The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany announced today that CNSE Professor Yubing Xie has been selected to receive a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation ("NSF") for transformative research and education that utilizes nanotechnology to understand and control the interactions between cancer cells and neighboring cells, with the potential to revolutionize traditional detection, monitoring, and treatment of breast cancer.
The $400,000 grant was awarded through the highly distinguished Faculty Early Career Development ("CAREER") Program, an NSF initiative that supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of scholar-teacher through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the strategic mission of their organizations.
CNSE Assistant Professor of Nanobioscience Dr. Yubing Xie will lead a research team that will use a novel direct cell deposition method to understand and manipulate cancer cells and neighboring cells at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels, which is crucial to understanding breast tumor progression and promoting anti-cancer drug development. This in vitro study of breast cancer cell-stem cell interactions has the potential to transform traditional cancer research, which targets bulk tumors and uses expensive animal models.
In addition, Professor Xie and her research team will employ a unique learning-through-research approach to provide hands-on nanobiotechnology education and training for students at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels - including Albany High School students participating in the NanoHigh Program - and leading to development of a nanobiotechnology workbook for use in the high school and undergraduate curriculum.
Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, "On behalf of CNSE, I congratulate Professor Xie on receiving this prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation, which recognizes her innovative and pioneering work, and further demonstrates the UAlbany NanoCollege's world-class educational and research capabilities in the critical field of nanobioscience. I look forward to seeing the significant contributions of this important research, as well as the unique educational opportunities it will offer to students of all ages."
Dr. Xie said, "I am honored to receive this award from the National Science Foundation, which will allow for innovative nanotechnology-enabled research and education to support improved detection, monitoring and treatment of breast cancer. I am especially excited to work closely with students from the NanoCollege and at the undergraduate and high school levels to further this vital research, and to help shape an educational curriculum that will ensure critical advances in providing effective and affordable health care in the future."
Dr. James Castracane, Professor and Head of CNSE's Nanobioscience Constellation, said, "It is a pleasure to congratulate Professor Xie on the receipt of this esteemed grant from the National Science Foundation. This project will serve to further enhance the groundbreaking research and educational outreach that is embodied in the UAlbany NanoCollege's growing presence in the area of nanobioscience."
The grant from NSF will provide support for the project over the next five years. The long-term goal involves establishment of a world-class cellular nanobiotechnology program at CNSE, which would provide sustained and growing contributions to integrated research and education in the area of nanobioscience.