BioFab at UMCP
Researchers at the University of Maryland are creating microscale living laboratories to investigate biochemical reaction pathways and biological nanofactories capable of initiating communications among bacteria in a major, multidisciplinary research program in biofabrication.
Their work is part of the emerging field of nanoscale biotechnology that aims to create new technologies for the development of drugs, the detection of disease and the delivery of therapeutics within living organisms.
In 2006, professors William Bentley, Gary Rubloff, Reza Ghodssi, and Greg Payne gathered a large cohort of graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to launch a research program focused on controlling biology at the nanoscale. Such a program would require their collective expertise in bioengineering, electrical engineering, material science and nanotechnology in order to design, build and test new devices that would function as labs on a chip and as microelectronic devices that monitor cellular activity.
The Deutsch Foundation supports post-doctoral and graduate fellows to work with them in their biofab-research programs and collaborate across their respective disciplines. The Foundation was asked to supply early stage support for these fellows so that they and their faculty mentors could build out a base of research that could attract larger grants from federal agencies and other funders.
Over the past eight years, the research results and published papers of these faculty collaborators and their graduate and postdoctoral students have elevated their research program in biofabrication to the forefront of the field in the United States. Grants of more than $2,000,000 dollars have been supplied by the Deutsch Foundation over the past eight years. The funds have been doubled, tripled and quadrupled as the senior faculty and their research fellows have garnered ever-increasing recognition in the field and support for their work.
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