Texas Tech University

Three Special Guests to Give Talks on Texas Tech Campus

Glenys Young

April 29, 2015

Topics include the U.S.’s future defensive capabilities, using lasers for early detection of health problems, and linking animal and human brains.

The Texas Tech University Office of the Vice President for Research will host four talks by three special guests in the next two weeks. All events are free and open to the public.

WHO:             Rear Admiral (retired) Nevin Carr, former chief of naval research and director of test and evaluation and technology requirements for the U.S. Navy

WHEN:           11:45 a.m. Thursday (April 30)

WHERE:         Senate Room, Student Union Building

WHAT:           Carr will speak on the topic of “Affordable Future Defense Capability,” focusing on the implications of soaring defense costs, and the role of advanced technologies like autonomy, rail gun and directed energy in preserving the country's future military capacity.


WHO:             Hans A. Schuessler, professor of physics at Texas A&M University

WHEN:           10:30 a.m. Friday (May 1)

WHERE:         Room 120, Experimental Sciences Building

WHAT:           Schuessler's topic is “Sensitive Spectroscopy of Crude Oil.” He will present his work on trace detection with both collinear fast beam laser spectroscopy and optical spectroscopy based on frequency comb lasers. As examples, he will describe research in Qatar and the monitoring of the methane content of seawater following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Applications of his research range from detecting methane from natural seeps to leaks in pipelines and well gases produced during fracking.


WHO:             Hans A. Schuessler, professor of physics at Texas A&M University

WHEN:           1:30 p.m. Friday (May 1)

WHERE:         Room 220, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Academic Classroom Building

WHAT: Schuessler's second topic of the day is “Lasers in Biomedicine.” He will discuss research using tailored laser radiations to study atoms, molecules and intact subcellular units. He will focus on the contractile ability of the heart muscle, sensing of cardiac markers and the possibility of a novel breath analyzer to identify early stages of respiratory diseases, chronic health conditions, carcinogens, diabetes and other pathological conditions.


WHO:             Nanyin Zhang, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Penn State University

WHEN:           10 a.m. May 11

WHERE:         Room 120, Experimental Sciences Building

WHAT:           Zhang will speak on “Understanding Brain Disorders using Translational Neuroimaging Approaches.” A longstanding challenge in investigating psychiatric disorders is the difficulty to directly translate from human symptoms to animal models that have unique behaviors. The brain's connectivity and function, accessible through fMRI in humans, might provide a link, but the task has been unsuccessful because of the effects of anesthesia in most animal experiments. Zhang's lab has established an approach that allows animals' brain circuit function to be examined in the awake state, putting researchers in a better position to establish a direct link between animal models and human psychiatric disorders.


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CONTACT: Wendoli Flores, executive associate, Office of the Vice President for Research, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3904 or wendoli.flores@ttu.edu.