Duke Digest — September 22, 2016

In today’s issue:

  • Faculty Present Research to Capitol Hill Audiences
  • Eric Toone Named to Dept. of Commerce Council
  • CFO Survey: U.S. Political Risk to Hinder Capital Spending
  • Duke Engineers Devise New, Computerized Method to Diagnosing Malaria
  • Duke Ranked Among Top Ten National Universities, Third Best for Veterans

FACULTY PRESENT RESEARCH TO CAPITOL HILL AUDIENCES
In September, several members of the Duke University faculty where in and around Capitol Hill, presenting research, participating in panels, or testifying before Committee hearings.

  • On Sept. 14, Andy Read of the Duke University Marine Lab, discussed Marine Mammal Bycatch at a briefing hosted by the Marine Mammal Commission and World Wildlife Fund.
  • On Sept. 15, Nirmala Ramanujan, the Robert W. Carr, Jr. Professor of Biomedical Engineering, presented her work on cancer detection in a briefing entitled “Cancer Fighting Breakthroughs Made Possible by NIH and Biomedical Engineering.”
  • On Sept. 27, David Schanzer, associate professor of the practice of public policy, will take part in a briefing on Violence and Violence Prevention. Schanzer recently conducted a survey of law enforcement agencies and their efforts counter violent extremism. Register here.

ERIC TOONE NAMED TO DEPT. OF COMMERCE COUNCIL
Eric Toone, vice provost and director of Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, was one of 30 national leaders named Monday by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

“The members of NACIE provide important counsel to the Department of Commerce on the types of federal policies that will support entrepreneurship, innovation, and job-driven workforce training, all of which are critical to American competitiveness,” Pritzker said.

NACIE, established in 2010, operates as an independent entity managed through Commerce’s Economic Development Administration Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Toone Named to US Advisory Council Studying Entrepreneurship and American Innovation (today.duke.edu)

CFO SURVEY: U.S POLITICAL RISK TO HINDER CAPITAL SPENDING
More than a third of U.S. CFOs say political uncertainty will put the brakes on their spending plans beyond the election, which could create a significant drag on the economy, according to the most recent Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey. These spending plans include capital investments and research and development.

The survey also revealed that a moderate interest rate hike would not affect U.S. companies spending plans, with only one-in-three firms saying a 1 percent rate hike would cause their firm to reduce capital spending.

“CFOs are giving the Fed the green light on near-term rate increases,” said Fuqua professor Campbell R. Harvey, a founding director of the survey. “Given interest rates are at historic lows, CFOs’ spending plans are relatively insensitive to rate increases. Our evidence suggests there is no merit for the argument that increased rates will lead to substantial investment spending cutbacks.”

CFO Survey: U.S. Political Risk to Hinder Capital Spending Beyond Election (fuqua.duke.edu)

DUKE ENGINEERS DEVISE NEW, COMPUTERIZED METHOD TO DIAGNOSING MALARIA
Duke researchers have devised a computerized method to autonomously and quickly diagnose malaria with clinically relevant accuracy — a crucial step to successfully treating the disease and halting its spread. In resource-limited areas, the disease can be difficult to diagnose, as malaria’s symptoms can look like many other diseases, and there are simply not enough well-trained field workers and functioning microscopes to keep pace with the parasite.

In a new study, engineers from Duke University report a method that uses computer ‘deep learning’ and light-based, holographic scans to spot malaria-infected cells from a simple, untouched blood sample without any help from a human. The innovation could form the basis of a fast, reliable test that could be given by most anyone, anywhere in the field, which would be invaluable in the $2.7 billion-per-year global fight against the disease.

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (IIP-1346349), the National Institutes of Health (R01-CA167421), the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Holographic Imaging and Deep Learning Diagnose Malaria (pratt.duke.edu)

DUKE RANKED AMONG TOP TEN NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES, THIRD BEST FOR VETERANS
Duke University was once again rated among the nation’s top 10 universities in a new ranking released Sept. 13 by U.S. News & World Report. For the second year in a row, Duke tied for eighth place among national universities that offer doctoral degrees.

According to the report, Duke’s student body is among the most economically diverse in the country, and Duke students are among those graduating with the least amount of student debt. About 35 percent of Duke students graduated with student debt in 2015, the report states. Among those students, the average amount owed was $19,104.

In the category “Best colleges for veterans,” Duke was tied for third.

Duke Rated Among Top 10 National Universities in Latest U.S. News Ranking (today.duke.edu)