Associate Professor Vivian Ferry awarded an International Institute for Biosensing grant

Associate Professor Vivian Ferry was recently awarded a $225,000 grant for her research proposal, "Selective detection of chiral pesticides with plasmonic metasurfaces using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy" as part of the International Institute for Biosensing (IIB), a new globally-engaged institute at the University of Minnesota focused on advancing biosensing research. Biosensing is a fundamental technology that has a broad spectrum of applications, including food safety, agriculture, the environment, healthcare, animal health, national security, and water quality. Ferry's project is a collaboration with Professor Christy Haynes in the Department of Chemistry and Professor Ping Wang in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, and aims to develop a new sensing platform that will detect and differentiate chiral pesticides. The project will detect and distinguish enantiomers using a combination of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and designer, plasmonic nanostructured surfaces, combined with affinity agents to capture the analytes. 
Ferry's project is one of five interdisciplinary projects awarded by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at the University of Minnesota. OVPR has awarded $1.1 million to support those five projects over the next three years. Funding for the projects, which bring together biological and non-biological disciplines from across the University, will support PhD student assistantships that will form the core of a UMN cohort that will collaborate with a network of national and international peers. The projects will start in August/September 2023. Through the IIB, the University will bring together an international coalition of experts from academia, nonprofits, industry, and government agencies to create a collective global effort to identify and overcome technical barriers for advancing biosensing research.