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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Four faculty members earn prestigious research awards

The National Science Foundation has given CAREER awards, its most prestigious early-career research grant, to four Princeton faculty members.

The five-year grants, which range in value from $300,000 to $1 million, will go to: David August , assistant professor of computer science; Jeffrey Carbeck , assistant professor of chemical engineering; Evgenii Narimanov , assistant professor of electrical engineering; and Saeed Tavazoie , assistant professor of molecular biology.

The CAREER program supports young, tenure-track faculty members "who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century," according to the foundation. It supports proposals that include a combination of research and teaching initiatives and that are likely to serve as the basis for a lifetime of work in both areas.

August plans to develop techniques and tools to aid the design of computer processor systems. The tools would include computer simulations that show how a contemplated design might perform. Such tools could shorten the length of time it takes to design processors and improve the feedback between initial design decision-making and final product performance.

Carbeck intends to develop miniature devices like computer chips that catalog all the proteins made by a particular cell and then analyze how the proteins interact. The question of what proteins are present in a cell and how the proteins function has become a key problem in biology following the completion of genome projects. Carbeck's work will combine aspects of biology, chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science.

Narimanov will use the grant to study the resonances and scattering of light in certain kinds of non-electrically-conducting materials. The research is important in the field of photonics, in which light replaces electricity as a means for transmitting and processing information.

Tavazoie will conduct research aimed at using the detailed information obtained from genome projects to build large-scale maps of how the many parts of a cell work together. He plans to develop high-speed methods for identifying and monitoring interactions of proteins and DNA -- essentially the "wiring" of a cell.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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