Anna Kietrys joined Carnegie Mellon University as an assistant professor of chemistry in January 2020. After receiving her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, Kietrys most recently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
Kietrys’ research aims to understand the signals conveyed by RNA during aging and neurodegeneration brought on by disease.
In particular, Kietrys will focus on studying recently discovered groups of RNA that are not yet well understood.
Olexandr Isayev joined Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor of chemistry in January 2020. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Jackson State University and most recently was a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Using machine learning and neural networks, Isayev is developing technology that can rapidly and accurately calculate and model complex molecular structures and interactions as well as develop new molecules.
David Offner joined Carnegie Mellon as an associate teaching professor of mathematical sciences in fall 2019. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon and was most recently an associate professor at Westminster College.
“I am interested in the structural properties of graphs,” Offner said about his research, which looks at questions such as how networks can be decomposed into copies of smaller sub-networks, or how many connections in a network must be severed to remove all the copies of a sub-network within it.
Shiladitya Banerjee joined Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor of physics in spring 2020. He was previously an associate professor at University College London. Banerjee received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University.
Banerjee’s research seeks to understand the mechanics and physics behind how the various processes of cells work, from growing to dividing to dying. Some of his recent work has included developing computational models to analyze the physics that drives wound healing cells in insect and mammalian tissue.
Martin Larsson joined Carnegie Mellon as an associate professor of mathematical sciences in fall 2019. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and was most recently an assistant professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich.
“My research is in mathematical finance,” Larsson said. “It’s about developing the mathematics needed to model phenomena that we see in financial markets and economic systems more broadly.”
Kate Hong joined Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor of biological sciences in January 2020. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and was most recently a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.
Hong’s research focuses on sensory-guided behaviors. She’s particularly interested in studying how multiple areas of the brain work together to rapidly process and react to stimuli, with an eye toward understanding how people are affected by and recover from injuries to the cortex.
Professor Shlomo Ta’asan retired after 26 years as a member of the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Ta’asan’s research on simulations and modeling straddles the worlds of material science and biology. He has collaborated with other Carnegie Mellon faculty to develop simulations on the growth of grains and the boundaries between them to better understand how these affect the properties of the materials they appear in.
Ta’asan has also focused on researching the circulatory system in humans and animals from a system level, and how it can be modeled to better monitor and predict outcomes when it fails in shock.
Rea Freeland has retired after 27 years with Carnegie Mellon. Freeland, who received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon, was most recently associate head of the Department of Chemistry, a role in which she oversaw the department’s graduate education program, served as an ombudsperson for graduate students and assisted the department head in overall management of the department, among other duties.
Previously, Freeland also served as the Mellon College of Science’s associate dean for special projects, and as associate director of Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence.
Associate Teaching Professor Deborah Brandon retired after 29 years as a member of the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, including three years as a visiting assistant professor.
Brandon, who received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon, researched partial differential equations, integro-differential equations and nonconvex variational problems. She served as director of the Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute and as teaching assistant supervisor for the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
In addition to her teaching and supervising, Brandon has also written and spoken extensively on her journey recovering from a brain injury, including publishing an award-winning memoir.