Shekhar Garde Wins NSF CAREER Award
Troy, N.Y. — Shekhar Garde, assistant professor of chemical
engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received a
Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the
National Science Foundation (NSF). He will use the five-year,
$374,965 grant to develop computer simulation tools for
understanding and modeling how biological molecules
self-assemble in water-based solutions.
Water plays a critical role in biomolecular interactions.
Quantitative modeling of water-induced interactions will be
important in developing a host of biotechnology and
pharmaceutical applications, from designing materials for
everyday use, such as novel laundry detergents, to molecular
medicine, Garde says.
In part, the NSF grant will help Garde generate an extensive
computerized library of water-induced interactions between
various parts of proteins. The purpose is to develop efficient
molecular-level models to study how proteins and other
macromolecules self-assemble under various conditions in water,
such as in extreme pressure or temperatures, or in the presence
of salt and other additives.
The CAREER Award is given to faculty members at the beginning
of their careers and is one of the NSF's most competitive and
prestigious awards. The award places emphasis on high-quality
research and novel education initiatives.
Garde joined the Rensselaer faculty in 1999. He earned his
B.S. in chemical engineering in 1992 from the University of
Bombay and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1997 from the
University of Delaware.
He was awarded the Director's Postdoctoral Fellowship by the
Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he performed independent
research from 1997 to 1999. Using molecular simulation and
statistical mechanical tools, his research focuses on
understanding, among other things, how water molecules drive
proteins to fold into their unique three-dimensional
Contact: Jodi Ackerman
Phone: (518) 276-6531