Home > Press > Barron Wins NAS/Keck Futures Initiative Funding
Rice-NC State Project To Study Fullerene Interaction With Cell Membranes
Barron Wins NAS/Keck Futures Initiative Funding
Houston, TX | April 15, 2005
A research team from Rice University and North Carolina State University have received $75,000 funding from the National
Academies Keck Futures Initiative to study one of the critical questions in
the biology of nanomaterials: how such particles cross membranes to allow
for their interaction with cells.
The program is a collaborative project between Nancy Monteiro-Riviere,
professor of investigative dermatology and toxicology at NC State, and
Andrew R. Barron, the Charles W. Duncan Jr-Welch Professor of Chemistry and
professor of materials science at Rice.
Monteiro-Riviere and Barron's research will explore the transport nature of
specific fullerenes with different substituted amino acids and their
interactions with skin cells. The proposed studies are a direct extension of
work conducted by the researchers defining the interaction of multi walled
carbon nanotubes with human epidermal keratinocytes, and the synthesis on
new nano-biohybrid materials by Barron. The researchers are interested in a
range of different fullerene-amino acid sequences that could allow uptake
into keratinocytes without adverse effect.
They will explore physiochemical properties such as solubility and
hydrophobicity, which are often used to predict uptake and activity of
traditional hydrocarbons but which have not been extended to fullerenes.
They will also try to determine what properties correlate to cell uptake and
what properties correlate to cellular activity.
Barron and Monteiro-Riviere's project was one of 14 interdisciplinary
research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology that were funded this
week by the Futures Initiative.
Funded by a $40 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the National
Academies Keck Futures Initiative is a 15-year effort to catalyze
interdisciplinary inquiry and to enhance communication among researchers,
funding agencies, universities, and the general public with the object of
stimulating interdisciplinary research at the most exciting frontiers.
Launched in 2003, the initiative is designed to enable researchers from
different disciplines to focus on new questions upon which they can base
entirely new research, and to encourage better communication between
scientists as well as between the scientific community and the public.
The grants allow researchers to start developing a line of inquiry by
recruiting students and postdoctoral fellows, purchasing equipment, and
acquiring preliminary data all of which can position the researchers to
compete for larger awards from other public and private sources.
About Rice University
Rice University is consistently ranked one of America¹s best teaching and
research universities. It is distinguished by its: size: 2,850 undergraduates
and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity: 10 applicants for each place in the
freshman class; resources: an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of
6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American
universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are
both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses
disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles
undergraduate and graduate work. Rice's wooded campus is located in the
nation's fourth largest city and on America's South Coast.
National Academies of Science
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North Carolina State University
National Academies Keck Futures Initiative
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