Sweet! Sugar-Coated Probe Yields Better Acid Test

A new type of nontoxic fluorescent probe could make it much easier to detect low pH in living cells.

The human body is engaged in a constant tightrope walk to maintain the right pH, because when our cells’ acid-alkaline balance goes wrong, it can go wrong in a big way.

Abnormal pH—in particular, abnormally low, acid pH—is a marker for maladies ranging from cystic fibrosis, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis to cancer and Alzheimer’s. Now, Michigan Tech chemist Haiying Liu has developed new tools that could make it much easier to detect low pH in living cells. The discovery is the focus of a new study published in ACS Sensors  DOI: abs/10.1021/acssensors.7b00137.

To measure pH, researchers and medical personnel use fluorescent dyes, called probes, that glow in acidic conditions when activated by fluorescent light. The probes are used for diagnostic imaging—to visualize blood vessels and the digestive tract, for example—and they can help surgeons remove diseased tissue, including tumors. However, these probes are not perfect. Read the full story.

Parking Lot Maintenance on Campus

Thanks to everyone for your cooperation while parking lot updates were finalized this summer. Paving and painting in both lots 3 and 10 have now been completed.
Lot 27 has been transitioned back to the visitor pay lot now that lot maintenance has been finalized. 

Strategic Plan Open for Comments

This academic year, the process of revising the Strategic Plan will begin. The Strategic Plan describes the priorities for the next five years that must be addressed in order to advance toward the Portrait. Suggestions and comments are welcomed and your feedback is anonymous.

If you would like to leave feedback, do so at the following link: Strategic Plan Feedback. If you have any questions, email Cathy Jenich of the Vice President for Research Office.

Personnel Changes Announced in Innovation and Industry Engagement

Jim Baker, executive director of innovation and industry engagement announced two recent personnel moves within the Department. 
Marilyn Haapapuro has been promoted to director of industrial contracting and Mike Morley has been promoted to director of technology Commercialization. 
The moves recognize an increased level of leadership and responsibility which both team members have taken on following the assignment of additional responsibilities to Baker as co-director of the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship within the Pavlis Honors College.

GRACE GIS High School Student Presentations

Support this summer’s GRACE Program interns at an event this Thursday. Eleven students from C-L-K and Houghton High schools have been working with Michigan Tech researchers, the National Park Service, and WUPPDR to map children’s health, municipal parks, and more.

The celebration will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 17) in the Great Lakes Research Center, room 201.

Students will give short illustrated presentations about their research projects, which use GIS (Geographic Information Science) to investigate the changing relationships between people and the built environment in our communities.

Hear what these smart and dedicated teenagers have to say about how our streets, buildings, parks and landscape features help shape their experiences of home life, education, heritage and general well-being. 

 A light meal and refreshments will follow. The public is invited. 

The GRACE Program funds teachers and students in Michigan’s under serviced communities to learn GIS for career applications.

GRACE is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF-ITEST) and is run in partnership with Eastern Michigan University and Michigan Tech. To learn more about GRACE online

Bio Med PhD Proposal Defense

Biomedical engineering PhD student David Rosen will present his PhD proposal defense on Thursday, at 1 p.m. (Aug. 17 ). The title of the defense is, "An Investigation of Uncertainty in Ultrasonic Elastography: A Continuum Biomechanics Perspective."

On the Road

2017 Michigan Lean Consortium

A number of Michigan Tech staff and students attended the 7th Annual Michigan Lean Consortium (MLC) Conference that was held Aug. 2-4 in Traverse City.

The conference was well attended and focused on topics including: enabling organizational improvement through effective change management, business engagement in Lean facilitation through participant centered learning, coaching for professional performance improvement and a workshop called "The Seven Quality Tools for Steering to True North" taught by Ruth Archer, director of continuous improvement at Michigan Tech.

Also, Michigan Tech student process improvement coordinators, from the Office of Continuous Improvement, prepared materials for a display table and met with MLC leadership to brainstorm on the start-up of student MLC chapters.

Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, associate vice president for administration, participated in a pre-conference board of directors meeting and has been elected to the position of vice chair of the MLC. She is entering her last year out of three years on the ten-member board.

The MLC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is governed by an all-volunteer board, with a membership that is dedicated to spreading Lean principles throughout every public and private sector industry in Michigan.

Conference attendees included T Coleman-Kaiser;  Archer; Brenda Randell, executive assistant for the associate vice president for Administration; Colin Neese, business system analyst for the Office of Information Services; Andi Barajas, communications and media specialist for the Business Operations office; Annelise Doll, scholarly communications and repositories librarian for the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library; Laurie Stark, staff development and lean initiatives coordinator for the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library; and three process improvement coordinator (PIC) student employees from the Office of Continuous Improvement, Rylie Store, Matt Chard and Ari Laiho.

If you would like more information on this or other Lean events, contact the Office of Continuous Improvement at 7-3180 or email improvement-l@mtu.edu.


Funds Available for Visiting Women and Minority Lecturers/Scholars

Michigan Tech is offering grants through the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer Scholar Series to help departments bring visiting minority and underrepresented speakers to the University.

All departments are invited to participate in these programs. Applications are due by noon Friday (Aug.18). Notification of awards will be made by Sept. 29. Read the previous Tech Today story

IT Connect

 IT Business Hours
We hope that everyone is excited about the upcoming semester. This is a reminder that along with the rest of the University, the Michigan Tech IT hours have returned to the normal academic schedule. As of today, we are open for operation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
In addition, there will likely be temporary extended hours during the beginning of the semester; we will post them soon. If anyone has questions or comments regarding our hours of operation, contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 7-1111.

In the News

Michigan Tech's Mi-STAR program for revising the middle school science curriculum was the focus of a news story in the Grosse Point News about a teacher who is participating in the program. See here.


MSN Money reported on the Forbes ranking of Michigan Tech among the top 25 public universities for graduates' mid-career earnings. Tech ranked 12th in the nation. See here.


The Daily Tribune published an article about the unveiling of the new Chevy Camaro ZL1, Chevrolet's new NASCAR Cup race car, quoting alumnus Pat Suhy, manager of Chevrolet's NASCAR Competition Group and a 1988 mechanical engineering alumnus of Michigan Tech. See here.


Maritime Global News published a story about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) research into using new technologies to help locate shipwrecks in Lake Huron. Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center and its director, Guy Meadows, were mentioned for their work with autonomous underwater vehicles during the third phase of the research project. See here.


ABC 10 aired a story about Don Lafreniere (SS) and Sarah Scarlett's (SS) Keweenaw Time Traveler project. They held a Scan-a-thon where residents brought their photograph collections to the Keweenaw National Historical Park visitor's center to be scanned and mapped. See here.