Duke Digest — November 3, 2016

In today’s issue:

  • Five Questions on Research Compliance
  • Duke Holds DC Panel Discussion on Universities and Entrepreneurship
  • Votes Roll In at On-Campus Early Voting Site
  • New Study Explores Why Some Allergens Cause Sneezing, Itching
  • Duke Alum Studying Environmental Probability Joins Faculty

FIVE QUESTIONS ON RESEARCH COMPLIANCE 
In September, Jim Luther, Associate Vice President of finance at Duke University, appeared before a US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology subcommittee to reaffirm the research university communities’ commitment to working with federal partners to effectively regulate federal research.

His testimony focused on the — sometimes unintended — impact of federal regulations on researchers and administrators on university campuses, but also outlined important steps institutions and the federal government can take moving forward to increase understanding and collaboration.

On the Government Relations blog, Luther talked to OGR staff about the process and what he hopes will come of his appearance before the Congressional committee. Read the interview here.

DUKE HOLDS DC PANEL DISCUSSION ON UNIVERSITIES AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (I&E) and the Global Innovation Forum partnered to host a forum Wednesday regarding the role of universities in fostering global entrepreneurship.

David Rubenstein, chairman of Duke’s Board of Trustees and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, and Eric Toone, Vice Provost and Director of I&E, spoke about Duke’s efforts and the unique role that universities play in developing entrepreneurs during the session at the Duke in DC office.

Duke Holds DC Panel Discussion on Universities and Entrepreneurship (today.duke.edu)

VOTES ROLL IN AT ON-CAMPUS EARLY VOTING SITE
On Monday, Oct. 31, Duke University Richard Brodhead and his wife, Cindy, were among the more than 500 people who voted at the on-campus early voting site, when the site’s hours were shortened because of Halloween. To date, 3,317 people have voted at the Devil’s Den. (You can follow the vote count here.)

The Devil’s Den site is open to Durham County residents. If you are not yet registered but live in Durham County, you can register and vote during the early voting period only. For more details about Duke’s early voting site and information on registering to vote, visit the Duke Votes website.

NEW STUDY EXPLORES WHY SOME ALLERGENS CAUSE SNEEZING, ITCHING
A combination of stability and abundance may be what gives allergy-triggering dust mite proteins their sneeze-inducing power, says a new study by scientists at Duke University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Of the thousands of proteins that make up your common house dust mite, only about two dozen trigger the miserable sniffling, sneezing and itching of an allergic reaction.

To find out why this happens, the researchers employed a new technique that makes it possible to measure of the stability allergens and non-allergens in the dust mite on a large scale. The results may lead to new allergy treatments or be used to predict when proteins that are artificially added to our environments, such as those used in food, medicine or other consumer products, have the potential to become allergenic.

Dust Mite Allergens Share Rare Combo of Qualities (today.duke.edu)

DUKE ALUM STUDYING ENVIRONMENTAL PROBABILITY MODELING JOINS FACULTY
Duke University alum Mark Borsuk G’01 joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty in the fall of 2016. With a distinctive record of probabilistic modeling of the environment and non-economic valuation of natural resources, Borsuk aims to influence environmental policy by developing models that can inform decisions despite high levels of uncertainty.

“People use uncertainty in scientists’ predictions of the exact consequences of climate change as an excuse for inaction,” said Borsuk. “My goal is to help to recognize the possible consequences of action, and then weigh them against the risks of not acting.”

For example, Borsuk recently contributed to a cost-benefit analysis of carbon emission reductions used to inform Federal regulations.

Mark Borsuk: Valuing the Invaluable, Predicting the Unpredictable (pratt.duke.edu)