be conducted under Edith Chopin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. (August 2012)