Alex Halliday

Photo Courtesy of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, Oxford University

“Alex Halliday is a renowned research scientist and skillful academic leader who is uniquely suited to charting the Institute’s future and its vital interdisciplinary role at the University," said President Lee C. Bollinger.

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The Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Branka Arsić was awarded MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize for her book 'Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau.'
New technology adapted to cheap DNA sequencers can rapidly identify people and cells from their DNA.

New technology adapted to cheap DNA sequencers can rapidly identify people and cells from their DNA. Here, researcher Sophie Zaaijer demonstrates from a NYC rooftop how easy DNA-authentication can be.

Researchers have developed a method to quickly and accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA. The technology, described in the latest issue of eLife, has a wide range of applications, but its most immediate use could be to flag mislabeled or contaminated cell lines in cancer experiments.

Biofilms are multicellular communities formed by densely-packed microbes that are often associated with persistent infections. Steep gradients of nutrients and oxygen form in these crowded structures. The human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces molecules called phenazines that help it to cope with the oxygen-limited conditions within biofilms. Columbia researchers have uncovered new roles for proteins of the electron transport chain that implicate them in utilization of phenazines. Illustration by Nicoletta Barolini.

Columbia University biologists have revealed a mechanism by which bacterial cells in crowded, oxygen-deprived environments access oxygen for energy production, ensuring survival of the cell. The finding could explain how some bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.

Mark Mazower

Professor Mark Mazower, founding director of Columbia's Institute for Ideas and Imagination.

What knowledge is most important now? How can we best pursue it? Is the university’s intellectual structure properly aligned with this endeavor?