Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Graduate Training Grants Spark New Discoveries in Biotechnology

Abstract:
Eleven graduate students from eight University of California campuses have been selected to each receive a $50,000 training grant, intended to hasten innovations in a variety of biotechnology-related fields.

Graduate Training Grants Spark New Discoveries in Biotechnology

Davis, CA | Posted on May 19th, 2008

The highly competitive Graduate Research and Education in Adaptive bioTechnology (GREAT) Training Grants total more than half a million dollars and are awarded by the UC Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program. The program funds a total of 22 new and continuing graduate students per year with the grants, which are among the highest individual awards given for graduate education and training anywhere in the nation.

"The GREAT training grant program is all about providing an environment that will nurture rapid advancements in technology in diverse fields such as nanotechnology and biomedical engineering," said Martina Newell McGloughlin, director of the UC Davis-based UC Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program.

"Each year, this spirited competition draws the brightest young minds from all of the UC campuses, with 11 graduate-student researchers selected on the basis of their demonstrated ability to understand and solve problems that cross over very different disciplines."

The two-year training awards support biotechnology-related research that incorporates cross-disciplinary training in areas that span essentially all fields of science, engineering, medicine and agriculture.

The program has graduated 22 students from the program, who have gone on to careers ranging from full-time faculty members in academia to biotechnology entrepreneurs.

At the January meeting of the UC Board of Regents, President Robert Dynes chose two 2007 GREAT students to illustrate the quality of the university's graduates and graduate education programs. The students were Emily Crawford, a UC San Francisco trainee in chemistry and chemical biology, and Lavi Secundo, a UC Berkeley trainee in neuroscience.

Crawford is developing a new technology for understanding the role of remodeler enzymes that dismantle cells during cell death. These could be the basis for new treatments in diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. Secundo is developing a brain-controlled prosthesis capable of reproducing a wide range of motor and sensory functions. Such a device would allow patients with neurological problems to perform motor actions using only their thoughts.

This year's GREAT training grant recipients and their respective UC campuses are:
UC Berkeley

* Bioengineering student David Breslauer, taking his cues from nature, is developing biologically inspired microfluidic spider silk spinning for high performance biomaterials, under the sponsorship of award winning sponsor Luke Lee, an associate professor of bioengineering.

UC Davis

* Biomedical engineering student Chawin Ounkomol, with the support of Assistant Professor Volkmar Heinrich, has designed a new horizontal-force microscope to unravel the dynamic strengths of cadherin-mediated cell-cell interactions, which play a vital function in processes like the formation of tissues and organs and also have been implicated in cancer propagation.

UC Irvine

* Neurobiology student Steven Michael Wiltgen, working with Professor Ian Parker, has created a new technique to image spatial correlates of single-channel function, important in studying cellular processes such as synaptic transmission and muscle contraction, which depend on both the molecular properties and the nanoscale localization of membrane ion channels.

UCLA

* Computer science student Christopher Jones, under the sponsorship of Nelson Freimer, a professor of psychiatry and behavior, is developing methodology for "phenomic" investigations to determine genetic factors that predispose people to devastating diseases of the brain.

UC San Diego

* Bioengineering student Garrett Cale Smith is using chemical and structural nanotube engineering to develop enhanced bone regeneration of implant surfaces under the sponsorship of Sungho Jin, a distinguished professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

UC San Francisco

* Chemical biology student Segun Williams, with sponsor Kevan Shokat, a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology, is working on an unusual focus for one of the most important and ubiquitous signaling systems in cells, namely the kinase family. These are normally studied in conjunction with cancer research, but Segun is examining conformationally selective PI3 kinase inhibitors for the treatment of sepsis, a severe infection in the blood and tissues.

* Chemistry student Daniel Gray under the tutelage of sponsor Jim Wells, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is working on apoptosis, which is a primary defense mechanism against cancer. Gray is developing techniques to identify and validate the minimal set of substrates required to induce apoptosis in order to define the "Achilles heel" of a cancer cell.

UC Santa Barbara

* Biochemistry student Douglas Matje, with sponsor Norbert Reich, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is using directed enzyme evolution for nanotechnology applications. This may be useful in tracking DNA inside a living cell or in making new molecular-scale structures, such as nanowires, for use in miniature biomedical sensors that travel the bloodstream and monitor health.

UC Santa Cruz

* Molecular and cellular biology student Jesse Richard Raab, working with Associate Professor Rohinton Kamakaka, is developing bioinformatics tools to identify and characterize important elements in gene regulation, since precise gene activity is crucial in human development. He is studying insulator elements, which are not well understood yet have important functions in gene expression in everything from yeast to mammals.

* Electrical engineering student Oscar Azucena, under the sponsorship of Associate Professor Joel Kubby, is developing novel adaptive optics microscopy for deep tissue imaging. Since image degradation is a serious problem as light travels through thick biological specimens, this instrument will have widespread application in many fields of biology and biomedicine.

* David Bernick, with sponsor Todd Lowe, an associate professor of biomolecular engineering, is working to develop methods for understanding how genes operate within a special class of microbes called the Archaea, which have some of the most unusual biology across all kingdoms and may have great potential for biotechnology applications.

####

About UC Davis
UC Davis is one of the nation's top public research universities and is part of the world's pre-eminent public university system. The campus is set in the heart of the Central Valley, close to the state capital and San Francisco Bay Area. As one of the last "small-town universities," we cherish our close relationships on campus and within the Davis community.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Martina Newell McGloughlin
UC Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program
(530) 752-8237


Pat Bailey
UC Davis News Service
(530) 752-9843

Copyright © UC Davis

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Academic/Education

Luleĺ University of Technology is using the Deben CT5000TEC stage to perform x-ray microtomography experiments with the ZEISS Xradia 510 Versa to understand deformation and strain inside inhomogeneous materials November 7th, 2017

Park Systems Announces the Grand Opening of the Park NanoScience Center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute November 3rd, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Discoveries

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat: Tiny structures could be next-generation solution for smaller electronic devices December 8th, 2017

Untangling DNA: Researchers filter the entropy out of nanopore measurements December 8th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Announcements

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes: Rice University toxicity study shows plant growth enhanced by -- but only by -- purified nanotubes December 6th, 2017

Researchers advance technique to detect ovarian cancer: Rice, MD Anderson use fluorescent carbon nanotube probes to achieve first in vivo success November 30th, 2017

Fast flowing heat in graphene heterostructures: Surprisingly fast heat flow from graphene to its surrounding November 29th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Arrowhead Presents New Clinical Data Demonstrating a Sustained Host Response in Hepatitis B Patients Following RNAi Therapy — Up to 5.0 log10 reduction in HBsAg observed; data presented at HEP DART 2017 — December 6th, 2017

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots: By using bacterial flagella as a template for silica, researchers have demonstrated an easier way to make propulsion systems for nanoscale swimming robots November 30th, 2017

Drug-delivering nanoparticles seek and destroy elusive cancer stem cells November 28th, 2017

Graphene oxide making any material suitable to create biosensors: Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed a new tool for biomedical research focused on single-cell investigation November 27th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project