Ardi Discovery is Science's
Breakthrough of the Year for 2009


The Science Breakthrough of the Year for 2009 is the discovery and analysis of a 4.4 million-year-old hominid skeleton, nicknamed Ardi, which has rewritten the book on human evolution.

Science and its publisher, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, recognize the research done on Ardipithecus ramidus fossils as this year's top breakthrough, appropriately enough, during the year of Darwin.

Scientists from Northeast Ohio were among the researchers who published 11 papers this year, describing a possible human ancestor in the midst of changing from climbing on all fours to walking upright.

Ardi is far different from the chimpanzees so often thought to be the model of our forebears. The fossils show that human ancestors and apes were already evolving away from each other more than 4 million years ago, explained Scott W. Simpson, associate professor of anatomy at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and research associate at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Read more.

Technology Transfer Office Hosts Networking Event
with Group from Italy

A recent visit of a 10-person delegation from Italy to Case Western Reserve University was a networking success.

The visit of participants from various cities and regions in Italy on Dec. 3 and 4 included a meet and greet event at The Alumni House. Although other international delegations have visited the CWRU campus through the efforts of the Technology Transfer Office, this stop was arranged initially by Mark Coticchia through the U.S. Embassy in Rome and is the first to be coordinated in concert with the U.S. State Department's Voluntary Visitors Division.

Daniel Pendergast, technology transfer licensing manager, engineering and physical sciences, and Cindy Barker, Research ShowCASE director, coordinated the two-day agenda, which included access to the Great Lakes Energy Institute, BioEnterprise, JumpStart, NorTech, Team NEO and the planned networking event at The Alumni House. Officials from the Ohio Department of Development also participated. Read more.

Campus News

As part of the university's ongoing initiative to conserve energy, the Department of Facilities Services will reduce heat, ventilation and lighting levels over the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Go online to view a list of the dates, times and buildings affected. Please turn off lights and office equipment, computers and monitors, copy machines, etc. when leaving before each holiday weekend. Questions should be directed to the Customer Service Center for Facility Operations at 368-2580.

On Sunday, Dec. 27, the Student Information System (SIS) will be unavailable until 4 p.m.


1-2-1 Fitness Center has several year-end specials and events. Join by Dec. 31 with $0 initiation fee or receive a three-week membership for only $35 (through Jan. 10, 2010). Also, help others in the Cleveland community by donating gently used business attire and accessories at 1-2-1 Fitness Center in support of Dress for Success and Suited for Men. The eight-week Case Weight Loss Challenge begins Jan. 11, and will feature special prices, incentives and motivation. People can join as individuals, couples or teams and compete for the grand prize of two free airline tickets. Go online or call 368-1121 for information.

Case Daily will not publish the week of Dec. 28. The newsletter will resume publication Monday, Jan. 4.

For Faculty and Staff

Case Western Reserve University is completing its university-wide e-mail transition from (iPlanet) to (Google mail). All accounts need to be moved before Jan. 31, 2010.

To avoid any interruption of e-mail delivery, Information Technology Services (ITS) is encouraging campus members to update their e-mail settings to CWRU Google mail as soon as possible. ITS will not be automatically moving any e-mail for campus clients. ITS recommends that campus members move their accounts before January 31, 2010.

For details and documentation on how to make the transition, go to: Campus members who have questions or need assistance moving to CWRU Google mail should call local IT support or the ITS Help Desk at (216) 368-HELP (4357).

There are a series of short training sessions available and open to all faculty and staff. Go to for the current schedule and details.

For Students

This section will be updated occasionally during the winter break. Refer to the "Campus News" section for general information.



Refer to the University Circle Inc. calendar for a list of events and activities taking place in the community. Listings include the Rink at Wade Oval and the WinterShow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and more.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al.


Mark A. Smith, professor of pathology, has been awarded the distinction American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. As part of the Section on Medical Sciences, Smith, who is also the executive director of the American Aging Association, was elected as an AAAS Fellow for distinguished contributions to the field of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly the role of oxidative stress and cell cycle alterations in Alzheimer's disease. This year, 531 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The Fellows were announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Dec. 18.

December 23, 2009

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Case in the News

Discovery by Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Kent and Case Western Reserve scientists named 'Breakthrough of the Year'

The Plain Dealer, Dec. 22, 2009
By walking upright, Ardipithecus ramidus took a crucial evolutionary first step 4.4 million years ago. A prominent research journal has designated the discovery of by Cleveland area scientists of mankind's earliest ancestor as its "Science Breakthrough of the Year." Kevin Mayhood of Case Western Reserve University comments about widespread interest in the story.

Nonprofit utility in rural Ohio gets stimulus money for high-speed Internet

The Plain Dealer, Dec. 22, 2009
The federal government plans to award $7.2 billion for broadband projects. More than 2,000 organizations, including more than 50 in Ohio, have applied for funding. Case Western Reserve University and the City of Cleveland are asking for $28 million and $15 million, respectively, for urban broadband initiatives.

All I want for Cleveland...

Cleveland Scene, Dec. 23, 2009
Cleveland is what we make it. In that spirit, Cleveland Scene Weekly asked some Northeast Ohioans to share their hopes for the region in 2010. Richard E. Boyatzis, professor of organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University, comments about his hope for more gardens in all Cleveland-area communities.

Tough times draw big crowd to Christmas giveaway in downtown Syracuse, Dec. 21, 2010
Laura McNally came to Syracuse, N.Y., all the way from Cleveland to volunteer at the annual Christmas Bureau giveaway. McNally is a Syracuse native who teaches law at Case Western Reserve University. Working at the Christmas Bureau is part of her annual holiday visit with relatives in Syracuse. She came to Syracuse four days early just so she could help prepare stocking stuffers.

Case, UH to participate in anemia study

The Plain Dealer, Dec. 22, 2009
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center will be partnering with seven institutions in a federally funded research project to investigate why unexplained anemia is so common in older adults.

Higher education column

The Plain Dealer, Dec. 23, 2009
Lee Hoffer, assistant professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University, has won a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to study the patterns and other details of drug dealers and users in the Cleveland and Akron areas.

Higher Ed News

Meeting assesses higher education

Vietnam News, Dec. 22, 2009
Setting up independent quality assessment agencies for higher education and regular ranking of universities is essential to improve the quality of education in Vietnam, lawmakers and educators told a meeting held by the National Assembly Office in HCM City yesterday to review university education. The U.S. had more than 50 independent quality assessment agencies for higher education while Vietnam had none.

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