June 6, 2013

Gerdon Receives National Science Foundation Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, has awarded Assistant Professor of Chemistry Aren Gerdon a grant to support his three-year research project, "Selection and Assessment of Biomimetic Templates for Mineralization." This $240,086 grant is part of the NSF's Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program and will allow three Emmanuel College undergraduate students to participate in Dr. Gerdon's research study.

The Emmanuel research team led by Dr. Gerdon will develop an understanding and control of calcium phosphate mineralization through improved analysis and an improved availability of biomimetic template molecules. A primary focus will be on mentoring and training undergraduate students as they enter into research at the freshman or sophomore level and on ensuring that these students contribute to and integrate with the larger scientific community.

"For us, the research lab is simply an extension of the classroom and is the ideal place for undergraduate learning," said Gerdon. "With this important support from the National Science Foundation we will be able to teach and train undergraduate researchers in a way that is unique to Emmanuel College."

Students involved in research will be trained in numerous instrumental methods, biochemical methods and general research methods, broadening their opportunities to enter into the industrial workforce or graduate studies. Findings from this research will be made available on campus and off campus through local and national conference presentations and peer-reviewed publication.

Dr. Gerdon has been a professor at Emmanuel College since 2008, teaching such courses as Chemistry Perspectives, Fundamentals of Chemical Analysis and Instrumental Methods of Analysis.

His research focuses on three main areas: bioanalytical chemistry, biomineralization and nanotechnology. Dr. Gerdon holds a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Hanover College.