Top Stories of 2022: Scientific Breakthroughs, New Partnerships and Prestigious Awards
2022 has been an outstanding year for the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). CMNS students, faculty and staff members made important discoveries, won impressive awards and secured public partnerships.
As 2022 comes to a close, take some time to revisit our most-read stories of the year and discover some that you may have missed.
- Two Science Terps Named 2022 Churchill Scholars – Science Terps Steven Jin and Naveen Raman were awarded 2022 Winston Churchill Scholarships, which offered them full funding to pursue a one-year master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The scholarship, valued at around $60,000, covers all educational fees and provides living and travel allowances.
- New Computer Simulation Cracks Mystery of Cancer Drug Resistance – Published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a study led by Pratyush Tiwary, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Institute for Physical Science and Technology, used computational chemistry to determine what causes resistance to a ‘miracle’ cancer drug at the molecular level. This discovery could lead to broad applications for the pharmaceutical industry, potentially yielding drugs that target a variety of diseases with higher rates of efficacy.
- Sylvester James Gates, Jr. Returns to UMD Faculty as Clark Leadership Chair in Science – Sylvester James Gates, Jr., a member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, rejoined the University of Maryland faculty in July 2022 to hold the Clark Leadership Chair in Science and a joint appointment in the Department of Physics and the School of Public Policy.
- From CS to HBO – Delante Desouza (B.S. ‘16, computer science) made the jump from digital marketing specialist to a starring role as Michael Cooper in the HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers, "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" on HBO. The 10-episode series chronicling the meteoric rise of the Lakers in the 1980s premiered in March 2022 and was renewed for a second season in April 2022.
- State of Maryland and University of Maryland Partner to Build World-class Atmospheric System of Weather-observing Towers – In October 2022, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a groundbreaking partnership between the state of Maryland and the University of Maryland to build and operate the Maryland Mesonet, a state-of-the-art network of 75 weather-observing towers spanning the state that will provide real-time community-level monitoring and improve situational awareness during rapidly changing weather conditions. UMD’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science will leverage its faculty members' and graduate students’ knowledge and skills in monitoring, analysis and modeling to design, build, operate and maintain the Maryland Mesonet.
- Supernova Ph.D. Student Selected for NASA Pathways – Working at NASA was always the dream for UMD astronomy Ph.D. student Isiah Holt – and his dream became a reality in January 2022 when he was selected for the Pathways internship program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, which offers a direct pipeline to full-time employment.
- Six Science Terps Received CMNS Alumni Network Summer Awards – Every year, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Alumni Network offers summer awards to help undergraduates defray costs related to conducting research, attending conferences or interning. This summer, six Science Terps furthered their professional and career development with funding from the Undergraduate Summer Research, Travel, and Educational Enrichment Awards program.
- UMD Scientists Identify Mechanism Responsible for Fruit and Seed Development in Flowering Plants – With rising global temperatures and dwindling pollinator populations, food production has become increasingly difficult for the world’s growers. A study from researchers at UMD’s Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics addressed this issue, providing insight into exactly how flowering plants develop fruits and seeds.
- UMD Biologist Contributes to 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine Research – Assistant Professor of Biology Philip Johnson played a key role in Swedish scientist Svante Pääbo’s research on the Neanderthal genome – which won the 2022 Nobel Prize in medicine. From 2006 to 2014, Johnson collaborated with Pääbo on studies aimed at unlocking the mysteries of human evolution.
- Urban Trees Rooted in Redlining and Environmental Injustice – Neighborhood street trees in Baltimore tell a tale of both historical racial discrimination and modern reparation, according to a study led by Assistant Professor of Entomology Karin Burghardt. The team’s findings were published in the journal Ecology in October.