Graduate Student Receives NSF Fellowship
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.
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).