White Shields of Boulder wins the 2022 Packard Fellowship for Precision Robotics |  Chemical and biological engineering

White Shields of Boulder wins the 2022 Packard Fellowship for Precision Robotics | Chemical and biological engineering

In a remarkable year that included receiving five distinguished research awards, White ShieldsAssistant Professor Chemical and biological engineeringwon one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious awards for young investigators: the Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

The award honors Shields LabResearch to develop nanoparticles that addresses major medical challenges, such as drug delivery and disease surveillance. The Shields team builds tiny robots — too small to be detected by the human eye — to create compact systems that perform these complex tasks with relative ease.

“It’s a huge honor to be called a Packard Fellow,” Shields said. “I am humbled to be in the company of the great scholars and leaders who have looked up to her throughout my career.”

Only 20 young investigators win the Packard Fellowship each year. Previous winners have won the Nobel Prize, the Fields Medal, the MacArthur Fellowship, and the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering elections.

This year, Shields received four other prestigious awards including the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF); Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program Award; Pew Biomedical Scientists Award; and the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Research Maximization Research Award (MIRA) (R35).

“I’ve never seen a faculty member get off to a more impressive start than Wyatt,” said Professor Will Medellin, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. “Receiving the Packard Fellowship is another milestone in the long list of highly competitive awards he has received. Received this year. It demonstrates the impact and excitement of his research achievements in the field of precision robotics.”

The armor is CU Boulder twenty The fourth is a Packard Fellowship winner from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, along with the college’s most recent winner, Christoph Kiplinger, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering who won the award in 2017. Since 1988, the Packard Foundation has awarded $481 million to support 675 scientists and engineers from 54 national universities .

Each fellow in 2022 will receive a grant of $875,000 to pursue their research. The Shields Prize will support his lab over the next five years to focus its efforts on building precision robots and testing their use in challenging biomedical problems, such as navigating winding environments, swimming in non-Newtonian fluids, and treating diseased tissues.

White Shields

Shields says microbots may be “one of the greatest advances of this century,” but that manufacturing them is cumbersome. Making tiny robots out of separate building blocks, he says, “gives us a new way of thinking about robots at the micrometer scale.” Instead of making complex “top-down” devices using a single block of material, his team will make “bottom-up” programmable machines, by assembling robots from smaller pieces using magnetic fields, which could open new doors in terms of expansion, manufacturing and application. .

As the Packard Fellow, Shields will also be invited to an annual conference in September in Colorado Springs to meet with other fellows, as well as the Advisory Committee and members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

“I am excited to pursue bold ideas freely with the support of the Packard Foundation,” Shields said. “This award would not have been possible without the support of my outstanding students and colleagues at CU Boulder.”

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