From agricultural practices in the driest regions on Earth to discoveries about asteroids in the far reaches of the galaxy, researchers at the University of Arizona explore questions that span millions of miles and light years and find solutions to the biggest challenges facing our world.
We also create better understandings of human health, and our scientists are creating knowledge that supports every moment of the human lifespan, from ensuring that babies are born healthy to investigating the keys to longevity.
One of those efforts is the "Arizona Sweet Dreams" study, which recently received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Led by Jamie Edgin, a UA assistant professor of psychology, the study will track sleep in typically developing and at-risk infants to determine if early sleep quality is predictive of later cognitive development or an eventual autism diagnosis. This research could provide crucial information for early interventions for cognitive or behavioral impairment in these groups.
This is only one of many projects that are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge and our capabilities as a society. In this issue of UA2U, we offer more stories about recent developments that help us fulfill our land-grant mission, including the UA's new Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement, a new radio telescope on Kitt Peak, and a new pathway for minority students interested in attending medical school. I also invite you to visit the Tech Launch Arizona website to see the impressive accomplishments marked by TLA's in its first full year of operation and to see its updated Roadmap, which outlines several ambitious goals for 2015.
Last but not least among the "new" things to share: Tonight the Arizona men's basketball team opened the regular season against Mount St. Mary's in the newly renovated McKale Memorial Center. We are very excited to provide a fan experience in an arena that matches the caliber of our team and we're proud to open the doors of this state-of-the-art facility, and I hope that you are looking forward to a great season as we are on campus.
The University has established the Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement, which will connect students with experiences and employers like never before. The effort was made possible by the Office of the Governor, which selected the UA to receive funding through the Workforce Development Grant program.
Using a newly installed radio telescope, University of Arizona scientists and engineers are detecting faint signals emanating from giant clouds of gas wafting through the Milky Way. The UA is the only university in the continental U.S. that has its own modern radio telescope, which, unlike optical telescopes, can detect the cold, dark matter found in our galaxy and others.
A new program at the UA College of Medicine addresses student diversity as well as a shortage of physicians with minority backgrounds, particularly Native Americans. Called P-MAP, the one-year program targets students and college graduates who lack the educational and economic advantages that help others get accepted to medical school. It also helps prepare them for the rigorous curriculum that awaits them.