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Clarkson University Prof Receives Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship

Microbial contamination and biofilm formation pose significant clinical, environmental and human health problems such as systemic infections, malfunctioning of medical devices, water and food safety.

Silvana AndreescuThe ability to characterize, monitor and control bacterial growth and biofilm formation is central to many applications. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has awarded Clarkson University Professor and Egon Matijević Chair of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science Silvana Andreescu an Arab-American Frontiers Fellowship to study how biofilm forms in a microbial community.

She received the fellowship along with Professor Rabeay Hassan of the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, who will visit Clarkson this summer to conduct research.

One goal of the project, "Nano-bioelectrochemical system for monitoring biofilm formation," is to establish and develop long-term collaboration between the laboratories of Andreescu and Hassan. During Hassan's visit to Clarkson, he will participate in research and educational activities, focusing on the implementation and uses of nanotechnology in device engineering for monitoring and controlling biofilm formation.

The collaborative team will develop plans for future student exchanges, collaborative peer-reviewed publications and collaborative research proposals.

The main focus of the program will be on measurements and characterization of biofilm formation of a whole microbial community using electrochemistry. Electrochemical methods represent a good alternative for the design of easy-to-use approaches for microbial detection. This approach offers opportunities for increasing detection capabilities and designing high-performance biosensors.

The research objective of this program is to develop an inexpensive field-ready nanomaterial-based electrochemial analyzer that can detect microbial pathogens in clinical or environmental isolates.

The Arab-American Frontiers Program aims at establishing long-term bi- or multi-national research cooperation. To further this goal, a small number of fellowships are provided to teams of participants who intend to cooperate. The fellowship funding can be used for short-term exchanges to conduct research at a host research institution to develop new research ideas, curricula, etc.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or]

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