Navigation Links
Patel recognized with NSF Career Award for computer-modeling research on cell membranes
Date:4/27/2012

Sandeep Patel, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his research using novel computer modeling methods to study the biophysics of model cell membranes, with particular focus on cell-penetrating peptides.

The award also will support the purchase of a computer cluster for Newark (Del.) High School and the development of a new computational-chemistry course to be offered there. Plans call for the course to be team-taught by Patel and two veteran high school science teachers, Stewart Dotts and Robert McDowell, who hope to offer the class in fall 2013.

The highly competitive NSF Career Award recognizes junior faculty members for their role as teacher-scholars and is given to those scientists and engineers considered most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.

"All of our bodies are composed of cells, and between the inside and outside of a cell is what one can loosely consider a barrier, the cell membrane," Patel said in explaining the foundation of his research. "Certain types of moleculeshydrophilic, or 'water-loving,' small molecules and highly charged peptidescan be observed in the membrane, moving very quickly through it, even though it's a very unfavorable environment for them."

There is evidence in the literature, Patel said, suggesting that the transfer of these molecules occurs in the absence of any energy-coupled pathwaysin other words, without any help. "This is a rather non-intuitive behavior for such chemical species, and has garnered attention from experimentalists, computational chemists and theorists," Patel said.

In seeking to understand this phenomenon, his group is using computer modeling of interactions between individual atoms to obtain atomic-level insights into how various chemical species support such processes.

The short-term goal of the research is to gain a better understanding of the widely debated mechanisms of this ostensibly non-intuitive behavior of polar molecules, peptides and proteins in cell membranes, and in particular, understand the role of water in this process, Patel said.

Longer-term applications, he said, might be to use cell-penetrating peptides as a way to deliver drugs to the cells, either by themselves, or in conjunction with other platforms such as nanomaterials, research that is currently being pursued in numerous laboratories.

In addition to supporting research, the NSF grant will fund Patel's proposal to engage high school students in science and show them the importance and usefulness of learning about a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. By reaching out to high school students, Patel said, he hopes to interest them in various science disciplines, technology and math even before they arrive on a college campus and to demonstrate how scientific problems can often be solved only by using knowledge from many different disciplines.

At Newark High School, biology and environmental science teacher McDowell and chemistry and physics teacher Dotts will be working with Patel to develop the curriculum for the new course. A feature will be its use of computer modeling, with the NSF grant funding new equipment for the school.

"This project fits right in with the importance that's being placed on STEM, and it will allow kids to see that the various disciplines are all part of it," McDowell said. "That's the message we want to give studentsthat science is a big, broad field and all its parts are interrelated."

Having a course with University involvement and a co-teacher like Patel who conducts actual research using high-performance computers will be a benefit in engaging high school students, Dotts said. "I feel that anything we can do to bring more kids into science classes is a good thing," he said.

The teachers, who have volunteered their time to work on the project, and Patel plan to start developing the course over the summer and to purchase the Newark High computer cluster during the next school year.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andrea Boyle Tippett
aboyle@udel.edu
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Value of satellites recognized for conserving wetlands
2. Pollution at home lurks unrecognized, instead attributed to large-scale environmental disasters
3. Household exposure to toxic chemicals lurks unrecognized, researchers find
4. 13 UCR faculty members recognized by American Association for the Advancement of Science
5. Federal scientists recognized for contributions to knowledge of bird ecology and habitat
6. Biomedical engineering student recognized as IEEEs New Face of Engineering
7. Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes 2009: Six young researchers recognized for outstanding achievements
8. UC Riverside entomologist recognized for research in citrus entomology
9. UMCES ecologist Margaret Palmer recognized for promoting the role of science in public policy
10. Kaj Blennows research into M. Alzheimer recognized by the 2010 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award
11. 10 UC Riverside researchers recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Patel recognized with NSF Career Award for computer-modeling research on cell membranes
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016   Avanade is ... Formula One teams in history, exploit biometric data in ... performance and maintain the competitive edge against their rivals ... Avanade has worked with Williams during ... of biometric data (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... N.C. , Dec. 6, 2016 Valencell ... announced today it has seen a third consecutive year ... biometric sensor technology in 2016 with a 360 percent ... last year. This increase was driven by sales of ... as robust interest in its technology for hearables for ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... India , December 1, 2016 ... Authentication type (Fingerprint, Voice), Future Technology (Iris Recognition ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2021", published ... USD 442.7 Million in 2016, and is projected ... at a CAGR of 14.06%.      ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... DIEGO , Dec. 6, 2016  Creative Medical ... Kesari , MD, PhD, FANA, FAAN to the Company,s ... neurology and clinical trials to assist the Company,s clinical ... stroke. The AmnioStem product is a universal donor stem cell ... activity in animal models of stroke 1 .  ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... 6, 2016  The Texas Medical Center ... (HISA) today announced the establishment of a new ... Australia and the Texas Medical ... HISA and the Texas Medical Center, with ... create a global health innovation ecosystem where emerging technologies ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: AXON ... treatment of dementia, today announced that data on the ... disease will be presented at the 2016 Clinical Trials ... 2016 in San Diego . Intepirdine ... and complex measures of activities of daily living (ADLs) ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... The Real Dirt with ... cannabis technology and application experts, Chip Baker. Chip Baker formerly co-founded Royal Gold ... past 30 years, Chip Baker other industry veterans have made the evolution of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: