Dr. Thomas Angelini Awarded $2M for NSF Award

Dr. Thomas Angelini, Associate Professor in the Department of MAE, landed a $2M NSF Award called “IntBio: Functional genomic dissection of biomineralization at multiple scales using a new marine model” in collaboration with the Whitney lab.

The collaborative team consists of (Martindale- cell and developmental biology, Loesgen- natural products chemistry, Wingender- biomineralization materials scientist, and Angelini- soft matter physicist and 3D bioprinting engineer). The integrated approaches from genetics, chemistry, proteomics, and engineering will shed light on how IDPs interact with scaffolding proteins and mineral precursor ions at the molecular level.

Dr. Angelini’s team will use biomimetic model systems and forward empirical scientific approaches to integrate many spatial scales of biological organization: from the chemistry and 3D structure of individual molecules, to micro-scale tissue-like assemblies, to the ‘experimental evolution’ of a multicellular organism. Biomineralization, whether it is in the form of molluscan shells, sea urchin spines, bones, teeth, or massive coral reefs, is a topic that ranges from healthcare, to removal of atmospheric carbon involved in global climate change and natural resource management and our bioeconomy, and is thus, well poised to share with all ages of the general public. They plan to share the power of this integrative approach with students and community members both on the campus in several programs at a major R1 university (UF, Gainesville, Florida), an undergraduate serving university (UNF, Jacksonville, FL), and established Whitney programs for K-12 STEM education (5,500 students/yr, 7 counties, 42% Title 1), the 35 year old NSF sponsored REU program, a high-school research training program, and newly designed curricula for both virtual and in-person community outreach activities.

Congratulations, Dr. Angelini!

Story by: Emily Hinds

Marketing and Communications Specialist

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering