Hee-Suk Chung completes his post-doctoral candidature

Hee-Suk Chung has completed his post-doctoral candidature with the group. He is headed to Samsung, South Korea. The group wishes him all the very best for his future and will surely miss him and his expertise!

Ritesh Agarwal Receives 2010 NIH New Innovator Award

Excerpted from the UPenn SEAS website:

Ritesh Agarwal, assistant professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been awarded the 2010 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health, providing $1.5 million over five years to support his research into improving biological imaging using nanotechnology.

The awards are given by the NIH to address two important goals: stimulate highly innovative research that has the potential for significant impact, and support promising early stage investigators who propose bold new approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.

“It is a great honor and a wonderful opportunity for us to assemble novel nanoscale optoelectronic probes to study intracellular activity with unprecedented resolution,” states Agarwal. “A unique aspect of this award is that it does not require any preliminary data and thus allows people like me with limited experience in biology or medicine to expand our expertise and to attack very challenging problems. This award will have a transformational effect on my research program at Penn.”

Agarwal’s project, “Optoelectronic Nanowire Probes for Investigation of Intracellular Processes,” will seek to assemble nanowire devices with optical and electrical functions to probe cell and intracellular dynamics with unprecedented resolution. By combining nanowire waveguides, fluorophores, quantum dots, lasers, light emitting diodes, and photodetectors, they hope to create a new generation of biological imaging: probes that can target subcellular regions, measuring for the first time, in real time, chemical reactions, cellular signalling and cellular reactions due to complex phenomena like a locally delivered drug.

The ability to visualize in vitro intra- and inter- cellular processes in real time will aid the design of new drugs for a large number of diseases that impact public health.