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CAMP June Newsletter: Page 5

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CAMP / Clarkson University Professor Silvana Andreescu Receives CAREER Award from the NSF


Professor Silvana Andreescu

Professor Silvana Andreescu, of the Chemistry and Biomolecular Science Department at Clarkson University, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She will receive $496,290 over five years from the NSF for her research on biomimetic materials and biosensing.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is an NSF-wide activity that offers the Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of their organizations' missions.

Professor Andreescu's research focuses on the development, characterization and applications of advanced materials for next generation biomedical, biotechnological and biosensing applications. Her research could enable rational design of a new generation of bio-mimetic materials and devices with unprecedented performance in terms of stability, robustness and suitability for long-term operation in extreme environments.  Through her NSF CAREER project, Andreescu plans to investigate novel materials possessing unique catalytic properties and acting as "artificial" enzymes and oxygen transporters.  She will conduct studies to determine the nature and mechanism of their mimetic properties and biological activity in relation to their physicochemical parameters, and implement them in novel sensing platforms for a variety of biomedical applications.

"We are investigating materials that have the ability to mimic and eventually replace traditional biological catalysts, which often suffer from limited stability, high cost and inability to function outside their optimum environment. By controlling the size and surface properties of such materials we are able to provide interesting catalytic, optical and sensory functions," says Andreescu.  "We are also exploring ways to incorporate these ‘artificial biological catalysis' into novel sensing platforms, enabling advanced capabilities for future applications."

Professor Andreescu has been instrumental in developing new course materials for the chemistry and biomolecular science majors at Clarkson and has been heavily involved in Clarkson's K-12 initiatives.  She has received NSF support to develop bionanotechnology laboratory experiments to revamp the chemistry curriculum by implementing new and emerging technologies in the undergraduate teaching labs. She has provided international research opportunities to several Clarkson students through NSF sponsored research and is the co-director of the NSF-Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in Environmental Science and Engineering at Clarkson. 

Andreescu has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science since 2005. Her research expertise is in the development, characterization and fabrication of chemical and biological sensors for clinical and environmental monitoring. Her other research interests include investigations of bio-mimetic materials for diagnosis and therapeutic applications in biomedicine, toxicity study of engineered nanomaterials and development of electrochemical probes for in vivo monitoring of neurological activity, nanoparticle-induced toxicity and oxidative stress.

In addition Andreescu has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 patents, 10 book chapters, conference papers and reports, and delivered some 100 papers at professional and academic conferences throughout the world. She has secured external research funding totaling about $1.3 million from the NSF, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and several other funding agencies. She is a co-founder of Neuroredox Inc, a start up company whose mission is to develop nanoparticle-based technologies for diagnosis and therapy of brain diseases. 

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