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>  News Releases >   2009 >   February

NSF recognizes Dartmouth professor with Career Award

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 02/26/09 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

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Petia Vlahovska
Petia Vlahovska (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Petia Vlahovska, an assistant professor of engineering sciences at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, was recently honored with an award from the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award recognizes and supports the activities of teacher/scholars early in their careers, and the awardees are often considered emerging leaders in their respective fields. Recipients are selected for career development plans that integrate research and teaching.

Vlahovska’s highly interdisciplinary work is aimed at understanding and mimicking the design of the biological cell. Her research combines engineering and biophysics as she looks into questions such as the link between the unusual mechanics of the red blood cell membrane and blood viscosity.

“My research advances fundamental knowledge in cell biomechanics, and it is helpful to biomedical applications such as targeted drug delivery,” says Vlahovska. “One of the central issues we’re now investigating involves the mechanisms of how a membrane is deformed by fluid or electrical stresses.” Her lab studies these problems through theoretical modeling, numerical simulations, and experimentation.

This award will also support her ongoing work in teaching and training the next generation of engineers, physicists, and biologists so they all know how to effectively cooperate on problems that cut across these areas.

Other Dartmouth professors who have been recently honored with NSF Career Awards include Devin Balkcom, Christopher Bailey-Kellogg, Amit Chakrabarti, Fabio Pellacini, and Sean Smith in the computer science department; Reza Olfati-Saber at the Thayer School of Engineering; Kristina Lynch, Barrett Rogers, and Robert Caldwell in physics and astronomy; Robert Grubbs in chemistry; David Peterson in the linguistics and cognitive science program, and David Bucci in psychological and brain sciences.

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