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U-M No. 23 in world in latest Times Higher Education rankings

The University of Michigan is once again the No. 23 university in the world and the No. 14 university in the United States, according to the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The list released Sept. 27 includes 1,904 universities across 108 countries and regions. U-M was one of only four public institutions in the United States to make the top 25. The others were the University of California, Berkeley (No. 9), the University of California, Los Angeles (No. 18) and the University of Washington (No. 25). U-M was also No. 23 in the world and No. 14 in the U.S. last year. According to Times Higher Education, the 2024 World University Rankings were compiled using an updated methodology that included 18 carefully calibrated performance indicators. The indicators measure an institution’s performance across five areas: teaching 29.5%; research environment 29%; research quality 30%; international outlook 7.5%; and industry 4%. View the full list of rankings.

U-M Library offering free copies of banned books Oct. 3-5

In solidarity with libraries across the country, the U-M Library is offering 16 titles — almost 2,000 free books — that have been recently challenged or banned and that span themes, topics and depictions that are most often challenged. The topics covered include sexuality, especially depictions of LGBTQIA+ people; race, especially accounts of harms to Black, Indigenous and other people of color; and discrimination against religions like Islam. People are invited to visit the tent outside Hatcher Library from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 3-5 to pick up a free book. Participants also can learn about actions they can take to resist bans and learn why the freedom to read is essential to a functioning democracy. The giveaway is part of the U-M theme semester, Arts & Resistance, and is in the spirit of this year’s American Library Association Banned Books Week theme, “Let Freedom Read.” Read more about U-M’s Banned Books Giveaway.

Online screenings available for National Depression Screening Day

National Depression Screening Day is Oct. 5. It raises awareness about the widespread impact of clinical depression, a medical illness affecting an estimated 1 in 5 American adults during their lifetime. It is also a reminder of the importance of mental and emotional health for overall wellness. “Stress, sadness, mood swings, and anxiety can be part of the normal ups and downs of life,” says Kelcey Stratton, chief behavioral health strategist and assistant professor of psychiatry in the Medical School. “When these feelings become pervasive and prolonged or begin to affect your work or personal life, an online screening can be a good first step in finding support.” Learn more about online mental health screenings. A depression toolkit is available.

Video series explores housing as a human right in the U.S.

Architecture and sociology professors Kathy Velikov and Fabian Pfeffer have released the second of a two-video series that explores the divides and radical new approaches to propose solutions at different scales that make quality housing available for all. The state of two extremes — those who have extreme wealth and those who live in poverty and housing instability — is undeniable, unsustainable, but resolvable. “One of the tasks that we set ourselves for this video was to envision a different kind of world that doesn’t exist. That’s what the arts do and, I believe, increasingly also what we as social scientists are asked to do,” said Pfeffer, a research associate professor at the Institute for Social Research, associate professor of sociology in LSA and founding director of the Stone Center for Inequality Dynamics. Focusing on Detroit, Pfeffer and Velikov, a professor of architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, draw on the city’s history before and after the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Read more about the video series.

Scientists’ model focuses on sudden death in epilepsy

U-M researchers have developed a model for studying one type of familial epilepsy, opening the door to understanding — and eventually targeting — the mechanisms that lead to the disorder and its associated fatalities. The research, published in the journal Annals of Neurology, has already revealed important insights into interactions between breathing, heart rate and brain activity during fatal seizures. Mutations in a gene called DEPDC5 are a common cause of familial focal epilepsy and increase the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. But scientists have been unable to determine the underlying processes that lead to SUDEP in DEPDC5-related epilepsy. Now, a team led by Wang and U-M neuroscientist Peng Li has accurately recapitulated a model of DEPDC5-related epilepsy in a mammalian model organism, allowing researchers to better understand what takes place within patients with DEPDC5-related epilepsy. Read more about this research.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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