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Women in Science and Engineering at Oakland University
217 Varner Hall
2200 N. Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4401
(248) 370-2338

Achievements at OU

Celebrating Faculty Achievements

Highlights of the achievements and accomplishments of Oakland University's STEM faculty, with a specific focus on women and under-represented populations, are posted on this webpage.  

Biological Sciences
  • Assistant Professor Randal Westrick received a $231,000 grant from the American Heart Association. This funding supports his work on the identification and validation of thrombosis modifier genes, contributing to research on one of the most important medical issues spanning the fields of cardiology, hematology/oncology, and vascular biology. (March 2015)
  • 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) 
  • Crain's Business Detroit ranked Oakland University at 23rd on the Eureka Index, citing it was one of the 25 most innovative companies in Southeast Michigan. Patents from STEM faculty members were acknowledged for quality and contributed to the university's rank. Professor Xiangqun Zeng's innovative work on sensors that detect environmental gases was one of these notable patent projects. Her work was also selected as 1 of 5 finalists in the Methane Detectors Challenge, an initiative of the Environmental Defense Fund. (July 2014)
  • 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 Yonghong Yan was awarded $249,875 from the National Science Foundation Software and Hardware Foundations program to support his collaborative project on energy modeling and power management for parallel and high performance computing.
  • Associate Professor Huiron Fu received the 2015 SECS Outstanding Service Award. (April 2015)
  • 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
  • Assistant Professor Jing Tang received the 2015 SECS Outstanding Research Award. (April 2015)
  • Associate Professor Darrin Hanna received the 2015 SECS Outstanding Teaching Award. (April 2015)
  • Assistant Professor Daniel Llamocca received a $68,068 grant from the University of New Mexico and National Science Foundation. This funding supports his work to develop methods of reconfiguring hardware and software to provide run-time management for video processing and communications. The research findings will be integrated with educational activities for middle school and college students. (March 2015)
  • Assistant Professor Jing Tang received an NSF CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. More information about her research and this prestigious award can be found here. (February 2015)
  • 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
  • Assistant Professor Megan Conrad received a $40,000 grant from Chrysler Group, LLC. This funding supports the Universal Ergonomic Assessment Interface, a software interface integrating all ergonomic tools for job assessments. (March 2015)
  • Professor Barbara Oakley (recently promoted) constructed a MOOC (online course) for Coursera, "Learning How to Learn," together with Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute. With nearly 200,000 students, this MOOC is the largest course on learning that has ever been taught. (August 2014)
  • Associate Professor Barbara Oakley is the author/editor of 7 books, including A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra).
  • Dr. Oakley received the 2013 Oakland University Teaching Excellence Award (July 2013).  
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Mathematics and Statistics
  • Assistant Professor Libin Rong received an NSF CAREER Award 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 Xia Wang received a $575,979 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund her project, "Research Experience for Teachers in Alternative Energy and Automotive Engineering (AEAE): Energizing K-12 Teaching and Learning." The funding will support the project through September 2018. 
  • Associate Professor Sergey Golovashchenko received a $251,349 grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) and a $110,000 grant from Chrysler Group, LLC. The DOE grant supports his work to extend the formability of Ultra High Strength Steels to further reduce vehicle weight, as part of a collaborative project with Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL), Ford, Oakland University, US Steel and AK Steel. The Chrysler grant supports the continuation of teaching and lab work through the Chrysler Learning and Innovation Center for Sheet Metal Forming (CLIC-form). (March 2015)
  • 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)