Friday, 4 of September of 2015

Tufts Names 2015 Summer Scholars

Tufts Summer Scholars program announced the 2015 Summer Scholars.

The Tufts Summer Scholars Program is funded by the Office of the Provost and by generous gifts from: Mr. Andrew Bendetson in honor of Laura and Martin Bendetson; Steven J. Eliopoulos A89 and Joyce J. Eliopoulos; Mr. George and Ms. Susan Kokulis; Mr. John L. Kokulis; Ms. Ashleigh Nelson; and the Board of Trustees in honor of former Chairman, Mr. Nathan Gantcher.

The Program is also supported by the Schwartz-Paddock Family Fellowships in the Visual and Performing Arts, the Helen and Werner Lob Student Research Fund in Economics, the Hopkins Summer Scholar Fund, and the Christopher Columbus Discovery Summer Scholarships for research spanning disciplinary boundaries. Summer Scholars is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Congratulations to all our engineering summer scholars!

Biomedical Engineering

Elim Na will work with Professor David Kaplan on his project on the “Evaluation of Silk Fibroin Stabilization of Doxorubicin and Vincristine.”

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Sylvia Lustig will work with Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos on her project on the “The Selectivity and Efficiency of Various Single Atom Metal Alloys as Catalysts for the Dehydrogenation of Methanol.”

Mechanical Engineering

Kevin Ligonde will work with Associate Professor Robert White on a project to “Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transducers for Mars Anemometry.”

Computer Science

Avita Sharma will work with Professor Soha Hassoun on a project on “Who is Doing What? Functional Matching between Metabolites and Genomics for Bacterial Pathways.”

Caleb Helbling will work with Professor Kathleen Fisher on a project to “Resequence: A Global Fine Grained Software Repository.”

Collins Sirmah will work with Assistant Professor Ben Shapiro on his project to “Peer Based Learning in Distributed and Parallel Computing Among High School Students.”

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Pengxiang (Jerry) Hu will work with Associate Professor Sameer Sonkusale on a project to “Study and Build Instrumentation for Saliva Diagnostics.” Peter Wu will work with Professor Jeffrey Hopwood on his project to “Improve Vintage Synthesizers for Increased Temperature Based Pitch Stability.”

Engineering Physics

Matthew Eakle will work with Professor Peggy Cebe on a project to “Understanding the Interactions Between Liquid Crystals and Carbon Nanotubes.”

 


Xu Wins NSF Award to Find New Ways to Deliver Drugs Directly into Cells

 

Qiaobing Xu

Qiaobing Xu

Qiaobing Xu, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in Tufts University School of Engineering, has received a $498,899 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research into a new way to deliver protein-based cancer-fighting drugs and other therapeutics into cells.

Such an approach would enable drugs to destroy cancerous growth more effectively than existing treatments and target other diseases traditionally considered “undruggable.”

Chemotherapy drugs attack all actively dividing cells—healthy and diseased alike—often causing significant side effects in the patients. New protein-based therapy, such as cytokines, monoclonal antibodies and growth factors, allow for highly targeted treatment. The problem is that, unlike compounds used in chemotherapy, proteins are too large to easily cross the cell membrane to penetrate into the cell cytoplasm. Instead, most of these protein therapies work by targeting specific receptors on the outside surface of diseased cells.

The NSF program supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

Xu is developing a method way to transport the protein inside the cell safely and efficiently by binding it with a nanoparticle that can cross the cell membrane and, when safely inside, release the protein. In his approach, the protein is first chemically altered to give it a negative charge and then bound to a positively charged nanoparticle composed of lipids. The lipids then pass through the cell membrane, which is naturally negatively charged.

– See more at: http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/tufts-engineer-wins-nsf-award-find-new-ways-deliver-drugs-directly-cells#sthash.WYn7hmN5.dpuf


Read Wins $10K DOW Sustainability Challenge, Farmer Wins Honorable Mention

 

Laura Read wins $10K DOW Sustainability Challenge

Laura Read wins $10K DOW Sustainability Challenge

Laura Read, a doctoral student in the Water Diplomacy | IGERT program, won one of two top prizes for the DOW Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA). Her proposal, based on research with Professor Richard Vogel, seeks to better prepare engineers to incorporate the effects of climate change and urbanization into the design of flood management solutions. Doctoral recipient Will Farmer, also an advisee of Rich Vogel, received an honorable mention for his proposal on sustainable water management in ungauged basins. Congratulations, Laura and Will!


Interview with Tufts Gordon Institute Executive Director Mark Ranalli

Associate Dean & TGI Executive Director Mark Ranalli

Associate Dean & TGI Executive Director Mark Ranalli

Tufts Gordon Institute was pleased to welcome Mark Ranalli this September as the new associate dean and executive director of Tufts Gordon Institute. The founder of several innovative businesses, Ranalli joins Tufts with over 24 years of experience as a business executive and entrepreneur. We recently sat down to ask Mark a few questions including what made him interested in transitioning to higher education, how he sees TGI playing a role in developing leaders and points of advice he would share with aspiring entrepreneurs.

Tufts Gordon Institute: After spending 25 years in industry as a business executive, what made you interested in making the transition to higher education?

Ranalli: As with most journeys, my path to academia started many years ago when I was student. I was fortunate to be able to attend Stanford University, where I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, and later and Dartmouth, where I completed my MBA. Both experiences provided me with a tremendous appreciation for the value of higher education.

Education enriches peoples’ lives – their ability to be creative, to pursue intellectual interests and to seize opportunities. I see higher education as a massive industry that is at a crossroads and in need of transformation. The cost continues to outpace inflation and real wage increases; student debt level exceeds $1 trillion; and student loan defaults are skyrocketing, yet the higher education industry continues on with status quo – isolated from and ignoring the coming tsunami. By joining the ranks of higher education, I hope my entrepreneurial skills and corporate experience can become an asset to the University, while I simultaneously have the opportunity to learn and gain insight into the workings of this vital sector.

Read more of the interview with Mark Ranalli.


Kullman Named NAE Fellow, Palladium Medal Winner

Ellen Kullman, E78, DuPont Chair of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

Ellen Kullman, E78, DuPont Chair of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

Mechanical engineering alumna, Tufts University Trustee  and Engineering Board of Advisor Member Ellen Kullman, E78, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), which is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Kullman, Chair of the Board and CEO of DuPont,  was elected “for leadership in the business growth and transformation of a global science and engineering company.”

Kullman is also the 2015 recipient of the International Palladium Medal from the The Société de Chimie Industrielle–American Section for her distinguished contributions to the chemical industry and thereby to the enhancement of the international aims and objectives of the Société de Chimie Industrielle.

Kullman was named Drexel University’s 2015 Engineering Leader of the Year. She was honored for her leadership in the development of technology-based solutions to societal problems, and as a role model for current and future generations of engineers. Kullman is the second woman after Linda M. Abriola, to receive the award.


Stevens Named NASA Fellow, Receives NREIP Funding

Maggie Stevens

Maggie Stevens

Maggie Stevens, a doctoral student in Associate Professor Tom Vandervelde’s REAP Lab, received funding to spend the summer working at the Naval Research Labs through the prestigious Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program. She will be working with the Robert Walters group at NRL on epitaxial processes and characterization.

Stevens also received funding from NASA for her proposal “Solid State Energy Conversion for Deep Space Power.” NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships are awarded to graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for the United States’ science, exploration and economic future.

Earlier in the year, Stevens and undergraduate Katie Levinson in the REAP Lab presented papers at the American Physical Society meeting, March 2-6, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. Stevens presented a paper on “Studying Anomalous Open-Circuit Voltage Drop-Out in Concentrated Photovoltaics Using Computational Numerical Analysis.”  Levinson presented a paper on “Emission Testing Results of Thermally Stable, Metamaterial, Selective-Emitters for Thermophotovoltaics.”


Lee and Georgakoudi Named AIMBE Fellows

Kyongbum Lee

Kyongbum Lee

Professor and Chair of the department Kyongbum Lee was inducted to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows.

Lee was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for outstanding contributions at the interface of biochemical and biomedical engineering through integrated modeling and experimental studies on cellular metabolism.

Irene Georgakoudi

Irene Georgakoudi

Associate Professor Irene Georgakoudi (BME) was nominated, reviewed, and elected by the AIMBE College of Fellows for outstanding contributions to the development of label-free optical methods for cancer diagnosis and tissue engineering applications.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. The most accomplished and distinguished engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs, comprise the College of Fellows.

AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research, and innovation. AIMBE Fellows have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation and many also are members of the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.


AEESP Recognizes Ramsburg for Outstanding Teaching

Andrew Ramsburg

Andrew Ramsburg

The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) has recognized Associate Professor C. Andrew Ramsburg with its Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science which recognizes his outstanding contributions to the teaching of environmental engineering, both at Tufts and in the larger community.


WBUR’s Learning Lab features CEEO and Malden High School Maker Space

Peter Balonon-Rosen of WBUR’s Learning Lab blog wrote a piece about the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) and their work with student at Malden High School. In the piece “Inquiry-Based Arts And Engineering Space Enriches Student Learning“, Balonon-Rosen talks with Assistant Professor Ben Shapiro about the CEEO and the value of maker spaces.

“Historically when you look in schools where there is inquiry-based learning, it’s the kids who are sort of on the most high-track academic track who get that in their classes and the kids who are not there tend to have much more traditional didactic instruction,” said Shapiro, a McDonnell Family Professor of Engineering Education at Tufts University, who helped secure the grant.

“We wondered if we could … create conditions in the school where all kids, including the kids who are not seen as the most-likely academic high achievers, get to do inquiry as part of their everyday learning,” Shapiro said.


Abriola Named University Professor

Linda M. Abriola appointed University Professor. Photo: J.J. Zhou

Linda M. Abriola appointed University Professor. Photo: J.J. Zhou

Linda Abriola, dean of the School of Engineering and a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named a University Professor, the highest academic honor conferred at Tufts. It is a distinction currently held by just four other faculty members here. Abriola is the first woman to receive the appointment.

Abriola, who has been dean since 2003, was one of the first to develop a mathematical model that describes the migration of organic liquid contaminants in the subsurface—or, more simply, how organic chemical pollutants travel within and contaminate our groundwater resources.

She is particularly known for her work on the characterization and remediation of underground aquifers contaminated by chlorinated solvents, a family of chemicals used as degreasers and in dry cleaning that are known carcinogens and harmful to ecological health.

The president and provost recommend faculty for University Professorships, which are approved by the Board of Trustees. The designation is an honor reserved for faculty of unusual scholarly eminence who are also exemplary citizens of the Tufts community.

“This appointment honors Linda Abriola for her work as a transformative leader of the School of Engineering and the university, as well as her outstanding reputation as a researcher in the field of groundwater remediation,” said Provost David Harris.

“I am deeply honored to receive this distinguished professorship,” Abriola said. “My past 12 years as dean of the School of Engineering have been the most rewarding and productive of my academic career. It has been both a joy and a privilege to be a part of this wonderful community, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the university in this new capacity.”

– See more at: http://now.tufts.edu/articles/engineering-dean-named-university-professor#sthash.gcqQgivc.dpuf