How Weill Cornell Medicine Plans to Tackle Diversity With New $2.7 Million Dollar Grant

Weill Cornell Medicine plans to use $2.7 million in funding to address the shortage of underrepresented minorities in the healthcare professions. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 1,410 African-American men applied to medical schools in 1978. Forty years later, that number has dropped to 1,337. Earlier this summer, Weill received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in order to establish a Diversity Center of Excellence. The Center of Excellence, will function under the Cornell Center of Health Equity, which is a research initiative that analyzes health disparities and solutions to various stigmatized conditions.

Preventing pandemics | Willett’s research focuses on vaccines.

Student Spotlight on Bailey Willett ’20: Combating Antigenic Drift in Influenza Viruses

In 2009, the world saw the first influenza pandemic in more than forty years in the form of the H1N1 strain. Although response to this variant was fast and a vaccine quickly developed, the fight against influenza hasn’t ended. Bailey Willett ’20 continues to be a part of this fight as a Cornell undergraduate researcher working to combat the new strains of influenza that appear every year. Willett works alongside graduate student David Buchholz in the Aguilar-Carreno Lab of Microbiology and Immunology doing research concerning antigenic drift, one of influenza’s greatest hidden weapons. According to the Centers for Disease Control, antigenic drift is an abrupt change in the glycoprotein receptor makeup of the virus.

Cornell Lab Discovers New Regulatory Mechanism of Protein, Sheds Light on Importance of Cornell’s High Energy Synchrotron Source

Proteins are strikingly complex macromolecules, which control every aspect of molecular function in all living organisms, making them an interesting research target. The Ando Lab studies the structure of proteins, specifically enzymes, in order to understand their function, using structural techniques like x-ray diffraction and small-angle x-ray scattering. These techniques allow for the visualization of atomic and molecular structure of proteins. Small-angle x-ray scattering is a technique used to study the structure of proteins in solution. SAXS maintains an advantage over other techniques because it allows for the understanding of the movement of proteins; however a caveat to SAXS is its lower resolution, creating the need for combinatorial approaches to studying proteins such as combining SAXS with chromatography.

Professor Saule T Omarova

Cornell Law Professor Advocates for More Regulations on Financial Technology

More than 10 years have passed since the global financial crisis broke out, and the financial institutions’ ability to rethink and sophisticate their business has been growing relentlessly. Prof. Saule T. Omarova, law, argues in her latest work that while we are now more cognizant of, and to an extent protected from, the risk in some financial products, the financial system could be ill-equipped for the latest technological innovations in finance, otherwise known as fintech. In her research paper, New Tech v. New Deal: Fintech As A Systemic Phenomenon she suggests that the fintech revolution can’t be as neutral as some actors pretend, because finance is “a matter of utmost and direct public policy significance.”

Omarova writes in New Tech v. New Deal that if we blur the public policy dimension in fintech, and grasp only the private dimension of how it enables transactions, we misrepresent its systemic risk. By doing so, she warns, we help new financial and tech conglomerates avoid financial regulation and circumvent the fundamental separation between banking and commerce, giving them a carte blanche to engage in riskier activities for consumers. This reflection is at the very core of Omarova’s pro-regulation stance, made clear throughout her research work and more recently in her testimony before the Senate two weeks ago.

Interdisciplinary  | Linster’s research lies at the 
intersection of computer science, physiology and biology.

Cornell Professor Examines the Effect of Stress Hormone on Sensory System

It’s a Sunday morning and you’re hiking by Taughannock when suddenly you’re confronted by an eight foot grizzly bear. Before you can form a coherent thought, you find yourself fleeing back towards campus. This instinctual response, aptly named the fight-or-flight response, is triggered by a hormone released in situations of stress or danger: norepinephrine. A lesser known function of norepinephrine is currently being explored by Prof. Christiane Linster, neurobiology and behavior. Linster used behavior, electrophysiology, and computational modeling to research how modulation of norepinephrine affects the olfactory system, the sensory system used for smelling.