The Michigan Engineer News Center

NAE awards Mona Jarrahi a Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grant

With the support of the Grainger Foundation, Jarrahi will explore genetic therapy methods to treat diseases.| Short Read

Prof. Mona Jarrahi, together with Prof. Jordan Green, an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at The Whitaker Institute at Johns Hopkins, have received a Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grant for advancement of interdisciplinary research awarded by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Prof. Jarrahi was one of 78 of the nation’s brightest young engineers selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s 2012 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (FOE) Symposium, held last September, where she met Prof. Green. Now, thanks to a grant by the Grainger Foundation, both of them will be exploring genetic therapy methods to treat diseases by correcting genetic mutations, repairing disease polymorphisms, and enabling the long-term expression of therapeutic proteins. Their research project is called, “High-Performance Label- Free Drug Delivery Monitoring through Terahertz Spectroscopy.”

Prof. Jarrahi will combine her expertise in terahertz technology with Prof. Green’s knowledge in biomaterials, controlled drug delivery, and gene therapy. “Frontiers of Engineering provides a unique opportunity to interact with researchers from a broad range of disciplines and discuss possible interdisciplinary research directions that could lead to solving real-world problems,” stated Jarrahi.

NAE President Dr. Charles Vest stated that “The Grainger Grants not only give Frontiers of Engineering participants the opportunity to pursue ideas stimulated at the U.S. FOE symposia. The grants allow for collaboration and the execution of innovative projects aimed at improving our quality of life.”

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read