Nemes SP-424 - History

(SP-424: t. 18; 1. 50'2"; b. 10'5"; dr. 2'6"; s. 12 k.; a. 1 l-pdr., l mg.)

Nemes, a motor boat built in 1909 by Van Deise, Camden i N.J., was acquired by the Navy from J. C. Noblit, Germantown, Pa., 10 July 1917; and placed in service shortly there. after, Boatswain W H. Noblit in command.

Operating in the 7th Naval District, headquartered at Key West during World War I, Nemes met with ill fate soon after beginning her service. Scheduled to patrol around Key West,

she pulled into Cotteral Bay for cleaning in August; while there, an explosion rocked the ship 21 August 1917 causing her to burn and sink.

Robert Nemes

I first visited Budapest soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Everything about the city fascinated me: the elegant but dilapidated buildings (some still bullet-ridden from 1956), the lively open-air markets, the rattling yellow trolleys. I have since returned many times to Budapest and the surrounding region. Along the way I went to graduate school in history at Columbia University and now teach at Colgate University.

I offer courses in European and global history. These include The First World War, Germany and Eastern Europe, History of the Modern Balkans, and Coffee and Cigarettes: A Global History. Please contact me if you would like to see my syllabi.

My research and writing focus on Central and Eastern Europe. I have written two books - The Once and Future Budapest (Northern Illinois University Press, 2005) and Another Hungary: The Nineteenth-Century Provinces in Eight Lives (Stanford University Press, 2016) - and co-edited another, Sites of European Antisemitism in the Age of Mass Politics, 1880-1918 (Brandeis University Press, 2014).

The Crowns of the Pharaohs

In Ancient Egypt, the gods and kings (pharaohs) were depicted with a crown, which, according to Egyptologists, were also taken into the grave for the afterlife. These crowns however have never physically been found, neither inside nor outside graves. Have these crowns really existed or did grave robbers take them all? Not all the graves were looted before archaeologists discovered them and this strengthens the idea that the crowns were only used in depictions and statues to indicate a certain, important phase in the life of a pharaoh.

Therefore, it is not special that no crowns have ever been found, nor any of the artefacts that accompanied the pharaohs like for instance: the crook or the flail and the ankh or the was-sceptre that accompanied the gods.

There used to be different types of crowns like the red crown or Desjret as the symbol of Lower-Egypt, the white crown or Hadjet as the symbol of Upper-Egypt, the double crown or Psjent as a combination of the white and the red crown, the war crown or Chepresj of which is little known, the Atef crown worn by the first mythical king Osiris and the Nemes headdress. Combinations of mentioned crowns were also used. Goddesses and Egyptian queens were often depicted with a hood in the shape of a vulture. A pharaoh in times of war was depicted with the war crown and showed the status in the life of that pharaoh and his kingdom. Therefore a particular crown is linked to a specific era.

Gods were depicted with crowns because they were the first mythical kings in the time before creation and prior to the first Egyptian dynasty about 5.000 years ago. The pharaohs were the chosen ones and descendants from these gods in Egyptian mythology. Therefore they were provided with a crown to show their divinity. Different crowns represent the life of the pharaoh and the last crown or Nemes headdress marks the conclusion of earthly life and the beginning of life hereafter. The blue-striped Nemes headdress as a death mask. The best example is the death mask of Tut-Ankh-Amen (image 1).

Image 1: The death mask of King Tut-Ankh-Amen

The Nemes headdress

The Nemes headdress or royal blue striped headdress isn't a real crown but a cloth that often covered a crown and the backside of the head. Two parts of the cloth hung downwards alongside the ears on the front side of the shoulders and on the backside the cloth was tied together in a braid and provided with rings. The mythical Uraeuscobra, worn by gods and kings, was often combined with this headdress and symbolised the power and dominion on virtility and prosperity of the land. Only in the case of Tut-Ankh-Amen the Uraeuscobra was depicted in combination with the vulture to symbolise his divinity as the 'feathered serpent'. Just like Quetzalcoatl, the serpent god in Aztec mythology. This makes the young king Tut-Ankh-Amen a very important pharaoh, despite other assertions. He is the only pharaoh depicted with the Nemes headdress provided with both the Uraeuscobra and the vulture.

The Nemes on the death mask of Tut-Ankh-Amen is made of gold and lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli is an azure blue gem, which, in Ancient Egypt, was often laid inside graves to accompany the deceased one in the afterlife. Lapis lazuli was believed to be as a sacred stone with magical powers and was also called heavenly stone because of the connection with life after death. A stone used as an azure 'star map' the road sign for the soul of the deceased. The Nemes headdress of the death mask shows the combination of gold and lapis lazuli as well as the contrast and agreement between life (gold-sun-life) and death (heavenly stone lapis lazuli). Life embraces death as expressed in the Nemes headdress as a death mask, which functions as a funeral card of the deceased one. A funeral card with the age of the deceased person in solar years. The Nemes as a death mask provides us with this information.

It doesn't matter if the depiction is a statue or a death mask. In both cases it marks the end of the earthly life, either with or without the false beard that decorates so often the depicture of the pharaoh.

The ancient Egyptians also used the solar year for the period the sun needed to return to the same point. An Ancient Egyptian year on the calendar begun with the flooding season of the Nile and counted, like in present times, three hundred and sixty five days.

The age of the deceased pharaoh is told through the number of rings (golden life rings) of the braid of the Nemes headdress (image 2). In the case of the death mask of Tut-Ankh-Amen the braid counts nineteen rings and that corresponds to his stay on earth in solar years.

This can also easily be verified with other statues of pharaohs wearing the Nemes headdress with braids divided into rings. In Egyptology it is often not exactly known how old a pharaoh really became.

Another example is the granite statue of pharaoh Thutmosis IV, to be found in the Louvre (Paris) of who is said he probably reached the age of thirty-three years. The braid of the Nemes headdress of this pharaoh counts thirty-two rings.

This method may shine a different light on the chronology of Ancient Egypt and the life of the pharaohs and deserves further examination. Unfortunately only few pictures have been taken from the backside of statues or death masks and that shows us that we, in our current society, literally and figuratively are limited in our observation. It is the difference between looking and really seeing.

Nemes SP-424 - History

23. Tutankhamun’s tomb, innermost coffin. New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty.
c. 1323 B.C.E. Gold with inlay of enamel and semiprecious stones.

  • Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus had three coffins for the kings’ body
    • outer two coffins were crafted in wood and covered in gold along with semiprecious stones
      • like lapis lazuli and turquoise.
      • when found it was “covered with a thick black pitch-like layer which extended from the hands down to the ankles
      • made of two sheets of gold that were hammered together and weighs 22.5 pounds (10.23 kg)

      Spell 151b from the Book of the Dead on the back of the mask

      • Egyptians used as a road map for the afterlife
      • spell protects the various limbs of Tutankhamen as he moves into the underworld

      The sarcophagus was meant to preserve and protect the pharaoh in the afterlife

      SON OF SAUL's László Nemes and Géza Röhrig on Depicting History from the Inside

      Writer-director László Nemes and actor Géza Röhrig discuss their acclaimed new film, a harrowing Holocaust drama free of forced drama and false uplift.

      Every few years, you see a film that you just know, from its very first shots, will become an enduring staple of cinephiliac and ideological debate, film school and social studies syllabi, and cinematic and even national history.

      László Nemes' debut (!) feature Son of Saul (a.k.a. Saul fia) is an artistically astonishing and narratively unique dramatization of the Holocaust that has been making waves among filmgoers since May of this year, when it won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes amidst an ardent but divided audience reception. The film quite literally follows its title character, Saul (first-time film actor Géza Röhrig, in one of the year's most unforgettable performances), an Auschwitz prisoner tasked with working in the Sonderkommando, i.e. work units made up of death camp detainees who were forced to dispose of gas chamber victims. When he notices a young man who has managed to survive the chambers for a few brief minutes, Saul becomes intent on providing a proper burial for the boy, whom he hauntingly begins to refer to as his "son."

      We spoke to Nemes and Röhrig about their respective debuts, Saul 's radical shooting style, and the pressures of depicting the Holocaust in a genre littered with several masterworks—and many well-intentioned misfires.

      Tribeca: László, what are the roots of Son of Saul? When did it first become clear to you that this story was one you needed to tell?

      Nemes: The roots originated from the text of the Sonderkommando members of Auschwitz, the text that had been written by the prisoners of the Sonderkommando within the extermination process. And these texts were found after the war, sometimes decades after. And [they] gave me, as a reader, the possibility to be there with the Sonderkommando, in the middle of the extermination process and not experiencing the Holocaust from the outside, but really from the inside. That gave me the willingness to talk about the extermination through the experience of the Sonderkommando. The question was, How to approach it? I had a feeling cinema was able to communicate [that] through its language, to communicate directly with the viewer in a visceral way.

      Tribeca: László and Géza, how did this creative partnership come about?

      Nemes: We met 10 years ago in New York. I spent a year in New York and I met [Géza] through friends. I had a feeling that he was very interesting… I didn’t have the plan to have him in a movie, but we had a good personal relationship. When I started casting for Saul, I submitted this idea to the casting director—not for Saul, but in general, let’s take a look at this guy because he's interesting, and he lives in New York. This is the kind of person we're looking for for this film. We didn't want any kind of traditional acting in this film. We wanted something that would be more unconventional. That's how the adventure began.

      Röhrig: László sent me the script on email. I printed it out, read it in an hour, and I was onboard. It was really speaking for itself. It was a very well-written script, and it really grabbed and approached the subject matter in a different way than any other so-called "Holocaust movie" did. There were plenty of those, more than even I see and I see a lot. And I was excited. I did not know in what capacity or how he'd like me involved, but I expressed my full support and then the rest is history.

      Tribeca: Saul's goals are so crystal-clear and yet his emotions are totally elusive and his deeper motivations remain very nearly secretive to the viewer. In a way, he's the type of character who could seemingly only exist in cinema. Géza, as a first-time film actor, what were some of the challenges you encountered in embodying a character as cryptic as Saul?

      Röhrig: I think it's purposefully sort of an enigmatic character. In such a time and place as this, Saul had to, was forced to, exist and carry out his duties in what was basically a past-less and futureless existence. His past, his family, his memories… They gradually disappeared. His being became biological. The will to live becomes independent of the person and, after a while, it’s just uncontrollable. All the Sonderkommando members who were able to make it through and to carry their tasks—the only way to do this was to shut down emotionally and live in an extremely narrow way.

      But his quest and his mania, so to speak, to get this boy buried was the only thing he knew certainly for sure. In other words, he was holding on to that obligation as the only solid point of the universe. This is the right thing. He owes this to this boy. Something happened that he encountered when he met and saw the agony of this boy who survived the gas chamber for a couple of minutes. And he just felt gratitude almost. He owed this boy for his regained normalcy, so to speak. He was able to be in touch with his inner core and, before that, he felt that it was gone. He was, again, getting the relighted flame of a person. And what else can you do good for a dead person besides bury him?

      Nemes: [Holds up his iPhone] I just found the email I wrote to [Géza].

      Röhrig: Back then?

      Nemes: Yeah.

      Röhrig: That's funny.

      Tribeca: What does it say?

      Nemes: I wasn't even sure [he'd] remember me. Because we didn't talk for six years, or something like that. It was just funny to find [that].

      Tribeca: The film's first-person, over-the-shoulder cinematography is so specific but also so formally ambitious that I honestly don't think I've ever seen anything quite as daring. Laszlo, how did you devise this immersive shooting style?

      Nemes: It's something that I really came to design over the course of a few years while working with my cinematographer on my short films and through conversations that I had with him. It took me years to design it, even though the core idea was there with my first short film [2007's With a Little Patience]. But we were ready to make [a] portrait of very important times through this portrait of one individual. When [you have] to go into details, an overall strategy has to be adapted to every situation in a given film. So it was a long process and I needed time. But the main idea behind it all was that the only thing we can represent with honesty in a concentration camp is the human face. And this human face would give the measure to everything that’s going on. And following one individual through hell is, I think, the only possibility of going through hell. Because we didn't want to do a horror film. We had to rely on the viewer to hint at the enormity of the conduct.

      Tribeca: Géza, how did this shooting style affect and even shape your performance?

      Röhrig: I fully understood why it was this way and I embraced the idea. I thought it's how it should be, and it didn’t take me more than a day or two to get used to this huge camera right in front of my face.

      Nemes: I don't think you needed time. From the first scene, he had the same understanding and approach as [on] the last day. Even from a technical point of view, it was probably easier for him to learn how to be on a set, really to be in the middle of the attention. But what he delivered was there from the beginning. There's no learning curve.

      Röhrig: And I think the personal chemistry or sympathy was also important in the cinematography. [Lászó and I] literally spoke the same language.

      Nemes: And he understood that the spectrum of emotions had to be very minimal, not only because of the subject matter, but because of our premise. There had to be no filmic drama in this film because we wanted to have something more real and raw. But also, we were so close to [Géza] that the [minutest] shadow of something that's going on on his face would be registered by the camera.

      Tribeca: Film has certainly been no stranger to stories about the Shoah, both good and bad. But Son of Saul feels like a landmark moment for both this particular historical crisis and for historical cinema itself. Laszlo, why do you feel that Saul’s story needs to be told and seen now?

      Röhrig: I have a feeling that if Son of Saul had been done in the '60s, I don't think the world would have been ready for it. I think that a certain time and distance had to happen to address the sensitive part of the story. From a particular Jewish point-of-view, the survivors are dying and we are losing the living link to history, so to speak. In the growing absence of the witnesses, I think this movie also comes kind of in a sensitive time because there is this anxiety in the Jewish community [that] somehow the memory is going to fade once there are no living survivors of the Holocaust. There's never any sort of definitive account of the Holocaust there can be no movie made and there should be no movie made that is the [definitive account]. But we really felt that what is kind of missing from the landscape of Holocaust cinema is a movie like ours. There were a lot of attempts, honest and good-willing attempts of talking about this subject matter, but lots of them, for whatever reason, I think they were missing the point. We felt that as much as it's kind of known and even boring to some degree, because there are so many movies around the Second World War, the daring was missing, some way to get into the very heart of the matter.

      Nemes: In a way, the people tend to approach history in a very frozen manner and I wanted to offer an internal point of view to something that seems to be so well-known. History experienced from the inside doesn't look like a postcard. It looks like reality. The nature of this reality has to be and can be interrogated through cinematic means. That can lead to interesting results. It also can stay with the audience and the audience can think about these issues. I think the issue of evil within human civilizations is something that’s forgotten. Cinema should communicate with the audience by using the imagination of the viewer. That's more and more forgotten because of television-style aesthetics and television-style approaches to storytelling, which are more based on giving too much to the audience. I wanted to go back to what I consider the most interesting approach to filmmaking and cinema, which is involving the audience in a very personal and visceral way.

      Tribeca: The film has received high praise from Claude Lanzmann, who has called Saul the "anti-Schindler’s List." What does his blessing mean to you? Have you developed a relationship with him?

      Nemes: I did, and I think Géza did also.

      Röhrig: I did, but László speaks more French so it was easier for him to develop [one]. I was 16 or so in the mid-eighties when I went and saw the full version of [Lanzmann's seminal Holocaust documentary] Shoah, the nine-and-a-half-hour version. I remember it was a Sunday morning and people were voting if we should have breaks or not. I voted not to have breaks, but I [was] voted down. In any case, this was definitely a turning point for me and films, watching Shoah back then. So, having his blessing obviously means a lot.

      Nemes: And also, for me, it was important because I watched Shoah so much in pre-production with my cinematographer and co-writer. It was such an interesting inspiration. Shoah is about, in a way, a very important off-screen space of the destroyed European-Jewish world. And we had a very important rule for the off-screen of Saul. We're in the same tradition, I guess. You have to be responsible. You have to carry the responsibility when you talk about the Holocaust. You have to talk about it, but you cannot take the Holocaust in a fiction film for its dramatic value. If you talk about it, you have to interrogate the very essence of the Holocaust. I wanted to make this film so that filmmakers after me will not consider it a taboo, but also will not try to just use the Holocaust, but rather really interrogate its nature.

      Tribeca: Laszlo, any film that attempts to reckon with the events of the Holocaust instantly opens itself up to deep critical scrutiny, whether it be over moral implications or factuality or artistic license. Although it's been widely-praised from the festival circuit to critics, Son of Saul has certainly been no exception to this rule. As a writer-director recreating these horrors, how did you balance the ethical weight of the subject matter while nonetheless forming it into a gripping film?

      Nemes: It has to be embedded in the creative process, but we were very deeply conscious of the responsibility that we had in approaching the subject, so everybody on the team had a clear and profound understanding of it, a visceral understanding of it. The visual approach of presenting one individual is the answer to all ethical questions, because the human face will give the reference to everything that goes on. But the context is there, the main character is in the situation, and the situation goes through the filter of the main character. But the target becomes the viewer. It becomes very personal. It's something that had to be done in a film about the Holocaust. It had to be visceral because the viewer now, today, keeps that at bay.

      Tribeca: Géza, your performance is so brilliantly internalized that it could almost exist in a silent film. Do you have any acting aspirations beyond Saul?

      Röhrig: I'm open to it, if it's the right fit.

      Tribeca: I saw a picture of you and Cate Blanchett at Cannes. I'd love to see that.

      Nemes: It would be good!

      Röhrig: She's lovely and super intelligent. She saw the movie. She loves the movie. But, yeah, I'm open to it.

      Tribeca: There are so many supporting characters and fleeting faces in Saul and they all make indelible impressions. But I'm curious about how you coached the extras who played the prisoners and even, in some instances, actual corpses. It’s such a dangerous and vulnerable situation to put yourself in emotionally and psychologically.

      Nemes: For the actors, we had to achieve a state that was not a sort of post-war perception of the role. But these people had to behave in a way that was 1944 and not 2014. So, just try to eradicate the sort of emotional projection of pity and self-pity and overly-emotional states. These people, the Sonderkommando, are traumatized and we had to find ways to get there. And I wanted to know as much as possible about the Sonderkommando and then try to forget it in a way. So, we had to make the acting as simple and raw as possible. In a way, it's more like a [Robert] Bresson approach, to be and exist. Also, I had a director-friend who was hired to direct the extras, so everybody was instructed by a director, even if I didn't have the opportunity on 28-day shoot to direct everybody. But it was very much immersed in this reality. And I think we had to use this energy of the [actors] feeling that they were in a real place and a real time and not on a movie set. We had to make it real.

      Son of Saul opens in select theaters on December 18th. Find theater listings here.

      László Nemes

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      László Nemes, in full László Jeles Nemes, Hungarian form Nemes Lázló, (born February 18, 1977, Budapest, Hungary), Hungarian director whose first feature film, the Holocaust drama Saul fia (2015 Son of Saul), won an Academy Award for best foreign-language film.

      Nemes’s father was a film director, and his mother was a teacher. In 1989 he moved with his mother to Paris. After attending the Paris Institute of Political Studies, where he studied history, international relations, and political science, he took classes in cinema at the Sorbonne. Nemes returned to Budapest in 2003. There he worked as an assistant to the distinguished director Béla Tarr on two projects: Tarr’s contribution to the short-film compendium Visions of Europe (2004), and A londoni férfi (2007 The Man from London). Nemes went on to direct a short film of his own: Türelem (2007 With a Little Patience), which was shown at the Venice International Film Festival. In 2006 he briefly sojourned in New York City, attending the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He directed two more shorts, The Counterpart (2008) and The Gentleman Takes His Leave (2010). In 2011 Nemes was awarded a place at the Cannes Cinéfondation Résidence du Festival, where he developed Son of Saul, his feature directing debut.

      Set in October 1944 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, Son of Saul follows the activities of a Sonderkommando (“special commando”), a Jewish prisoner forced to herd his coreligionists into gas chambers and dispose of their bodies in the notorious crematory ovens. The man, Saul Ausländer (played by Hungarian poet Géza Röhrig), spots a young boy who briefly survives after having been gassed. When the boy dies, Ausländer, convinced that the youth is his lost son, embarks upon a quest to give him a proper religious burial instead of loading his corpse into the ovens along with the thousands of others. In interviews, Nemes, who also wrote the screenplay in collaboration with Clara Royer, explained that his intention was to bring individual experience to the fore. A descendant of Holocaust victims himself, he felt that other depictions were too sweeping in their scale—and too uplifting in their ultimate message—to truly show the nightmare experienced by so many. Son of Saul received numerous awards, most notably an Oscar for best foreign-language film.

      Nemes next cowrote and directed Napszállta (2018 Sunset), which is set in 1913 Budapest, then a capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The drama centres on a young woman who was orphaned at age two. As she attempts to learn more about her family, including a long-lost brother, she also discovers an empire in decline.

      You've only scratched the surface of Nemes family history.

      Between 1955 and 2004, in the United States, Nemes life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1955, and highest in 1968. The average life expectancy for Nemes in 1955 was 37, and 78 in 2004.

      An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Nemes ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.


      Please note: This list does not include forms for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) or forms for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Forms for these Bureaus may be found on their websites.

      Number Form Title Agency
      OJP 7120/1 Accounting System and Financial Capability Questionnaire Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
      SF 3881 ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
      1 708 Age, Sex, and Race of Persons Arrested -- 18 Years of Age and Over Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
      1 708a Age, Sex, and Race of Persons Arrested -- Under 18 Years of Age Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
      EOIR 33 BIA Alien's Change of Address Form / Board of Immigration Appeals Executive Office for Immigration Review
      NSD 3 Amendment to Registration Statement Pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 National Security Division (NSD)
      Application for Approval as a Nonprofit Budget and Credit Counseling Agency U.S. Trustee Program
      Application for Approval as a Provider of a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course U.S. Trustee Program
      I-598 Application for Asylum and For Withholding of Removal Executive Office for Immigration Review
      EOIR 42B Application for Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status for Certain Nonpermanent Residents Executive Office for Immigration Review
      EOIR 42A Application for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents Executive Office for Immigration Review
      Application for Certificate of Pardon for Vietnam-era Selective Service Act Violations (August 4, 1964 to March 28, 1973) Office of the Pardon Attorney
      SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
      SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance (for OJP)
      Alternate version
      Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
      USM-3C Application for Group Special Deputation U.S. Marshals Service
      DEA 488 Application for Import Quota for Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylpropanolamine
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 488 A Application for Import Quota for Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylpropanolamine Worksheet A
      Alternate version
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 189 Application for Individual Manufacturing Quota
      Alternate version
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 225 Application for New Registration Under Controlled Substance Act
      Alternate version
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 224 Application for New Registration Under Controlled Substance Act of 1970 Retail Pharmacy
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 363 Application for New Registration under Narcotic Addict Treatment Act of 1974
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 510 Application for New Registration under the Controlled Substance Act
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 161 Application for Permit to Export Controlled Substances Pursuant to Section 1003(a), (b), (c) & (d), Title III, PL 91-513
      Alternate version
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 357 Application for Permit to Import Controlled Substances for Domestic and/or Scientific Purposes Pursuant to Section 1002, Title III, P.L. 91-513
      Alternate version
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
      DEA 250 Application for Procurement Quota
      Alternate version
      Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

      Department of History

      Understand society’s past and train your mind for the future.

      Students of history develop an understanding of the flow of human events. Along the way, they expand their ability to analyze, synthesize, and communicate — key skills in any endeavor.

      Colgate’s curriculum is global in reach, and it encourages interdisciplinary exploration. Courses cover Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the interaction between these societies.

      Department Contacts

      Chair: Robert Nemes
      Administrative assistant: Kezia Lawler
      Phone: 315-228-7511

      History students use their strong research and writing skills in many professions: some teach, others go on to grad school… At the same time, many history majors get jobs in marketing, consulting, and finance. A history degree opens a lot of doors.

      Learn about courses available to students majoring or minoring in history.

      Meet the faculty and staff of the history department, and learn about their ongoing research.


      Topics: Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry, Microanalytical Separations, Metabolomics, Proteomics, Systems Cell Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Human Health, Artificial Intelligence

      Research Goals. During normal differentiation, the cell must properly execute molecular programs in space and time to establish the different types of cells that form tissues, organs, and organisms. While decades of research have identified genes and transcripts with key roles during development, very little is known about the production of proteins and metabolites and the functions of these molecules during cell differentiation and the patterning of the vertebrate body axis development. The challenge has been a lack of sufficiently sensitive bioanalytical instruments, primarily mass spectrometry, capable of detecting these important biomolecules in single cells and limited amounts of tissues.
      The Nemes Research Laboratory (NRG) designs and builds novel bioanalytical instruments (Objective 1) to break down classical barriers in analytical detection sensitivity, microscale separations, and quantification. The NRG then uses these custom-built instruments and methodologies to study important proteins, peptides, and metabolites during cell differentiation and development of tissues and organs (Objective 2). The NRG employs classical cell fate mapping, microsurgeries, and microinjections as well as translation-blocking morpholinos and emerging gene editing tools (CRISPR-Cas9) to study the impact of these molecules to normal and impair development (Objective 3).

      Objective 1. We Build Trace-sensitive Mass Spectrometry Platforms for Metabolites

      Figure 1

      Metabolites are highly dynamic and sensitive to intrinsic and extrinsic events, making the metabolome an excellent descriptor of cellular phenotype. However, cells contain vanishing amounts of material, which has traditionally hindered metabolite detection by mass spectrometry, the technology of choice for the analysis of these small molecules. To overcome this limitation, we undertake multiple projects to develop high-resolution mass spectrometry instruments capable of trace-level sensitivity. For example, in “R. M. Onjiko, S. A. Moody, and P. Nemes*, PNAS 2015, 112, 6545,” we custom-built a single-cell mass spectrometer instrument to allow us to characterize metabolites in single embryonic cells. Furthermore, in “R. M. Onjiko, E. P. Portero, S. A. Moody, and P. Nemes*, Anal. Chem. 2017, 89, 7069,“ we equipped this single-cell mass spectrometer with a capability for direct analysis of cells directly in live embryos (Figure 1).

      Objective 2. We Build Trace-sensitive Mass Spectrometry Platforms for Proteins

      Figure 2

      Proteins carry out critical molecular functions during cell differentiation and development. However, without molecular amplification of the whole proteome, it has been historically challenging to detect diverse proteins over a broad dynamic concentration range in limited amounts of samples. We have several projects aimed at advancing ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry to ultrasensitivity to enable the characterization of large numbers of proteins in single cells. For example, in “C. Lombard-Banek, S. A. Moody, and P. Nemes*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 2454,” we built a single-cell mass spectrometry instrument capable of identifying and quantifying

      1000–2,000 different proteins between single embryonic cells (Figure 2). Furthermore, in “B. S. Choi, M. Zamarbide, M. Chiara Manzini, and P. Nemes*, J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2016, 28, 597,” we empowered this instrument with a record sensitivity to detect proteins in protein digests that approximate the content of a single mammalian neuron.

      Figure 3

      Objective 3. We Uncover Molecular Players during Normal and Impaired Development

      Using our unique mass spectrometry platforms, we ask the question how the metabolome and proteome changes and what molecules roles these functionally important molecules play during key stages of development. Specifically, we study these molecular players during cell differentiation and body patterning using the frog Xenopus laevis embryo and neurogenesis using the mouse (Mus musculus). For example, in “Onjiko et al., PNAS 2015,” we quantified metabolic differences between identified embryonic cells. Furthermore, we discovered metabolites that are able to alter the normal tissue fate of cells in the X. laevis embryo: the normally neural tissue-fated D11 cell gave rise to epidermal tissue (Figure 3). In “C. Lombard-Banek, Sally A. Moody, and P. Nemes*, Mol. Cell. Prot. 2016, 15, 2756,” we uncovered previously unknown proteomic cell heterogeneity in the 16-cell X. laevis embryo.

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