Dr. Ashley Brown, assistant professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development award, also known as the CAREER Award, from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award is one of the highest honors given by NSF to young faculty members in science and engineering.
NSF will provide $500,000 in funding over five years to support her project, “Dynamic microgels that mimic platelet behavior to promote healing.”
Brown’s project will focus on the development of a new material that mimics the ability of platelets to change shape in response to injury. The developed materials will be tested for their ability to change shape in response to injury signals and for their ability to stop bleeding and improve healing.
From an outreach standpoint, the goal of the project is to increase awareness and support for biomimetic materials engineering. Biomimetic materials are materials that mimic certain aspects of natural systems, such as the materials described in this proposal that mimic platelet function. This will be achieved by designing new materials for K-12 summer camps and day camps and by giving talks at local museum events.
She received her B.S. in biosystems engineering from Clemson University in 2006 and her Ph.D. in bioengineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011.