• 24 Jul 2013

    UM Chemist Lands $650,000 NSF Career Development Grant

    OXFORD, Miss. – Amala Dass, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, has been awarded a $650,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program grant from the National Science Foundation.
    The prestigious five-year grant allows Dass and his students to continue research in the study of gold alloy nanomolecules and to launch and sustain a summer chemistry research program for Mississippi high school students.

    “Dr. Dass is synthesizing and studying interesting nanomaterials that are made from microscopic gold particles and sulfur compounds called thiols that have unusual architectures and interesting electronic properties,” said Charles L. Hussey, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “These gold nanoparticles may have applications in everything from microelectronics to drug delivery systems.”

    Dass, who joined UM’s faculty in 2009, said, “Besides God’s goodness, the credit goes to my graduate students, then my mentors, and the overwhelming support from the chemistry department and the university. I enjoy working with students and preparing them to compete with the best nationally and to make a difference locally. This grant makes it possible to do more, but none of this would be possible without my graduate student team, Chanaka Kumara, Vijay Jupally, David Crasto, Praneeth Nimmalla, Nuwan Kothalawala and Asantha Dharmaratne.”

    Faculty Early Career Development Program grants are awarded to junior “teacher-scholars” who exemplify the role of “scholar” through outstanding peer-reviewed research; who exemplify the role of “teacher” in the classroom; and who seamlessly integrate the two activities to provide student experiences rich in both education and research.