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UNT briefs

Professor part of $4.5 million grant

The Department of Energy is funding $4.5 million of research to improve superconductive wires, and UNT professor Marcus Young is part of the project.

Young will collaborate with researchers at Superconductor Technologies Inc., TECO-Westinghouse Motor Co. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center for the grant.

Young, who teaches in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, will work with others to improve the manufacturing process of superconductive wires. These wires are used in making magnets for scientific and medical equipment.

As part of the research, they’ll look specifically at how better wire can help MRIs, high-speed trains and high-power motors and generators.

Study to see how sleep impacts immune system

Two psychologists will research if sleep patterns stress the immune system to the point that a lack of sleep will lead to a less effective response to the flu vaccine.

Daniel Taylor and Kimberly Kelly received a $2.2 million research grant from the National Institute of Health to study the flu vaccine effectiveness in nurses over three years.

A group of 400 nurses from Medical City Denton, formerly known as Denton Regional Medical Center, will be monitored for one week before and one week after receiving their flu shots. Their blood levels will be monitored for antibody levels, and they’ll complete two surveys a day about their sleeping habits on that particular day.

The study will begin at the start of the 2017 flu season.

Graduate student lands national scholarship

Laura Anne Hunt, a master’s student studying international sustainable tourism, earned the National Tour Association Travel Leaders Scholarship. The scholarship, for graduate students nationwide, named Hunt the sole recipient.

In addition to a $2,000 award, she has her registration to the annual “Tourism Rocks” conference paid for, and she’ll shadow mentors at the event.

Professor receives mentorship award

The Society of Health and Physical Educators awarded the America Mentor of the Year Award to Tao Zhang, professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation. He will be formally recognized at the organization’s national convention and exposition in March.

— Jenna Duncan