TU researcher to study brain development

A Tulane University researcher is participating in a study of adolescent brain development under a $5.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, according to the school.

Yu-Ping Wang, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, is joining other researchers who are studying the developing brain of people between ages 9 and 14 at the Mind Research Network at the University of New Mexico and the University of Nebraska Medical School.

Researchers hope to better grasp brain functions, possibly leading to an earlier diagnosis of mental illness.

Tulane’s share of the grant is almost $1.2 million, which will be used to recruit four doctoral students and four undergraduates per year.

“The project is built upon Tulane’s strength in genetics and multiscale data modeling, which is complementary to two other states’ research on MRI and MEG imaging,” Wang said.

Dentistry school names distinguished graduates

The LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry has named its three distinguished graduates for 2015.

John A. Hendry, of the Class of 1977, was named distinguished alumnus of the year, recognizing his lifetime of professional achievements. A dental surgeon who completed his pediatric dentistry residency in New Orleans, he has practiced in Lafayette and is affiliated with numerous local, state and national professional boards.

Robert Barsley, Class of 1977, was named 2015 alumnus of the year. He is a professor in the school’s diagnostic sciences department and is director of oral health resources and community dentistry. After graduating, he established a practice in Ponchatoula before returning to the school as a part-time clinical instructor. He joined the faculty on a full-time basis in 1982.

Raymond Unland Jr., Class of 1982, was given the alumnus of the year award posthumously. He ran a practice in Metairie while educating and mentoring dental students, according to the school. He joined the faculty in 2007 as a part-time clinical assistant professor in prosthodontics.

Five HBCUs eligible for workforce grants

Five historically black colleges and universities in Louisiana are eligible for a piece of $50 million in grants designed to help students find jobs.

The Lilly Endowment Inc., which is tied to the pharmaceutical business Eli Lilly and Co., has committed $50 million to the United Negro College Fund’s Career Pathways Initiative. The UNCF will award the competitive grants to colleges and universities to help students prepare for the workplace, the UNCF said.

More than 15,000 students in Louisiana could benefit. The five eligible Louisiana institutions are Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans, Xavier University, Grambling State University and Southern University in Baton Rouge. Nationwide, 87 colleges and universities are eligible to seek the grants.

The grants will be awarded over a seven-year period. Through the program, the UNCF will seek at least a 15 percent increase in employment rates for graduates. The program’s guidelines will be announced in December.

Free UNO series will focus on music, culture

The University of New Orleans will kick off a new lecture series exploring music and culture. Called the Musicology Colloquium Series, it will present five free lectures that are open to the public.

The series kicks off Oct. 23, when Cornell University’s Roger Moseley will speak on “Play and Display: Representations of Musical Recreation.”

Gundula Kreuzer, of Yale University, will present “Science, Timbre and the Gong in 19th-c entury Music” on Jan. 22. She is director of graduate studies at Yale’s department of music.

On Feb. 19, New York University’s Brigid Cohen will lecture on “Charles Mingus and Edgard Varese at Greenwich House, 1957.”

Ingrid Monson will discuss “Music, Resilience and Dignity” on March 11. A trumpet player, she is the Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music at Harvard.

The series concludes April 1 with the University of Virginia’s Bonnie Gordon presenting “Voice Machines: The Castrato, the Cat and Other Strange Sounds.”

All five programs will begin at 2 p.m. in the UNO Performing Arts Center’s recital hall.

For information, call (504) 280-6381 or email yhaber@uno.edu.