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Welcome to the SEPTEMBER issue of UCHICAGO.EDU, a monthly e-bulletin bringing you online news about the University of Chicago and its larger community of alumni and friends.

The SEPT–OCT/08 University of Chicago Magazine is almost in the mail—and it’s also online at:

In this Issue


Elemental Obama
While pundits debate whether a former Law School lecturer is too University of Chicago to be the next president, the U of C focuses on—what else?—what it means to be U of C.


Spare Me Is Jack Tucker, PhD’72, a professional bowler? That’s what his classmates have been reading in “Alumni News” for years. But the truth can get lost in pursuit of the score.



Legacy: Edith Abbott, PhD 1905, and Grace Abbott, PhM 1909
Two Midwestern sisters helped define modern social work—and the School of Social Service Administration.

News from Chicago

Big Grants Support New Approach to Biomedical Research
The Chicago Center for Systems Biology will bring together researchers from across the University and area institutions to study how networks of genes interact to enable cells and organisms to respond to environmental and genetic change. One of ten National Centers for Systems Biology, it has received $15 million-plus from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, as well as $3 million from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust.

A VP for Financial Strategy…
On September 15, Kermit Daniel, PhD’93, a principal at New York-based management consulting firm Katzenbach Partners, became vice president for financial strategy and budget. Daniel will work with University officers, deans, and trustees to develop a long-term financial plan that addresses programmatic and capital goals while protecting institutional assets.

…and a VP for University and City Partnerships
On October 1, Ann Marie Lipinski, former editor of the Chicago Tribune, will join the University as vice president for civic engagement. Besides overseeing a portfolio that includes the University's interactions with the Chicago Public Schools, public safety, and the city’s 2016 Olympics bid, the Pulitzer Prize winner will also serve as a senior lecturer in the College.

Research at Chicago

Diagnosis: Loneliness
The need for companionship is so deeply ingrained, says Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo, that loneliness can be felt at a cellular level. In a new book, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection (W. W. Norton), Cacioppo and coauthor William Patrick describe how a chronic sense of isolation can hinder blood flow, raise daily stress-hormone levels, alter immune cells' gene expression, and hasten the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Beyond Internal Combustion
Chicago physicists have discovered how to make one piece of the super-hot, highly efficient ceramic engines that will power cars and airplanes in the future: magnetic sensors capable of withstanding hundreds-of-degree temperatures.

Mental Power Play
Examining the brains of hockey players, fans, and those who don’t know a puck from a stick, Chicago researchers found that for aficionados, the encephalic region normally used in playing or watching the game became involved, during conversations about the sport, in processing information about hockey and deciphering its lingo. The implication: the adult brain may be more flexible than previously thought.

Today @ UChiBLOGo

Know Your Chicago: The program that works
The Magazine’s Web log attends the 60-year-old organization's kick-off symposium.

From the Magazine

We’re Looking for Gifts with Old School Ties
The Magazine is preparing a guide to holiday gifts—toys, clothes, gourmet offerings, home goods, games, or gadgets—produced by U of C alumni. If you have suggestions for the list, please write the Magazine, with “Maroon Gift Ideas” in the subject line, by Friday, September 26.

From the University of Chicago Alumni Association

An American Election in Paris
Alumni living or traveling in Paris are invited to an October 31 event sponsored by the Friends of the University of Chicago Center in Paris, and the University’s Chicago Society. “An Historic Election in Context” will feature University and European academic leaders discussing the 2008 U.S. presidential election. For more information, contact Shelley Nason, senior director of international development, at +44 (0)20 7070 2231, or
International Forum in Hong Kong
Join President Robert J. Zimmer, deans, faculty, and Asian leaders in Hong Kong April 17-19, 2009, for a weekend of inquiry and conversation. Examine economic, social, and scientific issues in an international context; learn how Chicago faculty, alumni, and address the world’s biggest challenges; network with alumni from around the globe; and enjoy enticing Hong Kong.

The University Wants You
If you have an interest in providing programs and services for your fellow alumni or in raising support for your alma mater, this is the time to act. Several positions are open in alumni relations and development. For information on positions and to apply online:

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