The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to Erkin Şeker, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The NSF award of $305,270 will support Şeker as PI on the project to study Effects of Nanostructure on the Performance of Nucleic Acid-Based Electrochemical Biosensors.
In this research project the researchers will fabricate novel electrodes with nanofeatures to understand how nanoscale features on the electrodes enhance sensitive measurement of DNA. The fundamental studies is likely to develop more sensitive electrochemical biosensors for DNA. If successful, potential applications include food safety, water quality and medical diagnostics.
Şeker completed his undergraduate work in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech in 2002, then obtained both a master’s degree (2004) and PhD (2007) in the same field at the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville (UVA). He subsequently spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at UVA, then served as a research associate at the Harvard Medical School’s Center for Engineering in Medicine. He joined the UC Davis College of Engineering faculty in 2011, where his research has focused on nanostructured materials, energy storage, high-throughput material characterization platforms, structure-property relationships in micro- and nano-scale, tissue-material and biomolecule-surface interactions, microfluidic flow control schemes, multi-functional biomedical devices, drug delivery and neural electrodes. Şeker received an NSF CAREER Award in January 2015.
Şeker’s award comes from the NSF’s Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), which supports innovative research and education in the fields of chemical engineering, biotechnology, bioengineering and environmental engineering, and in areas that involve the transformation and/or transport of matter and energy by chemical, thermal or mechanical means. CBET research and education investments contribute significantly to the development of major components of the U.S. economy: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, forest products, metals, petroleum, natural gas, food, textiles, energy utilities, alternative energy sources, microelectronics and other sectors.