Navigation Links
2 UNH faculty receive $1.4M in CAREER grants from NSF
Date:11/17/2009

DURHAM, N.H. Two University of New Hampshire assistant professors have received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grants. Vaughn Cooper of the department of molecular, cellular and biomedical sciences received $1 million to better understand beneficial mutations in bacteria by engaging high school students in data collection. Christopher White of the mechanical engineering department received $400,000 to research flow dynamics of liquefied biomass.

Cooper's research explores the overarching evolutionary and ecological question of how adaptation proceeds and how new mutations may benefit organisms in their current environments as well as in others. With this CAREER grant, Cooper aims to improve understanding of the relationship between adaptation to one environment and ability to grow in other environments through study of two very different types of bacteria E. coli and Burkholderia -- evolving in laboratory microcosms. While the work has broad implications for the evolution of other species, "studying adaptaion these mutation processes normally takes a long time, which is why we study bacteria," Cooper says.

While they're arguably the most important mutations, these beneficial mutations are rare. "The innovation of our proposal to the NSF is that we came up with a good way to find them that's easy to do," says Cooper. His project will collect many beneficial mutants from bacterial populations and precisely quantify their adaptive value in a single selective environment, then measure the scope of indirect effects of these mutants. Contemporary techniques of molecular genetics and microbiology will be used to characterize the biological networks that link genetics, physiology, and ecology in the evolving populations of bacteria.

Cooper's lab also will enlist high school students from the Seacoast School of Technology in Exeter to gather data and, he hopes, develop an interest in studying evolution in action. With a flow cytometer a specialized microscope-like instrument that can analyze and isolate thousands of particles every second that fits on a cart, "students will be able to pick their own mutations and characterizations, which then go into our central database," Cooper says. He hopes to take this collaboration to other area schools.

"These CAREER grants are incredibly prestigious. This grant recognizes the value of this sort of inquiry, and it places research and education in equal priority," he says.

White's research looks at the fluid physics of liquefied biomass, a key component to making biomass a viable alternative to fossil-based fuels. Biomass waste agriculture, from manure to corn stalks must be liquefied and refined in order to be useful as a fuel. Biomass liquefaction produces a slurry, neither solid nor liquid. "I want to understand how these slurries flow, so we can pump them from one place to another," White says. He notes that while replacing foreign oil with biomass the United States has set a goal of 30 percent enhances energy security, sustainability, and environmental stewardship, the low density of biomass means that 250,000 trucks daily would need to transport biomass from its origin usually a farm to a biorefinery.

The logistically attractive alternative, liquefying biomass at the farm then pumping it to a centralized refinery, is complicated by the unique properties of slurry as a fluid. "It can behave more like toothpaste than water," White says. "I'm trying to understand the rheology of liquefied biomass, the relationship between applied stress and flow."

White, who calls the CAREER grant "a really big deal for me and a big deal for my career," will use the NSF funding to support a graduate student working with him and to develop instrumentation and techniques that will transfer to other opaque fluids, like blood or oil.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth Potier
beth.potier@unh.edu
603-862-1566
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Iowa State faculty attract $4.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants
2. Faculty of 1000 praised by Wellcome Trust
3. Faculty of Translational Medicine boosts support for biomedical researchers
4. Women faring well in hiring process for science faculty jobs at research universities
5. 6 young ASU faculty earn NSF Career awards
6. Internationally acclaimed researcher joins UH faculty thanks to $5.5 million grant
7. UT faculty members win American Heart Association awards for advancing research
8. 13 UCR faculty members recognized by American Association for the Advancement of Science
9. Eight ASU faculty elected as AAAS Fellows
10. The Danisco Award 2008 goes to D.Sc. Barbara Ann Halkier from Faculty of Life Sciences, Copenhagen
11. NIH doles out $3M in new innovator awards to 2 UC San Diego faculty
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a ... Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine ... team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former ... of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June ... UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
Breaking Biology Technology: