Weekly Memo

July 14, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

      Congratulations to Hitomi Mukaibo, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, and her lab, for receiving an RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) Analyst poster award at a recent Gordon Research Conference on Bioanalytical Sensors: Twenty-first Century Technologies for Probing Biological Systems. The conference was held at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. Her lab’s experiment, “Impaling Microalgae Cells using Protruding Needle Arrays,” has demonstrated that arrays of metallic microneedles can not only successfully introduce genetic material into microalgae, but can also act as electrodes to detect photosynthetic biocurrent from the algal cells. This is an important step toward genetically engineering the algae for use as a safe, inexpensive source of biofuel production. You can read more here.

      Here's news about some other exciting areas of research by Hajim School faculty members and their labs:

      Diane Dalecki
, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Denise Hocking, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology and of Biomedical Engineering, are using ultrasound to organize cells and proteins with the pressure waves that ultrasound produces, in a way that might someday allow for building artificial tissues and organs from scratch. To learn more, check out this video by Matthew Mann, Video Producer with University Communications.

     Wendi Heinzelman, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and our Dean of Graduate Studies, is testing a computer application, called the Green Energy Mobile Cloud, that allows volunteers to donate extra space on their Androids for research. The app was developed by He Ba, an Electrical and Computer Engineering grad student, while doing an internship for UCB Pharma. You can read more about this project, and other efforts to expand donated computer time, at this Democrat and Chronicle article.

     The Institute of Optics held its second annual Photon Camp last week, with 18 students from several local high schools and the Bergen Academy in New Jersey attending lectures in the mornings, and getting some hands-on experience in the laboratory during the afternoons. The students, who also worked on weeklong projects, toured local company Optimax, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and the Robert E. Hopkins Center for Optical Design & Engineering. This is another example of the Institute's efforts to attract top students to its undergraduate program. Congratulations to staff members Dan Smith and Per Adamson, lecturer Brian McIntyre, faculty members Jim Zavislan, Nick Vamivakas, Wayne Knox and Julie Bentley, Alexis Vogt and Jim VanKouwenberg of the faculty at Monroe Community College, and Optics students Sarah Bjornland, Lauren Brownlee, Jiashi (Maggie) Han, David Manly, Rebecca Pettenski, Sean Reid, Ray Lopez-Rios, Michelle Relin and Katelynn Sharma -- who served as mentors or gave presentations -- for helping to make the camp a success!

   As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean