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Five Honors College Faculty Fellows were just awarded the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development from the National Science Foundation.

Five portraits of the winners.

Stephanie Cologna, UIC Associate Professor of Chemistry, research uses mass spectrometry to answer chemical and biological questions important to understanding cellular function. She will head a $1.3 million project that seeks to understand how lipid dynamics are crucial for cellular survival.

Matthew Daly, UIC Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering, aims to expand understanding related to the strengthening of alloys, which are critical elements in a diverse set of industries such as civil infrastructure, automotive and aerospace. His $578,000 project will develop new nanomechanical testing techniques and computational models to look at how the atomic-scale organization of additives influences the processes by which alloys deform. 

Minjung Ryu, UIC Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Learning Sciences, will be supported with $750,000 to examine how college students from non-dominant linguistic backgrounds, such as Arabic, Somali, Swahili, and Nepali, use multiple languages in the context of STEM learning and participation, and to design a STEM learning environment that encourages and supports flexible use of languages for students from these backgrounds.

Jae-Won Shin, UIC Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Bioengineering, received a $500,000 grant aiming to pioneer new approaches to understanding how stem cells can be precisely guided to regenerate tissues. Specifically, stem cell guidance in the building of instructive niches, or microenvironments, around these tissues one cell at a time.

Ian Tobasco, UIC Assistant Professor of Mathematics, will have $450,000 in funding. Tobasco seeks to derive from the underlying equations of nonlinear elasticity new mathematical models for elastic patterns, to understand what makes complex solid systems deform in the myriad ways that they do. Tobasco’s project will focus on two key examples: the “wrinkle-to-fold” transition in confined elastic shells, and the unusual shape-morphing properties of architected elastic sheets including kirigami metamaterials.

Read the full article in UIC Today here.