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 February 11, 2015

Danielle Benoit Receives NSF Faculty Early Career Award

Danielle Benoit has received an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for her proposal "Polymer therapeutics for bone regeneration: next-generation osteoporosis treatments."

Osteoporosis results from imbalances in bone production and resorption and affects roughly 14 million Americans. The majority of osteoporosis therapies reduce the activity of cells that resorb bone. Development of therapies targeted towards cells that produce new bone matrix may revolutionize osteoporosis therapies by offering an alternative to restore bone health, however, a critical technological gap exists in developing drug delivery approaches that provide specific treatment to bone. To overcome this challenge, Benoit's research seeks to develop drug delivery approaches to efficiently and specifically target anabolic drugs to bone to develop novel treatments for osteoporosis. Successful completion of this research will significantly advance therapeutic strategies for osteoporosis and the approaches developed will be readily adaptable to treat other bone diseases.

The Faculty Early Career Development Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Educational and outreach efforts initiated through this project will encourage scientific engagement at inner city elementary schools. Additionally, an annual "Expanding Your Horizons" outreach event will be established at the University of Rochester to foster science, technology, engineering, and math interests in local middle school aged girls.