UW News

The latest news from the UW


May 13, 2022

‘Resistance Through Resilience’: Conference highlights compassion-based practices to interrupt racism

The seventh annual Center for Communication, Difference and Equity Conference, “Resistance Through Resilience,” will be held in collaboration with the University of Washington Resilience Lab.

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May 12, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: MFA Dance Concert, Passage, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Christina Fiig: Gender Policies in a Context of (Quasi) Permanent Crisis May 17, 12:00 PM | Online Join the Center for West European Studies and the Jean Monnet EU Center to continue the Talking Gender in the EU Lecture Series, with Christina Fiig…

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Simulation offers UW students practical experience in crisis negotiation

Robert Pekkanen, University of Washington professor in the Jackson School of International Studies, teaches Crisis Negotiation. The centerpiece of the course is the International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise (ISCNE), a negotiation simulation where students act as diplomatic teams facing a real-world crisis scenario.

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Changes in cholesterol production lead to tragic octopus death spiral

After a mother octopus lays a clutch of eggs, she quits eating and wastes away; by the time the eggs hatch, she is dead. Some females in captivity even seem to speed up this process intentionally, mutilating themselves and twisting their arms into a tangled mess. The source of this bizarre maternal behavior seems to be the optic gland, an organ similar to the pituitary gland in mammals. For years, just how this gland triggered the gruesome death spiral was unclear. But in a new study published May 12 in Current Biology, researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Chicago show that the optic gland in maternal octopuses undergoes a massive shift in cholesterol metabolism, resulting in dramatic changes in the steroid hormones produced. Alterations in cholesterol metabolism in other animals, including humans, can have serious consequences on longevity and behavior, and the team believes this reveals important similarities in the functions of these steroids across the animal kingdom — in soft-bodied cephalopods and vertebrates alike.

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Smokers who switch to e-cigarettes may adopt other healthy routines

A University of Washington study of adult smokers finds that those who switch to vaping some or all of the time may adopt other healthy behaviors.

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May 11, 2022

Faculty/staff honors in STEM mentoring, applied mathematics and Inuit languages

Recent recognition of the  includes the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring for Joyce Yen, the election of J. Nathan Kutz as a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics fellow and the recognition of Alexina Kublu with the 2022 Inuit Language Recognition Award.

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May 9, 2022

Q&A: Exposing the anti-radical origins of anti-Asian racism

In his new book, University of Washington history professor Moon-Ho Jung traces how Asian radicals organized and confronted the U.S. empire and were labeled criminally seditious as a result.

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May 7, 2022

Consensus approach proposed to protect human health from intentional and wild forest fires

All forest fire smoke is bad for people, but not all fires in forests are bad. This is the conundrum faced by experts in forest management and public health: Climate change and decades of fire suppression that have increased fuels are contributing to larger and more intense wildfires and, in order to improve forest health…

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May 6, 2022

Model finds COVID-19 deaths among elderly may be due to genetic limit on cell division

Your immune system’s ability to combat COVID-19, like any infection, largely depends on its ability to replicate the immune cells effective at destroying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease. These cloned immune cells cannot be infinitely created, and a key hypothesis of a new University of Washington study is that the body’s ability to…

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Four UW researchers elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2022

Four faculty members at the University of Washington have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2022: Elizabeth Buffalo, professor and chair of physiology and biophysics; Joseph Mougous, professor of microbiology; Dr. Jay Shendure, professor of genome sciences; and James Truman, professor emeritus of biology.

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May 5, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: Sacred Breath: Indigenous Writing and Storytelling Series, Stroum Lectures In Jewish Studies 2022: America’s Jewish Question, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Andrew L. Markus Memorial Lecture: Japanese Propaganda and the Power of Love: Mobilizing the Wartime Empire May 9, 6:30 PM | Kane Hall 225 Historians and cultural critics often identify “exploiting hate” as the primary affective mode of propaganda. Particularly in the context…

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UW professors to participate in panel on recently removed Volunteer Park plaque

University of Washington professors Christoph Giebel, Vicente Rafael and Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva will participate in a discussion on about a memorial plaque that was recently removed from Volunteer Park due to concerns about its accuracy.

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May 4, 2022

Astronomers discover a rare ’black widow’ binary, with the shortest orbit yet

The flashing of a nearby star drew the attention of a team of astronomers, who discovered that it is part of a rare and mysterious system. As they report in a paper published May 4 in Nature, the stellar oddity appears to be a “black widow binary” — a type of system consisting of a rapidly spinning neutron star, or pulsar, that is circling and slowly consuming a smaller companion star, as its arachnid namesake does to its mate.

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May 3, 2022

Rolling back abortion rights is ‘democratic backsliding,’ UW political scientist says

Sophia Jordán Wallace, associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, explains the implications the draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the constitutional right to an abortion would have on democracy, abortion rights and the midterm elections.

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Experiments measure freezing point of extraterrestrial oceans to aid search for life

A planetary scientist worked with engineers to measure the physical limits of a liquid for salty water under high pressure. Results suggest where robotic missions should look for extraterrestrial life on the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Titan.

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UW nursing, midwife experts address abortion issue in light of leaked SCOTUS opinion

Two University of Washington nursing and midwife experts in maternal health have provided the following quotes on the issue of restricting abortion or making it illegal — seen as increasingly likely due to the Supreme Court draft opinion, leaked to Politico on Monday. Molly Altman is an assistant professor in the UW School of Nursing…

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Many pathologists agree overdiagnosis of skin cancer happens, but don’t change diagnosis behavior

As the most serious type of skin cancer, a melanoma diagnosis carries emotional, financial and medical consequences. That’s why recent studies finding that there is an overdiagnosis of melanoma are a significant cause for concern. “Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of disease that will not harm a person in their lifetime. If melanoma is being overdiagnosed,…

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April 29, 2022

ArtSci Roundup

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Carving out a brave space: Courage in art May 3, 7:00 PM | HUB Lyceum & Online “Have something to say. Be brave enough to say it. Use your art to change the world.” UW Drama Professor and Head of Directing & Playwriting…

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April 28, 2022

Unchecked global emissions on track to initiate mass extinction of marine life

If emissions from greenhouse gases continue, species losses from warming and oxygen depletion of ocean waters could eclipse all other human stressors on marine species by around 2100. Tropical waters would experience the greatest loss of biodiversity, while polar species are at the highest risk of extinction

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Professor Margaret O’Mara on contextualizing Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase and the future of online speech

University of Washington history professor Margaret O’Mara says Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has renewed debate about freedom of online speech, online content moderation and the power of billionaires to shape public conversation.

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New meta-analysis examines link between self-harm and stress

A new, University of Washington-led meta-analysis finds that people engage in self-injury and/or think about suicide to alleviate some types of stress; and that there is potential for therapy and other interventions.

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April 26, 2022

Scientists find elusive gas from post-starburst galaxies hiding in plain sight

Scientists once thought that post-starburst galaxies scattered all of their gas and dust — the fuel required for creating new stars — in violent bursts of energy, and with extraordinary speed. Now, a team led by University of Washington postdoctoral researcher Adam Smercina reports that these galaxies don’t scatter all of their star-forming fuel after all. Instead, after their supposed end, these dormant galaxies hold onto and compress large amounts of highly concentrated, turbulent gas. But contrary to expectation, they’re not using it to form stars.

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April 25, 2022

La primera: Communication major Paula Thiele breaks in new ‘¡Spain Works!’ internship

Paula Thiele, a communication major who will graduate this spring, became the inaugural scholar to participate in the UW’s new Scholarship for Immersive Internships in León, dubbed “¡Spain Works!” — a partnership between the UW León Center, UW Study Abroad and the UW Career & Internship Center.

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Ranking: UW is No. 25 in world

The University of Washington ranks No. 25 in the world, or fifth among U.S. public institutions for student experience, faculty prestige and quality of research, according to a list published April 25 by the Center for World University Rankings. 

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April 22, 2022

Former UW Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Robert Stacey to deliver address for classes of 2020 and 2021 on June 12

Former UW Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Robert Stacey will speak to the graduates of the classes of 2020 and 2021 when they return to Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium for an in-person celebration on Sunday, June 12.

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Heavens need environmental protection just like Earth, experts say

Space urgently needs special legal protection similar to that given to land, sea and atmosphere to protect its fragile environment, argues a team of scientists. The scientific, economic and cultural benefits of space should be considered against the damaging environmental impacts posed by an influx of space debris — roughly 60 miles above Earth’s surface — fueled by the rapid growth of so-called satellite mega-constellations. In a paper published April 22 in Nature Astronomy, the authors assert that space is an important environment to preserve on behalf of professional astronomers, amateur stargazers and Indigenous peoples.

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April 21, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: A Conversation with Brad Smith, UW Public Lectures: An Evening with Masha Gessen, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Katz Distinguished Lecture: Abderrahmane Sissako April 26, 7:00 PM | Kane Hall 210 What is the place of West Africa in the world and of the world in West Africa? These are the questions that the Oscar- and Palme d’Or-nominated filmmaker Adberrahmane Sissako…

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Q&A: Making Earth-friendly electronics

Three researchers in the University of Washington College of Engineering are exploring ways to make electronics more Earth-friendly.

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April 20, 2022

Lasers trigger magnetism in atomically thin quantum materials

Researchers have discovered that light — from a laser — can trigger a form of magnetism in a normally nonmagnetic material. This magnetism centers on the behavior of electrons “spins,” which have a potential applications in quantum computing. Scientists discovered that electrons within the material became oriented in the same direction when illuminated by photons from a laser. By controlling and aligning electron spins at this level of detail and accuracy, this platform could have applications in quantum computing, quantum simulation and other fields. The experiment, led by scientists at the University of Washington, the University of Hong Kong and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was published April 20 in Nature.

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April 14, 2022

Historian Bailkin, astronomer Levesque receive Guggenheim Fellowships

Two University of Washington faculty members are among 180 experts in the arts, humanities, law and the sciences chosen as 2022 Guggenheim Fellows, according to an April 7 announcement from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Jordanna Bailkin, a professor in the Department of History, and Emily Levesque, an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy, are among the new class of fellows, which were selected from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants.

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Rosalie Fish, student, athlete and activist, selected as Truman Scholar

University of Washington junior Rosalie Fish has been selected for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, the third consecutive year that students from the UW were recognized with this national award.

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ArtSci Roundup: School of Art + Art History + Design Graduation Exhibitions, A Conversation with Rep. Adam Smith on US National Security Challenges, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Entwined Like a Word and its Meaning: Reflections on Fifty Years of Sanskrit Studies April 20, 7:00 PM | Online Professor Emeritus Richard Salomon (Department of Asian Languages and Literature, UW) will share some of the insights and inspirations he has gained from studying…

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April 13, 2022

Two UW faculty named fellows of Ecological Society of America

Two University of Washington professors have been honored by the Ecological Society of America for their knowledge and contributions to the field of ecology.

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UW artist in residence adds to Grammy Award total

An artist in residence at the University of Washington School of Music, Steve Rodby produced “Mirror, Mirror,” which won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. He now has 14 Grammy Awards.

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Ice shards in Antarctic clouds let more solar energy reach Earth’s surface

Including the splintering of ice inside clouds around Antarctica improves high-resolution global models’ ability to simulate clouds over the Southern Ocean – and thus the models’ ability to simulate Earth’s climate.

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UW names Tamara Michel Josserand VP for Development

Tamara Michel Josserand has been named Vice President for Development at the University of Washington, Senior Vice President for University Advancement Mary Gresch announced today. Josserand’s appointment begins May 31.  

Tony Award-winning producer and actor Ron Simons to deliver 2022 Commencement address

Four-time Tony Award-winning producer Ron Simons, a University of Washington alumnus who is well known for his work on Broadway and in Hollywood, will deliver the 2022 Commencement address for the 147th ceremony, which takes place at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium on June 11.

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April 11, 2022

Even in a virtual classroom, preschoolers can gain reading skills

A new study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences finds that children can develop key reading skills in a virtual classroom with other students.

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April 8, 2022

UW professors show that Japanese democracy is ‘flourishing’ as co-editors of first Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics

Robert and Saadia Pekkanen, both professors in the UW Jackson School of International Studies, are co-editors of the first Oxford Handbook of Japanese Politics, published online in September 2020 and in print in January 2022. They worked with dozens of collaborators around the world to add the topic to the respected collection of Oxford Handbooks that presents surveys of original research.

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April 7, 2022

ArtSci Roundup: Beauty That Saved Their World: Ukrainian Women’s Arts and Crafts in the Soviet Gulag, Jeremy Denk, and More

Through public events and exhibitions, connect with the UW community every week! Many of these opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Faculty Recital: Melia Watras: Song: An Endless Flight April 11, 7:30 PM | Meany Hall Violist/composer Melia Watras is joined onstage by narrator Shelia Daniels, violinist…

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