Nia is one of three 2024 Sloan Research Fellows from BU

By Jessica Colarossi

The College of Engineering’s Assistant Professor Hadi Nia (BME) has received a Sloan Research Fellowship, a competitive award given annually to early-career researchers across a range of scientific disciplines.

In announcing the awards, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation declared that recipients show the “potential to revolutionize their fields of study.” Selected by committees of distinguished scientists, winners each receive $75,000 to be spent over two years on any expense to support their research.

“This prestigious award is another recognition of the College of Engineering’s strength in mechanobiology, which is one of our core convergent research areas. Hadi’s work holds incredible promise for unlocking secrets behind cancer and pulmonary diseases,” says Elise Morgan, ENG’s dean ad interim. “The ultimate purpose of our research is improving people’s lives. This Sloan fellowship is the latest of several major awards Hadi has earned that demonstrate his commitment to that pursuit.”

To study how the lungs function in air-breathing animals, Nia uses a technology he developed nicknamed the “crystal ribcage”—or, more formally, LungEx. It’s a system that allows for studying mouse lungs ex vivo, or outside the body, by using a ventilator and perfusion pump to keep the lung functioning, and a transparent container around the lungs to allow for real-time observation. The Sloan fellowship will help Nia use the technology to advance work to better understand lung resilience against diseases like cancer and pneumonia.

Two other BU faculty members—astronomer Chuanfei Dong and neurobiologist Meg Younger—were also named 2024 fellows.

Read the full story at BU’s The Brink.