Volume IV, Issue 2: October 2011


One for the record books: UCI reclaims world dodgeball title

Dodgeball world record
The 4,488 players celebrate after helping UCI regain the world record for the largest dodgeball game.

It’s official: UCI can once again claim the Guinness world record for the largest dodgeball game. It all went down Sept. 21 in the Anteater Recreation Center fields, where 4,488 blue- and gold-clad students lined up for their shot at making history. A Guinness adjudicator was on hand to confirm the number of players for world-record certification. Criminology, law & society freshman Yvette Montano said it was a memorable exercise in building community and school spirit among students. “Not a lot of people can say they took part in a world record-breaking event,” she noted.

Having a ball »

UC Irvine Medical Center receives Gold Plus Award for heart failure care

Dawn Lombardo
Dr. Dawn Lombardo said the award recognizes that UC Irvine continues to make its comprehensive care for heart failure patients among the best in the country.

The American Heart Association has honored UC Irvine Healthcare for providing the highest level of care for people suffering from heart failure. The association’s Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Plus Award signifies that UC Irvine Medical Center has achieved at least 85 percent compliance for two consecutive years with AHA-specified standards of care for heart failure patients. Get With The Guidelines is a quality improvement initiative aimed at reducing disability, future hospitalizations, healthcare costs and deaths. It includes care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools.

Heart award »

Study shows promise of metabolic therapy for MS, other autoimmune diseases

Michael Demetriou
UCI neurologist Dr. Michael Demetriou is associate director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center.

Can a nutritional supplement suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis? Quite possibly, according to a new UCI study. Dr. Michael Demetriou, Ani Grigorian and others found that oral N-acetylglucosamine – which is similar to but more effective than the widely available glucosamine – inhibited the growth and function of abnormal T-cells that in MS incorrectly direct the immune system to attack and break down central nervous system tissue that insulates nerves. Study results appear online in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Glucosamine treats MS »

68 new faculty members feted

Jean-Paul Carvalho
Jean-Paul Carvalho, assistant professor of economics, mingles with colleagues at an event welcoming new faculty.

UCI welcomed 68 new faculty members for the 2011-12 school year at a campus gathering Sept. 19. The event celebrated UCI’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence despite decreased state funding. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering added nine faculty members, including new dean Gregory Washington. The School of Law also grew by nine faculty members. It received provisional accreditation in June – the earliest possible date – which will allow the inaugural class graduating next spring to take the bar exam. The School of Medicine saw the largest increase in faculty: 15.

New faculty »

Calit2 awarded $1 million for plug-load research projects

The California Energy Commission has awarded the UCI division of the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology $1 million to further its research on plug-load devices – specifically, creating more energy efficiency and providing data to support future Title 20 appliance efficiency standards. Plug-load devices include consumer and office electronics, appliances and some tools – anything that plugs into an electrical outlet.

Calit2 award »

Galaxy quest: Astronomers show how Milky Way got its spiral arms

galaxy model
Computer model of the Milky Way and its smaller neighbor, the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy

UCI astronomers detail in a Sept. 14 Nature paper how the Milky Way galaxy’s iconic spiral arms formed. A dwarf galaxy named Sagittarius loaded with dark matter has careened twice through our much larger home galaxy in the past 2 billion years, according to telescope data and elaborate simulations. As the galaxies collided, the force of the impact sent stars streaming from both in long loops. Those continued to swell with stars and were gradually tugged outward by the Milky Way’s rotation into familiar ringed arms. The Sagittarius galaxy is due to strike the southern face of the Milky Way disc fairly soon, said lead study author Chris Purcell – in another 10 million years or so.

Milky Way model »

Birth control pills alter memory, researchers find


Women who use contraceptives such as birth control pills experience memory changes, according to new UCI research. Their ability to remember the gist of an emotional event improves, while women not taking the contraceptives better retain details. “What’s most exciting about this study is that it shows the use of hormonal contraception alters memory,” said UCI graduate researcher Shawn Nielsen. She stressed that the medications do not damage memory: “It’s a change in the type of information they remember, not a deficit.”

Pill study »

UCI to create medical business/technology incubator

Fan-Gang Zeng
Cochlear implant co-inventor Fan-Gang Zeng holds the prototype he helped develop.

This month, UCI will launch a new technology company incubator in its ongoing effort to reach out to industry in novel ways. The successful 2010 launch of TechPortal, a business/technology incubator in UCI’s California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology that houses five UCI-based start-ups, has inspired the creation of a similar entity associated with UC Irvine Medical Center. TechPortal Orange – a medical business/technology incubator occupying 3,100 square feet of lab and office space in Shanbrom Hall, the heart of the medical center – will provide resources for both start-ups and faculty interaction with industry.

TechPortal II coming »