The Office of Undergraduate Research will host a guest faculty talk by Ashfaq Adnan, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Texas-Arlington, at 3:30 p.m., March 9, in Landes Auditorium in the Galloway Business Building. Admission is free.

“I wanted to encourage our students to get involved in research, especially in undergraduate research,” Kumer Das, director of Undergraduate Research and LU associate professor of statistics, said. “One way to do that is, each month we host (a speaker) to come talk about what they are doing, to open up the horizons for our students.”

Adnan will speak about mild traumatic brain injury and neuron damage.

Das said that though Adnan’s background is in mechanical and aerospace engineering, there is a multi-disciplinary approach.

“Even NASA is working nowadays on neuro-science,” Das said. They’re sending people to space to check the importance of other factors that might influence somebody’s health and neuro-science and brain traumatic injury.”

Adnan, in an email interview, said the talk is aimed at increasing awareness of TBI and its impact on brain tissue.

“Not from a doctor’s point of view, but from an engineer’s point of view, and I hope that it will encourage students to learn more about the brain and brain injuries,” he said.

Das said the talk itself will be interesting because it deals not only in pure research, but also in applied research,

“Our students should meet with people from other places, to see that what is going on in that particular campus, lab or program, so that they could think of their future,” he said. “It’s also a good thing for the faculty. I invite faculty from different disciplines to join the talk and they will get a chance to collaborate. This could help improve someone’s teaching style, it could help choose the best method or practice, and they can also be helpful for writing grants.”

Das said Adnan’s research is challenging and interesting, the lecture will be an opportunity to see how people are working with things like health-related problems.

Traumatic brain injury can occur for multiple reasons including falling, concussions or blast exposure, Adnan said.

“The impact of TBI is significant,” he said.” Each year, approximately two million Americans sustain some level of TBI. Nearly one-third of injury-related deaths that occur in the U.S. are TBI related. Those who survive may experience long-lasting impairments that may lead to emotional, physical and economic distress at the personal and societal level. Since TBI affects so many individuals and families, many students and faculty often find talk on TBI as a topic of both academic and personal interest.”

Das said students and faculty are invited to ask questions after the talk.

“This type of opportunity, we should take as much as we can to just talk, because we can email and use social networking, but there is a special advantage when using person-to-person communication and they should take it,” he said.

For more information, email kumer.das@lamar.edu.

Patrick Carruth

UP contributor

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