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Score! Three UAB researchers win #NSF CAREER awards in six months

Posted Feb 17 2011 12:50pm
With UAB designated as an institution of "very high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation, we here at UAB News are used to hearing about our world-renowned teacher-scholars winning competitive grants and other awards to support their research. Still, some of your youngest and brightest scientists have caught our attention in recent months, winning a string of National Science Foundation CAREER Awards.

In just six months, three UAB researchers have earned the NSF prize that the foundation describes as among its most prestigious, designed to support the early career-development activities of professors who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.

Assistant Professor Ho-Wook Jun, Ph.D., from the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the UAB School of Engineering , received his $407,000 NSF CAREER Award for research into a bioactive hybrid nanomatrix for intervertebral disk regeneration. The research is seeking biomedical applications for treating spinal injuries through tissue regeneration.

Assistant Professor David Hilton, Ph.D., from the Department of Physics in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences , received his $600,000 NSF CAREER Award for research into coherent manipulation in quantum systems. Coherence is a property of quantum mechanics that could complicate the design of future electronic components, like computer processors, as designers continue to reduce the size of components to the quantum scale in an effort to make them operate more efficiently. In particular, Hilton seeks to develop novel applications to facilitate computation on the quantum scale.

Assistant Professor Xincheng Yao, Ph.D., from the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the UAB School of Engineering, received his $400,000 NSF CAREER Award for research into the development of an optical coherence tomography instrument that provides sub-cellular- and sub-millisecond-resolution imaging of the human retina. The technology promises a high-resolution method for noninvasive evaluation of retinal neural function and dynamics, which could significantly advance the study and early diagnosis of major eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
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