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Moores School of Music Alumnus Joins Cast of the Broadway Smash Hit "Hamilton"

  Jonathan Kirkland
  UH COTA alumnus Jonathan Kirkland plays George Washington in Broadway's Hamilton.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton," the Broadway tour de force sweeping over the nation, opened in Chicago in fall of 2016 with UH College of the Arts alumnus Jonathan Kirkland (Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, 2012) in the coveted role of George Washington. The hip-hop musical, which raked in an incredible 11 Tony Awards, is sold out well into 2017 in New York and plays to a packed house at every performance in Chicago.

Kirkland studied opera at UH but his proclivity for musical theatre radiated through his performances, causing his instructors to take notice. "He's a very charismatic performer," said Buck Ross, founder and director of the Moores Opera Center. "We felt like he could be a leading man - a real star - on Broadway."

"My heart has always been on the stage," said Kirkland. "I love to perform and entertain others, and UH provided me with the tools to perform a range of music." Read the full story

Switched On: Modeling Genetic Circuits for Therapeutic Purposes

Kresimir Josic 
Krešimir Josić, professor in the University of Houston's Department of Mathematics.

One day, scientists hope to engineer bacteria that produce and deliver drugs on demand. These bacteria would reside in the gut, synthesizing therapeutic drugs on-site and as needed. Krešimir Josić, a professor in the University of Houston's Department of Mathematics, is involved in an interdisciplinary project with the aim of engineering therapeutic bacteria. To control the production of these drugs, patients would ingest a unique combination of molecules, such as edible sugars, that would turn synthesis on and off. These microbes, which could be engineered to sense the environment and respond accordingly, offer an efficient, low-cost alternative to synthesizing drugs in the lab.

This project, headed by Matthew Bennett, associate professor of biosciences at Rice University, is funded by a recent four-year, $2 million grant from NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. From this grant, Josić's research group received $485,000. Included in this grant are co-PIs William Ott, UH professor of mathematics, and Liskin Swint-Kruse, associate professor at the University of Kansas. Read the full story

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University News

College of Hotel and Restaurant Management alumna Rebecca Rath ('13) represented Belize in the Miss Universe Competition. Read the full story

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Aaron Becker brought seven engineering students to the UH Charter elementary school to play with robots and encourage discovery. His college students came into the fourth grade class carrying robotic arms they had built in Becker's lab and little building blocks to show the youngsters how the robotic arm can pick up pieces. Read the full story

UH College of Pharmacy's Rajender Aparasu, Ph.D., FAPhA, is embarking on a study to evaluate the risk factors of uncontrolled asthma and its association with specific types of asthma controller medications. Chronic asthma affects more than 6.3 million children and adolescents in the U.S., with more than one-third of those considered having "uncontrolled asthma" due to their symptoms and impaired quality of life. Support for the project is being provided by a one-year, $91,000 grant from pharmaceutical company Novartis. Read the full story

Amanda Baumle, associate professor of psychology, is working with two faculty members from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to examine how well contractors are implementing a 2014 executive order from President Obama. The $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is allowing Baumle to examine the order which bans federal contractors from workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Read the full story

Travels with Shasta

Travels with Shasta   

Shasta is participating at an international conference in Guangdong, China with Graduate College of Social Work Dean Alan Dettlaff.

Send your photos of Shasta's travels, both in Houston and abroad, to, tweet them @SashaProf, or share them on Facebook.

You can view all of Shasta's travels on the Office of the Provost website.




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Paula Myrick Short, Provost | | 832.842.0550 |

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