Ann Rundell and Zheng Ouyang Each Receive NSF CAREER Awards
The award will support Professor Rundell's work on advancing model predictive control of cell differentiation. One goal of tissue engineering is to direct the differentiation, integration, and organization of living cells to produce biological substitutes for organs to meet the need of nearly 100,000 Americans who are waiting for organ transplants. Current efforts in tissue engineering are largely driven by experiments with very little guidance from control theory. This project develops and experimentally evaluates a control theory-based approach that will facilitate the design of protocols to predictably promote the differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemia (HL60) cells into monocytes and granulocytes. Model predictive controllers will be designed using sparse grid-based optimization methods to select practical values that are robust to model uncertainties and experimental disturbances. This potentially transformative research will be among the very first studies specifically designed to develop and experimentally validate control theory-based strategies to control cellular differentiation.
In addition, Professor Rundell will educate and inspire tomorrow's engineers to pursue careers that utilize control principles and practices to design experimental strategies to manipulate cellular processes. It is estimated that more than 500 graduate, undergraduate, and middle school students will benefit from the proposed educational activities. Mastery-oriented teaching and small group mentoring sessions are anticipated to promote student attainment of a positive self-image, sustained motivation, and life-long learning skills while the Web-modules, electronic fieldtrips, and summer camp activities will highlight the beneficial contributions of control engineers to society.
The NSF CAREER Award will support Professor Zheng's development of instrumentation and methods for improving the efficiency of mass spectrometry systems, which will have an immediate impact on the design of miniature, portable mass spectrometry devices for biomedical diagnosis. Professor Ouyang's devices have recently received much attention for their ability to test milk and milk products for contaminants without pretreatment or elaborate preparations. This award will allow him to apply these techniques to cancer detection and demarcation both in tissue biopsies and in vivo.
More information on Professor Rundell's research can be found at: https://engineering.purdue.edu/BME/Research/Labs/Rundell/
More information on Professor Ouyang's research can be found at: https://engineering.purdue.edu/BME/Research/Labs/Ouyang/