Bilkent graduate Özgür Şahin (EE/’01), an associate professor in the Columbia University Department of Biological Sciences and Physics, has recently received two awards: a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering and an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award from the US National Institutes of Health.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation established its fellowships program in 1988 to provide young scientists with flexible funding and the freedom to take risks and explore new frontiers in their fields of study. Each year, the foundation invites 50 universities to nominate two faculty members for consideration. Dr. Şahin was among the 16 individuals chosen to receive the 2013 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering.
The NIH award was given for his project entitled “Novel Sub-Cellular Chemical and Mechanical Nanoimaging.” The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award addresses two important goals: stimulating highly innovative research and supporting promising new investigators. The award supports exceptionally creative investigators who propose innovative projects that have the potential for unusually high impact.
Dr. Şahin is developing specialized microscopes to investigate biological molecules and cells that function under physically extreme conditions, like confinement to very small spaces and subjection to high pressures. The resulting observations reveal significant phenomena, to which Dr. Sahin applies engineering insights to address medical, environmental and energy-related problems in novel ways.