At the University of Pennsylvania, three faculty members have been awarded Sloan Fellowships. For over 50 years the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has identified and recognized young scientists with significant leadership potential. We'd like to invite our readers in joining us to recognize the already significant contributions and long term career potential of the following UPENN scientists as reported by Evan Lerner today at UPENN:
"Danielle S. Bassett, assistant professor of bioengineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science — Bassett’s laboratory uses tools from complex systems and network science to study the structure and dynamics of the human brain at the level of large-scale neural circuitry. Akin to social networks in Facebook and Twitter, regions of the brain form a network of mutually interconnected components that process, transmit and store information. The end goals are to identify organizational principles, to develop novel diagnostics of disease and to design personalized therapeutics for rehabilitation and treatment of brain injury, neurological disease and psychiatric disorders.
Chris Callison-Burch, assistant professor of computer and information science, School of Engineering and Applied Science — Understanding the shared meaning between certain expressions comes naturally to humans but remains a major challenge for machines. To a computer, the phrases “thrown in jail” and “locked up” have nothing in common, so Callison-Burch and his colleagues are developing a database of phrase pairs to be used as the basis for algorithms that understand human language. Gleaned from documents ranging from scientific abstracts to movie dialog that have been translated from one language to another, this database could help computers better understand different linguistic contexts and converse with people in a more natural way.
Alison Sweeney, assistant professor of physics, School of Arts and Sciences — Sweeny is trained as a biologist but works in Penn’s Department of Physics and Astronomy as part of the School of Arts and Sciences’ Evolution Cluster. She studies a reflective protein that squid, giant clams and other sea life have put to a variety of uses, such as for camouflage or for growing symbiotic algae within their bodies. Her research is focused on the interplay between the physics of the biological structures formed with this protein and the role they play in animals’ evolutionary history. "
- NSF 2010 Ranking: 7th (total R&D expenditures in life sciences) =$663,497,000 
- NIH 2011 Ranking: 3rd (Direct plus indirect costs but excluding R & D contracts and ARRA awards) = $462,600,262 
- The University of Pennsylvania received a $25.5 million gift for the Abramson Cancer Center. This center is a “matrix cancer center” drawing members from the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, Wharton, Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Nursing and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 
- The University of Pennsylvania received $25 million to establish a center for the treatment and prevention of cancers associated with hereditary BRCA mutations. 
- Get more stats here: UPenn funding stats