Dr. Shekhar will receive up to US $2.5 million for interdisciplinary research support.
July 12, 2022
Schmidt Futures recently announced ten new recipients of the Schmidt Science Polymaths award, including ECE’s Dr. Shekhar. The award provides US $500,000 a year, for up to five years to help support his research.
He plans to build biosensors for inexpensive yet robust point-of-care biomedical testing – a potentially game-changing technology that could expand testing capacity for isolated communities, emergency services, drive-through testing and drug stores, and eventually for at-home use.
"Point-of-use diagnostics is a complex multidisciplinary research field, but I believe it is an area primed for the microchip revolution,” said Dr. Shekhar. “Our scientific mission with this award will be to build disposable credit-card-sized test kits that give rich, multiplexed, quantitative data for viruses, cardiac, and neurological ailments."
The multidisciplinary team has made early breakthroughs and is looking to recruit several undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows to help with their ambitious goals. In addition to professors from Electrical and Computer Engineering, the group also includes professors from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute.
According to Schmidt Futures, “These grants are intended to make possible the exploration of new ideas across disciplines, using emerging technologies to test risky theories that may not otherwise receive funding or support.”
“The interdisciplinary work that could herald the next great scientific breakthroughs are chronically under-funded,” said Eric Braverman, CEO of Schmidt Futures. “We are betting on the talent of the Schmidt Science Polymaths to explore new ideas across disciplines and accelerate discoveries to address the challenges facing our planet and society.”