governor’s chair News

Research Highlighted by American Physical Society

A piece by Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Molecular Biophysics, and Alexei Sokolov, Governor’s Chair for Polymer Science, is currently the spotlight on the American Physical Society’s Physics page. Entitled “Elastic and Conformational Softness of a Globula Protein,” the piece examines certain protein behaviors such as why protein flexibility sometimes increases dramatically with temperature.

UT Study: Unexpected Microbes Fighting Harmful Greenhouse Gas

The environment has a more formidable opponent than carbon dioxide. Another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, is 300 times more potent and also destroys the ozone layer each time it is released into the atmosphere. Luckily, nature has a larger army than previously thought combating this greenhouse gas—according to a study by Frank Loeffler, Governor’s Chair for Microbiology, and his colleagues.

Beyond Beijing: Seoul Nuclear Summit

Howard Hall, director of the Institute for Nuclear Security and UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for nuclear security, was a panelist on the radio show “Beyond Beijing” out of Beijing, China. Hall discussed the second Nuclear Security Summit which concluded in Seoul, South Korea. While battling current event divergences, world leaders striven to map out a safer future for nuclear energy development.

Environmental Microbiology Expert Terry Hazen Named Governor’s Chair

Terry Hazen, an environmental biologist and authority on bioremediation and bioenergy with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been named the tenth University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair. Hazen will serve as the Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology. He begins on December 1. Hazen will also hold a joint appointment with the microbiology and earth and planetary sciences departments of UT’s College of Arts and Sciences.

UT Scientist Uncovers Trigger to Fatal Neurodegenerative Disease

Jeremy Smith, Governor’s Chair for Molecular Biophysics at UT Knoxville, has helped reveal a key trigger of Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome, a rare but deadly neurodegenerative disease. The finding could have far-reaching implications for the treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s.

‘Fingerprints’ Match Molecular Simulations with Reality

Governor’s Chair Jeremy Smith is bringing supercomputer simulations and experimental results closer together by identifying common “fingerprints.” Smith’s research will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Governor’s Chair Discusses Super Bowl Power Surge

On Super Bowl Sunday, when over 100 million viewers take a commercial break to open the refrigerator, put something in the microwave or use the bathroom, they will probably contribute to a surge in the nation’s power grid. Last week, UT Governor’s Chair Yilu Liu described how the university is working to learn how to control the power grid.