North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has received a five-​​year, $3.1 mil­lion grant from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion to build on the suc­cess of its inno­v­a­tive Inte­gra­tive Grad­uate Edu­ca­tion and Research Trainee­ship (IGERT) nanomed­i­cine pro­gram through the devel­op­ment of new global research and edu­ca­tional partnerships.

The new part­ners include Har­vard Med­ical School, the Uni­ver­sity of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Tuskegee Uni­ver­sity and uni­ver­si­ties in Naples, Italy; Sao Paulo, Brazil, York, Eng­land; and Delhi.

The pro­gram will offer highly com­pet­i­tive fel­low­ships to out­standing doc­toral stu­dents in sci­ence, tech­nology, and math­e­matics dis­ci­plines for research training in nanomedicine.

IGERT fel­lows from North­eastern and partner uni­ver­si­ties will have the oppor­tu­nity to con­duct research at North­eastern and Harvard-​​affiliated hos­pi­tals during their fellowship.

Srinivas Sridhar, director of Northeastern’s IGERT nanomed­i­cine pro­gram, noted that the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion (NSF) funds fewer than 5 per­cent of IGERT pro­gram pro­posals. “The new award is an endorse­ment of the cur­rent nanomed­i­cine pro­gram, as well as the vision pre­sented in the new pro­posal,” he said.

Sridhar, a pro­fessor of physics at North­eastern, added that “nanomed­i­cine is an emerging field and in this pro­gram the fel­lows will learn how to trans­late fun­da­mental knowl­edge in nanoscience and nan­otech­nology into med­ical treat­ments that have the poten­tial to save lives.”

Fel­lows will help develop new nanotechnology-​​based approaches to deliver drugs for treating cancer, car­dio­vas­cular dis­ease, and other ill­nesses. Fel­lows can also par­tic­i­pate in intern­ships working with sci­en­tists in research hos­pi­tals, gov­ern­ment lab­o­ra­to­ries and industry.

When Northeastern’s first IGERT pro­gram in nanomed­i­cine was estab­lished in 2005, it included the world’s first PhD pro­gram in nanomed­i­cine. The new NSF grant will sup­port the devel­op­ment a new stand­alone PhD pro­gram open to non-​​IGERT stu­dents as well as fellows.

Nanomed­i­cine research and edu­ca­tion spans seven depart­ments at North­eastern, including biology, chem­istry, physics, chem­ical engi­neering, mechan­ical and indus­trial engi­neering, elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering and phar­ma­ceu­tical sciences.

The new pro­gram will be under the direc­tion of Sridhar, Man­soor Amiji, pro­fessor and chair of the depart­ment of phar­ma­ceu­tical sci­ences, and Laura Lewis, chair of the depart­ment of chem­ical engineering.