News

$1.5M NIH Grant Funds ALS-Linked Research in Castañeda Lab

The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Within each cell are proteins that help to maintain the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. When cells are under stress, as in response to heat or toxins, certain proteins within the cell condense into liquid-like droplets called condensates. These droplets can be thought of as a form of quality control allowing the cell to minimize the effects of the stress condition.

Cases of abnormal condensate formation or persistence have recently been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and cancer. Thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Carlos Castañeda, assistant professor of biology and chemistry, and his team will investigate the regulation and dysregulation of condensates using biophysical and cell biology approaches. This research may lead to determining what causes diseases like ALS. Continue Reading

Professor Shikha Nangia Selected as Associate Editor for ACS Applied Bio Materials Journal

Biomedical and chemical engineering Professor Shikha Nangia was selected as the associate editor for the ACS Applied Bio Materials journal.

Headshot of Professor Nangia
Professor Shikha Nangia

ACS Applied Bio Materials is an interdisciplinary journal publishing original research covering all aspects of biomaterials and biointerfaces including and beyond the traditional biosensing, biomedical and therapeutic applications.

“It is my immense pleasure to join the editorial board of ACS Applied Bio Materials,” said Nangia. “I wish to use this opportunity to contribute to the scientific community and boost Syracuse University’s research in biomaterials.”

Nangia, a member of the BioInspired Institute’s Executive Committee, is an accomplished researcher who most recently has been studying the blood-brain barrier which blocks toxins, as well as crucial medications, from entering the brain. Her research group, which includes undergraduate and graduate students alike, uses computer modeling to identify ways to open and close the blood-brain barrier to deliver medical treatment to the brain non-invasively.

Manning and Amack Awarded $2.1M NIH Grant to Study Causes of Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting nearly 1% of births in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Doctors have been unable to lower that number due to a lack of knowledge about their source. Thanks to a $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, an interdisciplinary team of researchers will work to advance the understanding of causes of birth defects.
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BioInspired Institute Awards First Six Seed Grants

Syracuse University’s BioInspired Institute announced today that it has awarded six seed grants to 12 faculty members to advance interdisciplinary, collaborative research in materials and living systems.  Seed grants provide funding for innovative ideas, producing data that can be used in future funding applications to prove that a new concept or approach is promising and attract additional research funds from outside the University. Continue Reading

Chemistry Professor Mozhdehi and Engineering Professor Wang Receive Powe Award to Enrich Research, Growth

Mechanical and aerospace engineering Professor Yeqing Wang from the College of Engineering and Computer Science and chemistry Professor Davoud Mozhdehi from the College of Arts and Sciences were selected as recipients of competitive 2020-2021 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards program provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty. Continue Reading

Ph.D. Candidate’s Work in the Patteson Lab Requires Tools from Multiple Disciplines

After completing a master’s degree from the University of Akron in physics, Ph.D. candidate Maxx Swoger attended a seminar hosted by Alison Patteson, assistant professor of Physics at Syracuse University. “Originally and very broadly, I wanted to study soft matter physics or biophysics. And to be perfectly honest with you, I think this is one of the best places in the country to do that,” says Swoger. “The collaboration both within the physics department and the University allows students to approach the systems we’re studying with a variety of techniques. This is something I really liked about Syracuse when deciding which school to attend for my Ph.D.” Continue Reading

The BioInspired Mind

Biophysicist Alison Patteson is using a trio of grant awards to probe the mysteries of complex living systems.

No one was more surprised than Alison Patteson when, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, she received her first major National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award. “Frankly, it was a shock to me because some of the work is out of my comfort zone,” says the assistant professor of physics, who is using the funding to study the cellular entry of SARS2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. “I’ve had to pivot my research to accommodate the project.” Continue Reading

NSF Equipment Grants to Fund Acquisition of Two Chromatography-Mass Spectrometers

The familiar saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” But for scientists, understanding those smaller parts is critical to scientific discovery.

A method known as chromatography-mass spectrometry lets researchers analyze and study the composition of a larger compound by separating out its parts. One common application is quality control in the food industry, where researchers separate and analyze additives, vitamins, preservatives and proteins. Continue Reading

Patteson’s Interdisciplinary Research Selected for Grant from National Science Foundation

Assistant Professor of Physics Alison Patteson’s research on the concept of “emergence” in living systems was selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to receive an Early-Concept Grant For Exploratory Research (EAGER) award on Sept. 12. The NSF selected Patteson’s proposal to be one of 33 funded from a pool of 800 entries. According to the NSF website, Patteson’s research was selected chiefly for its potential “to address grand challenges in fundamental research or in STEM education.” Continue Reading

Professor Sandra Hewett Recognized for “Inspiring” Mentorship

Sandra Hewett, the Beverly Petterson Bishop Professor of Neuroscience at Syracuse University, is a 2020 recipient of the Landis Mentorship Award. Given annually by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the award supports researchers’ efforts in advancing the careers of students and postdoctoral fellows in their laboratories. Hewett will receive $100,000 in the form of a supplement to an existing NINDS grant. Continue Reading