West Virginia’s higher education institutions employ many talented faculty who, with their students, are conducting world-class research to create life-enhancing discoveries, economic growth and a highly skilled and educated workforce. Read the Scientist Spotlights to learn about some of West Virginia’s best researchers.

Much of the research underway in West Virginia is part of a five-year, $20 million Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant (NSF-1003907) to establish a nationally recognized and sustainable Center in Bionanotechnology.  This “RII” promises to advance technology important to national security and provide research and education experiences for students, postdoctoral fellows, high school teachers and institutions across the state. 

The goal is to provide necessary infrastructure focused on bionanotechnology for enhanced public security and environmental safety. Led by faculty at Marshall, West Virginia and West Virginia State universities, researchers are bringing together bionanotechnology and molecular sciences to create hand-held devices — essentially laboratories on a chip — that can be deployed in the field to identify potential environmental threats, pollutants and even diseases.

These innovations have the potential to create new marketable technologies and devices — and the jobs to manufacture them. The state’s predominantly undergraduate institutions and community and technical colleges also are engaged in research and workforce development activities for this program.

Read on to learn about some of the specific projects under this Research Infrastructure Improvement grant.

WVNano Initiative at West Virginia University partners with local museum for informal nanoscience education
Aniketa A. Shinde

WVNano Graduate Fellow speaks at Science on Tap
Lisa Holland and Aniketa A. Shinde

SPION-Aptamers As The Working Element To Sense Environmental Contaminants
Lisa Holland and Letha Sooter

Aptamers for Detecting Harmful Substances
James P. Lewis, Peter M. Gannett, and Timothy Menzies

A survey of cellular fate upon carbon nanotube exposure
Cerasela Zoica Dinu, Reem Eldawud, Chenbo Dong, Yon Rojanasakul