Nano/Bio Interface Center gets $11.5 million grant
September 22, 2009, 2:07 am·
The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers of the National Science Foundation have awarded $11.5 million to Penn’s Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC), the University announced yesterday.
The grant will support multidisciplinary research in nanobiotechnology — the study of nature in order to generate new technology.
Spread across 10 University departments, the grant will be used to fund basic research in nanoscale science and engineering linking the physical sciences with biological systems.
This research has been significant in the development of medical devices for disease detection and treatment.
In addition, NBIC research is working on advances in energy storage and transfer that could impact the future of alternative energy technologies.
“Basic research of this kind will become the technologies that fuel nanoelectronics, medical diagnostic devices, functional organic molecules and inorganic nanostructures that lead to improved catalysts, solar cells and chemical sensor,” Steven Fluharty, vice provost for research, said in a statement.
The recipients of these funds include graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, who are supplied with the annual costs necessary to run research laboratories.
Funds will also be allocated to support undergraduates from across the country who come to Penn each year to take part in summer research programs.
The grant will also support NanoDay@Penn, an outreach program on Oct. 28, in which research labs create exhibits about nanotechnology that will be viewed by prospective students.
Since it was opened in 2004, the NBIC has received approximately $28 million in funding toward faculty research in the schools of Engineering and Applied Science, Arts and Sciences and Medicine, as well as the Graduate School of Education and Wharton.
In Engineering, funds will be allocated toward the Krishna Singh Center for Nanotechnology, which focuses on multidisciplinary fundamental and translational research, education and innovation.
“This grant is a recognition of the outstanding accomplishments of the NBIC research faculty, students and postdocs and of the new education initiatives,” said NBIC director Dawn Bonnell in yesterday’s statement.
James McGonigle, the NBIC’s associate director for programs, added that the grant “will go a long way toward attracting other funds to insure that Penn continues to lead this field.”