Prototype of the blended-wing-body jet

No mere flight of fancy

As a child, Robert Liebeck loved tinkering with model airplanes. The UC Irvine adjunct professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering is still at it — but now he’s working on a much different kind of model, one that could revolutionize air travel. Called the blended wing body, the concept results in aircraft that look more like […]

Mary Gilly

Marking their territory

Anyone who frequents a Starbucks at UC Irvine has seen them: customers who camp out at coveted tables. They mark their territory with papers, backpacks, computers and coffee cups. They wear ear buds to discourage conversation and toss their jackets over empty chairs to keep interlopers from invading their space. Some hunker down with their […]

Isabella Velicogna

Weighing the Earth’s fate

Isabella Velicogna‘s office in UC Irvine’s Croul Hall looks like it belongs to an artist instead of a university scientist. Her paintings and drawings — including charming sketches of mice — adorn the walls, and colorful, handcrafted mobiles dangle from the ceiling. “In my next life, I will be a children’s book illustrator,” says Velicogna, […]

Arif Alikhan

Out of harm’s way

After climbing a narrow stairwell and boarding a small elevator, Arif Alikhan reaches his destination: the top of the old air traffic control tower at Los Angeles International Airport. From the empty perch, he can watch the steady stream of jets, cars and other vehicles pulsing through the airport’s complex maze of roads and runways. […]

James Fallon

From research to reel

Here’s the pitch: A brilliant neuroscientist who can identify psychopaths by studying their brain imaging scans and genetic data makes a startling discovery. After learning there are eight killers among his ancestors — including notorious ax murderer Lizzie Borden, a distant cousin — he finds that he shares their biological predisposition to murder. Mitigating environmental […]

Child sits at computer

Growing up, ‘geeking out’

Mizuko “Mimi” Ito spends a lot of time “geeking out” at her computer. She plays video games, trolls the Internet, chats, and visits social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for hours on end. “My kids often say, ‘What’s it like to have a normal parent?’” she says with a laugh. Ito’s not going […]

Jeff Greenberg

Role model

When Jeff Greenberg, casting director for “Modern Family,” first tried to sell the network on actor Ty Burrell for the part of Phil Dunphy, the doofus dad on the hit television show, the executives balked. “We had to keep bringing him back” for auditions, Greenberg recalls. “They didn’t see it at first.” The suits eventually adopted his choice for […]

Researchers Aileen Anderson and Brian Cummings

Science, stem cells and serendipity

Serendipity has played a great part in the careers and personal lives of Aileen Anderson and Brian Cummings, the UC Irvine husband-and-wife team that has helped move stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury a giant step forward. They met as undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cummings would visit his then-girlfriend in her dorm, and […]

Daniele Piomelli

Finding his bliss

Behind its stylish art deco facade, the Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility has hosted some of the most important scientific discoveries in UC Irvine’s brief history. From its laboratories came the first stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury, and breakthrough findings by researchers there on the roots of neurodegenerative diseases offer real hope for people with Alzheimer’s […]

NICU patient baby Megan grabs onto the finger of glove wearing registered nurse

Keeping hospitals healthy

Linda Dickey, a nurse and director of epidemiology & infection prevention at UC Irvine Medical Center, wears a small but significant yellow badge on her white coat. It’s proof that she’s current on her influenza vaccine. It’s also a symbol of the hospital’s commitment to fighting infectious diseases. In 2009, when fears were running high about […]