List of Announcements (details below):

  * Jill Nelson to Receive 2014 Mason Teaching Excellence Award
  * Seminar:Bioengineering Dept.:Apr. 3, 1pm
  * Funding Opportunity:Research Traineeship [graduate education] (NSF)


*Jill Nelson to Receive 2014 Mason Teaching Excellence Award*

Jill Nelson, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & 
Computer Engineering, has been selected as a recipient of a 2014 George 
Mason University Teaching Excellence Award.

The award will be presented to her at the upcoming Celebration of 
Teaching Excellence.
Monday, April 21st, from 3:30pm-5:00pm
Center for the Arts, Main Lobby


*Seminar:Bioengineering Dept.:Apr 3, 1pm*

/Title:/Artificial Cells:Mimicking and Optimizing Cell Functions
/Speaker:/Faculty candidate Dr. David A. LaVan, National Institute of 
Standard and Health

Thursday, April 3, 2014
1:00 PM
ENGR 3507


I will present work on the use of synthetic protocells to study cell 
interactions along with the use of micro-technologies to measure cell 
and biomaterial properties. We would like to understand how the 
electrical, mechanical and biochemical properties of a cell affect its 
function using a reduce system to eliminate unknowns associated with its 
complicated environment. We have been creating easily modifiable 
artificial cells that allow for direct control of constituents and cell 
properties to study their role on cell function and interactions.  I 
will show work related to artificial cells that mimic natural 
electrogenic cells and membranes followed by work on an artificial cell 
designed to inactivate viruses and will introduce our newest research 
direction with artificial cells.


David LaVan received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from 
the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The 
Johns Hopkins University.  He did post-doctoral training with Bob Langer 
at MIT working in bioMEMS and biomaterials and was a member of the 
faculty at Yale University before moving his laboratory to NIST in 
2008.  He is currently a Project Leader at NIST working on the 
development of high-rate, high-sensitivity nanocalorimetry sensors as 
well as the development of artificial cells as a means to mimic basic 
cell functions and to measure and study carefully controlled cell 


*Funding Opportunity:Research Traineeship [graduate education] (NSF)*

(The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is a new NSF graduate 
education initiative. This solicitation is active for one year, but 
future NRT solicitations are anticipated. The last competition for the 
Integrated Graduate Research Traineeship (IGERT) program was held in 
2013; no future IGERT competitions are planned.)

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the 
development of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable 
models for STEM graduate training that ensure that graduate students 
develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range 
of STEM careers. The NRT program initially has one priority research 
theme - Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE); in addition, 
proposals are encouraged on any other crosscutting, interdisciplinary 
theme. In either case, proposals should identify the alignment of 
project research themes with national research priorities and the need 
for innovative approaches to train graduate students in those areas. NRT 
projects should develop evidence-based, sustainable approaches and 
practices that substantially improve STEM graduate education for NRT 
trainees and for STEM graduate students broadly at an institution. NRT 
emphasizes the development of competencies for both research and 
research-related careers. Strategic collaborations with the private 
sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, 
museums, and academic partners that enhance research quality and impacts 
and that facilitate development of technical and transferrable 
professional skills are encouraged. Creation of sustainable programmatic 
capacity at institutions is an expected outcome. Proposals accordingly 
are expected to describe how institutions will support the continuation 
and institutional-level scaling of effective training elements after 
award closure.

Each institution may submit up to two proposals. If an institution 
submits only one proposal, it can be in either DESE or another theme. If 
an institution submits two proposals, at least one must be in DESE. In 
any case, the traineeship theme(s) should be interdisciplinary.



Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633