University of Maryland team hosts the nation’s Materials Genome Initiative Principal Investigators Meeting

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April 4, 2018 -- A team of three professors, two from UMCP and one from UMB, were selected to host the nation’s Principal Investigators Meeting of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) on March

26-27.  The MGI emerged in 2014 from a strategic plan developed by a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) with the purpose of enabling the discovery, development, manufacturing, and deployment of advanced materials at twice the speed and a fraction of the cost.  This initiative resulted in research investments by several federal agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Three University of Maryland Professors, Gregory Payne and William Bentley from UMCP’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) and the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and Professor Jana Shen from Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of UMB’s School of Pharmacy, teamed to receive one of the inaugural NSF awards.  This team’s project titled “Thin Film Biofabrication for Integrated Bio-electronics” aims to extend the advances for microelectronics to applications in the life sciences.  The success of this project has spurred numerous international collaborations and is providing the platform technologies capable of extending additive manufacturing to important applications in sensing and information processing.  According to Professor Bentley, the Director of the newly formed Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, “this meeting has recognized the efforts across our campuses to bridge disciplines and build the partnerships needed to translate fundamental advances in science for the public good.”

The meeting was attended by 270 scientists and policy-makers from across the nation with the purpose of assessing the nation’s progress toward the ambitious goals of integrating new theoretical and experimental approaches with big data capabilities to enhance the nation’s competitiveness in this critical area of science and technology.  The meeting was kicked-off with welcoming remarks by Dr. Laurie Locascio, Vice President of Research at the University of Maryland, who had also served as co-Chair for the MGI’s founding NSTC subcommittee.