This award will support participation and provide travel stipends for students, postdoctoral fellows, and independent junior investigators (Rising Stars) for the 2021 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)-Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) Conference; Palm Springs, California; 3-7 January 2021. The meeting is intended to integrate the disparate fields of protein engineering and microphysiological systems to transform our abilities to model, probe, and understand pathophysiology as well as translate new discoveries in ways that ultimately benefit human health. There are two aims associated with this meeting: (1) Promote adoption of new technologies and strategies to achieve transformative discoveries and (2) Facilitate interaction of junior investigators, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students with leaders in these burgeoning sub-fields of CMBE. Twelve trainees will be selected by the organizing committee to receive Student/Fellow Awards and present short talks, which will be integrated into the themed sessions. In addition, eight diverse early-career independent faculty investigators will be selected for the special 'Rising Star' awards and session, which will take place on the first day of the meeting, to showcase their work.
The theme of the 2021 Conference will be ?Lighting and Leading the Way: Molecular Tools in Multicellular Systems??. The scientific goals are to 1) catalyze the development of new molecular-scale tools for probing and manipulating cell behavior, 2) ease the transition of these cutting edge approaches for use in complex multicellular systems that more accurately model physiological and pathological processes, and 3) enable the translation of the these advancements in ways that can ultimately benefit human health, such as improved drug screening systems and cellular theranostics that sense and respond to environmental cues found in disease states. The conference will introduce and integrate a diverse group of engineers and basic scientists possessing clinical and/or entrepreneurial experience. Invited speakers and keynotes will discuss how they bridge the gap between fundamental research and translation in their specific fields. The CMBE field is experiencing exponential growth, with the subfields of protein engineering and microphysiological systems development being significant drivers. The 2021 Conference will bring together leaders in the field of biology, medicine, and engineering to address how these cutting-edge approaches can be integrated and applied innovatively in CMBE research and education. This award is co-funded by the Systems and Synthetic Biology cluster in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, among others.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.