Professor Efie Kokkoli's research project on "DNA Nanotechnology: Developing and Analyzing a New Tool for Sensing and Targeting Disease" was selected for funding through the MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program. Nearly $6 million was awarded to 12 projects (approximately $500,000 per award). Kokkoli and her co-investigators from other UMN departments will use breakthrough DNA nanotechnology to engineer and evaluate materials that can address major challenges in our health and food system. They propose to use aptamer-amphiphiles as DNA nanotubes to target and treat Alzheimer’s disease and brain tumors and as sensors to detect food allergens such as milk-protein. DNA nanotubes have the potential to deliver compounds of interest to the brain safely, efficiently and affordably, while aptamer-amphiphiles have high specificity for milk-protein with the potential of an ultrafast analytical time.
3M Co. has promoted Ashish Khandpur (Ph.D. ChemE '95) to the position of chief technology officer and senior vice president of research and development. Khandpur received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) at the University of Minnesota, specializing in polymers. He began his career at 3M in 1995 and most recently served as vice president and general manager of 3M's personal safety division. Congratulations Ashish!
Professor C. Daniel Frisbie has been appointed as Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) effective July 1, 2014. Regents Professor Frank S. Bates previously served in that role for 15 years. Frisbie, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, has been a faculty member in CEMS since 1994 and served as a Director of Graduate Studies for Materials Science and Engineering from 2004 to 2013. Congratulations Dan!
Kerry Wang, University of Minnesota Materials Science graduate student, received one of two "Best Student Presentation" awards at the 7th Annual Academic Research Initiative (ARI) Program Review, held at the national Conference Center in Leesburg, VA, from May 24-26, 2014. Kerry’s presentation, "Modeling the migration of second-phase particles in CZT via temperature gradient zone melting", described his initial work on the theoretical modeling of a post-growth processing technique that can be applied to disperse second-phase tellurium particles in crystals of cadmium zinc telluride, thereby improving their properties for use in gamma radiation detectors. Kerry Wang is advised by CEMS faculty member Jeffrey Derby.
The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science lost a beloved friend and colleague, Professor Frank W. Snowden, on May 22, 2014. Snowden served as Associate Director of Education and Human Resources in the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). He was a teacher and mentor who inspired many students and will be greatly missed in the CEMS and MRSEC communities.