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Notre Dame to collaborate with industry in new NSF-funded center

Nina Welding • DATE: September 24, 2019

Powering everything from the development of new drugs and medical devices to the detection of dangerous chemicals, measurement science is a multibillion-dollar industry that is key to both U.S. and international economies. With a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), researchers from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University and Purdue University have formed a new center that will work to solve ongoing and emerging industry-relevant challenges in measurement science.

“Industry is not looking for instruments that create more data, but solutions to improve the decision-making process,” said Paul Bohn, center director who also serves as the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the director of Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Notre Dame. “We are bringing together the research expertise of three of the best analytical programs in the country and focusing it on delivering solutions that advance industry capabilities and competitiveness.”

The new Center for Bioanalytic Metrology (CBM) will team with companies and institutions from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, energy and analytical instrumentation sectors to deliver best-in-class molecular measurement tools and expertise. The CBM will combine new measurement techniques with the latest advances in artificial intelligence while also tackling problems such as detecting chemicals at low quantities and creating tools that can be used outside traditional laboratory settings.

"The CBM, as a collaboration with Purdue University, Indiana University and its industrial affiliates, represents a prototype of the future of applied University research," said Robert J. Bernhard, vice president for research at Notre Dame and professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. "Notre Dame has been building the capacity to do such research and we are excited, on behalf of our faculty and students, to have the opportunity to expand the scope of our bioanalytical research through this National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center."

Through the CBM, each university will offer extensive, industry-relative training to interested graduate students. The students will gain hands-on experience which they can, in turn, apply to future career development and advancement in the measurement science field.

The CBM is funded through the NSF's Industry-University Cooperative Research Center program, which enables industrially relevant, pre-competitive research through multi-member, sustained partnerships among industry, academia and government. The NSF provides a financial and procedural framework for the center's operations, which frees the center's members to fund and guide the direction of center research through active involvement and mentoring. Other collaborators are Lane Baker, Indiana University site director for the CBM and the James L. Jackson Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University, and Garth Simpson, Purdue University site director and professor of analytical and physical chemistry at Purdue University. The development of the center was also supported by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Indiana Consortium for Analytical Science and Engineering.

To learn more about the CBM, visit cbm.nd.edu.

— Brandi Wampler, ND Research

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