Martha Grady, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. The CAREER Award is one of the “most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization,” according to NSF.
Grady's project is titled, "Mechanical mechanisms of biofilm survival on implant surfaces" and will be funded in the amount of $599,796 over five years.
This grant will explore the role that bacterial biofilm mechanics play in the quarter of a million medical device infections experienced by Americans each year. Research outcomes, which include: (1) a fundamental understanding of bacterial biofilm mechanics and (2) establishment of improved biocompatibility criteria, will contribute to a reduction in medical device infections. Because new biofilm mechanics knowledge produced by this proposal will inform the ability to control biofilm accumulation and dispersal, the research outcomes will impact many industries beyond medicine including maritime, food, water, oil, paper, and aerospace. Beyond the laboratory, Grady’s team will cultivate a diverse workforce at the intersection of engineering and medicine through a PI-designed initiative, “Newton’s Team.” Newton’s Team will equip mechanics instructors in higher education with new hands-on active learning activities that reduce perceived implementation barriers.
Grady joined the UK College of Engineering faculty in 2016.