Dr. Paul Abbyad Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award
SCU professor of chemistry and biochemistry exemplifies what it means to be a teacher-scholar.
Paul Abbyad, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Santa Clara University, received the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET) for his project “Label-Free Sorting Based on Single-Cell Metabolism.” The award begins this year and is estimated to be funded through 2023.
The prestigious NSF CAREER Award serves as a launching pad for junior faculty members pursuing careers as teacher-scholars. Recipients are chosen not only on the merit of their research, but also for demonstrating a commitment to education and unifying these goals within their work.
While Dr. Abbyad is the Principle Investigator of this project, it involves the participation of undergraduate student researchers as well as several faculty collaborators at SCU. “This award will enable Santa Clara University undergrads to develop brand new microfluidic technologies to elucidate the behavior of individual cancer cells,” Dr. Abbyad explains. When successfully developed, these technologies will allow characterization at the single cell level to enable effective, targeted cancer therapies.
Outside the research itself, the project will also implement laboratory modules that incorporate the relevant microfluidic and optical technologies at low-income middle schools and high schools. Experiential learning is critical in attracting students to science and engineering fields, and this hands-on discovery opportunity will inspire and invigorate the future biotechnology workforce.
“The NSF CAREER Award serves as both recognition of high level achievement and an investment into the future outcomes of promising, early career scholars,” says Dr. Eric Tillman, SCU Department Chair and Fletcher Jones Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Paul Abbyad has established himself as an outstanding scholar, who has built a research program involving SCU student collaborators while devising projects that reach across disciplinary boundaries. What he has already accomplished is impressive, but pales in comparison to what the future holds.”