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Tigers Tackling COVID-19

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Dear Colleagues, 

In a time where Zoom calls, homeschooling, and social distancing have become our new normal, I want to take the time to personally thank each of you for your patience and perseverance during these unprecedented times. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, your commitment to innovation and continued research is inspiring. While CURF personnel will continue to work offsite, we are fully operational and dedicated to assisting you with your research efforts. 

As this situation develops, we wanted to make you aware of the many resources available to researchers at Clemson. The Division of Research has developed a comprehensive webpage dedicated to addressing this pandemic. The webpage includes funding opportunities, frequently asked questions, operating guidance, and information on COVID-19 research that is currently being conducted at Clemson. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources to keep research moving forward.  

As always, please know that our office is available and committed to providing continued support during this time. 

All my best, 



Inventor Spotlight: Mark Blenner

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Addressing the complex problems of modern society stemming from energy, health, and sustainability will require solutions drawing on knowledge across many disciplines. That is why Dr. Mark Blenner is utilizing his background in science and engineering to bring a multidisciplinary approach to the classroom and the laboratory. Dr. Blenner is the McQueen Quattlebaum Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director of the GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) MESH Program at Clemson University. He also serves as a Visiting Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. 

After earning his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College in 2004, Blenner completed his doctoral work at Columbia University, studying and engineering proteins in the lab of Dr. Scott Banta. Blenner then pursued postdoctoral studies with Dr. Timothy Springer at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. There, he applied evolutionary design methods to understand the structural effects of shear force on an important protein complex in clot formation. This work could lead to the development of new therapeutics for bleeding disorders, such as von Willebrand’s Disease.

Since moving to Clemson in 2012, Blenner’s research is primarily focused on engineering biological systems for a variety of applications in chemical production, energy, sustainability, national defense, space exploration, and human health. He is currently a member of the SC COVID-19 Coalition, working to enhance Serological Testing and Diagnostics capacity at Clemson and in the state. 

Blenner has received numerous prestigious awards throughout his career, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers (PECASE), the NIH Outstanding Investigator, the 2019 Clemson University Junior Researcher of the Year, the NASA Early Career Faculty Award, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award. He is the author and co-author of a number of publications including book chapters, preprints, and peer and non-peer reviewed publications, and holds one U.S. patent for his innovative research. 

Aside from his research, Blenner strives to make an impact through community outreach activities focusing on the engagement, recruitment, and retention of women in STEM, as well as science communication with the public. 

To learn more about Dr. Blenner, click here

Clemson faculty secure 15 patents in 2019

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Among the 15 patents awarded to Clemson researchers in 2019 were technologies for optimizing pressure reduction with a 3D printed foot orthotic, analyzing data of various kinds, and treating early onset scoliosis and spinal deformities. 

The Clemson University Research Foundation would like to recognize the 17 inventors that were awarded patents this past year. The recipients are as follows: 

Philip Brown: Nanofibrous Materials as Drug, Protein or Genetic Release Vehicles

Kendall Kirk: Yield Monitor for Windrow-Collected Materials

Jeoung Soo Lee: Multi-functional Particles and Methods of Using the Same

Igor Luzinov: Hybrid polymer thermoplastic implant bonding improvement by grafting

Richard Kenneth Marcus: Means of Introducing an Analyte into Liquid Sampling-Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge

Jason McNeil: Functionalized Chromophoric Polymer Dots and Bioconjugates Thereof

Andrew Mount, Mary Beth Johnstone: Conotoxin Peptides for Use in Biofouling Deterrence

Htoo Wai Paing, Richard Kenneth Marcus: Ambient Desorption-Optical Emission Spectroscopy Using A Microplasma Desorption/Excitation Source

Timothy Pruett, John DesJardins: Variable Hardness Orthotic

Leslie Sierad, Daniel Simionescu: Decellularization Method and System and Decellularized Tissue Formed Thereby

Marek Urban: One Step Synthesis of Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Block Copolymers

Hai Xiao: All-Digital Sensing Device and Implementation Method

Hai Yao: Rib Hook Devices, Systems, and Methods of Use

CURF would also like to recognize Thompson Mefford for his 2017 patent entitledPatterned Nanoparticle Assembly Methodology.