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Understanding the Immune Response to HIV

HIV infection may not be the death sentence it once was, but it remains an undeniably serious condition that requires aggressive, life-long treatment and entails the ever-present threat of severe immunological impairment. Consequently, medical researchers continue to investigate the mechanisms by which HIV infection evades detection by the body’s normal immune responses. In the August 3, 2011, issue of Nature, investigators from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard; Imperial College London; the National Cancer Institute; and Microsoft Research have shed light on the interactions of HIV and the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells. The paper is the first to show that NK cells play a direct role in fighting HIV. This knowledge opens a new path of research into ways to beat the virus.

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Graduate Women's Scholarship Program

The Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship is a one-year scholarship program for outstanding women graduate students and is designed to help increase the number of women pursuing a PhD. This program supports women in the second year of their graduate studies. Women who are interested in this scholarship must apply during their first year of graduate studies. Scholarships are granted by Microsoft Research at the discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft began accepting applications on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. To be considered, all applications must be submitted by Thursday, October 6, 2011, 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time.

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Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh Available

Interest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released on June 16, 2011, has been strong, and we’re delighted to learn that so many developers and innovators who are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications have taken advantage of the SDK to explore the potential of the Kinect sensor. In support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we have now released a refreshed version of the SDK. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and this release addresses some of the top items you’ve told us about.

MSRearch

Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program for 2012

The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program for 2012 started accepting applications on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. This program recognizes the best and the brightest Ph.D. students in the United States and Canada. Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time PhD program in an accredited university in the United States or Canada, with a research focus in computer science, mathematics, or electrical engineering. All applications must be submitted through the office of the department chair. To be considered, all applications must be submitted by Thursday, October 6, 2011, 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time.

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Cloud Infrastructure Soars in Europe

It was barely a year ago that European scientific and industry leaders came together to develop, test, and deploy a high-quality, interoperable cloud platform for industry and research. The result was VENUS-C (Virtual multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud infrastructures). Jointly sponsored by the European Commission and a consortium of 14 partners, among them Microsoft Research, VENUS-C was conceived to meet the needs of seven different research and commercial areas: bioinformatics, systems biology, drug discovery, civil engineering, civil protection, civil emergencies, and marine biodiversity. VENUS-C has since developed into a functional, operational platform, and is now being used for 15 new pilot projects, which received seed funds after an open call that elicited 60 proposals from throughout Europe.

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Faculty Summit 2011

As you may already know, Microsoft Research Connections hosted our twelfth Faculty Summit in July, providing a forum for lively debate of the development, application, and funding of technologies in the environmental, medical, and educational spheres over a long period of time. Presentations and streaming video of keynotes, talks, panels, workshops, and demonstrations are now available on-demand—find links to them on the agenda page.

Upcoming Events

September 8–9 Microsoft Biology Foundation Workshop 2011, Phoenix, AZ

September 27  Microsoft Research 20-Year Anniversary, Redmond, WA, United States

October 20—21 Microsoft Biology Foundation Workshop 2011, San Diego, CA

October 23—25 eScience Workshop: Transforming Scholarly Communication, Cambridge, MA

November 9–12 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Portland, OR, United States

December 4–8 2011 eScience in Action Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden