Skip to main content

Lauren Buchanan wins NSF CAREER Award

Posted by on Friday, March 22, 2024 in News.

buchananLauren Buchanan, assistant professor of chemistry, has received a prestigious NSF CAREER Award. Her CAREER project, “Understanding Nanoparticle-induced Changes to Protein Structure,” will address a critical gap in our understanding of protein-nanoparticle interactions: the detailed surface-induced changes to protein structure and dynamics that that potentially impact protein function.

The five-year, $675,000 grant will support the development of methods to enhance the sensitivity of two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy to site-specific vibrational probes, with the goal of improving resolution of structural heterogeneities at the residue level and reducing spectral congestion. These methods will be applied to determine how nanomaterials disrupt protein secondary structure or alter protein self-assembly pathways. The knowledge gained from these studies will lead to greater understanding of the effects of nanoparticle exposure on living systems and facilitate the design of bio-nano conjugated materials for applications in chemistry, biology, and materials science.

This award also includes education and outreach activities to provide students ranging from high school to graduate school with training in interdisciplinary research, scientific writing, and peer review. Buchanan runs Young Scientist, a research journal that allows local and international high school students to publish original research while integrating undergraduate and graduate students into the review process.

Buchanan joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2016. She received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2013.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Buchanan’s award is supported by the Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms A (CSDM-A) program in the Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation Award #2338970.


Tags: ,