MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass -- David Walt, the Robinson Professor of Chemistry at Tufts University, today was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor. He will receive a $1 million grant from HHMI to advance innovation in undergraduate science teaching. The awards, made to 20 leading research scientists nationwide, follow a search among faculty at 100 leading research universities to find those "who, through their teaching and mentoring, are striving to ignite the scientific spark in a new generation of students."
The Walt Laboratory at Tufts is world-renowned for its pioneering work that applies micro and nanotechnology to urgent biological problems such as the analysis of genetic variation and the behavior of single cells, as well as the practical application of arrays to the detection of explosives, chemical warfare agents, and food and waterborne pathogens.
"Our laboratory investigates new ways to measure things," explains Walt. "We create very small arrays containing thousands of features--ten thousand features can easily fit on the head of a pin. Researchers in the laboratory use these arrays to study fundamental aspects of biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, olfaction, and they also develop practical ways to measure such things as water and air contamination."
While Walt is at the forefront of scientific innovation, he believes that the excitement that characterizes real-world science is often lacking in the classroom. As an HHMI professor, he will use his $1 million to infuse undergraduate and K-12 education with the excitement of scientific discovery.
"My program is designed to bring the joy of research to undergraduates," he says. "I want to fully integrate that experience into undergraduate research, teaching, and outreach efforts and to expand the accessibility of scientific research to students who would not normally have the opportunity."
Discovery-based program will tackle real problems
Contact: Kim Thurler
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