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March 5 Provost’s Lecture Features Danny Bluestein and Leonie Huddy

Huddy leonie feature

The Provost’s Lecture Series continues on Tuesday, March 6, with two talks by Danny Bluestein, distinguished professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Leonie Huddy, distinguished professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Provost’s Lecture Series features SUNY Distinguished Academy faculty members at Stony Brook University showcasing the outstanding research and scholarship taking place at SBU. Each semester, three Lecture Series events take place, each featuring two talks from Stony Brook faculty. Lectures are held in the Wang Center Theatre at 3:30 pm, with light refreshments following the talks.

Innovative Prosthetic Heart Valves for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases

Danny Bluestein

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure that bypasses the need for a major surgery, has evolved from a solution for inoperable elderly patients with advanced heart valve disease to a standard treatment for younger, lower-risk patients. Despite its benefits, TAVR faces challenges like limited durability, risk of leaks leading to thrombosis and stroke, and potential need for pacemaker implantation. To address these, advanced biomechanical simulations have been used to optimize procedural planning and device performance. An innovative polymeric TAVR valve, designed and optimized by numerical simulations and lab tests, promises improved hemodynamics, durability exceeding 25 years and better thromboresistance. This innovation caters to a broader range of patients, including those with specific conditions like bicuspid aortic valve disease, offering a significant improvement over current bioprosthetic TAVR valves.

A Nation Divided: Partisan Identity and the Psychology of Political Polarization

Huddy leonieAmerican society is deeply polarized along partisan lines with Democrats and Republicans disagreeing on a slew of values and policy issues. Partisan divisions are not confined to policy disagreements, however, and spill over into interpersonal animosity, the online spread of false information, and support for violence. A focus on the psychology of partisan identities helps to better understand such divisions, leading to several important conclusions. First, Americans are not as divided as they appear. A minority of strong partisans in both parties feel most negatively about the other side, are most willing to spread vitriolic information about them, and support violent actions. Second, partisan identities are an essential ingredient of an active democratic citizenry and are needed to connect Americans to their political system. Third, it is possible to decrease animosity towards those on the other side while maintaining partisan identities and continuing to disagree about political matters.

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