May 4-10, 2020


May 4, 2020

COVID-19-related News

Dr. Danmeng Shuai

Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE), along with Dr. Yun Shen (Environmental and Occupational Health), has received a one-year, $200,000 National Science Foundation RAPID grant to develop electrospun air filters for SARS-CoV-2 control. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for effective air filters that can capture SARS-CoV-2 containing aerosols. The electrospun air filters are potentially low-cost and scalable, and they can be implemented for HVAC systems and PPE applications.

Dr. Mona Zaghloul

Dr. Mona Zaghloul (ECE), her post-doc Yangyang Zhao, and Dr. Jeanne Jordan (Milken Institute School of Public Health) are collaborating on a point-of-care device with high accuracy and affordability that would allow people to self-test at home for COVID-19. The results could be collected and shared with local public health officials to control the spread of the disease. Infected individuals could self-quarantine as soon as possible, and the safety of people who are working during these periods could, therefore, be better protected. In the proposed work, they will develop a sensing system that can detect the COVID-19 virus through a smartphone camera. The device is based on optical plasmonics at the nanoscale and has been tested on molecules and on DNA in Dr. Zaghloul’s lab and at NIST. The team is now looking to test it on the corona virus.

Graphic about Zaghloul device


Dr. Lance Hoffman

In its May 1 article "In the Lion's Mouth," GW Today covered the web application Disaster Consult, created by a team led by Dr. Lance Hoffman (CS) and Dr. Jordan Selzer (SMHS). Disaster Consult provides health care workers with up-to-date information about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Faculty News

Dr. Rahul Simha

Dr. Rahul Simha (CS) received an $80,000 planning and workshop grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education for a project aimed at exploring mechanisms for regular feedback from computing professionals to academic computer science programs. The planning team, a collaborative effort across four universities, includes representatives from ABET, ACM, and IEEE, and will organize a team of experts from academia and major employers to conceive and design a feedback instrument.

Dr. Santiago Solares

Correction: Dr. Santiago Solares (MAE) is part of the team that received a one-year, $50,000 GW Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund grant to work on developing photocatalytic graphitic carbon nitride for inhibiting biofilms on indwelling urinary catheters. The April 13 issue of the SEAS newsletter reported that Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE); his PhD student, Hongchen Shen; and Dr. John Lafleur (Department of Emergency Medicine) received the grant, but it did not include Dr. Solares.



Dr. Igor Efimov

Dr. Igor Efimov (BME) and his students and colleagues have published the following recent papers: 1) S. A. George, J. A. Brennan, and I. R. Efimov. “Preclinical Platform for Cardiac Electrophysiology Assessment by Dual Voltage and Calcium Optical Mapping of Human Organotypic Cardiac Slices,” JOVE, 2020 in press; 2) B. S. Handa, X. Li, K. K. Aras, N. A. Qureshi, I. Mann, R. A. Chowdhury, Z. I. Whinnett, N. W. F. Linton, P. B. Lim, P. Kanagaratnam, I. R. Efimov, N. S. Peters, and F. S. Ng. “Granger Causality-based Analysis for Classification of Fibrillation Mechanisms and Localization of Rotational Drivers,” Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Vol. 13, No. 3; 3) O. Burnicka-Turek, M. T. Broman, J. D. Steimle, B. J. Boukens, K. Ikegami, R. D. Nadadur, Y. Qiao, D. E. Arnolds, X. H. Yang, V. V. Patel, M. A. Nobrega, I. R. Efimov, and I. P. Moskowitz. “Transcriptional Patterning of the Ventricular Cardiac Conduction System,” Circulation Research, 2020, in press; and 4) W. Dai, R. D. Nadadur, J. Brennan, H. L. Smith, K. M. Shen, M. Gadek, B. Laforest, M. Wang, J. Gemel, Y. Li, J. Zhang, B. D. Ziman, J. Yan, X. Ai, E. C. Beyer, E. G. Lakatta, N. Kasthuri, I. R. Efimov, M. T. Broman, I. P. Moskowitz, L. Shen, and C. Weber. “ZO-1 Regulates Intercalated Disc Composition and Atrioventricular Node Conduction,” Circulation Research, April 29, 2020.


Photo of Professor Luyao Lu
Dr. Igor Efimov

Dr. Luyao Lu (BME), Dr. Igor Efimov (BME), and their past and present students have published the following journal paper: S. N. Obaid, R. T. Yin, J. Tian, Z. Chen, S. W. Chen, K. B. Lee, N. Boyajian, A. N. Miniovich, I. R. Efimov, and L. Lu. “Multifunctional Flexible Biointerfaces for Simultaneous Colocalized Optophysiology and Electrophysiology,” Advanced Functional Materials, 2020, 1910027.


Dr. Mona Zaghloul

Dr. Mona Zaghloul (ECE) and her postdoctoral researcher, Boqun Dong, have published the following journal article: B. Dong, A. Afanasev, R. Johnson, and M. Zaghloul. “Enhancement of Photoemission on p-Type GaAs Using Surface Acoustic Waves,” Sensors, 2020; 20(8):2419. This work reports for the first time that the quantum efficiency of photoemission on highly doped GaAs photoelectric devices can be greatly improved by surface acoustic waves. This research was partially supported by a grant from the US Department of Energy.


Media Mentions:


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Lance Hoffman

On April 24, Dr. Lance Hoffman (CS) delivered a virtual lecture titled “Cyber Policy Challenges” at the Cyber Defense Lab at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


Other News:


Dr. Michael Plesniak
Dr. David Dolling

Dr. Michael Plesniak (MAE) has returned to SEAS from his sabbatical at the California Institute of Technology, resuming his duties as chair of the MAE department on May 1. Dr. Plesniak’s sabbatical was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department thanks Dr. David Dolling (MAE), who filled in as interim department chair in Dr. Plesniak’s absence.


Student News

BME doctoral student Anna Gams, advised by Dr. Igor Efimov (BME), has been awarded a 2020-2021 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship. The Chateaubriand Fellowship is a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States. It supports outstanding PhD students from American universities who wish to conduct research in France for four to nine months. Chateaubriand fellows are selected in a merit-based competition, through a collaborative process involving expert evaluators in both countries.


CS doctoral students Phani Kishore Gadepalli and Runyu Pan, advised by Dr. Gabe Parmer (CS), received a Distinguished Paper Award at the IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium for their article “Slite: OS Support for Near Zero-Cost, Configurable Scheduling.” The symposium was held virtually April 21-24.


Other News
BME graduating senior Shirali Nigam has been working hard to try to promote the volunteer efforts of her younger brother, Arul, who is organizing thousands of meals for frontline workers in COVID hot spots all across the United States. To date, Arul has organized more than 1,000 meals (and counting) for frontline workers in 17 COVID hospitals in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Tampa, San Francisco, Fairfax, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Shirali’s efforts to promote Arul’s work resulted in this April 29 FOX 5 DC coverage.


On April 30, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new “Reduce Energy Use DC” initiative, a partnership of environmental, business, and community groups and the District leadership to educate DC residents on ways they can use energy more efficiently, take steps to reduce energy use at home, and save money while helping fight climate change. The new initiative asks residents to take a pledge and provides those who sign up with tips on easy ways to save and lower their energy bill. SEAS is one of 21 partner organizations. Annamaria Konya Tannon, the SEAS chief evangelist for innovation and entrepreneurship, coordinated SEAS’ participation in the initiative.


Upcoming SEAS Events

Please note that all SEAS and GW in-person events are canceled through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.


NEXT LEVEL: BIOMEDICAL SOLUTIONS AND GLOBAL UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS—Inaugural GW Engineering + Chalmers University Collaboration Biomedical Capstone Projects
Thursday, May 14th
12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT (6:00 pm in Sweden)
Live on GW Innovation Center’s Facebook page
Next Level is a joint celebration of the inaugural collaboration between Sweden’s University of Technology and SEAS. Designed to expose students from each university to commercialization and technical prototyping, the collaboration involved Chalmer’s Entrepreneurship and Strategy Program, GW’s Biomedical Engineering Department, and two senior biomedical capstone design teams. Following introductory remarks by the founders of this global partnership, SEAS student teams will introduce their projects, show a video, and take live questions from the audience.


SEAS Undergraduate Virtual Graduation Ceremony
Friday, May 15
4:00 pm EDT
The ceremony will be live streamed, and a link and more information will be provided soon.


SEAS Graduate Student Virtual Graduation Ceremony
Friday, May 15
6:00 pm EDT
The ceremony will be live streamed, and a link and more information will be provided soon.


GW Virtual Commencement
Sunday, May 17
11:00 am EDT
The GW Virtual Commencement Celebration may be viewed on GW’s Facebook page and on the Commencement website.


External Events
GW Career Services Center: May STEM Virtual Job Search Group
Fridays, May 8-29
2:00 – 3:00 pm
The May STEM Virtual Job Search Group is particularly designed for students finishing their academic studies at GW who are stuck or uncertain about next steps in their career journey in these unprecedented times and who need structure, guidance, and support to move forward. The sessions are interactive and instructive. Attendance for each of the four sessions is required. Spaces are filling up quickly. In addition, students can make individual appointments through Handshake with Dr. Sonya Merrill, the STEM industry career coach for the GW Career Services Center.


The American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference, previously scheduled to be held in GW’s Marvin Center on June 23-25, has been converted to a virtual event due to COVID-19. EMSE Visiting Scholar Scott Sklar (director of renewable energy, SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute) will serve as the general chairman of the event, which already has over 600 registrants. More information is available on the ASES website and on its magazine website, SolarToday.


Dissertation Defenses
Student Name: Cheng Zhang
Dissertation Title: “Anonymization and De-Anonymization Attacks in Online Social Networks”
Advisor: Dr. Xiuzhen (Susan) Cheng (CS); Presiding: Dr. Abdou Youssef (CS)
Tuesday, May 5
10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

This week's HR Corner includes important information regarding the paid time-off option, qualified life event changes in status, medical virtual visit costs, and other topics. Please visit the HR Corner to read these updates.