A workforce capable of interacting across national borders is critical, not only to the future health of our economy, but also to continued innovation and leadership in science and technology. NBIC/MINATEC Student Exchange for Research on Nano/Biotechnology will develop a cadre of young scientists with the skills and experience to engage globally in science and engineering research and to do so in the context of a synergistic research platform. The program is a two-way student exchange and research collaboration between the Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania (NBIC) and the Micro- and Nanotechnologies Innovation Campus in Grenoble, France (MINATEC). Nanobiotechnology is an inherently multidisciplinary field that addresses fundamental concepts and technological applications of some of the most critical issues of our time. These range from biomedical sensors and targeted drug delivery, to energy harvesting and energy efficiency, to monitoring and remediation of air and water quality. Educating students in the fundamental principles of nanobiotechnology prepares them to contribute across boundaries in these evolving fields. A partnership with Alabama State University will extend these opportunities to its diverse student population.

Intellectual Merit The intellectual merit of this program is based on the increased understanding of fundamental issues that will result from the research. Specifically, the electron transport mechanisms in new DNA hybrid nanostructures, the effect of surfaces on cell and protein interactions, and the behavior of biological colloids in fluidic environments. The ability to understand and control these processes will enable new strategies for biomolecular electronics, biosensors, and medical therapeutics.

Broader Impacts The broader impacts of this program are several fold. A new population of students will be trained in the cross-disciplinary field of nano biotechnology. These students will have developed the additional skills necessary to interact effectively in a multi-cultural global environment. Furthermore, the recruitment strategy and partnerships will lead to a diverse student group with the skills to take leadership positions in a variety of career paths.

This project is supported by NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) and the NSF Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Office of the Assistant Director (OAD), and the Engineering and Education Centers (EEC).

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University of Pennsylvania
United States
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