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Chemical engineering’s Hahn wins NSF CAREER Award

February 10, 2010

Feb. 10, 2010 — Mariah Hahn, assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, has been awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

As a recipient of the prestigious award, Hahn will receive $400,000 throughout the next five years for her research, which combines a novel class of gels based on collagen-mimetic proteins with gene silencing techniques to identify key environmental stimuli driving mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Results from these studies have the potential to transform researchers’ ability to dictate cell behavior in organ regeneration applications.

Hahn, who completed her undergraduate career at The University of Texas at Austin, conducted her Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Robert Langer and post-doctoral studies at Rice University under Jennifer West.

As part of her research at Texas A&M, Hahn focuses on understanding cell-cell and cell-material interactions at a more fundamental level to rationally guide tissue regeneration. In her laboratory, Hahn uses cardiovascular and skeletal tissues as model systems for probing cell response to controlled external stimuli.

The CAREER Award was established to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

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