Jun Huang wins NSF CAREER Award

Professor Jun Huang has recently won the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), for his research project, "Single-molecule imaging of T cell recognition and signaling." The award carries a value of $500,000 over a five-year period.

T-cells are a type of white blood cell that circulate around the human body, scanning for cellular abnormalities and infections. Huang's research goal is to understand the molecular mechanism of T cell recognition and signaling, which determines the selection, development, fate, and function of a T cell. Existing T-cell studies cannot directly visualize and measure the dynamic interactions and signaling events with enough spatiotemporal resolution. Professor Huang proposes to use single-molecule resonance energy transfer and light-sheet microscopy to address this immunology problem by measuring early T cell intracellular signaling kinetics.

Huang will also integrate research within teaching and create a research-intensive learning environment to educate students at the interface of immunology and engineering through a new emerging discipline called immune-engineering. In addition, Huang will develop educational materials, demonstrations, and web tutorials to inspire students to explore new research areas, and develop novel technologies to drive the booming field of immune-engineering.

About the CAREER Award:

"The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's 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. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education." (NSF)