Recognition for Faculty in the CAS & CEC Mentor Program!

In his Welcome Back Spring 2013 letter to the FIU community, President Rosenberg highlighted two of our faculty mentors, Dr. Shekhar Bhansali and Dr. Sakrat Khizroev, both in Electrical and Computer Engineering. And in the FIU News Best of 2012, the story on Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom's research regarding monster larva was featured as one of the year's best.

 Dr. Bracken-Grissom Dr. Bracken-Grissom, Biology

Mentee and Assistant Professor Heather Bracken-Grissom’s work in marine biology seems to bring her into contact with unusual creatures of the sea. Bracken-Grissom and her team of FIU researchers were able to solve the mystery of the “monster larva.” The larva was first identified in 1828, but until last summer, what it grew up to be was unknown, as they are rarely seen. Using DNA methods, the team determined that the elusive monster was in fact a deep sea shrimp!

Then in the fall, a giant softball-sized eyeball washed ashore near Pompano Beach. Pictures of the blue eye took the Internet by storm and lit up social media and network news across the country. Again, a mysterious creature “lurking in the world’s oceans” intrigued the public. This time, Bracken-Grissom, along with scientists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that they believed the eyeball belonged to an unfortunate swordfish, which was no doubt caught by a fisherman.

President Rosenberg commented, “FIU researchers in the College of Engineering and Computing, led by Dr. Shekhar Bhansali, are engaged in pioneering nanotechnology. Partnering with North Carolina State University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia, Dr. Bhansali’s team won a prestigious NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) award of $18.5 million over five years. The ERC focuses on nanoscale systems that integrate self-powered electronics for the advancement of personalized medicine.

FIU’s researchers also continue to develop innovations and initiatives that impact the well-being of the community and advance the frontiers of science. Scientists at the Institute of NeuroImmune Pharmacology (Madhavan Nair and Sakrat Khizroev) have developed a magnetic nanotechnology technique for delivering drugs directly to the brain for the treatment of AIDS and drug addiction in patients, and they are also in the early stages of development of a non-invasive, cost-effective nanotechnology to recover brain activity in patients with Parkinson’s and neural system disorders.”

Congratulations to our CAS and CEC mentors and mentees!

Read more on the blue eye and the monster larva. Click here to read the full Welcome Back letter .