Three Hopkins research projects receive $250K grants from Schmidt Sciences
Three Johns Hopkins University projects that use data science and technology in innovative ways to explore new and important scientific territories have been selected to receive Schmidt Sciences Nascent Innovation Grants. The awards went to astrophysicist Brice Ménard, mechanical engineer Sean X. Sun, and biomedical engineer Joshua Vogelstein.
This is the first time that Hopkins researchers were invited to apply for the two-year, $250,000 grants created to support pioneering and innovative projects that depart from faculty members’ usual core research areas. Schmidt Sciences is part of the Palo Alto, California-based Schmidt Family Foundation, which advances original research in science, energy, and sustainability. The foundation was established in 2006 by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy.
“We are thrilled that three of JHU’s most talented and creative investigators have received Nascent Innovation Grants from Schmidt Sciences,” says Denis Wirtz, vice provost for research. “Through this partnership, Drs. Menard, Sun, and Vogelstein will have the opportunity to pursue truly novel directions in their respective research endeavors. We look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the next two years with these generous awards.”
Sean X. Sun, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will investigate how specialized cells can generate large electrical currents and potential differences across the cell cytoplasm. Sun says that the ability to harness electrical power from living cells will have wide-ranging applications in wearable devices such as pacemakers, medicine, and technology such as smartphones. He predicts that a biobattery based on living cells could one day completely replace lithium-ion batteries.