PhD Candidates attending the GSA Research Day

By on December 10, 2021 0

On November 30, guest speakers, faculty judges, and student researchers gathered in the Campus Center ballroom and gallery for the Graduate Student Association’s annual Research Day. Held annually since 2004 (except 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions), the event has featured presentations from 38 PhDs. applicants and a master’s student.

The day began with greetings from GSA President and Event Organizer Shomik Mukhopadhyay, a Doctor of Chemical Engineering. raised. Mukhopadhyay stressed the importance of the research by referring to the speed at which COVID-19 vaccines have been developed, noting that this would not have been possible without years of prior mRNA research. Following the opening speech by Dr Sotirios G. Ziavras, Vice-Chancellor of Graduate Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at NJIT, Princeton University Professor Robert K. Prud’homme was greeted on stage for his opening speech: “Nanomedicine: From High Tech to Global Health.” “During the speech, Prud’homme described how he helped develop technology that has been used to increase production of COVID-19 vaccines.

After the opening speech, the student researchers gathered in the gallery to present their posters, displayed on large screens. Projects were judged on the basis of poster, speech and relevance, with winners receiving funding for conference travel costs and research equipment.

The first place went to Aida Lopez Ruiz, who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering. candidate from Barcelona, ​​Spain, whose project was titled “Encapsulated Platinum Nanoparticles, Targeted Therapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer”. Essentially, platinum nanoparticles have anti-cancer effects without being toxic to healthy cells, unlike common chemotherapy drugs currently in use. Using encapsulation and targeted delivery techniques, Ruiz’s project seeks to improve the treatment of breast cancer. She attributes her inspiration for this project to her previous training and mentors.

“I was doing my masters thesis at Northeastern University, and the lab where I worked had many projects on the use of metallic nanoparticles for cancer or infectious diseases,” Ruiz said. “I had the idea of ​​working with platinum and silver for anti-cancer and anti-bacterial effects, but when I finished my masters, I decided to focus on platinum for the anti-cancer effect. After that I found Dr McEnnis at NJIT. She was administering drugs with polymers, and we decided to combine our ideas, using platinum nanoparticles for triple negative breast cancer and encapsulating them with a polymer to target cancer cells.

Alina Emelianova, doctor of chemical engineering. candidate from Moscow, Russia, won second place. His project, titled “Revisiting the TraPPE Force Field for Organophosphorus Compounds: Sarin, DMMP, and DIMP”, develops “the theoretical framework and computational methods to model the mechanical effects of fluid sorption and use these methods to solve a certain number of issues in the area, including material capture and detection for highly toxic gases, such as organophosphates, She is also working on the development of intermolecular potential models for chemical warfare agents and their simulants.

“Overall, my goal for the future is to contribute more to solving the challenges facing humanity: climate change, environmental pollution, civil peace and security, with the help of physics and of computational chemistry, ”said Emelianova. “In my work and research today, I am driven by curiosity and a desire to contribute to large-scale problem solving, with the help of my mentor, colleagues and the Society of Chemical Engineers.

Third place went to Arun Reddy Ravula, a doctorate in neurobiology. candidate from Warangal, India. His project, titled “Repeated Low-level Blast Induces Chronic Neuropathological and Neurobehavioral Changes in Rat Models”, quantified the detrimental effects of explosions on the brain of rats, from motor deficits to impaired short-term memory. The purpose of this study was to draw attention to the negative impact of repeated low intensity explosions on soldiers and other individuals who are exposed to such explosions repeatedly for years in the course of training or preparation for combat.

“Compared to any research on traumatic brain injury, there is very little, about 20 research papers published to date, on repeated low intensity blasts,” said Ravula, who works on brain injury research. traumatic in Dr Namas Chandra’s laboratory since 2017 “It inspired me to do a doctorate. thesis on repeated low intensity explosions.

Additional Honorable Mentions were awarded based on the researcher’s presentation skills. Doctorate in Applied Mathematics. Candidate Binan Gu won honorable mention for best oral presentation for his project “A Graphical Representation of Membrane Filtration”, while the doctorate in environmental science. Candidate Indrani Gupta won honorable mention for best visual project for her project “The Development of Nanocarbon Immobilized Membrane for Elimination of Thermophilic Bacteria via Membrane Distillation”. Craig Iaboni, computer science student, was the only master’s student to present among all doctoral students. candidates; his project was called “A real-time method to detect and track several mobile robots on the ground using event cameras”.

Whether it’s improving treatment for breast cancer, detecting and capturing toxic gases, or bringing attention to the neurotrauma caused by explosions in soldiers, these students are determined to make the world best through their research.