Monday, 3 of August of 2015

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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


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.”


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.


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


Miller and Saibaba Featured on Cover of Inverse Problems

Eric Miller

Eric Miller

The research of Professor and Chair Eric Miller (ECE) and postdoc Arvind Saibaba is featured on the cover of the January issue of the journal Inverse Problems. The work, in collaboration with Professor Peter Kitanidis at Stanford University, develops computationally efficient methods for estimating the state of large-scale, noisy, and dynamical systems, opening up possibilities for real-time monitoring and control of processes in fields ranging from medicine and biology to subsurface remediation, carbon sequestration, and numerical weather prediction.

 

doi:10.1088/0266-5611/31/1/015009

Fig. 8 Variance of the computed solution at time 30 h after injection computed on the grid of size.


Tufts Softball One Win from NCAA Finals

Allyson Fournier, ChBE 15

Senior CF Michelle Cooprider went 4 for 4 with four runs scored and two rbis as the top-ranked Tufts Softball team earned an 8-0 five-inning victory over WPI in game one of the NCAA Championship Super Regionals Thursday at Spicer Field.

Softball Championship ChBE Senior Allyson Fournier pitched a three-hit shutout for the Jumbos, who are now one win away from making their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Finals.

Fournier improved to 29-0 with the win, striking out 11 along the way. The Jumbos extended their NCAA Division III record winning streak to 47 games while improving to 45-0 this season. WPI dropped to 34-10.


New Catalysts May Provide Path to Low-Cost Production of Future Fuels

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

New catalysts designed by Tufts University School of Engineering researchers and collaborators from other university and national laboratories have the potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels, such as hydrogen. The catalysts, composed of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to sodium or potassium atoms and supported by a wholly unique structure comprised of non-reactive silica materials, demonstrate comparable activity and stability with current catalysts used in producing highly purified hydrogen.

The work, which appears in Science Express, points to new avenues for producing single-site supported gold catalysts that could produce high-grade hydrogen for cleaner energy use in fuel-cell powered devices, including vehicles.

“In the face of precious metals scarcity and exorbitant fuel-processing costs, these systems are promising in the search for sustainable global energy solutions,” says senior author Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability.

The paper appeared in the November 27 edition of Science Express. (doi:10.1126/science.1260526). This research is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant # DE-FG02-05ER15730.

Image from Science Express, Nov 27


Matson Discusses Electromagnetic Levitator with NASA

Doug Matson

Doug Matson

Associate Professor Doug Matson spoke with NASA Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer about the Electromagnetic Levitator, a piece of physics experiment hardware operating in the International Space Station’s Columbus laboratory. The EML is a furnace that can heat metals to more than 2,000 degrees Celsius and then cool them rapidly, and by doing so in a weightless environment—with the samples suspended in mid-air—allows scientists to more clearly observe some of the complex core processes of physics.

Watch the interview on YouTube.