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Catalyst

A science magazine from the students of American University.

In the 2019 Issue

Digitally rendered completed Hall of Science

Science ·

New Hall of Science Opening in 2020

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Rana Said works at a fume hood in Hurst Hall.

Science ·

I-Corps: The I Is for Innovation, the S Is for Success

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Surgicure Technology, Securing Solutions

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Surgicure Technologies and an Au Graduate’s Innovative Bite Block

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AU’s new Scanning Electron Microscope (left) and Transmission Electron Microscope.

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Benefits of Microscopy for the Use of Research Experimentation

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Dr. Matthew Hartings

Science ·

Metal Organic Frameworks and Printing

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Biodegradable gloves can be tossed out in the trash
and will decompose in approximately three years.

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Helping Hands: Switching to Biodegradable Gloves

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Three students with the Eat Smart banner

Science ·

Bringing Myplate to Their Plate

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A professor points to the screen that features a close up of a cell

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Prevalence of Celiac Disease in South Asia

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Junior Sarah Gruesser tests out a newly built
smoothie bike

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Engineers for a Sustainable World and a Sustainable University

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From left to right: Meagan Mitchell, Linda Amarante, Josh Wilson, and Jonathan Newport

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Immersion and College through Practice, 3D Printing, and Open-Source Software

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Joshua Tatz

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Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity Guide

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Dr. Connaughton stands with students in the Zebrafish Ecotoxicology, Neuropharmacology and Vision Lab.

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The Impact of Mentorship

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The number of OA publications at AU has increased steadily from 1996-2017 and then decreased a lot from 2017-2019

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The Movement toward Open Information at American University

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Workers clean plastics out of a river

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Microplastics in the Chesapeake Bay

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Students from AU and local high schools at Wallops Flight Facility.

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Thinsat Program

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Catalyst Magazine 2019

Editor

Alexander Zestos, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Student Editor

Dilpreet Raju, Biochemistry Major

Designer

Simone Larson Design

Cover Photo

Dylan Singleton

Previous Issues

2018 Catalyst

Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Fall 2019 issue of Catalyst—our science magazine written and edited by American University science students.

This issue reflects some of the excitement we feel over the sciences at AU. Science is our fastest-growing area of undergraduate study. Over the past five years, College of Arts and Sciences faculty have more than doubled their research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other prestigious institutions. Just last year alone, our faculty received $8.3 million in new research grants.

Our new buildings, facilities, and laboratories are transforming scientific research. In 2017, we completed our state-of-the-art Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building. Next fall, we will open our 125,000-square-foot Hall of Sciences. Students are working in technologically advanced classrooms and labs, using some of the most modern equipment available. They are learning from experts who are shaping their fields—in addiction, cancer research, mathematics and cybersecurity, health disparities, climate change, and so much more.

If there is one theme running through this issue of Catalyst, it’s science with a public purpose. Our students care deeply about the world and making a difference. They do this on campus, by launching sustainability clubs and supporting the movement towards biodegradable gloves in our laboratories. Their research touches our local community through school nutrition programs, satellite launches with local high-school students, and the monitoring of Chesapeake Bay water quality. Even more broadly, their work ranges from monitoring disease prevalence in Asia, to improving surgical equipment, to better understanding how the brain affects vision and hearing.

Our students are not only preparing for a rapidly changing world—they are on their way to becoming scientists and innovators who have the power to make an extraordinary impact on the world.

Sincerely,
Peter Starr
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences