A Diamond as the Steppingstone to New Materials

Dr. Yogesh VohraThe following article appears in the UAB News article titled “A diamond as the steppingstone to new materials, using plasma physics technology”  written by Jeff Hansen.  An adaption of this article appears in Materials Today as “Plasma Process Offers Fine Control Over Diamond Properties.”

University of Alabama at Birmingham physicists have taken the first step in a five-year effort to create novel compounds that surpass diamonds in heat resistance and nearly rival them in hardness.

They are supported by a five-year, $20 million National Science Foundation award to create new materials and improve technologies using the fourth state of matter — plasma. (Read more)

UAB Partners With Nine Alabama Universities fo $20M NSF Award

CPU2AL: Connecting the Plasma Universe to Plasma Technology in Alabama

A partnership comprising nine universities in Alabama, including The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as the lead institution (Dr. Gary Zank, PI), has been awarded a $20 million, five-year grant by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR

Along with UAH, the partnership includes the University of Alabama (lead: Dr. R. Branam), the University of Alabama at Birmingham (lead: Dr. Y. Vohra), Auburn University (lead: Dr. E. Thomas), Tuskegee University (lead: Dr. V. Rangari), the University of South Alabama (lead: Dr. E. Spencer), Alabama A&M University (leads: Dr. R. Mentreddy and Dr. E. Cebert), Alabama State University (lead: Dr. K. Vig), and Oakwood University (lead: Dr. A. Volkov), with additional assistance from CFD Research Corporation (lead: Dr. V. Kolobov), a computational fluid dynamics software company located in Cummings Research Park. These members bring “a range of expertise in space science, laboratory plasma physics, materials, biosciences, and manufacturing to this endeavor,” says Dr. Zank )….(more).

NSF Announcement

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva Awarded a NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award

NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER)


Eugenia Kharlampieva“CNMB member and a faculty member in the UAB Department of Chemistry Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva
has been awarded a  National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award entitled “CAREER:  Shape Responses of Ultrathin Hydrogel Microcapsules” for a five year period 2014-2019. This is one of the  National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva Awarded a NSF Biomaterials Grant

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva Awarded a National Science Foundation Biomaterials Grant
Immunomodulatory Ultrathin Multilayer Coatings for Pancreatic islet Transplantation NSF-DMR1306110, program of Biomaterials (BMAT)
Eugenia KharlampievaThis grant will supports the development of a novel type of cytoprotective material with controlled immunomodulatory and inflammatory responses to be used for cell-basedtransplantation therapy for diabetic recipients. This project is in collaboration between departments of Chemistry (Eugenia Kharlampieva, PI) and Microbiology (Hubert Tse, coPI).  Although transplantation of pancreatic islet cells has emerged as a promising treatment for Type 1 diabetes, its clinical application remains limited due to adverse effects of immunosuppression and declining allograft function. The awarded project will develop a preclinical approach to preserve islet viability and function during culturing and transplantation by protecting pancreatic islets (cell clusters) with a novel polymer coating. These coatings will be designed through hydrogen-bonded assembly of cytocompatible macromolecules with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics.  This project is particularly timely since current islet encapsulation systems are challenging for transplantations due to high cytotoxicity and the requirement for large injection volumes. The design of novel immunoprotective materials will open new prospects for developing biomaterials with unique characteristics having applications in various bio-related areas such as bioengineering and tissue engineering. The awarded project will develop interdisciplinary collaborative research which should stimulate awareness of the needs of the UAB biomedical research community for specialized polymer-based biomaterials as novel platforms for cell transplantation therapy.