Arjun Raj Receives NSF CAREER Award

Raj NSFArjun Raj, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award for his proposal, “Unraveling Homeostatic Mechanisms in Gene Expression Regulation: Integrating Research and Scientific Communication.” The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Raj’s research works to develop a quantitative understanding of molecular underpinnings of cellular behavior and then use this knowledge to better human health. In the “Raj Lab,” he combines new tools that he and his collaborators have developed for single cell imaging with new genomic and computational methods to make highly accurate measurements of the molecular components underlying cellular function, focusing in particular on the behavior of single cells within an ensemble.

The goal of Raj’s CAREER research is to investigate, through experimentation, the nature of the relationship between the amount of DNA and other molecules within the cell. These experiments will reveal how cells know how much to read out a particular gene so that it makes just the right amount given the particular size of the cell. The project will yield a fundamental quantitative understanding of how cells are able to function despite large differences in size, and will build a connection between the physical context of the cell and the biochemical regulation of the genome.

In addition to training graduate students, the project will engage graduate and high-school students to help reimagine how we disseminate scientific information.

To read more about Arjun Raj and his research, please visit his faculty profile.