Briefs 5/8: NASA Funds UCSD Study, Chancellor Releases Strategic Plan

▶ NASA Funds UCSD Twin Space Study

NASA awarded UCSD School of Medicine professor Brinda Rana funds to study fluid flows in the brains to determine how long-term space flight affects fluid pressure in the brain and its implications for vision during and after space travel, according to a UCSD News Center report. 

The project will begin in March 2015 with identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly serving as its subjects. Scott will spend one year on the International Space Station while Mark, the husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will remain on Earth. This will be the first time that any human will stay in space for an entire year.

Professor Rana hopes this project will impact health care on Earth by shedding light on potential new treatments for traumatic brain injuries, glaucoma and “water on the brain.”

Chancellor Releases Strategic Plan

UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla announced the university’s first-ever Strategic Plan at a Town Hall on April 24. The plan outlines five goals and thirteen strategies to help UCSD “transform California and a diverse global society by educating, generating, and disseminating knowledge and creative works, and engaging in public service…. to be a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university.”

The Chancellor explained that several steps have already been taken, including a commitment to hire 80 new full-time faculty over three years and investing in 100 seed grants for interdisciplinary projects that pair faculty with students. UCSD has also established the Graduate Student Growth and Excellence Initiative , created and expanded the Chancellor’s Associate Scholarship program. Finally, administrators reorganized UCSD’s administrative structure, evaluated its existing revenue sources and reviewed the current budget resource and allocation model.

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