Hatice Altug Wins ONR Young Investigator Award


Asst. Prof. Hatice Altug
Asst. Prof. Hatice Altug

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has named Assistant Professor Hatice Altug (ECE) as one of 17 winners of its 2010 Young Investigator Program (YIP). The highly competitive award provides a three-year research grant of up to $510,000 to academic scientists and engineers who received their doctorate or equivalent within the past five years and show exceptional promise for conducting innovative research.

Since arriving at Boston University in 2007, Altug has published several groundbreaking research papers in major scientific journals on the use of nanophotonic devices—platforms that confine and manipulate photons at the nanoscale level—for on-chip biosensing and optical communication. Her work has garnered prestigious honors at the national, state and college level, including the,2010 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center New Investigator Award and the College of Engineering Dean’s Catalyst Award.

Altug’s YIP grant will fund her research on high-performance nanoplasmonic sensors that combine electronics and optics at the nanoscale for biological warfare agent detection.

“This award will enable me to grow my research group and invent powerful bio-detection technologies,” said Altug. “I will push the limits of nanoplasmonics, nanofluidics and nanofabrication to realize sensors that perform real-time, label-free, high-throughput detection and analysis of ultra-low quantities of warfare agents. These systems are important not only for the Navy but also for homeland security and public health.”

Affiliated with more then 1,000 institutions of higher learning and 900 industrial partners, the Office of Naval Research pursues studies in science and technology aimed at enabling the Navy and Marine Corps to maintain their technological edge. The Young Investigator Program was founded in 1985 to draw exceptional professors to the ONR program while bolstering their research and nascent careers.

“It is very exciting that with this grant I will able to interact directly with the ONR and establish strong collaborations with Navy research labs,” said Altug. “This could open up unique opportunities for my students and expand the College of Engineering’s involvement in nano- and bio-defense technologies.”