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Grant to fund research on possible cell contaminants
Date:4/21/2014

Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas have received a federal grant to investigate how tiny carbon structures used in the manufacture of many everyday products might affect human health.

Dr. Paul Pantano, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Rockford Draper, professor of molecular and cell biology, recently received a $459,000, three-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to track how multi-walled carbon nanotubes interact with human cells.

The grant is an Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA), and an important part of this type of grant is supporting undergraduate researchers. It is the second AREA grant that Pantano, Draper and their research team have received. Students will work on the project alongside faculty members, graduate students and lab personnel, including biology research associate Dr. Carole Mikoryak and chemistry research scientist Dr. Ruhung Wang.

"We have had some outstanding undergraduates supported by our previous AREA grant who have made significant contributions to our research, enough to earn co-authorship on scientific papers," Pantano said. "That's a whole step up from a senior thesis. These students have gone on to medical school, the NIH and prestigious graduate research universities. The new NIH AREA grant will allow us to continue to support the best and the brightest student researchers."

Carbon nanotubes are minute hollow cylinders formed from one-atom-thick sheets of carbon. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes consist of more than one such cylinder nested together, one inside another, like Russian nesting dolls.

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes are very strong and have physical and electrical properties that make them desirable for use in a variety of applications.

"They're often used in materials to enhance structures and make them stronger, ranging from tennis rackets and bicycle parts
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Contact: Amanda Siegfried
amanda.siegfried@utdallas.edu
972-883-4335
University of Texas at Dallas
Source:Eurekalert

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