Shuiqin Zhou, Professor of Chemistry at the College of Staten Island, has received a three-year grant from the U.S. National Academies, which comprise the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.
The grant, in the amount of $178,645 and part of the Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperative Program, will help to fund Zhou’s research, “Synthesis and Characterization of Smart Polymer Microgels for Biomedical Applications,” which she is conducting with Dr. Muhammad Siddiq of Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azam University.
In response to her receipt of the award, Zhou notes, “I’m very excited,” adding, “This program tries to strengthen cooperation and linkages between scientists from Pakistan and the U.S.”
Zhou explains that smart polymer microgels are useful in biomedical applications because they can be very responsive to environmental stimuli such as changes in temperature, pH, and glucose concentration. It’s this last change, in glucose level, that allows these polymers, according to Zhou, to be potentially useful in the early detection of diabetes and “the treatment of the disease through the self-regulation of insulin delivery.”
Besides funding the research, the grant money will allow Zhou to hire a research assistant and it will give a Pakistani student the opportunity to receive hands-on research experience with Zhou in her laboratory on the CSI campus.