The School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SCMNS) houses five academic departments (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science) and offers a variety of academic programs within these disciplines. SCMNS also offers students eight undergraduate programs, five graduate programs, four research programs; three research centers; and two all-encompassing student support programs. SCMNS also houses two professional programs that fully equip students for careers in medical technology and actuarial science. Please check the webpage of each department and contact the relevant department chair and/or Dean's office for more information.

The Aslan Research Group at Morgan is seeking a postdoctoral research associate position to support the research programs on protein/peptide crystallization applications. The appointee will perform microwave-accelerated protein/peptide crystallization experiments and characterize these crystals with x-ray crystallography. Experience in protein and peptide crystallization is required. Send your CV to Kadir.Aslan@morgan.edu

Dr. Aslan receives a subaward ($89,843) from Juxtopia, LLC (NIH STTR phase 1 award based on  the technology described in Morgan's recent patent application, Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization), bringing the all time funding of Aslan Research Group $1,088,410 (March 10, 2015).

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Announcement: Mr. Muzaffer Mohammed (Advisor: Dr. Kadir Aslan), Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 13:00 pm, Dixon 125. Open to Public
Title: "Development of Rapid Analysis System Based on Microwave-Accelerated Bioassay Technique for Point-of-Care Applications"
The release of biological and chemical agents in to water resources, air, and soil; even in remote areas causes loss of human life, significant damage to the economy and long term effects on environment and health of civilians. Biosensors are useful tools for the assessment and monitoring of environmental and healthcare disasters caused by biological and chemical attacks, accidental release of harmful chemicals and organisms into the water resources and food chain. The field of point-of-care systems has emerged rapidly in the last decade with the advent of portable medical devices and biosensors. However, these systems are either lack the sensitivity, or speed or are very expensive thereby creating tremendous research opportunities in this field. In this regard, microwave energy coupled with plasmonic nanoparticles has been successfully used to enhance the sensitivity and signal output from biological assays through surface plasmon effect. This method is referred to as microwave-accelerated bioassays (MAB) technique and employs the commercially available high throughput screening (HTS) plates or glass microscope slides, which are not designed for microwave heating that results in heterogeneous temperature rise across sample well. In this research, we have developed a new circular bioassay platform to be used with a small monomode microwave cavity powered by 100 watt external generator. With the presence of multiple wells on the new platform, we will be able to test for numerous molecules of interest at the same time from the sample solution. The new microwave cavity along with the external microwave generator is smaller in size as compared to the conventional kitchen microwave ovens, portable and easy to operate. It can be powered by multiple sources, such as low power USB ports or a 12V/150 W power port in a car for on-site sample collection and analysis. Our new biosensing system combines the sensitivity of laboratory based testing systems and the speed of currently available point-of-care systems to generate data within few minutes. This system can be used for various applications such as environmental sensing at water management plants, ecosystem monitoring, and point-of-care diagnostic systems for health care emergencies and for on-field use by armed forces.

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Announcement: Mr. Biebele Abel (Advisor: Dr. Kadir Aslan), Friday, February 13, 2015, 12:00 pm, Dixon 125. Open to Public
Title: "Enzymatic Signal Amplification Using Plasmonic Nanostructures for Applications in Bioenvironmental Science and Engineering"

Plasmonic nanostructures have attracted the attention of scientists around the world due to their size (in the order of biomolecules themselves), amenability to the attachment of biological materials and their exceptional optical and electronic properties. By combining the biological materials with plasmonic nanostructures, one can create hybrid systems, which display biological and electronic functions at the same time. In this regard, the combined used of enzymes with plasmonic nanostructures can enable us to design new hybrid enzyme-nanoparticle systems for applications in bio- and nanotechnology. However, current enzyme/nanoparticle hybrid systems have certain drawbacks, such as, cost effectiveness, as well as lengthy and complex preparation procedures. Subsequently, there is a need for the development of new hybrid systems, which can be prepared in a facile and inexpensive manner and can be applicable to environmental sensing. In addition, the fundamental study of the interactions of plasmonic nanostructures with enzymes (i.e., hybrid systems) can lead to the improvement of the stability and increase the efficiency of enzymes used in bioenvironmental science and engineering. In this work, several fundamental issues were investigated, which include; the comparison of enzyme immobilization methods and the effect of nanoparticle loading, the application of biologically relevant enzymes to the hybrid system, the use of variety of plasmonic nanostructures in the hybrid system for enhanced enzyme activity, and the potential bioenvironmental applications. It was observed from the results that the hybrid system showed good sensitivity, and acceptable reproducibility, this can be employed as a screening tool for pesticides detection

Morgan's 22nd Annual Undergraduate and Graduate Research Symposium: Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

The Medical Technology Program was awarded continuing accreditation for seven years (maximum number of years of accreditation) by The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences on October 31, 2014. After preparation of an extensive self-study document and a site visit, the MT program has been rewarded for total compliance for all of the 22 standards of accredited educational programs for the Medical Technologist.

SCMNS Actuarial Science Program attracts students around the country.

Associate Dean of SCMNS and Professor Dr. Gaston N'Guerekata gave the Joaquim Bustoz Jr. Lecture 2014 Blackwell-Tapia Conference (UCLA). Jean-Louis Candice (ICM Ph.D. student) presented a poster at the same event.

Dr. Kadir Aslan, Assistant Dean and Professor, feature a newsroom article entitled "Nanotechnology and Medical Biotechnology" on the online publications of Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Association (TASSA).

Morgan's mathematician, Associate Dean of SCMNS and Professor Dr. Gaston N'Guerekata has been named as a fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). TWAS announced forty-six new Fellows at the Academy's 25th General Meeting in Muscat, Oman, on Sunday, 26 October 2014. TWAS is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy, working to advance science and engineering for sustainable prosperity in the developing world. Dr. N'Guerekata work is cited as follows: "The nominee has introduced the notion of uniform spectrum to prove the existence of almost automorphic mild solutions of evolution equations whose linear part is governed by a linear operator in analytic. He also introduced the concept of circular spectrum of bounded functions in order to prove the existence and uniqueness of solutions to difference equations and nonautonomous periodic evolution equations."

Ms. Shanai Brown, a Biology junior, was the recipient of 1st Prize for her oral presentation entitled "The variability of virus lethal to blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) at the NOAA Educational Partnership Program 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum. There were a total of 64 oral presentations and 103 poster presentations presented by undergraduate and graduate students at this national conference. This is an exceptional outcome of an ongoing student engagement and training partnership between the NSF-funded STARS-1 Program at MSU and the IMET (Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology) in the Baltimore Harbor.

On September 24, 2014, two University Innovation Fellows went to the White House to address 60 leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who attended a half-day Maker Workshop. Two Fellows, Jaime Aribas Starkey-El of Morgan State and Ulysses Knight of Virginia State. Jaime spoke on a panel (see video) about his efforts to bring a maker space to Morgan. 

Biology Professor, Dr. Gloria Hoffman co-authors a paper in PNAS

Dr. Kadir Aslan, Assistant Dean of SCMNS, was awarded a Phase 2 Maryland Innovation Iniative (MII) grant from TEDCO based on Morgan's first patented techonology. This is Dr. Aslan's second MII Award (September 2014).


New Announcement: Mr.Erik Davenport, Ph.D. Dissertation Defense, Thursday, March 6, 2014, 2:30 pm, Dixon 125. Open to Public
Title: "Assessing Ecosystem Vulnerability to Hurricane Effects" 
The primary objective of this research was to develop a framework of metrics for quantification and comparison of the ecological effects from hurricanes in coastal ecosystems. Many commercially important fishery species inhabit marine ecosystems that are exposed to risk from hurricane events. Understanding how the effects of hurricanes on biological production in coastal ecosystems is important for forecasting potential impacts to fishery resources. It is hypothesized that ecosystem stability and structure will display different levels of vulnerability to the passage of hurricanes with similar wind and precipitation. Through the use of a numerical simulations models, changes to biological production are examined relative to presumed changes in environmental factors caused by hurricane winds and precipitation. The results of these simulations are compared to observations in the literature. Vulnerability of ecosystems to hurricanes and the utility of numerical simulations as a resource management strategy are discussed. 

SCMNS Associate Dean and Professor Gaston N'Guerekata is featured in an African magazine.

SCMNS introduces "Extreme Science Internships: A joint program of Morgan State University and the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute at Johns Hopkins University"
Program Details: 
The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute at the Johns Hopkins University will provide an estimated $100,000 per year thru 2016 to Morgan State University to establish and run the Extreme Science Internships (ESI) program.  This program provides funds for selected Morgan State University undergraduates to spend 8-15 weeks working at any of the participating research universities, the Army Research Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and companies listed below. Each ESI must be focused on research related to the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments managed by HEMI (www.cmede.hemi.edu). 
In addition to the research experiences and knowledge gained through this program, ESI students will have the opportunity to develop invaluable connections with practicing scientists and engineers. They will build networks and relationships that are expected to provide job opportunities with the companies and access to graduate degree programs at the participating institutions. Application process (Application form is available here)
Morgan State undergraduates may apply for ESI support through the ESI office at Morgan State University, reporting to Professor Alvin Kennedy, Dean of the School of Computer Science, Natural Sciences, & Mathematics. The deadline for applications will be defined by the ESI office.

Research News: The National Science Foundation awards a grant of $45,973 to Morgan State University for support of the project, entitled "MRI: Acquisition of Atomic and Magnetic Force Microscopy," is under the direction of Dr. Dereje Seifu (Interim Chair of Physics).