ChBE Seminar Series: ​Cerasela Dinu

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Jeffery Klauda

Adaptive Bio-nano-molecular Convergence and Its Perspectives

Cerasela Dinu
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
West Virginia University

Carbon nanotube (CNT) is the new “it” in nanotechnology revolution. CNTs ease of production, as well as their exceptional chemical, mechanical and physical properties, and the ability to be functionalized with molecules of interest based on their high stability and high aspect-ratios, have recently prompted their usage in delivery of drugs, effective killing of tumor cells and as biosensorial platforms. In particular, interest was given to improving the engineering technologies that allow CNT synthesis and functionalization for safe and highly efficient delivery of the therapeutic agents. Nevertheless, given the nascent state of nanotechnology, much remains to be learned about the properties, characteristics and effects of carbon nanomaterials when exposed to biological systems, and the complexity of nano-bio-interface-based reactions when considering developing carbon nanomaterial-based biotechnologies. This presentation reviews the current status of CNT-based bioapplications with emphasis on their toxicological and pharmachological profiles, and the current efforts in my group in understanding nanotube bioapplications in relationship to nanotube properties, both physical and chemical.

About the Speaker
Prof. Dinu joined West Virginia University (WVU) as part the Department of Chemical Engineering in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in November 2009 after a postdoctoral tenure at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. She graduated in Physics and received a Master in Biophysics both from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She received her PhD in Biology from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and Technical University in Dresden, Germany. Prof. Dinu was hired as a result of the new program in nanoscale science, engineering and education, with an emphasis in molecular recognition applications:  NanoSAFE. As a junior faculty member, Prof. Dinu has already a consistent record of excellence that includes winning the “New Researcher of the Year Award” in April 2011 and “Outstanding Researcher” in April 2014, both from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU, the “Outstanding Research Conference Award” for team effort from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in November 2009, just to name a few. Prof. Dinu’s research spans over a wide range of disciplines, from molecular biology to materials science and from engineering to fundamental science. Specific focuses are on: (1) studying drug uptake, kinetics and metabolism in real time, (2) mechanisms responsible for nanomaterial-cellular uptake, transport and nanomaterial-induced toxicity; (3) designing enzyme-based nanomaterials with extraordinarily high activity and stability to be used for decontamination of chemical and biological toxins; and (4) the application of cellular motors for molecular nanomanufacturing. In addition, she collaborates actively with colleagues at WVU Cancer Center, Health Sciences, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Outside WVU, Prof. Dinu collaborates with researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Clemson University. 

Audience: Campus 

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