The School of Engineering’s Stavroula Sofou, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and biomedical engineering, and Liping Liu, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and mathematics, were recently recognized for their contributions as professors and researchers, receiving distinction as Rutgers University Chancellor’s Scholars.
Professor Sofou’s research is geared towards mapping out how different biological molecules and materials interact with each other. There is a specific emphasis on cell membranes and the fatty acids – more formally known as lipid bilayers – that compose them. By manipulating these membranes, medication can be delivered directly to the inside of a cell, which can be used to treat various diseases including forms of solid-tumor cancers. By targeting cells specifically, physicians will be able to deliver a more specialized form of care to cancer patients, reducing the need for chemotherapy or other invasive methods.
Professor Liu’s groundbreaking research is focused on creating new materials not found in nature by applying the laws of physics to unique microscopic materials. While his work is primarily theoretical, the long-term benefits of the composite materials he is working on can have practical purposes.
Liu and Stofou were nominated by School of Engineering dean Thomas Farris with finalists selected by the Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s chancellor’s office. Sofou and Liu will each hold the title of Chancellor Scholar for five years and will receive extra funds to assist with their ongoing research. The Chancellor’s Excellence Fund was created by the New Brunswick Strategic Plan in part to facilitate innovative research.
Previous School of Engineering scholars include Joseph Freeman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Shantenu Jha and Dario Pompili with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.