Year in Review Research & Innovation

January

Philanthropist and business and civic leader Howard P. Milstein contributes $2.26 million to the Miller Center to launch the “Milstein Symposium: Ideas for a New American Century.” The symposium’s goal is to introduce fresh, bipartisan ideas into the conversation on issues vital to the nation’s future.

PureMadi coleaders James A. Smith and Dr. Rebecca Dillingham

February

PureMadi, a U.Va. nonprofit organization, introduces a simple ceramic water purification tablet that was developed and tested at U.Va. Placed in a vessel where water is stored, it can kill or remove pathogens for up to six months.

Nursing professor Joel Anderson, doctoral nursing student Bridget Houlahan, and professor Ann Gill Taylor

March

Ann Gill Taylor, the Betty Norman Norris Professor of Nursing; and Joel Anderson, an assistant professor of nursing, find that a small, noninvasive device that attaches to the ear and provides mild electrical stimulation may alter the brain’s pain-processing centers in fibromyalgia sufferers.

April

Digital items from the University of Virginia are made available nationwide with the launch of the Digital Public Library of America. This ambitious new venture provides a single point of access to digital materials from some of the best libraries in the country.

The Darden School of Business announces the launch of the Darden Center for Asset Management. Designed to prepare asset managers to navigate the complex relationships between risk and return and to conduct research on the ways in which markets function, the center will foster innovative research on asset management that bridges theory and practice.

English professor Stephen Railton and a team of U.Va. database and Web developers win an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create an online resource to enable the mapping and study of William Faulkner’s imaginary Yoknapatawpha County.

May

A team of researchers led by Dr. Benjamin W. Purow, associate professor of clinical neurology, identifies an enzyme that may serve as a master switch for glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. Targeting this enzyme may lead to better therapies for this and other forms of cancer.

June

Kodi S. Ravichandran, chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, discovers that dying cells play an unexpected and vital role in the creation of muscle fibers. The finding could lead to new ways to battle conditions such as muscular dystrophy, facilitate healing after surgery, and help athletes recover more quickly.

July

Lockheed Martin delivers the first commercial lab-on-a-chip device for DNA testing, based on technology developed by James Landers, professor of chemistry, mechanical engineering, and associate professor of pathology. The chip provides results in minutes, not days, a paradigm shift for law enforcement agencies and doctors, among other potential users.

The Arcadia Fund awards religious studies professor David Germano a grant expected to total $1.4 million to record and preserve the ancient culture of Bhutan.

August

An interactive map created by Dustin Cable, a demographer at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, gets hundreds of thousands of hits during its first week online. It displays more than 308 million points, one for each person residing in the United States, making it easy to visualize geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity across the country.

Dr. Christopher Kramer, co-principal investigator, receives a $14.4 million federal grant to lead a consortium of researchers across two continents in investigating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a significant cause of sudden, unexpected death, and the leading killer of young athletes.

September

The U.Va. Cancer Center is among the first centers in the U.S. to offer a new breast cancer treatment that aims to reduce treatment time to a single day instead of several weeks. Radiation oncologist Dr. Timothy Showalter expects the new treatment will better preserve healthy tissue and provide more precise treatment to the tumor site.

October

The University of Virginia joins the Clinton Global Initiative University Network at the 2014 CGI U Conference. CGI U was founded in 2007 by former President Bill Clinton and seeks to engage the next generation of leaders in solving the most pressing global challenges. The membership opens the way for undergraduate and graduate students to apply to attend the CGI U’s seventh annual meeting, which will take place March 22–23, 2014, at Arizona State University.

November

U.Va.’s artificial pancreas project receives $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to turn an ordinary smartphone into an artificial pancreas that could transform the lives of people with Type-1 diabetes.

December

U.Va.’s grant-funded initiative ecoMOD South is awarded Passive House Standard certification—the most rigorous energy standard available for buildings in the United States—for two recently completed homes. In July the project won Architect Magazine’s 2013 Research and Development Award.