Contact: Jana Smith Date: October 10, 2005 OSU Recognizes Outstanding Faculty for Excellence in Research Carol Bender, Ziad El Rassi, Xincheng Xie, Debra Nelson, Bert Jacobson, Hailin Qu, Vice President Marlene Strathe, Carey Pope, President David Schmidly (not pictured: Jong-Moon Chung) Oklahoma State University recognized outstanding faculty for excellence in research during Fall Convocation in Stillwater, Oklahoma on October 6. The 2005 Regents Distinguished Research Award honors faculty for outstanding and meritorious achievements in research. The eight award winners have demonstrated continued excellence in research during their academic careers and have received national and international acclaim for achievement in their respective fields of study. Carol Bender, Entomology and Plant Pathology Dr. Bender has developed a world class research program in bacteriology for which she is both nationally and internationally recognized. Her research group has shown that the bacterium, Pseudomonas syringae, produces a number of useful natural products with commercial potential. For example, the compound coronatine, a product of P. syringae, can be used to facilitate the mechanical harvesting of citrus fruit. Dr. Bender has a patent on this application and several disclosures have been filed related to this invention. Dr. Bender’s research has included the biosynthesis, regulation and mode of action of coronatine, and her research on this compound has been continually funded by the National Science Foundation since 1988. Dr. Bender’s research also includes another compound produced by P. syringae, the extracellular polysaccharide alginate. Alginate is of major significance in other pathogenic bacteria, including those important in human diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Dr. Bender is uncovering the genetic mechanisms and regulatory signals critical to alginate production. Xincheng Xie, Physics Dr. Xie is a condensed matter theorist who is an expert in the quantum Hall effect, strong correlated systems, the physics of nano-structures, the localization problem, and the two dimensional metal-insulator transition and the relatively new field of spintronics. His theoretical work on the quantum Hall effect in particular, and his work on two-dimensional electron systems in general is recognized worldwide. Dr. Xie is among a dozen best theorists in mesoscopic physics in the world in his age group. His research achievement has put OSU on the world map of most active research institutes in the field. He is a physicist with broad interest and his work has broad impact. His research is supported by a large DOE grant and an NSF EPSCoR grant. Because of outstanding research in this field, he was recently appointed as a Regents Professor in June 2004. Ziad El Rassi, Chemistry Dr. El Rassi’s research program has focused on basic and applied research in liquid phase separation techniques, specifically capillary electrophoresis (CE), liquid chromatography (HPLC), and capillary electrochromatography (CEC). The goal of this research is to (1) develop novel separation schemes and principles of high resolving power for environmental biological species; (2) better understand the underlying physico-chemical phenomena; (3) improve the methodology of these three techniques, and (4) introduce novel applications that will have general use in environmental research, proteomics, glycomics and in the life sciences. El Rassi’s involvement in HPLC, CE and CEC has engendered synergism, and led to mutual progress in these areas. Recent accomplishments from Dr. El Rassi’s group entailed the exploitation of the concept of monolithic stationary phases for CEC of small and large molecules. These accomplishments are milestones for further advancing CEC and enlarging its scope of applications. Debra L. Nelson, Management Dr. Nelson has spent her career trying to answer the question, “How can work be made less stressful and more rewarding?” As a manager at SBC and later as a consultant, Dr. Nelson found herself asking the same questions. These “burning questions” led her to complete her Ph.D. and pursue research that after twenty-five years would help provide answers. Her studies on work stress and gender issues at work have appeared in the Academy of Management Review and the Academy of Management Journal, among other top journals, and she is the author/coauthor of eight scholarly books. She has published research on managerial and executive stress, studies of military officers, and studies on interdependence, a healthy style of forming interpersonal relationships, among managers, employees, and military personnel. This work was the basis of her keynote presentation at the 8th Combat Stress Conference following the Persian Gulf War. Dr. Nelson’s current research focuses on positive organizational behavior, including positive constructs such as eustress, health, work performance and well being. Bert Jacobson, Educational Studies A career shift from football coach to academician led Dr. Jacobson to pursue research on the physiological and performance consequences of trimethylxanthine (caffeine) ingestion. In competitive athletics, participants are tempted to use ergogenic enhancing aids as nutritional supplements, some of which are illegal, damaging or ineffective. Caffeine is a strong CNS stimulant with the unique ability to bind with isolated nerve and muscle tissue, provide direct calcium ion manipulation and assist in the formation and release of neurotransmitters which can theoretically enhance certain types of performance. Dr. Jacobson has also studied cardiorespiratory fitness and musculoskeletal strength and the detrimental consequences of stress. Using data collected from 80,000 and 25,000 separate groups of working adults from across the U.S., Dr. Jacobson was able to determine strength of association and relative risk among related variables (i.e., health care cost, stress, exercise frequency, disease, health-related absenteeism and smoking). Recent research revealed encouraging evidence in the efficacy of a botanical-based, transdermal treatment of osteoarthritis. Plans are underway for a large clinical study of 600 osteoarthritic patients in the U.S., England and Australia. Jong-Moon Chung, Electrical and Computer Engineering At the international level, Dr. Chung has been acknowledged numerous times for his research contributions in the areas of mobile communication networking, satellite communication, digital communication, high-speed computer networking, and error control coding. Dr. Chung’s research and development has contributed to numerous U.S. Department of Defense communication and networking systems, which are known to have improved national defense. Dr. Chung’s next generation mobile communication networking research has been focused on providing advancements in realizing traffic engineering (TE), differentiated services (DiffServ), and real-time on-demand guaranteed qualify of services (QoS). In addition, Dr. Chung’s current research in mobile communication networking is being funded by major government and industrial sponsors. Hailin Qu, Hotel and Restaurant Management Dr. Qu’s contributions include assessing the destination image and travelers’ behaviors and loyalty, economic impact of tourism, and projection of tourist arrivals and tourism expenditures. As a pioneer in research specializing in hospitality and tourism service quality, Dr. Qu has used several models and approaches to measure service quality in restaurant, hotel and travel industry. His findings have become benchmarks for others to measure service quality and hospitality and tourism. Dr. Qu’s research on the intentions of international travelers to revisit North America contributed significantly and helped to define and operationalize “destination involvement,” a new concept in tourism marketing and travelers behavior. The model assesses travelers’ interactions with a destination and predicts the probability of the international travelers’ revisit. Travel market segmentation via visitor involvement profiles offer destination marketers a more precise tool to distinguish and approach target markets. These studies are acclaimed and highly recognized by both scholars and practitioners in the field of hospitality and tourism. The results of these studies have had direct and indirect economic impacts on the state. Carey N. Pope, Physiological Sciences There has been concern that children were being exposed to unsafe levels of pesticides in their diet. EPA-supported studies in Pope’s lab first demonstrated that the common insecticide chlorpyrifos was markedly more toxic to young animals compared to adults. These findings contributed to the subsequent withdrawal of all home and garden uses of chlorpyrifos in 2000. Dr. Pope has also studied etiological factors in unexplained illnesses sometimes referred to as “Gulf War Syndrome.” Research supported by the U.S. Army allowed characterization of the effects of different types of stressors on the neurotoxicity of pyridostigmine, a drug used to protect against nerve agent intoxication. The findings supported its continued use by the U.S. military. Pope’s lab has also studied selective actions of different cholinesterase inhibitors. NIH-supported research demonstrated additional mechanistic actions of some organophosphorus insecticides that may eventually lead to more effective treatment strategies for insecticide and nerve agent intoxication.