ACS GREET Program: 2012 Laureates

2012 ACS GREET Laureates

Notre Dame University / Moi University

Title: Field Testing of Inexpensive Analytical Tests for Substandard Medicines in Eldoret, Kenya
Mentor
: Dr. Marya Lieberman
Mentee
: Abigail Weaver
Home Institution
: Notre Dame University; South Bend, IN
Host Institution
: Moi University; Eldoret, Kenya
Project Abstract
: This project proposes to travel to the host university and "stress test" an analytical method to detect poor quality or fake drugs in low resource settings. The method uses paper analytical devices ("PADs") that combine paper chromatography, a library of chemical color tests, and positive and negative controls. An image analysis program extracts the test results from a cell phone photograph of the PAD and provides a report to the user—potentially untrained—on the safety and efficacy of the analyte.

Carnegie Mellon University / Weizmann Institute

Title: The Role of the Backbone in Electron Capture by Nucleic Acids
Mentor
: Dr. Catalina Achim
Mentee
: Darlene E. Reid
Home Institution
: Carnegie Mellon University; Pittsburgh, PA
Host Institution
: Weizmann Institute; Rehovot, Israel
Project Abstract
: The project builds upon the previous discovery that low energy electrons can damage DNA and the ensuing investigation of the mechanism by which the damage occurs. This collaborative effort will focus on a comparative study of DNA and Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) that can provide insight in the electronic structure and physical and chemical properties of nucleic acids. The results of this project will have wide-ranging applications in everything from human disease treatments and understanding (cancer) to next generation sustainable electronics (spintronics).

University of Rhode Island / Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics

Title: Optimization of Biosensors for HyperCEST-Enhanced Xenon-129 MRI
Mentor
: Dr. Brenton L. DeBoef
Mentee
: Marissa Simone
Home Institution
: University of Rhode Island; Kingston, RI
Host Institution
: Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics; Wuhan, China
Project Abstract
: The project will take the first steps towards developing an in vivo imaging modality based upon the newly discovered HyperCEST effect. The developed technology will have pronounced applications in the early, non-invasive detection, and subsequent treatment of cancer and other human global health challenges.

Indiana University-Bloomington / Victoria University of Wellington

Title: Probing the Growth Processes of Metal Nanoparticles via In-situ X-ray Diffraction
Mentor
: Dr. Sara E. Skrabalak
Mentee
: Nancy Ortiz
Home Institution
: Indiana University-Bloomington; Bloomington, IN
Host Institution
: Victoria University of Wellington; Wellington, New Zealand
Project Abstract
: This project proposes to connect fundamental principles of coordination chemistry directly to nanoparticle growth kinetics. The results will help tackle the grand challenge of understanding and controlling growth development in solution based synthetic routes to nanomaterials by identifying the underlying chemistry in the aggregation-based growth of branched metal nanoparticles. Concurrently, strategies for generating branched bimetallic nanoparticles will be developed. Significant progress can then be made toward the predictive synthesis of nanoparticles with defined structures and controllable properties.

Colorado State University / University of Bari

Title: Plasma Processing for Surface Engineering of Advanced Nanostructured Biomedical Devices
Mentor
: Dr. Ellen R. Fisher
Mentee
: Jeffrey C. Shearer
Home Institution
: Colorado State University; Fort Collins, CO
Host Institution
: University of Bari; Bari, Italy
Project Abstract
: The overarching goal of the proposed work is to further the advancement of plasma-based methods for synthesizing and tailoring surfaces that are conducive for use in biological and biomedical applications. Specifically, tailoring the surface functionality of a material can enhance the material’s properties and improve its function in biomedical devices and applications (e.g. tissue engineering, cell adhesion/growth, enzymatic activity), which will have far reaching benefits in health and medicine.