Arizona State University has to date earned 15 National Science Foundation early faculty CAREER awards for 2020. The awards total $9.5 million in funding for ASU researchers over five years. Amongst these 15 recipients were three Biodesign Institute researchers: Richard Kirian, Brent Nannenga and Abhishek Singharoy.
The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program identifies the nation’s most promising young faculty members and provides them with funding to pursue outstanding research, excellence in teaching and the integration of education and research. Often, these awards spur the creativity of the faculty member and helps set them on an innovative career path.
“The number of NSF CAREER Program awardees at ASU this year speaks to the excellence and creative aptitude of our junior faculty, from a range of academic disciplines,” said Mark Searle, university provost and executive vice president. “Each was selected for their innovative research and potential for leadership in their field. They are outstanding scholars, and their dedication and commitment to their research is rightly rewarded with these prestigious awards.”
This year’s Biodesign-affiliated NSF CAREER award recipients:
Kirian’s research focuses on the development of new biomolecular imaging techniques that exploit the unique capabilities of ultrabright X-ray sources for visualizing the dynamic motions of proteins and other biomolecules in solution. More specifically, these techniques could offer a look into the three-dimensional structures and functional dynamics of these biomolecules.
Brent Nannenga, assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy and Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, faculty in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics
One of the most well-studied proteins that controls the growth of inorganic materials is ferritin, which is responsible for controlling the growth of iron oxide nanoparticles and maintaining proper levels of free iron in cells. This project will make significant contributions to both the understanding of how the ferritin protein functions and the general molecular interactions of biomolecules with nanomaterials.
His research seeks to understand the chemistry of the molecular motor, and how it translates into cell function. Molecular motors are a class of protein that utilize ATP hydrolysis to generate the movement of subcellular components. Singharoy accomplishes this complex research by combining molecular biology with statistical analysis and computational modeling.
To read more about this year’s NSF Career Award recipients, click here.
Written by: Modified from ASU Now story by Robin Tricoles by Gabrielle Hirneise