Daily Business Report-June 29, 2017
An artist’s impression of an asteroid hurtling through space. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Asteroid Day to Offer Crash Course
on Space Rocks (and Other Events)
More than 700 events are scheduled to take place in 190 countries across the globe for this year’s Asteroid Day celebration on Friday (June 30). If you can’t make it to one of these events, don’t worry: there’s a live, 24-hour webcast that will feature discussions about space rocks and the possibility of an asteroid hitting the Earth.
Started in 2015, Asteroid Day commemorates the “Tunguska event” that occurred June 30, 1908, when a near-Earth object measuring about 130 feet (40 meters) wide exploded above the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia and destroyed 800 square miles (2,072 square kilometers) of forest.
The Asteroid Day LIVE webcast — which is the first-ever 24-hour live broadcast about space and asteroids, according to the organizers — will be hosted by physicist Brian Cox, a professor at the University of Manchester in England, as well as the host of popular science TV shows and the author of multiple books.
The broadcast will include programming from the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA. You can find the full lineup of astronauts, astronomers and other special guests that will speak on Asteroid Day LIVE on the Asteroid Day website.
New Research Sparks Hope for an HIV Cure
While antiretroviral therapy can eliminate HIV circulating in a person’s blood, it can’t remove it from certain infected cells — as a result, a cure for HIV has remained elusive. But now, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a way to make these cells resistant to HIV by tethering HIV-fighting antibodies to them. And experiments show that these resistant cells quickly replace the infected cells — potentially leading to a cure.
“This protection would be long term,” said Dr. Jia Xie, senior staff scientist at TSRI and first author of the study. The team now plans to collaborate with investigators at City of Hope’s Center for Gene Therapy to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of this potentially groundbreaking new therapy.
SANDAG Closes on Federal Loan
for Mid-Coast Trolley Extension
SANDAG announced that it completed the process of securing a large loan under a federal credit assistance program to help finance the construction of the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension.
The agency said the loan has very low borrowing costs and flexibility that will save taxpayer dollars in building the largest transit project in the region’s history.
SANDAG closed on a 2.72 percent fixed-rate loan of up to $537.5 million from the program, which is administered by the Build America Bureau within the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Mid-Coast project, which is currently under construction, will add nine new stations and extend San Diego Trolley service for 11 miles from Old Town up to UC San Diego and University City. It is expected to go into service in 2021.
The cost of the $2.1 billion project is being split between the federal New Starts Program, which has committed $1.04 billion, and the region’s TransNet program, the local half-cent sales tax for transportation administered by SANDAG. In order to finance large-scale projects, SANDAG sells bonds against future TransNet revenues. The TIFIA loan provides lower rates and more flexibility in that process.
SDSU Researcher Honored
for Commitment to Mentorship
SDSU News Center
San Diego State University public researcher Elva Arredondo was honored at the Celebrating 21 Years of the CURE Program Recognition Ceremony in Bethesda, Md., for mentoring future generations of health disparities researchers. Arredondo is a professor in SDSU’s Graduate School of Public Health and co-director of the SDSU and University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health. She is supported in her work by the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program, an initiative of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The CURE program provides funding opportunities for training, education, and outreach to build and sustain a pipeline of underrepresented cancer and cancer health disparities researchers. At the recognition ceremony, Arredondo was recognized as a mentorship honoree for her long-standing commitment to mentoring and training new scholars.
Arredondo’s research focuses on how promoting physical activity and healthy eating can help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic choices in the Hispanic/Latino community. She is one of the principal investigators for the SDSU-UCSD Cancer Center Comprehensive Partnership,which is funded by the NCI.
Two USD Alumni Among NASA’s
12 Newest Astronaut Candidates
Twelve new astronaut candidates, including a pair of recent University of San Diego alumni, were welcomed and celebrated at a ceremony hosted at NASA’s Johnson Space Center earlier this month.
Navy Lieutenant Commander Matthew Dominick, a 2005 Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering graduate in electrical engineering, and Dr. Jonathan (Jonny) Kim, a 2012 USD mathematics graduate and active duty reserve with the rank of lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, were among the seven men and five women honored during the announcement.
The astronaut candidates — Dominick, Kim, Kayla Barron, Zena Cardman, Jasmin Moghbeli, Loral O’Hara, Jessica Watkins, Frank Rubio, Robb Kulin, Warren Hoburg, Bob Hines and Raja Chari — were introduced by NASA’s acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and Vice President Mike Pence.
The 12 candidates — the largest astronaut class since 2000, according to NASA — emerged from a “record-breaking” 18,300+ applicants.
Cal State San Marcos Guarantees
Admission for Indian School Students
California State University San Marcos has signed agreements with Noli Indian School and Sherman Indian High School to provide guaranteed admission for students. Students who meet established benchmarks for participation and performance, and meet all minimum CSU eligibility requirements, will be guaranteed admission to CSUSM.
The agreement with Noli Indian School ensures admission for graduates beginning in fall 2018, while the agreement with Sherman Indian High School commences with the graduating class of 2019.
Noli is a middle school and high school on the Soboba Indian Reservation near San Jacinto in Riverside County. All of its students are American Indian as determined by tribal enrollment or Bureau of Indian Affairs affiliated status. Sherman is an off-reservation boarding school for American Indian students in Riverside.
To further support graduates from Noli and Sherman, CSUSM will provide additional layers of support, including prioritizing Federal Work Study funds for eligible students; ensuring a successful transition to college through CSUSM’s Personalized Academic Success Services program; working with a counselor from the Career Center to connect students to resources; and assigning a liaison to assist students in connecting with academic advisors.
Jamie Lemon Named GM at Rancho Bernardo Inn
Rancho Bernardo Inn announced the appointment of Jamie Lemon to general manager of the luxury golf resort and spa in North San Diego. Lemon has nearly 20 years of knowledge and expertise in the hospitality industry.
Prior to joining Rancho Bernardo Inn, Lemon spent 17 years with the Loews Hotels & Resorts brand where he rose through the ranks from director of food & beverage to director of operations and hotel manager. In his time with Loews, Lemon worked in a variety of markets from Santa Monica and Hollywood to Miami, in addition to opening the Loews New Orleans, Orlando, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
In Lemon’s most recent tenure as hotel manager at Loews Hollywood Hotel, he led the hotel’s social media initiative, taking the resort from 38th place to 18th place on Trip Advisor’s ranking out of 338 hotels. He also completed a $31 million-dollar renovation and increased Guest Service Index scores year over year.
Lemon was born and raised in Northern Ireland and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism at Napier University in Edinburgh.