March 2014


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Stephen Nash <[log in to unmask]>
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Stephen Nash <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 09:51:17 -0400
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List of Announcements (details below):

  * Seminar:Bioengineering Dept.:Mar 27, 1pm
  * Graduate Student Workshop:Public Speaking Skills: Mar 28, 11am
  * Funding Opportunity:Big Data Science & Engineering (NSF)
  * Funding Opportunity:Biological Big Data Science (NIH)
  * Supreme Court: Software Patents
  * Funding Announcements: Sponsors Requiring No Publicity
  * Yotam Gingold Receives Funding from Google


*Seminar:Bioengineering Dept.:Mar 27, 1pm*

/Title:/Micro- and Nano-scale Technologies for Applications in Medicine 
and Biology
/Speaker:/Faculty candidate Dr. Hadi Shafiee

Thursday, March 27, 2014
1:00 PM
ENGR 3507


Micro- and nano-scale technologies can have a significant impact on 
medicine and biology in the areas of cell manipulation, diagnostics, and 
monitoring. At the convergence of these new technologies and biology, I 
research for enabling solutions to the real world problems at the 
clinic. Emerging nano-scale and microfluidic technologies integrated 
with biology offer innovative possibilities for creating intelligent, 
mobile medical lab-chip devices that could transform diagnostics and 
monitoring, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This seminar 
will outline Dr. Shafiee's work in developing micro-technologies with 
applications in disease diagnostics and treatment monitoring at the 
point-of-care and primary care settings. Several microchip technologies 
developed to detect infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS through CD4 
count and viral load monitoring, peritonitis (inflammation of peritoneal 
membrane in patients with end stage renal disease failure) through 
neutrophil count, and cancer through circulating tumor cells detection 
and count in unprocessed fingerprick volume whole blood and serum 
samples will be presented. These emerging technologies could shape our 
future creating broadly applicable platforms for scientific discovery, 
providing clinical solutions for resource-constrained settings in the 
developing world as well as for primary care settings in the developed 


Dr. Shafiee is a Research Fellow at Harvard-MIT Division of Health 
Science and Technology and Brigham and Women's Hospital. His research is 
focused on developing micro- and nano-scale diagnostic technologies for 
real world problems in medicine such as infectious diseases detection 
and treatment monitoring at the point-of-care, and early cancer 
diagnosis. Dr. Shafiee is the author of more than 10 journal articles 
published in /Nature Scientific Reports, Small, Lab-Chip, Journal of 
Haematology, and Electrophoresis/, 1 book chapter, 27 conference 
proceedings, and 3 provisional patents. His work has been featured on 
the cover of premier journals in the field of micro- and 
nano-technologies including /Small, Lab-Chip, and Electrophoresis/. His 
research was also highlighted in /NewsWise, Medical News, VT Research 
Magazine, Chemical Biology, Small, BWH Clinical Research News, and 
Lab-on-a-Chip/ and has been recognized by national awards including 
/Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award/ from National 
Institute of Health (NIH), /MIT Media Lab, Paul Torgersen Research 
Excellence Award, and Liviu Librescu Fellowship/. His publications in 
microfluidics have been cited more than 200 times in the past 2 years. 
Dr. Shafiee has also been enthusiastic about translational aspect of his 
academic research. He conducted his PhD work to develop a microfluidic 
technology from proof-of-concept through a commercial licensing 
agreement. He has been actively involved in technology transfer and 
commercialization in two biotech start-ups through preparing business 
plans, SBIR, and STTR grant proposals. He also has several years of 
industrial experience as lead engineer in managing a team of engineers 
to design the piping routes and equipment arrangement of multiple 
petrochemical and power plants. Dr. Shafiee hopes for a day that his 
ideas at the interface of engineering and medicine change people's lives 
with a better global health, particularly those with urgent and unmet 
clinical needs in the developing countries.


*Graduate Student Workshop:Public Speaking Skills: Mar 28, 11am*

/Being Present in Your Presentation: A Workshop on Public Speaking Skills/

Friday, March 28, 2014
Performing Arts Building Room 105

Preparing a talk or presentation for a job interview? Want to feel more 
comfortable in front of the classroom or colleagues? Or just wondering 
how to feel more confident as a public speaker overall? Join us for an 
interactive workshop specially designed for Mason graduate students, 
facilitated by renowned faculty from Mason's School of Theatre, Ken 
Elston and Edward Gero. This workshop will specifically address removing 
jargon when talking about your research and/or professional interests, 
communicating with your body in space, and putting on the character or 
costume of presence.  Lunch will be provided. Sponsored by the College 
of Visual and Performing Arts, Graduate Student Life, Center for 
Teaching and Faculty Excellence, and the Office of the Provost.

This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required; spaces are 
limited. Visit https://beingpresentworkshop.eventbrite.comto sign up.

For more information contact
Julie Choe Kim
Director of Graduate Student Life
George Mason University
Phone: 703-993-4031
Email: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>


*Funding Opportunity:Big Data Science & Engineering (NSF)*

On March 12, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a 
solicitation entitled Critical Techniques and Technologies for Advancing 
Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA).  This is the second round for 
this program, which supports research to address "critical challenges 
for big data management, big data analytics, or scientific discovery 
processes impacted by big data." BIGDATA will be supported by five NSF 
directorates (Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), 
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), Education and Human 
Resources (EHR), Biological Sciences (BIO), and Engineering (ENG)).  
Unlike the previous BIGDATA competition, this solicitation is not in 
partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the 
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) is no longer 

Proposals should address critical challenges for big data management, 
big data analytics, or scientific discovery processes impacted by big 
data. Proposals may include computational, statistical, or mathematical 
techniques, technologies, and methodologies, and can focus on 
theoretical analysis or experimental evaluation.  Proposals are invited 
in all areas of science and engineering that fall within the purview of 
the participating directorates as outlined above.

The 2014 BIGDATA solicitation invites proposals that fall under two 

  * Foundations (F) -- for projects that aim to develop broadly
    applicable novel techniques, theoretical analysis, or experimental
    evaluation of techniques.  Proposals should be highly innovative and
    focused on fundamental research.
  * Innovative Applications (IA) -- for projects with more specific
    applications or adaptations of existing techniques, technologies,
    and methodologies to new application areas.  Proposals are expected
    to be interdisciplinary, and will largely be funded by the
    Directorate responsible for funding research in the application area.

In addition to the two categories above, all proposals should identify 
one or more themes that the proposal will address (which differ from the 
previous solicitation).  The three themes are:

  * Data and Knowledge Management (DKM)
  * Data and Knowledge Analytics (DKA)
  * Computational Scientific Discovery (CSD)

Additional consideration will also be given to proposals that include 
partnership with other parties such as industry, government, or domestic 
or international institutions that would enable access to specific 
expertise, resources, or data to test, modify, and refine their 
techniques.  All proposals must describe how they will address a 
critical big data problem, what is novel about the approach, and how the 
project will address the NSF Broader Impacts criterion.

NSF encourages researchers interested in this solicitation to consult 
the list of related NSF solicitations available at: 
http://www.nsf.gov/cise/news/bigdata.jsp. Additional programs that may 
be more relevant for specific projects include Data Infrastructure 
Building Blocks (DIBBS) and Computational and Data Enabled Science and 
Engineering (CDS&E).

Deadline:June 9, 2014.

The NSF BIGDATA program page can be accessed on the NSF website at:
The full solicitation is available at:
More information on DIBBS is available at:
More information on CDS&E is available at:


*Funding Opportunity:Biological Big Data Science (NIH)*

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge initiative (BD2K, http://bd2k.nih.gov/) 
recently announced the release of an RFA for software and methods 
development in biomedical Big Data Science:

Development of Software and Analysis Methods for Biomedical Big Data in 
Targeted Areas of High Need (U01) (RFA-HG-14-020) 

This opportunity targets four topic areas of high need for researchers 
working with biomedical Big Data:
- Data Compression/Reduction
- Data Provenance
- Data Visualization
- Data Wrangling

The receipt deadline for applications is June 19, 2014, with an optional 
letter of intent due May 19, 2014.

BD2K is a new major trans-NIH initiative that aims to support advances 
in data science, other quantitative sciences, policy, and training that 
are needed for the effective use of Big Data in biomedical research. 
Interested applicants are encouraged to join the listserv (on the BD2K 
homepage) to receive the most up-to-date information about BD2K events 
and funding opportunities.


*Supreme Court: Software Patents*

From SCOTUSblog: http://shar.es/RM34G

"The Justices have danced around the question for years.  Critics 
(including a decided majority of academic analysts) have bemoaned the 
drag on innovation for decades.  But now the Supreme Court will have a 
chance to face the question squarely, in /Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank 
  does the Patent Act authorize patents on software -- more 
specifically, on computer-implemented inventions? ...

"The case reaches the Court because the Court's last word on the 
subject, the 2010 decision in /Bilski v. Kappos/ 
left the topic in such disarray.  The Court in that case invalidated a 
patent on a hedging method as presenting an unpatentable subject matter, 
too abstract to be claimed by an inventor.  The reasoning of /Bilski/, 
however, has left the Federal Circuit completely at sea.  In this case 
for example, heard before an en banc panel of ten judges, the court 
issued seven separate opinions, none of which garnered the support of a 


*Funding Announcements: Sponsors Requiring No Publicity*

Mason's Office of Sponsored Programs sends me an announcement when a 
grant or contract is received by a faculty member in the Volgenau 
School.I then include the announcement in my weekly notices, and a 
notice is placed on the School's website:
Some sponsors insist that there be no public announcement of an award, 
but I have no way of knowing this from the information that I am provided.

If you receive such an award, please let me know and I will try to 
ensure that no announcement is released.In cases where an announcement 
is posted, please contact me ([log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>) or 
Martha Bushong ([log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>) to have it 


*Yotam Gingold Receives Funding from Google*

Yotam Gingold of the Computer Science Department received $42K from the 
Google Research Awards program for his project, "Diamonds from the 
Rough: Improving Creative Performance via Aggregation."


Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

[log in to unmask]
Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633