NanoSAFE, West Virginia University’s initiative for nanoscale science, engineering and education, has announced the selection of eight outstanding doctoral graduate students from science, technology, engineering and math disciplines as participants in its prestigious Graduate Fellowship Program and opened the application process for the next round of the fellowships.

NanoSAFE stands for Nanotechnology Sensing Advances in Field and Environment. The NanoSAFE graduate fellowship program helps increase STEM diversity at WVU and ensure lifetime career success through comprehensive career training, according to Dr. Aniketa Shinde, NanoSAFE graduate coordinator.

New participants chosen for the program are: Michael Aldridge of the department of biology; Jamie Barr, Chris Bostick, and Ryan Williams, all of pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences; Tyler Davis and Brandon Durney, both of the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry; Reem El Dawud of the department of chemical engineering; and Valerie Minarchick of cellular and integrative physiology.

Shinde explained that each participant receives a $27,000 fellowship stipend for interdisciplinary research in bio-nanotechnology that supports NanoSAFE Interdisciplinary Research Teams.

Each year, approximately six additional graduate students will be named. The fellowship can be renewed for a second year based on progress.

Nanoscience is the study of ultra-small structures, materials, and devices, and their manipulation on an atomic or molecular scale.

Participants in the research programs focus on topics such as: rapid and field‐deployable microfluidic systems for human and pathogen identification; miniature ultrasensitive toxin and other environmental hazard sensors that do not rely on large laboratory equipment; and devices that quickly determine damage to cell functionality.

This fellowship is funded through the West Virginia University Research Corp., West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement 1003907.

Applications for the January through December 2013 period are now being accepted and are due by Nov. 1 Spring 2013 fellowships will be due in May 2013 for August 2013-August 2014 fellowships.

To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, enrolled as a full-time graduate student in a WVU Ph.D. program and be pursuing research with an interdisciplinary research team.

NanoSAFE, formerly the WVNano initiative, began in 2004 under the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at WVU. The program includes researchers at Marshall University and West Virginia State University.

The overall goal of NanoSAFE is to provide the infrastructure necessary to stimulate innovative research in the area of nano-enabled science, engineering and medicine while integrating education, workforce development and outreach programs. NanoSAFE provides research and education experiences for a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, high school teachers and institutions in the state and enhances the prosperity of the nation by preparing citizens for an increasingly knowledge-based economy.

NanoSAFE is funded by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement grant program, the state of West Virginia (WVEPSCoR via the Higher Education Policy Commission) and the WVU Research Corp.



CONTACT: Dr. Aniketa Shinde; NanoSAFE Graduate Coordinator

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