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SCIENCE FOUNDATION ARIZONA NAMES TOP ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE TALENT AS 2015 BISGROVE SCHOLARS

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SCIENCE FOUNDATION ARIZONA NAMES TOP ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE TALENT AS 2015 BISGROVE SCHOLARS
Nationally, Internationally Recognized Awardees to Lead Research at Arizona Institutions

PHOENIX (May 21, 2015) – Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) announces the selection of five engineers and scientists, from top-tier applicants from around the world, for its prestigious Bisgrove Scholars awards program. The post-doctoral and early career, tenure track faculty members will conduct research at Arizona’s top research institutions beginning summer 2015.

Arizona’s and the nation’s future is interconnected with the competitiveness and creativity of the next generation of academic researchers in science and engineering. SFAz created the Bisgrove Scholars program,  with the generous support of local humanitarian Jerry Bisgrove, to attract to Arizona — and retain –  exceptional individuals who have demonstrated substantial achievement, and possess the potential to transform ideas into great value for society. Each winning scholar receives $200,000 over two years in support of their research.

The 2015 Bisgrove Scholars are:

  • Dr. Heather N. Emady, early career scholar with a focus on powder and particulate science, will conduct her research at Arizona State University (ASU) under the mentorship of Professor Jerry Lin, beginning December 2015. Through her research, Dr. Emady will aim to produce designer powders with uniform, predictable properties, while uncovering the fundamental science behind the nature of these materials.  This cross-disciplinary science is critically important as powders and particles are the basic materials of many industries from pharmaceuticals to food to mining, yet little is known about how they interact. She will direct her research towards minerals and biomass, two sectors relevant to Arizona.
  • Dr. Owen Hildreth, an early career scholar with a focus on 3D printing, will begin his Bisgrove fellowship this summer at ASU, under the guidance of mentor Dr. Terry Alsford. Currently an assistant professor of Engineering at ASU, Dr. Hildreth is seeking to dramatically simplify 3D printing techniques for micro- and nano scale fabrication by developing new chemistries to directly “print” complete devices using inkjet-style printers. The goal of Dr. Hildreth’s research is to enable small businesses to develop their own products at 1/1000 the cost of current cleanroom-based techniques.
  • Dr. Candace R. Lewis, a post-doctoral scholar with a focus on the complex interplay between early life environment, genetic regulation and expression, and behavioral outcomes, begins her fellowship this summer at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and in the Psychology Department at ASU. Under the mentorship of Dr. Matt Huentelman, Dr. Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant and Dr. Leah Doane, Dr. Lewis hopes to help unravel the molecular mechanisms by which experiences can shape neurobiology and behavior. Dr. Lewis is a native of Alaska, where she earned a bachelor’s in psychology from University of Alaska Anchorage. She earned a Ph.D. in psychology, behavioral neuroscience on a Harry S. Truman Scholarship at ASU and recently won a Fulbright Scholarship.
  • Sara Parker is a post-doctoral scholar with a focus on enhancing understanding of the neuronal synapse in health and disease, with an emphasis on complex disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and intellectual disability. Upon completion of her doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at University of Arizona (UofA), Sara will begin conducting research this winter at UofA under the guidance of her mentors, Dr. Konrad Zinsmaier and Dr. Ghassan Mouneimne.  She will research genes suspected of being able to remodel or re-wire neural circuitry, and progress towards targeted therapies for healing the brain.
  • Dr. Yuji Zhao, an early career scholar with a focus on the development of semiconductor devices for improving energy efficiency, communication and biomedical applications, will begin his Bisgrove Scholar fellowship this summer at ASU under the mentorship of Professor David J. Smith, Dr. Yong Hang Zhang and Dr. Steve Philips. Dr. Zhao, who is currently an assistant professor at ASU’s School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, will develop “smart” LEDs (light emitting diodes), which in addition to greater energy efficiency, will be 10 times smaller and 10 times brighter than conventional devices. Dr. Zhao received his B.S. in Microelectronics from Fudan University in Shanghai before earning his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate Shuji Nakamura at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“Arizona’s future is dependent on the ability to attract and retain the best minds in science and engineering,” said Bill Harris, president and CEO of SFAz. “Bisgrove Scholars are synonymous with top-tier science and engineering research talent. This program and these select individuals have the ability to transform their fields of research into direct value not only for Arizona, but for all of society.”

For more information about the Bisgrove Scholars program, visit www.sfaz.org/bisgrove-scholars/.

About Science Foundation Arizona

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit www.sfaz.org and like us on Facebook.

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