Honors & Awards

Grants, fellowships, awards and other honors that recognize and support innovative research and world-class teaching.

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  • Engineering professor receives 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award

    “First-year engineering teaching professor Joshua Hertz received the 2024 University Excellence in Teaching Award. … Hertz has been instrumental in advancing instruction in the Cornerstone of Engineering program. He emphasizes a curriculum based on highly open-ended problems, increasing students’ self-efficacy and tolerance for ambiguity. His hands-on approach and commitment to experiential learning has students work with community and global partners, supporting Northeastern’s mission to create engaged, passionate, ethical problem solvers.”

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  • National Institute of Aging supports Apfeld lifespan research

    Javier Apfeld, associate professor of biology, has received funding from the National Institute of Aging for “Genome-Wide CRISPR Activation: A Novel Strategy for Identifying Anti-Aging Targets.” Apfeld writes that, “This project will characterize and optimize a novel time and cost saving toolkit that allows simple, rapid and robust activation of gene expression in the widely used model organism C. elegans, bringing new capabilities to systematically test the effect of gene activation in a broad range of biological problems. These capabilities will be employed to search for novel genes whose activation promotes healthy aging and increases lifespan.”

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  • Leading nanomedicine researcher named Highly Ranked Scholar by ScholarGPS

    Northeastern University Distinguished Professor Vladimir Torchilin has been named a Highly Ranked Scholar by ScholarGPS for research advances in the fields of drug delivery and nanomedicine.

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  • NIH funding for nanomedicine co-ops fighting cancer

    “CaNCURE: Cancer Nanomedicine Co-ops for Undergraduate Research Experiences Program seeks to provide training and education in research at the interface of nanotechnology, cancer biology and medicine to attract, retain and encourage young scientists and engineers, particularly those from underrepresented minorities, to pursue careers in cancer research. The program will achieve this central aim by creating meaningful and rigorous research experiences mentored by outstanding academic and clinical researchers and supplemented with high-impact learning and professional development opportunities. The program combines Northeastern University’s model of co-op education with the outstanding cancer nanomedicine research infrastructure at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.”

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  • Hillman receives funding to study ‘Persistence of Neurocognitive Benefits of Exercise’

    “In this 5-year follow-up to the IGNITE exercise intervention study we will examine whether exercise has a delayed or protracted benefit to neurocognitive outcomes including Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology. We will also examine whether we can predict long-term exercise engagement by utilizing the rich biological and psychological data from IGNITE.”

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  • NSF funding secured for ‘Mobility Data for Communities: Uncovering Segregation, Climate Resilience and Economic Development from Cell-Phone Records’

    “In this project, we plan to build a public mobility data platform for the Boston area that will help neighborhoods and communities use cellphone-generated data to address issues of social equity, racial and socioeconomic segregation, economic development and climate resilience.”

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  • Weng receives Grantham funding to engineer carbon sequestering plant roots

    “This project aims to develop engineered plants that produce chemically inert sporopollenin in non-anther tissues for long-term carbon storage. By reconstituting sporopollenin biosynthesis and secretion in roots, inert polymers can be injected into soil. Progress includes identifying sporopollenin biosynthetic genes, developing analytical methods and exploring yeast expression systems. Future work will assess sporopollenin durability in soil and investigate sporopollenin co-polymers in plants. This scalable, self-repairable approach offers a biological solution for atmospheric carbon sequestration.”

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  • Wales will target ‘SHP-1 through a newfound metabolite-regulated cysteine activation site’

    “This new project is focused on chemical manipulation and characterization of SHP-1 based on recent insights, gained in large part from the development of mass spectrometry approaches to map small molecule covalent interactions proteome-wide done in the Chouchani laboratory. My research group will apply hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) mass spectrometry (MS) to investigate conformational changes of SHP-1 upon binding to itaconate and itaconate-mimetics to ascertain if SHP-1 activation leads to conformational rearrangement and then determine where those rearrangements take place within SHP-1. These HDX MS studies will provide solution-based measurements that will complement the X-ray crystallography studies of the same system.”

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  • Reality’s how we relate to it: Distinguished professor speaks at prestigious philosophy of mind lecture series

    Distinguished professor Lisa Feldman Barrett spoke on her concept of relational realism at the prestigious Rudolf Carnap Lecture series.

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  • Zheng receives Leadership for Inclusion and Diversity Award

    Yi Zheng, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, received the 2024 Leadership for Inclusion and Diversity Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Pacific Islanders Commission. Zheng presented a speech at the 16th Annual Unity Dinner before Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg and State Auditor Diana DiZoglio. The award recognized Zheng “as an exceptional leader who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity.”

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  • Weng receives Food Allergy Science Initiative funding to understand role of phytochemicals in allergies

    “This project investigates the role of phytochemicals in food allergies, focusing on identifying plant secondary metabolites that influence allergic reactions and developing potential therapeutics for food allergies. Jing-Ke Weng’s lab aims to advance understanding of food allergy causes and mechanisms through interdisciplinary research on plant chemistry and its interaction with the human immune system, with the ultimate goal of creating new treatments for food allergies.”

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  • Learning how to help underserved communities get engaged in ‘a vibrant green economy’

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    “This research,” titled Kickstarting a Youth-Centered Green Economy for the Environmental Justice Community ff East Boston, funded by the NSF, “involves understanding how underserved communities get actively engaged in making the transition to a vibrant green economy with improved environmental conditions and community resilience to climate change. To accomplish this goal, the research engages local youth in constructive and productive activities involving urban farming, coastal restoration and social science-driven community engagement via a non-profit community entity (Eastie Farm).”

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  • Weng receives USDA funding to explore cyclic peptide biosynthesis

    “Plants offer an enormous chemodiversity that is essential for discovering new medicines, with 25% of all FDA-approved drugs coming from plants. However, the production of plant-derived natural products faces significant challenges. Our research [explores] the biosynthesis and bioengineering of lyciumins and moroidins, two classes of branched cyclic peptides with potential pharmaceutical applications. Lyciumins, inhibitors of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme, come from the Goji berry, while moroidins, derived from the Australian stinging tree, exhibit anti-mitotic activities suitable for cancer therapy. … We propose to advance our understanding of RiPP diversity and biosynthesis, supporting new strategies for their engineering and application in…

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  • Joshi, Nguyen receive patent for ‘therapeutic protein’-secreting bacteria

    Associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology Neel S. Joshi, with student Peter Nguyen, received a patent for “Engineered bacteria that secrete therapeutic polypeptides, pharmaceutical compositions comprising the bacteria, methods for producing recombinant polypeptides and methods for using the bacteria for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.”

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  • Patent for network slicing policies

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    “Electrical and computer engineering assistant research professor Salvatore D’oro, assistant professor Francesco Restuccia and professor Tommaso Melodia were awarded a patent for ‘Methods for the Enforcement of Network Slicing Policies in Virtualized Cellular Networks.'”

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  • Müftü and Özdemir receive Army Research Laboratory grant

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    “Sinan Müftü, College of Engineering distinguished professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Ozan Özdemir, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, are leading a team that was awarded a $4.38 million grant from the Army Research Laboratory to advance wire-arc direct energy deposition for large-format metal additive manufacturing.”

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  • Ghoreishi receives funding to study AI in harsh environments

    “Fatemeh Ghoreishi, assistant professor of civil engineering, received a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Army for ‘BRITE: Bayesian Inference and Preference Learning for Unknown and Time-Sensitive Environments’ to further [her] research on AI systems in unpredictable environments.”

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  • Abur receives NSF grant to integrate renewable energy into power grids

    “Electrical and computer engineering professor Ali Abur was awarded a $350,000 grant from the NSF for ‘Robust Transient State Estimation for Three-Phase Power Systems.’ The project aims to facilitate the efficient integration of inverter-based renewable energy sources into future generation of power systems.”

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  • Daramola elected Scialog fellow in sustainable minerals, metals and materials initiative

    “Chemical engineering assistant professor Damilola Daramola has been named a Fellow of the Scialog initiative on Sustainable Minerals, Metals, and Materials. This interdisciplinary community of Fellows represents institutions across the United States and Canada and brings together expertise from fields including chemistry, materials science, geology, ecology, engineering, mining, computational science, physics and more. The community focuses on ensuring a sustainable future.”

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  • Venkatesan named Massachusetts USA TODAY Woman of the Year

    Madhavi Venkatesan, associate teaching professor of economics, was named one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year. Founder of the nonprofit Sustainable Practices, Venkatesan has helped several plastic bans come into effect in Cape Cod, including municipal plastic bottle bans and commercial bans throughout the Cape’s towns. “How we treat animals and the Earth is eventually going to be the way we treat ourselves,” Venkatesan told the Cape Cod Times.

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  • Needa Brown receives Women’s Health Innovation Grant

    As part of Governor Maura Healey’s support of the Massachusetts Life Science Center’s Women’s Health Initiative, Needa Brown, assistant teaching professor of physics at Northeastern University, has received funding for her project “InCITE: A Biomaterial Platform to Overcome Barriers to Drug Delivery.”

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  • Whitford receives NIH grant to ‘enable translation’ across ribosomes

    “This award will use theoretical models and high-performance computing to study the ribosome, a massive molecular assembly composed of hundreds of thousands of atoms. The ribosome is responsible for translating our genes into proteins, making its function central to all life. In this study, we will identify the molecular factors that control protein synthesis in bacteria and higher-level organisms. Insights into bacteria will aim to identify novel antibiotics, while the study of human ribosomes can shed light on a range of diseases, including metabolic diseases and forms of cancer.”

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  • Weng receives funding to identify small molecules involved in diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

    “The proposed research aims to develop a plant-based drug screening platform to identify small molecules that can disrupt protein and RNA aggregation associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The project will utilize the unique lyciumin peptide biosynthesis pathway in plants to generate a diverse library of cyclic peptides. These peptides will be screened in engineered tobacco BY-2 cells … to identify compounds that alleviate cellular toxicity and alter aggregation kinetics. … The established screening platform and identified compounds will be made available to the research community, potentially offering new tools and therapeutic strategies.”

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  • ‘The Evolutionary Origin of Naturally Occurring Intermolecular Diels-Alderases From Morus alba’

    “Biosynthetic enzymes evolutionarily gain novel functions, thereby expanding the structural diversity of natural products to the benefit of host organisms. Diels-Alderases (DAs), functionally unique enzymes catalysing [4 + 2] cycloaddition reactions, have received considerable research interest. However, their evolutionary mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we investigate the evolutionary origins of the intermolecular DAs in the biosynthesis of Moraceae plant-derived Diels-Alder-type secondary metabolites. Our findings suggest that these DAs have evolved from an ancestor functioning as a flavin adenine dinucleotide-dependent oxidocyclase, which catalyses the oxidative cyclisation reactions of isoprenoid-substituted phenolic compounds.” Find the paper and authors list at the National Library of…

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  • Engineering professor wants to revolutionize wireless communication by manipulating ‘acoustic waves in solids’

    Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Siddhartha Ghosh has received two prestigious early career awards for his work on radio frequency front-end devices, developing materials that convert radio signals into acoustic waves at the microchip level.

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  • Large language models can lie to you — this professor wants you to know when they do

    Assistant professor of computer science Malihe Alikhani has received a DARPA AI Exploration grant to introduce “healthy frictions” into human-AI interactions. These frictions would help human users understand the varying levels of certainty large language models have regarding their own statements and decrease the likelihood of users falling for AI “hallucinations.”

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  • When it comes to building more resilient structures, it takes ‘a whole profession,’ Northeastern professor says

    CDM Smith Professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering Jerome Hajjar received both the AISC Special Achievement Award and the SSRC Beedle Award at the recent AISC annual conference, delivering a keynote to several thousand attendees on sustainable and resilient structural systems.

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  • Professor’s new book shines light on how architectural works are in constant conversation with the past

    With “The Architecture of Influence,” associate professor of architecture Amanda Lawrence explores how architectural copies, imitations, emulations and more interact to create an ongoing conversation between the present and the past.

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  • Lili Su receives NSF CAREER Award for developing ‘resilient, scalable distributed algorithms’

    Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Lili Su has received an NSF CAREER Award for her work on federated learning, a “privacy-preserving and communication-efficient” methodology for large distributed systems.

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