Graduate Student Receives NSF Fellowship

in Front Page, Uncategorized
April 1st, 2013

Benjy Cooper, NSF GRFP Recipient in Grinstaff Group

Benjy Cooper, NSF GRFP Recipient in Grinstaff Group

Benjy Cooper, a second-year Chemistry graduate student in the Grinstaff Group, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  These awards are highly competitive:  in 2013, the NSF chose only 2,000 fellows from among 13,000 applicants. Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected and receive a three-year annual stipend. At the same time, there is the high expectation that Fellows will become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

Benjy’s research project for his fellowship is the “Development of Dendritic Macromolecules for Increasing Boundary Lubrication.”  In addition to Prof. Mark Grinstaff, he will be advised by Dr. Brian Snyder, Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at  Children’s Hospital Boston. The project aims to synthesize and char­acterize a series of dendritic macromolecules that en­hance boundary lubrication of car­tilagi­nous surfaces, and to evalu­ate the dendritic network’s effi­cacy in reducing friction and wear.

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation

At the same time, in terms of broader impact, Benjy will mentor underrepresented high school students performing summer research in the Grinstaff lab, and he plans to network with the non-scientific community to present his research to a broader, more gen­eral audience (e.g. through public seminars at the Boston Museum of Science).