Boston University Physics News Archive: 2017
Congratulation to Professor David Bishop for his election as a 2017 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors! The academy recognizes for his “highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society”. Professor Bishop was also the PI on a NSF engineering research center grant that was recently awarded 20 million dollars over the next five years to accelerate the development of functional heart tissue for clinical use.
Congratulations to Prof. Larry Sulak who has been awarded the 2018 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics, recognizing outstanding achievements in experimental particle physics, by the American Physical Society. This award was established in 1985 by friends of W. K. H. Panofsky and the Division of Particles and Fields, Stanford University and SLAC, and is the top APS prize in the discipline of experimental particle physics. The citation recognizes Larry's seminal work on developing the water Cherenkov technique:
“For novel contributions to detection techniques, including pioneering developments for massive water Cherenkov detectors that led to major advances in nucleon decay and neutrino oscillation physics."
The prize will be presented at the APS April Meeting Prize and Award Ceremony on Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.
Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Directed Multiscale Assembly of Cellular Metamaterials with Nanoscale Precision:
CELL-MET - A National Science Foundation Research Center
Synthesizing Personalized Heart Tissue for Clinical Use
The NSF Engineering Research Center in Cellular Metamaterials – CELL-MET – is designed to stimulate translation of research to practice by facilitating worldwide corporate, clinical, and institutional partnerships. CELL-MET—with Boston University as the lead institution— aims to transform cardiovascular care by combining breakthroughs in nanotechnology and manufacturing with tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, while also developing areas of expertise in education, diversity, administration, and outreach.
CELL-MET will use the latest multiscale 3D printing technologies to engineer scaffolds that guide cells to assemble into complex tissues that exhibit desired behaviors. The scaffolds will incorporate actuators to apply dynamic electrical and mechanical signals as well as cellular “glues” that include biological signaling molecules, all of which can be chosen to foster desired activity of the cells and tissue. The researchers will also employ optogenetics and other imaging techniques to monitor and control cellular activity. The ultimate goal is to fabricate personalized heart tissue that could be used in the shorter term to test the efficacy of drugs and eventually to replace diseased or damaged muscle after a heart attack.
CELL-MET will be housed at Boston University, the lead institution on the grant. David Bishop, an ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of physics, and head of ENG’s Division of Materials Science & Engineering, will direct the center. Two partner institutions—the University of Michigan and Florida International University—as well as six affiliate institutions—Harvard Medical School, Columbia University, the Wyss Institute at Harvard, Argonne National Laboratory, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Centro Atómico Bariloche/Instituto Balseiro in Argentina—will offer additional expertise in bioengineering, nanotechnology, and other areas.
For more: http://sites.bu.edu/cell-met/
Research Professor Plamen Ch. Ivanov initiated and directed the First International Summer Institute on Network Physiology (ISINP 2017) at the Lake Como School for Advanced Studies, Italy. Attended by participants from 16 countries, the event laid the foundations of a new interdisciplinary field at the interface of physics, biomedical engineering and medicine to understand health and disease through networks of organ interactions. Originated from research at the BU Laboratory for Network Physiology, and supported by the W. M. Keck Foundation and the Alessandro Volta Foundation, the event was organized by dedicated committee members: Drs. Xiyun Zhang, Fabrizio Lombardi, Chengyu Huo (postdoctoral fellows) and Jilin Wang (PhD student) at the BU Physics Department.
Congratulations to Prof. Larry Sulak for being recognized with the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields Instrumentation Award. Larry presented a review of his seminal contributions to the water Cherenkov technique at the DPF meeting prize ceremony on August 4. Larry is seen here with DPF chairperson Marcela Carena.
Photo crdits: Reider Hahn, Fermilab
Bernard (Bernie) Chasan, emeritus professor of physics, passed away in Boston on July 24th. Born in 1934 in Brooklyn, NY, he graduated from Columbia College and earned his PhD in physics from Cornell University.
Chasan joined Boston University’s physics department in 1962 and immediately became an integral member of the faculty. He was described by colleague and Professor Emeritus George Zimmerman as “one of the go to members who could be relied on to help whenever there was a situation that required it.” Professor Karl Ludwig shared similar sentiments, acknowledging Chasan’s mentor role and efforts to ensure others had the support they needed. “Bernie was a very thoughtful and caring mentor when I arrived at BU in 1988. [He] always looked out for others, particularly young members of the department,” said Ludwig. Chasan was also immensely respected and liked by his students, “known among [them] as a particularly devoted and spirited teacher,” according to (name). In addition to his academic role at BU, Chasan also served as the chair of the Department of Physics from 1983-85.
During his time at BU, Chasan studied nuclear physics and biophysics and became an expert Atomic Force Microscope scientist. The difficulty in successfully using an AFM was a skill that Chasan mastered. “It is really more of an art than a science,” said biophysicist Rama Bansil, who collaborated with Chasan on several projects. “Bernie’s just got the right touch.” Chasan collaborated with colleagues across BU and beyond, including working with Massachusetts General Hospital urologist Horacio Cantiello studying the chemical transition between cell membranes across protein channels.
In addition to his research, Chasan was devoted to his students and educational outreach efforts. He developed an undergraduate biophysics course in which he used physics as a way to explain biological processes, such as protein folding and membrane structures. He first taught this course as a summer course for minority students, and several outstanding undergraduate minority students majoring in physics, biology, biochemistry and engineering attended. This course gave students a firsthand look into biophysics and allowed them access to Rama Bansil’s lab.
Chasan’s connections to colleagues extended beyond just the lab and the classroom. He is remembered by several colleagues for his friendship, his love of music and great sense of humor. “He loved puns and would insert them into the conversation given the slightest opportunity,” said Professor William Klein. “Being with Bernie was always fun and interesting and he could talk intelligently about almost any subject…Bernie would always have something of interest to contribute, and it was clear that his opinions were based on a deep, rather than superficial, knowledge. That knowledge came from his inquisitive mind and his wide range of interests, “ Klein went on to say.
Bernie Chasan contributed immensely as a friend, teacher, researcher and mentor during his time at Boston University, and he will not soon be forgotten.
Written by: CAS News
Artticle can be found here