Research

Cactus Wren

For the birds

Kristine Preston steps softly onto UC Irvine’s Ecological Preserve, 62 acres of cheerful wildflowers and sweet-smelling sage scrub tucked above University Hills. “We had a pair of birds using this plant two days ago, which is just incredible,” she whispers, pointing to a large prickly pear cactus. The 40-year-old plant is one of a whole […]

Dr. Ralph Clayman

Patient advocate

Levity, gossip and idle chitchat have no place in Dr. Ralph Clayman’s operating room. The pioneer in minimally invasive surgery once asked a gabby colleague to leave in the middle of an operation because the chatterbox lacked focus. Clayman, a urologist so dedicated he gives his home phone number to patients, makes no apologies for […]

Alison Plott

Lessons in laughter

Each stroke of white makeup transforms a face. Rather than conceal, it reveals. The arch of a painted eyebrow, the exaggerated smile or frown, say more than a monologue. And the metamorphosis isn’t limited to the actor; it’s in the audience’s mind as well. Enter Eli Simon’s world, where clowning is an art. “Clowning is […]

UCI neurobiologist Leslie M. Thompson

Race against the clock

Ask UC Irvine neuroscientist Leslie M. Thompson to describe how Huntington’s disease affects patients, and she replies by turning to her computer. “I can show you,” she says. She clicks on a video of patients she visited in Venezuela. On-screen, a middle-aged man stands on a street corner, swaying as if intoxicated. A woman, no […]

Port of Long Beach

Road warriors

As our expanding population outgrows an aging infrastructure, transportation is becoming an increasingly important topic in Orange County and statewide. It also has significant implications for the U.S. economy, considering that transportation-related goods and services account for about 20 percent of the nation’s gross national product. “The safe and efficient movement of people and goods […]

Michael Prather

Balancing the planet

Last spring, UC Irvine launched a new institute that will bring together scientists to identify new research needed for an improved understanding of society’s response to a changing climate and for environmental science to better respond to societal needs. Topics to be tackled by the UC Irvine Environment Institute: Global Change, Energy and Sustainable Resources […]

Renowned molecular biologist Masayasu Nomura

Wise scientist

When he was in his 50s, renowned molecular biologist Masayasu Nomura wrote a poem for a friend’s 65th birthday. “To the Wise Scientist” reads: “Someday I too hope to attain the age of sixty-five.Then I wish to live as you live:Giving sympathy and help to young people,Receiving friendship and respect in return.No more worries, no […]

Nobelist F. Sherwood Rowland (right) and chemistry chair Donald Blake

Perfect chemistry

The first person Donald Blake met when he walked into UC Irvine’s chemistry department in 1978 was F. Sherwood Rowland, clad in shorts and sandals, a towering 6 feet 5 inches tall. Rowland, department chair, was considering the UCLA senior for a graduate position.   “We talked about lots of things, and in the end […]

Frank B. Wilderson III

Envisioning change

In the 1990s, Frank B. Wilderson III lived the dying days of apartheid in South Africa, working as a university teacher, propagandist, and as one of two Americans elected to Nelson Mandela’s governing party, the African National Congress. In his recently released memoir, Incognegro, Wilderson, African American studies and drama professor, criticizes Mandela’s presidency for failing […]

chemist Reg Penner

Kicking the oil habit

Can the U.S. cure its addiction to oil? To help wean the country from its petroleum habit, UC Irvine researchers have been working to find viable sources of alternative energy – from deep in the earth to the sun. Here, researchers Scott Samuelsen, Reg Penner and Derek Dunn-Rankin discuss their work on transforming solar power, […]