UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

July 20 - UCI to research link between childhood adversity and opioid addiction

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New Verano 8 graduate student housing complex.

New Verano 8 graduate student housing complex. Photo by Ian Parker


Research project will study role of gene alteration in opioid crisis 

UCI’s School of Biological Sciences and School of Medicine have embarked on a nearly $3.5 million project to understand the role of gene alterations resulting from childhood adversity in adults addicted to heroin. The five-year study, which will be in collaboration with the Irvine Center for Addiction Neuroscience and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will also seek to develop blood tests to predict addiction vulnerability.

Graphic featuring Denise Payan, PhD, MPP

UCI-led study examines COVID-19’s impact on rural Latino households

A recent study led by ​​Denise Diaz Payán, assistant professor of health, society and behavior at the UCI Program in Public Health, sheds new light on the impact of COVID-19 on rural Latino immigrant households. Among the findings: key barriers to food access include higher food costs in small retailers due to supply chain disruptions, lack of transportation, and distance to grocery stores, which have been previously identified as impediments to food security in rural areas.

Richard Arum, left, professor of education and sociology, and Duncan Pritchard, Distinguished Professor of philosophy

Project collaborators Richard Arum, left, professor of education and sociology, and Duncan Pritchard, Distinguished Professor of philosophy.

Anteater Virtues project wins $1 million grant

UCI has received a $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to expand its Anteater Virtues project, which aims to promote intellectual character traits that help students develop into more inquisitive, open-minded and authentic individuals. UCI is the only research university in the U.S. to systematically embed curiosity, integrity, humility and tenacity into the heart of its curriculum. Richard Arum, professor of education and philosophy and former dean of the School of Education, will partner on the project with Duncan Pritchard, Distinguished Professor of philosophy. They launched the project as a pilot in 2019 and now the modules are integrated into the campus’s undergraduate orientation and curriculum.


Confusion over COVID prevention reigns in California

Although the Centers for Disease Control categorizes 42 of California’s 58 counties as having high levels of COVID community transmission — at which point it recommends universal masking in indoor public spaces — only L.A. County appears poised to reinstate an indoor mask mandate, a move it could make as soon as July 29. No such plan is in the works in the Bay Area, where wastewater surveys suggest there is more COVID circulating than at the height of the winter omicron surge. Meanwhile, UCI is one of only a few large institutions statewide that has returned to indoor mask mandates.

78% of Americans believe COVID-19 will never go away

Meanwhile, the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index has found that 78% of Americans surveyed agreed with the statement “We will never fully be rid of the coronavirus in my lifetime.” The response was consistent among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Only 29% said they believed that the pandemic was over, suggesting a statistical overlap between those who believe that COVID-19 will never go away but also believe that the worst of the pandemic is over.


Racism and Segregation in Orange County: Virtual Book Talk
Thursday, noon (sponsored by UCI Libraries)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

‘Science Now is Very Social': Inside the Particle Physics Conference That Helps Shape 10 Years of Research

KNBC, July 19
Cited: Jonathan Lee Feng, Distinguished Professor of physics and astronomy

California fires are so severe some forests might vanish forever

Los Angeles Times, July 20 
Cited: Jon Wang, Earth system scientist

Brain Inflammation May Link Alzheimer Disease With Sleep Disturbance

Psychiatric Times, July 19
Cited: Bryce Mander, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior


ZotPonics 3.0: A Smart and Scalable Hydroponics Network team

Quoc-Viet Dang, left, assistant professor of teaching, stands proudly with the ZotPonics 3.0: A Smart and Scalable Hydroponics Network team at the 2022 Winter Design Review, where the team earned a Dean’s Choice Award. Pictured with Dang, from left, are Rashmi Sharma, Megha Kak and Melinda Tran. Photo by Debbie Morales

ZotPonics team working to bring sustainable gardening to UCI

For the past three years, a UCI engineering student team has been designing an indoor hydroponics system that could be used to grow fresh produce for the campus food pantry. ZotPonics 3.0: A Smart and Scalable Hydroponics Network was featured at the 2022 Winter Design Review and a recipient of the Dean’s Choice Award. Computer science and engineering majors Daniel Lowe, Melinda Tran, Megha Kak and Rashmi Sharma worked on the team under the guidance of faculty mentor Quoc-Viet Dang, assistant professor of teaching in electrical engineering and computer science.

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


14 new campus cases

On Tuesday, UCI recorded 14 new cases of COVID-19: 10 students and four employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

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