The goal of this proposed HBCU-RISE project is to expand the scale and scope of the Integrated Biosciences Ph.D. program at NCCU through the addition of interdisciplinary concentrations. The recently established Integrated Biosciences Ph.D. degree program, which awarded the first three doctorates this year, is designed to prepare students to solve complex problems using concepts drawn from fields across the STEM disciplines. Presently, students may only choose from two concentrations: Biomedical Sciences, primarily based on research at the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Institute (BBRI), and Pharmaceutical Sciences, aligned with research at the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE).
This RISE project will (a) create additional Ph.D. concentrations in biophysics, biochemistry, and environmental science; (b) broaden the curricula of graduate programs in the Mathematics and Physics, Chemistry, and Environmental Earth and Geospatial Science departments to increase their relevance to the doctoral program by introducing new courses in nanobiomaterials, bioinstrumentation, and interactions between nanostructures and biological materials; and (c) provide financial and research support to Ph.D. students and research faculty.
The goals of this proposal are well-aligned with the NCCU's goal of becoming one of the region's foremost centers for bioscience and nanotechnology. This proposed RISE project will feature studies on the application of nanoscale martial and biomaterials in life science and medicine, specifically as follows:
- Development of a new generation of label-free biochemical sensors based on quantum confinement and tunneling between nanostructures;
- Development of plasmonic nanostructured devices to improve the selectivity and sensitivity in optical skin cancer screening and treatment;
- Design and development of novel multifunctional quantum dots and reduced graphene-based fluorescence imaging marker materials for biological applications;
- Development of perovskite nanostructures for biochemical filters, antimicrobial materials, and piezoelectric materials for pressure, optical, and temperature sensing devices;
- Quantum calculations to improve the understanding of interactions between nanostructures and biological molecules;
- The interaction of nanomaterial and biomaterial and the impact of nanomaterial on the environment and human health.