Grad Student Profile: George Abraham

When George Abraham thinks about the precise mathematical formulas involved in a complicated algorithm, he can’t help but imagine the lyrical, lilting cadence of a poem.

Abraham, who is both a first-year engineering Ph.D. candidate at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and an accomplished poet, finds that the two very different worlds he inhabits often intersect.

Manufacturing with microbes

Manufacturing polymers is a messy business. When producing everything from plastics to pharmaceuticals, companies harvest petroleum, ship it to a factory, and then chemically process it, often generating massive amounts of pollution through emissions and hazardous chemical waste.

Microscopic Escherichia coli bacteria, though often associated with contamination, may hold the key to a cleaner solution, according to students from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

David Mooney elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

CAMBRIDGE – December 13, 2016 – David Mooney, the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).  

Stiffening a blow to cancer cells

(BOSTON) - Chemotherapy is often used to combat malignant tumors, but rarely completely cures patients due to cancer cells’ resistance to drugs. It has been thought that the environment in which particular cancer cells live could impact their response to specific drugs, but until now, it’s been difficult to analyze exactly how mechanics—specifically, stiffness of the extracellular material that surrounds cells and structures tissues—alter a drug’s efficacy.

A new spin on nanofibers

Fibrous materials — known for their toughness, durability and pliability — are used in everything from bulletproof vests to tires, filtration systems and cellular scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

The properties of these materials are such that the smaller the fibers are, the stronger and tougher they become. But making certain fibers very small has  been an engineering challenge.

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