List of Announcements (details below):


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 interactions.


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