Statement on Structural Racism and #ShutDownSTEM

The BioInspired Institute’s mission to address global challenges in health, medicine, and materials innovation requires an equitable and just system to deliver these solutions to every member of society. We are thus deeply saddened, ashamed, and outraged by the continued, preventable loss of brown and black lives due to persistent structural racism in our country, and as global protests demonstrate, around the world. Our progress as an Institute and as a society rings hollow unless such advances can be shared equally with every citizen and without the suffocating threat of violence and injustice for too many. BioInspired positively affirms our responsibility to speak out against racism and injustice in all forms, including any within our organization. We stand in solidarity with those opposing racism and racialized violence, including the #ShutDownSTEM and #Strike4BlackLives movements, and agree that “we have an enormous ethical obligation to stop doing business as usual.” As an Institute, we pledge to develop and implement actionable plans to promote diversity in our ranks and support people of color. By looking inward first, we will strive toward promoting a healthier and more just society for all.

The BioInspired Institute responds to COVID-19

Like researchers and academics around the world, the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily life. This set of circumstances is affecting all of us in different ways – parents of young children without daycare or elderly relatives, junior faculty worried about how to fund new research directions, trainees facing a sudden loss of important laboratory work, or those of us with sick friends/family/colleagues. The BioInspired Institute has been working to help others and make progress on research in this “new normal.” In support of our members and their trainees across the Hill, our leadership has been engaging to help mitigate some of the negative effects of the pandemic: Continue Reading

The Physics Behind Tissue Flow in the Embryo

A group of physicists from Syracuse University recently teamed up with researchers from Columbia University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering to study the developing tissue flow in an embryo that has many similar genes and cell behaviors to that of a human—the fruit fly (Drosophila). Continue Reading

Ph.D. Student Wins American Chemical Society Award for Blood-Brain Barrier Research

Nandhini Rajagopal, a biomedical and chemical engineering doctoral student in Professor Shikha Nangia’s research group in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, has won the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Chemical Computing Group Research Excellence Award. This award recognizes exceptional research conducted by graduate students in the field of computational chemistry. The winners of the award are chosen based on the quality and significance of the research. Rajagopal will receive financial support to present her work at the national ACS meeting in the fall. Continue Reading

Peptides by Lunchtime: Developing a Drug to Fight Diabetes and Obesity in Veterans

Syracuse University has a long history of supporting the nation’s veterans, dating back to 1944. Then-Chancellor William P. Tolley helped draft the G.I. Bill, instrumental in helping millions of veterans through the years pursue an education or training. In 1946, Chancellor Tolley announced Syracuse’s “uniform admissions program,” which ensured all military personnel admission to Syracuse upon return from war. Continuing this legacy of veteran support, one faculty member’s medical research in the College of Arts and Sciences today is helping those who served. Continue Reading

Catheters Get Smarter With New Engineering Design from Syracuse University Faculty

Each year, more than 75 million urinary catheters are used in the United States to help patients who cannot control urination due to medical complications. Unfortunately, the catheters are prone to colonization by bacterial and fungal pathogens. If not addressed, this can lead to catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) that are antibiotic resistant and cause 13,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. To address the challenge of CAUTI,  College of Engineering and Computer Science professors Dacheng Ren, professor of biomedical and chemical engineering; Teng Zhang, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Huan Gu, research assistant professor, started investigating if they could engineer smart anti-fouling catheters that would reduce microbial attachment and related infections. Continue Reading

Professor Qin Collaborates with MIT to Study Fatigue Resistant Hydrogels

For years, scientists have been interested in the potential of hydrogels in biomedical and engineering applications. Hydrogels often contain more than 90 percent water and a small percentage of synthetic polymer and are used in a variety of uses from medical electrodes, tissue engineering and dressings for hard to heal wounds.

“It is an interesting material since it is synthetic but can be bio-compatible since it is mostly water,” says Zhao Qin, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “In particular, hydrogels are attractive for biomedical applications.” Continue Reading

M. Lisa Manning Named William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics, and awarded a three-year Simons Foundation grant

M. Lisa Manning, professor of physics and founding director of BioInspired Syracuse: Institute for Material and Living Systems, has been named the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics. This highly selective professorship was established in 1971 by a grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust. It honors the memory of Kenan, Jr., who devoted a lifetime to the advancement of higher education. Continue Reading

Professor Liviu Movileanu and Avinash Thakur Ph.D. presented their research on molecular “fishing”

Like finding a needle in a haystack, Liviu Movileanu can find a single molecule in blood. The new technology, developed by Movileanu and Avinash Thakur, has wide‐ranging applications from diagnostic tests to drug discovery. Liviu Movileanu, physics professor in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and Avinash Thakur, a recent doctoral graduate, presented their research at the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society on February 17 in San Diego, California. Continue Reading