March 20, 2014
Since our February newsletter, CU-Boulder’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (ChBE) has received exciting news and honors. Read about our new ranking, distinguished research, and grants and awards below, and keep up with the department by joining us on LinkedIn!
ChBE has moved to 14th out of 126 chemical engineering programs in the recent 2015 US News & World Report graduate program rankings. This considerable improvement from last year's ranking of 18th is evidence that the fine work being done by ChBE researchers is being recognized. The department is also now ranked 8th among public schools.
The question of whether or not stem cells remember past physical signals was addressed in a recent Nature Materials paper by Distinguished Professor Kristi Anseth and collaborators. In their article titled, "Mechanical memory and dosing influence stem cell fate," Anseth and team conclude that stem cells possess mechanical memory that stores information from past physical environments and influences the cells' fate.
Distinguished Professor Chris Bowman received two five-year awards from NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for a total of $4.55M: "CU-Catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Reactions for Novel Dental Composite Materials," and "Dental Composite Materials Based on Photoinitiated Thiol-Vinyl Sulfone Reactions." He also received a $1.15M five-year award from the University of California, San Diego with prime sponsor DOD Army RDECOM for "Dynamic Artificial Cells Composed of Synthetic Bioorthogonal Membranes."
Assistant Professor Prashant Nagpal received a prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his proposal, "Using 'Hot' Carriers for Photovoltaics and Photocatalysis." Additionally, his most recent paper on upconversion photoluminescence was highlighted in Nature Materials.
After focusing on Energy and Bioengineering in turn, the department’s Research Symposium Series was rounded out by this semester’s event focusing on Materials Science and Engineering. The March 13 symposium highlighted the research of Professors Chris Bowman, Arthi Jayaraman, Charles Musgrave, and Dan Schwartz. The event was well-attended by a diverse crowd of alumni, industry colleagues, and graduate and undergraduate students.
Associate Professor Stephanie Bryant received $1.5M from NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for "Personalizing Matrix Assisted Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation." Additionally, Bryant was awarded a $1.8M award from NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for "Synthetic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Niches for Vascular Therapy."
A recent paper from the research groups of Distinguished Professor Kristi Anseth and Norviel Associate Professor Jennifer Cha was awarded the front cover of Advanced Materials. The paper describes the synthesis and application of a step-growth PEG hydrogel crosslinked by hydrazone bonds that relaxes in response to cell-applied stress.