A new Global Health Equity professorship program will bolster research led by three University of Virginia professors on topics including the toxicity of electronic waste, the alarming trend of rural hospital closures and the experiences of asylum-seekers arriving in Charlottesville.

All three projects address key challenges to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in the U.S. and around the world and are recipients of the Center for Global Health Equity’s inaugural Richard and Nancy Guerrant Global Health Equity Professorships.

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With Halloween approaching, University of Virginia professor of Slavic languages and literatures Stanley Stepanic investigated the history of vampire legends for The Conversation, reposted below. Stepanic, who teaches a popular “Dracula” course at the University, says that hysteria about perceived vampires has escalated in times of disease and political and religious upheaval.

Here’s what he had to say in The Conversation.

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The University of Virginia’s annual Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn event will not occur this year in recognition of the potential risk posed to children who are not yet able to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The University is planning alternate virtual events to celebrate the holiday.

The Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer first communicated the message last week to residents of the Lawn, who traditionally host thousands of children for the holiday each year.

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On the path to medical school, there are few choices better than an undergraduate degree in neuroscience. The major, offered by the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences, gives students an opportunity to explore courses in biology, chemistry and psychology, and it gives students the chance to contribute to original research alongside some of the world’s leading neuroscientists.

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Each year, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that worsens over time.

Following the death of dopamine-producing brain cells, which coordinate movement, individuals with Parkinson’s can experience tremors and stiffness, as well as issues with speech, walking and balance. There is currently no cure for the disease, which affects nearly 1 million people in the U.S. and more than 6 million people worldwide.

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University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have revealed a vital but previously unknown role for immune cells that protect the brain from disease and injury: The cells, known as microglia, also help regulate blood flow and maintain the brain’s critical blood vessels.

In addition to revealing a new aspect of human biology, the findings may prove important in cognitive decline, dementia and stroke, among other conditions linked to diseases of the brain’s small vessels, the researchers say.

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An unmanned NASA spacecraft named Lucy is making the first space mission to the Jupiter Trojan asteroids, small bodies that share an orbit with the fifth planet from the sun. Lucy’s payload includes a plaque imprinted with words of wisdom for future explorers to find – including poetry from University of Virginia professor Rita Dove.

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A new course to be offered by the University of Virginia School of Law in the spring will help students improve their skills as advocates for Spanish-speaking clients amid growing demand for such services.

“Spanish for Public Service Lawyers” will introduce eight students who already have some proficiency in speaking Spanish to real-world clients who are facing some type of struggle in the legal system.

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With flu season approaching in the United States, new research from an international team of scientists testifies to the importance of timely vaccination: Poor timing of influenza vaccination campaigns in the semi-arid region of Brazil led to an increase in premature births, lower birth-weight babies and the need to deliver more babies by cesarean section, the researchers found.

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Since 1986, faculty and students of the University of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Sciences have conducted scientific research on the impact of global climate change on the coastal landscapes of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

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Running a marathon can sometimes feel like a lonely experience in that it’s just you, the pavement and that next mile marker you’re striving toward.

But running in his 10th consecutive Boston Marathon on Monday, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan had company. It came in the form of, arguably, the pandemic’s biggest heroes: nurses.

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Pamela Cipriano, dean of the University of Virginia School of Nursing and Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing, was elected Wednesday to lead the International Council of Nurses at the group’s Council of National Nursing Association Representatives.

A two-term president of the American Nurses Association from 2014 to 2018 and the ICN’s first vice president since 2017, Cipriano has been a champion of the nursing profession across her more than 40-year career.

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One of University of Virginia head football coach Bronco Mendenhall’s all-time favorite books is “Grit,” a New York Times bestseller by Angela Duckworth that maintains that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and perseverance called “grit.”

During the recruiting process, Mendenhall actually tries to measure players’ grit.

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Cloudy skies didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of University of Virginia leaders and guests Friday morning as they celebrated the groundbreaking of the Contemplative Commons in person and gave several standing ovations to the speakers. The ceremony took place on the site of the future interdisciplinary building at the Dell on Emmet Street.

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Perrin Godbold is exploring green energy by trying to understand its most basic elements.

“My dissertation is on atomic control over nanocrystal catalysts for the purposes of green energy technologies,” Godbold, of Stanardsville, said. “Even though nanomaterials are very tiny, atoms are even smaller, so one nanocrystal could have hundreds or even thousands of atoms in it, each one capable of doing chemistry. So, to be able to control the chemistry, you must control the synthesis of these materials down to the atom.”

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In today’s deeply polarized political and social environment, having a conversation with someone with different opinions can seem like an impossible task.

The University of Virginia’s Democracy Initiative has partnered with StoryCorps’ “One Small Step program to facilitate such fraught conversations and help individuals with opposing views find common ground.

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An initiative coordinated by the University of Virginia’s Office of the President will provide students a setting in which they can share and explore different perspectives, with a goal of bridging ideological differences and creating mutual understanding and respect.

The “Dialogue Across Grounds” series begins Oct. 13 at 12:30 p.m. with a free lunch in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom. Those interested can find more information and RSVP to attend here.

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The University of Virginia’s Department of Drama is returning to the stage this fall with a live audience, beginning its 2021-22 season Thursday. The shows, performed by graduate and undergraduate students, are commentaries on societal and environmental challenges in the modern world. 

Marianne Kubik, the department’s artistic director and a UVA associate professor of drama, witnessed the reclaim of the stage in real time. 

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An avid mountain biker and squash player who is always looking for new challenges – physical or mental – University of Virginia play-by-play announcer Dave Koehn just couldn’t pass on the opportunity to take his skills to the NBA.

On Tuesday, Koehn, who has been calling UVA games since 2008, announced his decision to leave for a job as the radio voice of the world champion Milwaukee Bucks.

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Antibiotics alone likely cannot overcome the complex factors that cause stunted growth and perpetuate the cycle of poverty in the developing world, new research suggests.

An international team of researchers – including some from the University of Virginia School of Medicine – had hoped that some combination of antibiotics, vitamin B3 and a drug to treat diarrhea would lead to better growth for children in the African country of Tanzania. But a randomized, double-blinded study following almost 1,200 children found no benefit – half the children still suffered stunted growth. 

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