Literary translator brings Japanese novelist posthumous acclaim

Michael Emmerich, an associate professor of Japanese at UCLA, never worked as a journalist. Neither has he written 50 novels, much less 150 short stories.

Exploiting sports triumphs for political gain a classic tale, scholar demonstrates

During the 1936 Olympics, Adolf Hitler revolted the world with his blatant attempts to capitalize politically on the victories of his “master-race” athletes.

Pilot program to strengthen art history department’s presence in South America

A gift from the Chile-based Fundación AMA will bolster the UCLA Department of Art History’s work in Latin American art and provide students and scholars direct access to the rich culture of the Chilean region.

The $35,000 gift will establish a pilot program that will fund a graduate student research fellowship, establish an international scholar exchange and provide funding for a travel award for undergraduate or graduate students.

“This important gift will allow us to address the department’s most urgent priorities: increasing support for graduate and undergraduate students and providing faculty with the opportunity to share their research with the international community,” said Miwon Kwon, chair of the Department of Art History in the UCLA College. “I am thrilled to partner with Fundación AMA to help highlight the influence and importance of Chilean art.”

The graduate student fellowship will allow an Art History student to travel to Chile to conduct research and interact firsthand with the region’s art and its experts. Similarly, the international scholar exchange will provide travel funding for a UCLA faculty member to participate in lectures, symposia, and conferences to discuss the works owned by Fundación AMA and share the latest research topics concerning the region. The student travel award will allow one undergraduate or graduate student to travel to Chile for one to two months to study and gain internship experience.

“What interests us about this exchange is the opportunity get the point of view of academic and foreign students and how they view the current panorama of Chilean and Latin American art,” said Juan Yarur, co-founder of Fundación AMA. “This way, they may transmit their acquired perspective of the Chilean art scene when they return to the United States.”

Added Bernadita Mandiola, the foundation’s executive director, “FAMA will be a connecting bridge so that professors and academics from UCLA can study the regional arts scene.”

An important aspect of Kwon’s vision is to help students gain real-world experience and provide them with career opportunities post-graduation. This gift is an important step in fulfilling that mission, Kwon said, as it will provide students access to some of the regions most prized art and respected experts.

Smithsonian museum acquires UCLA muralist’s memorabilia

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has acquired personal itemsbelonging to world-renowned painter and muralist Judith Baca that represent her work, including two paints brushes and a signature pair of overalls used when she led the 2011 restoration of  the landmark Great Wall of Los Angeles, a mural that the community created in the 1970s under her leadership.

UCLA College researcher pioneers gene therapy cure for ‘Bubble Baby’ disease

UCLA stem cell researchers have pioneered a stem cell gene therapy cure for children born with a life-threatening condition called adenosine deaminase–deficient severe combined immunodeficiency, or ADA-deficient SCID. Often called Bubble Baby disease, the condition can be fatal within the first year of life if left untreated.

Brain’s reaction to virtual reality should prompt further study, suggests new research by UCLA neuroscientists

UCLA neurophysicists have found that space-mapping neurons in the brain react differently to virtual reality than they do to real-world environments. Their findings could be significant for people who use virtual reality for gaming, military, commercial, scientific or other purposes.

UCLA astronomers solve puzzle about bizarre object at the center of our galaxy

For years, astronomers have been puzzled by a bizarre object in the center of the Milky Way that was believed to be a hydrogen gas cloud headed toward our galaxy’s enormous black hole.

‘Treasure in saliva’ may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them, UCLA scientists report

UCLA research could lead to a simple saliva test capable of diagnosing — at an early stage — diabetes and cancer, and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases.

Discovery of heart’s repair process suggests potential new treatment strategy for heart attack

UCLA researchers have discovered that some scar-forming cells in the heart, known as fibroblasts, have the ability to become endothelial cells — the cells that form blood vessels. The finding could point the way toward a new strategy for treating people who have suffered a heart attack, because increasing the number of blood vessels in the heart boosts its ability to heal after injury.

UCLA Egyptologist gives new life to female pharaoh from 15th century B.C.

By the time of her death in 1458 B.C., Egypt’s Pharaoh Hatshepsut had presided over her kingdom’s most peaceful and prosperous period in generations. Yet by 25 years later, much of the evidence of her success had been erased or reassigned to her male forbears.