The best defense is a well-equipped lab

Jin Kim Montclare garners Department of Defense award

Jin Kim Montclare in lab

The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), overseen by the U.S. Department of Defense, is dedicated to ensuring that the nation’s scientists have the resources needed to perform cutting edge research and develop game-changing technologies. Each year they invite proposals from university investigators conducting foundational science and engineering research of importance, and this year Jin Kim Montclare, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NYU Tandon, was awarded more than $170,000 for an instrumentation system that will allow her to harness the most powerful methods of synthetic biology and protein engineering in her work.

Montclare, who was recently inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows, has won acclaim for her development of protein-lipid macromolecule systems that can deliver genes, nanoparticles, and drugs for the potential treatment of multi-drug resistant cancer cells, diabetes, and other conditions requiring a variety of therapeutic approaches, among other accomplishments, and she has also made breakthrough strides in using engineered proteins to detoxify organophosphates, compounds commonly used in pesticides and warfare agents (such as sarin) that pose grave health hazards to people and animals.

“DURIP awards are essential for universities to acquire the equipment needed in the pursuit of knowledge and big ideas,” said Mitch Nikolich, the DoD’s director of defense research and engineering for research and technology, explaining the impetus for the highly competitive program. “Research and education are inextricably linked, and these awards sustain the scientific excellence of our universities and the training of the next generation STEM workforce.”