News Releases



Penn Researcher Awarded Swartz Fellowship to Investigate Brain Mechanisms of Learning and Memory
January 3, 2018
Gaia Tavoni, a postdoctoral fellow of the Computational Neuroscience Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named a Swartz Foundation Fellow for Theory in Neuroscience for her research proposal suggesting pathways to investigate the brain mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Tavoni said she is fascinated by the deep connections between learning and memory.
‘Silent Code’ of Nucleotides, Not Amino Acids, Determines Discrete Functions of Proteins Vital For Life
January 3, 2018
Humans possess six forms of the protein actin, which perform essential functions in the body. Two in particular, β-actin and γ-actin, are nearly identical, only differing by four amino acids. Yet these near-twin proteins carry out distinct roles. A long standing question for biologists has been, how is this possible?
Penn Student Dave Joseph Succeeds With Drive, Determination and the Support of Others
January 3, 2018
By Julie McWilliams If Dave Joseph becomes prime minister of his native Jamaica one day, he will have achieved a long-time goal despite experiencing tragedy there. He says the island is a vital part of who he is and that it drives him to succeed.
Penn Senior Takes Up Worldwide Challenge of Climate-change Refugees
January 3, 2018
By Julie McWilliams The news is filled with stories of natural disasters, hurricanes, tornados, floods and fires, many often attributed to climate change. News crews, however, move on to the next story and don't follow up on the people displaced in the aftermaths. Where do they go? How are their needs met? Who is tracking their resettlement? At the University of Pennsylvania, senior Hani Warith is.
At Penn, Kelly Writers House and Perry World House Collaborate in Writer-in-Residence Program
January 2, 2018
Kelly Writers House and Perry World House, neighbors side-by-side on Locust Walk, are now connected by a writer-in-residence program for journalists who are under threat and working in crisis conditions. 
Penn Demographers Embark on Quest to Learn More About Families in Low- and Middle-income Countries
January 2, 2018
“We know a lot about families in the United States, Sweden, a lot of high-income countries,” said University of Pennsylvania demographer Hans-Peter Kohler. “But there is a huge gap in what we know about the family in middle- and low-income countries.”
Penn Engineers: Bone Marrow Transplant Stem Cells Can 'Swim' Upstream
January 2, 2018
When a cancer patient receives a bone marrow transplant, time is of the essence. Healthy stem cells, which can restart the production of blood cells and immune system components after a patient’s own are compromised, need to make their way from the circulatory system into the bones as quickly as possible. To do that, they must find the spots where blood vessels and bone are in close contact.
Weekly Fish Consumption Linked to Better Sleep, Higher IQ, Penn Study Finds
December 21, 2017
Regular fish consumption has been shown to improve cognition. It’s also been known to help with sleep. A new study, conducted by Jianghong Liu, Jennifer Pinto-Martin and Alexandra Hanlon of the School of Nursing and PIK Professor Adrian Raine, connects all three for the first time. The research team found that children who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have higher IQs by an average of 4 points.
Commonalities in Late Stages of Different Inherited Blinding Diseases Suggest Targets for Therapy
December 20, 2017
Gene therapy holds promise for treating a variety of diseases, including some inherited blinding conditions. But for a gene therapy to be effective, one must know the precise gene responsible for a given individual’s disorder and develop a tailored treatment. For diseases that may be caused by mutations in many different genes, developing individual gene therapy approaches can be prohibitively costly and time-intensive to pursue.
LGBQ Adolescents at Much Greater Risk of Suicide than Heterosexual Counterparts
December 19, 2017
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, May Wharton graduate Theodore L. Caputi published findings showing that adolescents who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning are much more likely to consider, plan or attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Though similar conclusions have been reported, Caputi and colleagues used a unique methodology that updates the findings in a new way.