Research Trusts

The Nano and Biomaterials  Research Thrust, led by Dr. Mahesh Hosur at TU, involves the development of new nanostructured materials with enhanced thermal, physical, mechanical, and biodegradable properties. The tasks being carried out are divided in three main areas: polymeric nanocomposites, advanced green composites, and synthesis of nanoparticles for drug delivery applications


The Biotechnology Research Thrust, led by Dr. Skip Bartol at Auburn University (AU), is developing and using organismal models to identify mechanisms of adaptation to natural and manmade environmental challenges that enable development and testing of nanomaterials and nanoscale devices. The Biotechnology Thrust serves as the life sciences arm of the ALEPSCoR Bio-Nano Program. 


The Optics and Sensors Research Thrust, led by Dr. Chris Lawson at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in association with UA involves research into a wide range of new spectroscopy based tools for analysis of organic and inorganic materials.


The Nanofabrication Research Thrust, led by Dr. Anup Sharma at AAMU, is applying cutting-edge nanoengineering to develop molecular sensors, regimented nanomaterials and nanostructures with applications in chemical, biological, and thermo-electric devices.


All these thrust areas have education and outreach activities which focus on coordinating and collecting data on education, diversity, outreach/partnering, and workforce development efforts in the state relevant to the science and technology foci of ALEPSCoR-RII-3. The broader impacts goal of the education, outreach and diversity program is to ensure that research and information generated by the ALEPSCoR program is broadly and widely disseminated in a clear and accessible manner, and that it functions to stimulate the student pipeline into STEM programs feeding into NBS.  Expanded contact allows for increasing demographic, geographic, institutional, and curricular diversity. Together, the thrust leaders have organized and participated in outreach activities such as the Research Experience for high school students, Research Experience for Teachers, Research Experience for Undergraduates, the Teaching Enhancement Award (TEA) program, and Science and Technology Open House. These activities have seen participation from all thrust areas where the faculty members have addressed an audience including community leaders, K-PhD students, and elementary-through-high school teachers. Other NSF funded programs at TU including MSP, CREST, HBCU-RISE, and PREM have been and will continue to be leveraged to carry out these activities. The newly funded math and science partnership (MSP) spearheaded by Tuskegee researchers provides an opportunity for the STEM faculty to develop modules that will be introduced in the middles school science curriculum in the black belt region of Alabama.