Posted February 23, 2015

Presidential Visiting Scholars emphasize Temple’s commitment to research

Temple University’s commitment to research that transforms lives is being supported by visits from four internationally renowned scholars this year.

The first Presidential Visiting Scholars series brings to campus distinguished leaders with expertise in rehabilitation technology, experimental psychology, AIDS and infectious diseases, and solid-state and materials chemistry. The first two scholars in the series, Stephen Dewhurst and Patrice (Tamar) Weiss, are currently in residence at the School of Pharmacy and the College of Public Health, respectively.

Weiss will give a public lecture titled “Coping With Conflict: Technologies for Targeting Social Action and Rehabilitation Research” at 4 p.m. today in Ritter Hall Annex’s Kiva Auditorium. Dewhurst delivered his public lecture titled “Viral Transmission and Vaccines: Lessons Learned from HIV-1 and Influenza Virus” yesterday at the School of Pharmacy.

Established by Temple President Neil D. Theobald and Provost Hai-Lung Dai, the visiting scholars series will bring national and international scholars to Temple every year.

“The Presidential Visiting Scholars series strengthens our commitments to pioneering research and global education,” Theobald said. “These acclaimed scholars from the world’s leading institutions will provide Temple students and faculty with new opportunities for collaboration and knowledge. They will also augment Temple’s already strong reputation for innovation and research.”

Each visiting scholar will participate in lectures, discussions and other scholarly activities during his or her residency. More information on this year’s scholars is below.

From: University of Rochester
Residency: Through Feb. 26
Specialty: AIDS and infectious diseases

Dewhurst is an internationally recognized virologist with more than 25 years of experience. He leads HIV and AIDS research focused on improving the prevention, detection and treatment of HIV infections, AIDS and related disease processes.

From: University of Haifa (Israel)
Residency: Through Feb. 27
Specialty: Rehabilitation technology

Weiss’ research focuses on the use of computer interfaces and virtual reality as tools for the rehabilitation of individuals with severe physical disabilities. She also studies how to use storytelling and collaborative games to improve social interactions among children with autism and special needs.

From: Oxford University (England)
Residency: April 13–April 17
Specialty: Experimental, consumer and cognitive psychology

Spence is a global expert on experimental psychology. His research has expanded understanding of the ways human senses interact to affect perception, which can lead to improved designs of foods, consumer products and environments.

From: Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (India)
Residency: Begins Sept. 15
Specialty: Solid-state and materials chemistry

For the past five decades, Rao has designed, synthesized and characterized new materials through chemical synthetic routes. He is the recipient of the Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India), India's highest civilian award.