Dr. Hacene Boukari, an associate professor of physics and a scientist in Delaware State University’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR), has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense that will fund the acquisition of a world-class fluorescence correlation spectrometer.
The spectrometer will give OSCAR a state-of-the-art capability in quantitative imaging. The technology will enable DSU scientists to apply a fluorescence correlation spectroscopy technique that exploits the specificity of fluorescence to investigative diverse physical and chemical phenomena as well as biological functions at near single-particle level.
“It will impel the research activities of my group, which focuses on understanding the fundamental properties of intramolecular processes in fluorescent molecules, the assembly processes of macromolecules such as tubulin proteins, sickle-cell hemoglobin, and the complex interactions of diverse proteins or other biomacromolecules embedded in their host environments.” said Dr. Boukari, who has been striving to establish a vigorous research program in soft-matter physics and optical sciences at the University.
Projects from other DSU researchers will also benefit from the new technology acquisition. In addition, some DSU students will be exposed to and trained in this advanced multi-disciplinary technology where different complementary disciplines are combined, including optical instrumentation and microscopy, optical physics, physics-based modeling of particles interactions, signal-processing, nanochemistry, and cellular biology.
“I am very excited about this award,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, and vice president for research innovation and development at DSU. “It is another strong testament from the Department of Defense to the quality of research we are pursuing at Delaware State University, especially in the area of optical sciences.”