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Released December 2, 2004

POLYMER SCIENCE PROFESSOR'S TRIP TO RUSSIA
OPENS NEW DOORS FOR SOUTHERN MISS

HATTIESBURG -A recent trip overseas by a polymer science professor from The University of Southern Mississippi has resulted in collaborative agreements with the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Marek Urban was an invited speaker last month at the seventh International Science and Technology Conference in Ekaterinburg, Russia, where he gave a lecture on stimuli-responsive polymers and coatings.

"Part of my mission was to develop potential partnerships with physicists and chemists working on polymer-related areas," said Urban, who was invited to the historic city by the U.S. Department of State.

Urban, along with two other prominent American scientists, was part of the U.S. delegation to the conference, which was sponsored by the International Science and Technology Center. An organization with membership from 32 countries, the ISTC promotes nuclear nonproliferation with $500 million in research funding.

"This organization coordinates the efforts of numerous governments, international organizations, and the private sector, providing weapons scientists from Russia and other countries new opportunities in international partnerships," Urban said.

Dr. Rex Gandy, dean of the College of Science and Technology at Southern Miss, said the collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences is "just another indication of the strength and world-class quality of the research programs at Southern Miss."

"Dr. Urban and his co-workers are internationally recognized for their work with novel materials, and collaborations such as this will only increase this international recognition," Gandy said.

Urban said that with the research activities at Southern Miss, "we have a great opportunity to tap into some of the projects and funding opportunities through this organization and other government agencies."

Along with collaborations recently established with universities in Portugal and the Czech Republic, this opportunity will allow Southern Miss to become the "World Polymer Center for Science and Innovation," opening potential new markets for new technologies developed at Southern Miss, Urban said.

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January 19, 2005 3:36 PM