Red skies over Sansom. #penn
Getting ready for that Quad Life. #penn #livepenn #homesweetpenn
People who spend eight or more hours a day staring at a computer screen may notice their eyes becoming tired or dry, and, if those conditions are severe enough, they may eventually develop dry eye disease (DED). DED is a common disease with shockingly few FDA-approved drug options, partially because of the difficulties of modeling the complex pathophysiology in human eyes. Enter the blinking eye-on-a-chip: an artificial human eye replica constructed in the laboratory of Penn Engineering researchers. This eye-on-a-chip, complete with a blinking eyelid, is helping scientists and drug developers to improve their understanding and treatment of DED, among other potential uses. The research, published in Nature Medicine, outlines the accuracy of the eye-on-a-chip as an organ stand-in and demonstrates its utility as a drug testing platform. The study was led by Dan Huh, associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering, and graduate student Jeongyun Seo.
On a hot morning in early July, a seven-foot wide, 8,000-pound metallic structure made its way from Boston to Penn’s David Rittenhouse Laboratory. The large aperture telescope receiver (LATR) was carefully loaded onto a forklift and carried through narrow alleyways and parking lots before being placed in the High Bay lab, while students and researchers watched in eager anticipation. But now is when the work, and the fun, truly begins. As members of the Simons Observatory collaboration, researchers in the lab of Mark Devlin are now putting the finishing touches on the LATR, the sensor that will be the “heart” of a cutting-edge astronomical observatory whose goal is to learn more about the early moments of the universe.
In 2012, the Trustees Council of Penn Women presented Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison with its highest honor, the Beacon Award. At that ceremony, President Amy Gutmann said, "When you realize the full measure of her life and leadership, when you read the indelible words that Toni has etched across the history and the future of our culture... and when you see the ocean of lives that Toni has fundamentally changed, there can be no doubt. [She] is a true beacon of empowerment and inspiration drawing us all in with the example that she sets." Today, @DrAmyGutmann noted, "Her greatness as a storyteller was unsurpassed, matched only by her warmth, decency and wisdom as a person and wonderful friend."
Huntsman Hall sneaking into photos, part 2 in an accidental series. #penn
That moment when Huntsman rises in the distance like a UFO. #penn
As one metal plate approaches another, pushing with a precise level of force, a small, white spiral of gypsum powder sandwiched in between the two pushes back. Just over an inch tall, the object finally succumbs to the pressure, a defined crack splitting it in two. Breaking the object—a replica of a snail shell produced from a 3D printer in Hayden Hall—was the point. Erynn Johnson, a doctoral student in Penn’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science in the School of Arts and Sciences, is a paleoecologist interested in better understanding ancient marine ecosystems and what they tell us about future ecological changes on Earth. She’s employing 3D printing as a technique for recreating shells that resemble those in existence a couple hundred million years ago, and she’s testing them under various pressures to replicate the imposing jaws of a predator, such as a fish. Stronger shells mean a snail may have been more likely to survive the crunch. “In paleontology, we can only infer based on what remains,” says Johnson, who is advised by Peter Dodson, a professor of anatomy and paleontology with appointments in the School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences. “In particular, when you look at things that eat shelled organisms, like clams or snails, if the predator is successful the shell gets destroyed. So, it’s hard to infer what successful predation looked like—it’s actually easier to infer what failed predation looked like.” Though still a student, Johnson, who is entering the final year of her degree program, is nevertheless among the pioneers of the use of 3D printing to study ancient predator-prey interactions.
A “confident and resilient” 8-week-old black Labrador retriever is the 100th puppy to enter the Penn Vet Working Dog Center research-based training program, and “he looks like he’s going to be a great pup,” says Annemarie DeAngelo, training director. The puppy’s name is Casey, in honor of K9 Casey who served at the Pentagon following the 9/11 attacks. @Penn_vet_working_dog_center
Blooming all over campus.
Hot Button. #Penn
Just finished Stranger Things, and we're getting some weird vibes from the Schuylkill. #Penn
The arts are very much a part of Srinidhi Ramakrishna’s experience at Penn, as an alto in the a cappella group @PennCounterparts, and she is also an advocate, with a student organization focused on criminal-justice reform. Combining her interests in her summer internship, the rising sophomore is working at ArtWell, a Philadelphia nonprofit that uses art, poetry, and music to reach young people in underserved communities. Ramakrishna, from Montgomery, New Jersey, has not yet declared her major, but she is considering political science. “I’ve always been interested in the intersection of art and activism, how art can cause social change,” Ramakrishna says. “ArtWell is the perfect combination, a way to have art help people but in a nonprofit sphere.”
Hazy days on Woodland Walk. #penn
Beautiful skies over Philly, yesterday, since it’s pouring now. #penn
There’s a pervasive notion that all deaf people, regardless of where they come from or where they live, are the same. Penn linguist Jami Fisher describes the misconception as “deaf sameness,” and it’s the thread that ran through the Penn Global Seminar she taught this past semester. The course, which focused on Italian Sign Language and the Italian deaf community, culminated in a May trip abroad to visit some of the people and places Fisher and the students discussed. “What I really wanted to emphasize is that there isn’t one global deaf culture. ‘I’m deaf, you’re deaf, and therefore we connect.’ That’s the assumption that proliferates,” says Fisher, director of Penn’s American Sign Language (ASL)/Deaf Studies program. “Though that does exist in some capacities, it’s important to recognize the diversity and variety within deaf communities, within countries and cities.” Fisher has long had a connection to the Italian deaf community in general and more specifically, to those in the Deaf Studies Department at Siena School for Liberal Arts, 150 miles north of Rome. For years, she had been seeking feasible, comfortable ways for Penn’s ASL students to study abroad. A Penn Global Seminar, particularly one geared toward students with fewer study-abroad opportunities, seemed like the perfect fit. “I had in mind to develop a course about the language rights of global deaf communities,” Fisher says, “knowing the Italian deaf community is going through its own process of getting legal recognition of sign language there.”
Enjoying some sun and shade and flowers by the Rodin Museum on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. #penn #philadelphia
Perfect day for a ride! JK, it was super humid in Philly today. Hope you stayed in the shade, Quakers! #penn
Happy Independence Day from the birthplace of America! #penn #philadelphia
Penn's Landing nights. #penn
On the move over the Schuylkill. #penn
Coming or going, 30th Street Station will get you there. #penn
What has two legs, no torso, and hangs out in the basement of Penn's Towne Building? It’s Cassie, a dynamic bipedal robot, a recent addition to Michael Posa's Dynamic Autonomy and Intelligent Robotics (DAIR) Lab. Built by Agility Robotics, a company in Albany, Oregon, Cassie offers Posa and his students the chance to create and test the locomotion algorithms they’re developing on a piece of equipment that's just as cutting-edge as their ideas. @Penngineering
When it's Friday and you're just trying to get down the shore. #penn
Hello, Houston Hall! #penn
Lovely afternoon by the pool (Kelly Pool In Fairmount Park). #penn #philadelphia
Walnut Street nights. #penn
Making time for friends on Locust. #penn
Vanessa Chan is an entrepreneur and an angel investor. She's a college professor and an inspirational speaker. She serves on boards by day, and bakes cakes with her daughters by night. And also manages to find time to knit. "Once you become a working mom, you just get stuff done," she says, laughing. Chan, a professor of practice of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the undergraduate chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, has been teaching at Penn since the fall of 2017. She returned to her alma mater—she graduated with her bachelor’s in materials science in 1994—after a full slate of accomplishments: earning her Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and pursuing a postdoc in Germany; working 13 years at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where she co-led its innovation practice and helped found its Philadelphia office; and creating her own business, Redesign Studio, where she invented Loopit's stylish, tangle-free headphones. What Chan brings to Penn, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science specifically, says Dean Vijay Kumar, is an important "real-world perspective" that's shaking up students' thinking—in the best kind of way. From incorporating soft skills into her teachings, to pairing students directly with mentors from industry, she’s making her mark on campus one day at a time. @penngineering
Philly's tallest basking in the late day sun. #penn #philadelphia
A new perspective on FMC tower. #Penn
Locust Walk by early evening. #penn
It's a lovely afternoon for a game. #penn #philadelphia
Ben likes the golden hour light. #penn
Life gives you lemons? Make some lemonade. Life gives you a sink hole? Make some pizza. #penn
It’s almost time to #MoveTheSphinx at @pennmuseum! This week, The Penn Museum is moving its colossal 25,000-pound Sphinx of Ramses II to the Main Entrance Hall of the Museum. It will be the first time the more than 3,000-year-old Sphinx, which is the largest in the Western Hemisphere, has seen daylight in nearly a century: in 1926, it moved into the Lower Egypt Gallery. Stay tuned as we follow the Sphinx’s move this week! #penn
Perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon. #penn
From Benjamin Rush (Penn's first chemistry professor and the father of modern psychiatry) to CAR-T Cell Therapy, Penn history is woven through a new mural highlights life sciences big role in Philadelphia's economy. #penn
On Memorial Day, Penn honors and remembers all those who have given their lives in defense of this nation. The University War Memorial at 33rd Street and Shoemaker Green was dedicated in November 1952, just before the Army vs. Penn football game of that year.
Each year, Memorial Day is embraced as the unofficial start of the summer season. At the Morris Arboretum, that summer kickoff begins with the opening of the Garden Railway. Now in its 22nd year, the Garden Railway, which opens this weekend, is a quarter-mile expanse of 13 tracks and four trolley lines all adorned with built-to-scale pieces of architecture. Most are nods to local buildings—think: Independence Hall or the Eugene Boathouse—constructed using elements of nature like bark, seeds, and even cinnamon. But each new season of the Garden Railway also comes with a unique theme. This year, it’s “Great American Lighthouses.” “The lighthouse is a beacon of hope that’s prominently featured in our Garden Railway this year,” says Vincent Marrocco, associate director and chief horticulturalist at the Arboretum. “Other than just being really pretty and iconic, they really are very dramatic, dispersed throughout the Garden Railway display.”
A quiet afternoon on campus. #penn
Looking toward Center City as the sun sets on another school year. We’ll see you soon, Quakers!
Clark Park’s magic is often surrounded by the sound of drums provided by the graciousness and talent of these gentleman. #penn
Another year, another Commencement, another chance to show the world what you're made of, Class of 2019! #PennGrad
The sun was hot, the thrones were iron, and now you're done! Congratulations, graduates! Look for more photos and video over the next few posts. #penn #Penngrad