Carlos Castillo-Chavez on Ebola in Texas

Carlos Castillo-Chavez of Arizona State University and colleagues recently published “Temporal Variations in the Effective Reproduction Number of the 2014 West Africa Ebola Outbreak” for the National Academy of Engineers. The second edition of Dr. Castillo-Chavez’s book, Mathematical Models in Population Biology and Epidemiology (with Fred Brauer) is now available for purchase online in Mandarin. In September, he and Sergei Suslov were awarded the Leonhard Euler Prize 2014 in Homburg, Germany for their research contributions.


 

EBOLA MATH

Dr. Castillo-Chavez and Randy Atkins of WTOP News discuss how a new mathematical model can assess the growth rate of an Ebola outbreak as it happens.

 

Calestous Juma has been named a LAAP Prize (Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize) winner for his leadership in socio-economic development in Africa. The award will be presented to Juma in Nigeria on October 10, 2014 by the Millennium Excellence Foundation.

Juma is among 16 laureates of this year’s esteemed award. Past laureates include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, late President John Atta Mills, South African social rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, writer Wole Soyinka. The Millennium Excellence Foundation noted that the nominations for the 2014 awards were “unprecedented, as the laureates met the mark of excellence of distinction never seen in the continent in several decades.”

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Jason Sello and his colleagues at Brown and MIT will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this month. The paper is entitled “Crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis ClpP1P2 suggests a model for peptidase activation by AAA+ partner binding and substrate delivery”. Sello’s co-authors are MIT’s Prof. Robert Sauer (Sello’s MLK faculty host) and Karl R. Schmitza, as well as Brown University’s Daniel W. Carneyb.

The research shows “new details about how a promising new class of antibiotics attacks the bacterium that causes tuberculosis” and “could provide a blueprint for developing drugs aimed at fighting TB.”

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The National Science Foundation awarded Terrence Blackman and his colleagues at the the University of Denver a project grant of $349,971. The two-year grant will  support “Access in Mathematics for All: Increasing the number of diverse and low-income STEM majors who become secondary school mathematics teachers,” a project under the direction of Richard Kitchen (PI), Alvaro Arias (co-PI), James Gray, Nicole M. Russell, and Terrence Blackman. The award starts September 1 , 2014 and ends August 31, 2016.

MIT News Q&A with Calestous Juma

How can Africa find new ways to spark economic growth? That was the focus of “Africa Rebooted,” a wide-ranging public symposium hosted by the Center for International Studies moderated by Calestous Juma on Sept. 24 at the Whitehead Institute.

MIT News: You have worked with the African Union as a high-level advisor to develop its new 10-year Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa, which is a focal point of tomorrow’s Starr Forum symposium. What are some of the distinctive features of this roadmap, regarding the contemporary challenges of growth across the continent?

Juma. The key distinctive feature of the strategy is the recognition that Africa cannot sustain economic growth and promote prosperity without significant investments in technological innovation…READ MORE

In his latest piece for Al Jazeera, 2014-15 MLK Visiting Professor Calestous Juma discusses how African universities will become irrelevant if they don’t focus on the role of science and engineering in development.

“To implement the vision, African organisations are exploring partnerships with leading science and technology universities around the world. An example of this is the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa that will be host by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on September 24.”

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‘At the intersection of gender, race and science,’ Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is showcased in L’Oreal Foundation’s Discover Her series along with four other amazing women astronomers who are making science happen.

“Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong, Stephen Hawking… Some of the most well-known names in space exploration and astronomy. But let’s not forget about the inspirational women who have contributed to the field…”

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