Two News Scripps Faculty Appointed
Amro Hamdoun and Dave Stegman join the Scripps Faculty
Scripps Institution of
Oceanography/University of California, San Diego
Amro Hamdoun and Dave Stegman were
recently appointed as the newest faculty members of Scripps Institution of
Oceanography at UC San Diego.
Hamdoun is a newly
appointed assistant professor of marine cell biology in Scripps' Marine Biology
Research Division. His general interests are in the fields of ecological
developmental biology and cell biology. His current research focuses on the
defense and survival mechanisms of embryos and the biology of the
accumulation and elimination of chemicals in marine animal cells.
It's a privilege to be at this
historic oceanographic institution and dynamic UC campus,” said Hamdoun. “The
impact of these institutions on environmental science, biology, and medicine,
to name a few, is humbling. It will be a major boon for our research to be part
of these outstanding programs.
In an effort to learn more about
the biology of protective mechanisms in cells and embryos, Hamdoun, who joined
Scripps in July 2009, primarily studies sea urchins, animals that produce
millions of eggs that can be easily manipulated in the laboratory. Sea urchin
embryos have large cells that can be used to characterize the biochemical
changes and intracellular movements of proteins that protect cells from
environmental chemicals. Hamdoun
and his laboratory team are applying advanced light microscopy technologies to
understand how fine-scale changes in location of intracellular proteins during
embryonic development can alter embryo physiology and susceptibility or
resistance of the embryo to environmental chemicals.
These studies are providing basic
insights into the mechanisms of regulation of cellular defenses and predictive
insights into how chemicals move from the environment into marine animal cells.
Many of these studies underscore the close relationship between the oceans and
Hamdoun was a National Institutes
of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow at Hopkins
Marine Station of Stanford University and is currently an NIH Career
Development Award recipient. He received his Ph.D. in physiology from the
University of California at Davis in 2003.
Stegman is a newly appointed assistant professor
of geophysics in Scripps’ Cecil H. and Ida M.
Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. He uses high-performance
computing and advanced four-dimensional visualization systems to explore the
intricate details of how planets evolve and why plate tectonics are unique to
His current research investigates global scale
dynamics by reconstructing the history of where tectonic plates have been
recycled into the earth’s mantle over the past 300 million years. This research
aims to address many of the most important geodynamic events over the past 200
million years, including a 35-million-year phase during the Cretaceous period
when the magnetic field stopped reversing, increased production of volcanic
greenhouse gases led to a warmer climate and several planetary reorientations
of the entire solid Earth, known as true polar wander, occurred.
I live for
those moments of scientific discovery and that excitement of scientific
exploration that I feel while working together with students and other
scientists. So it's an immense honor and privilege to join the faculty at
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which draws together such a talented group
of people who share that enthusiasm,” said Stegman. “I can think of no
better place to pursue my scientific ambitions and dedicate myself to
continuing Scripps' world-class tradition in geophysics and tectonics.”<
Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and previous to that was at
Monash University where he was an Australian Research
Council postdoctoral fellow. During his time in Australia, he pioneered 3-D
numerical models of free subduction, which address questions of why tectonic
plates move, how plate boundaries evolve, and how features in the earth's deep
In 2003, Stegman received his Ph.D from the
University of California at Berkeley, where he developed one of the first 3-D
spherical models of thermo-chemical convection to investigate the thermal
evolution of Earth, the Moon, and Mars with an emphasis on the important role
of chemically distinct materials. In 2009, renewed interest in this area of planetary geodynamics led to a
new model for explaining many of the enigmatic features on Enceladus, an icy
moon of Saturn.
Stegman collaborates widely with several groups
across Australia, as well as the U.S., Europe, and Japan and has published on
diverse topics, including on global and regional geodynamics, an enigmatic icy
moon of Saturn, known as Enceladus, and high performance computing.
— Shannon Casey
August 14, 2009