Sigma XI Offers Research Grants to Students

American Scientist, September/October 2017 | Go to article overview

Sigma XI Offers Research Grants to Students


Sigma Xi invites undergraduate and graduate students to apply to its Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program by October 1, 2017. The application is on Sigma Xi's website at https://www.sigmaxi.org/ programs/grants-in-aid/apply.

Endowment Distributes First Grant

The new Claude C. Barnett Grants-in-Aid of Research Endowment Fund distributed its first grant this spring. Carolyn Shasha, a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, is using the $800 grant to support her research project on magnetic particle imaging (MPI), a new medical imaging method that uses magnetic nanoparticles. It is currently being developed as a cheaper, faster alternative to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

"My goal is to develop a method for creating multicolor images with MPI so that, for example, blood, healthy tissue, and cancer cells could appear on an image in different colors," said Shasha.

Her project involves using computer simulations to identify the experimental conditions necessary for creating a multicolor image. She is spending August testing the method at a functioning prototype MPI system at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. This is her first grant and she is using it to support her travel costs to and from Germany, and to meet and work with leaders there and gain access to state-of-the-art equipment.

"I believe that nanotechnology will play an extremely important role in the development of future medical technologies," Shasha said. "I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out exactly what's going on with these tiny particles, while at the same time contributing to a broader field that will hopefully soon be translated into clinical applications. …

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