UC Riverside Leader Part of Science and National Interest Panel

Michael Pazzani is one of 10 officials from universities across the nation that took part in July 15 panel discussion in Washington, D.C.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Michael Pazzani, the University of California, Riverside’s vice chancellor for research and economic development, is one of 10 university officials who took part in a panel discussion on science and the national interest in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 15.

The discussion, “All Things Research 2015,” took place at 12:30 p.m. at the Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club. It was sponsored by the Association of American Universities and The Science Coalition.

In addition to science and the national interest, topics of discussion included economic development and the research university and the innovation deficit, which is the gap between federal government funding for research and higher education and what some argue is needed for the United States to remain the world’s innovation leader.

Michael Pazzani sitting at a table during a panel discussion.

Michael Pazzani, vice chancellor for research and economic development, during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C.

Pazzani used the opportunity to talk about two recent UC Riverside commercialization activities, one which involves a start-up company and the other which involves licensing research to an established company.

Anand Ray, an associate professor of entomology, launched a start-up company, Sensorygen Inc., to commercialize a safe repellant that protects ripening fruit from spotted wing Drosophila, a pest that annually causes hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of agricultural damage worldwide.

Sean Cutler, a professor of botany and plant sciences, has conducted research that involves reprogramming plants so that that they can survive drought conditions. Cutler, UC Riverside and Syngenta, a worldwide agribusiness company with more than 28,000 employees in more than 90 countries, are engaged in developing technical solutions for drought tolerance in plants.

Pazzani also spoke about what he calls the “infrastructure deficit,” that is universities and federal and state governments cutting spending on high tech equipment that is needed to conduct leading-edge research.

Pazzani also discussed UC Riverside’s commitment to providing undergraduate students opportunities to conduct research and the diversity of students at UC Riverside, a point that separates the university from others taking part in the discussion.

Other universities that participated include: Stony Brook University, West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Florida, Northwestern University, Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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