Memorandum of Understanding between the Brandeis Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the Robot Research Initiative (RRI), Chonnam National University, South Korea


Dr. Jong-Oh Park (left) and Dr. Seth Fraden pause in front of the MOU banner during the inauguration ceremony.

On August 10, 2012 Dr. Jong-Oh Park and Dr. Sukho Park, Director and Principal Investigator of the Robot Research Initiative (RRI), respectively, visited Brandeis as part of an inauguration ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Brandeis Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) (Director: Seth Fraden, PhD) and the RRI (Director: Jong-Oh Park, Dr.-Ing). The RRI is a world leader in the field of robotics, focusing on microscale engineering applications and surgery, while the Brandeis MRSEC program focusses on biomaterials and active matter. The two institutions have agreed to work together to transform cutting-edge biophysical science into engineering applications for drug delivery.

Collaboration between the two institutions was first established on March 1, 2012, with a three-year subcontract (KRW  120,000,000 / yr) awarded to the MRSEC by the RRI for the development of micro-swimming robots based on synthetic cilia (PI: Dongshin Kim, co-PI: Zvonimir Dogic). Dr. Fraden welcomed the new Memorandum, saying that it would fortify the collaboration efforts of both institutions.

As part of the exchange program laid out by the MOU, Dr. Sukho Park is planning to visit Brandeis in 2013 to spend a year working on the development of micro-actuators based on microtubules and active hydrogels. There are opportunities for the exchange of students between our two universities.

Brandeis Faculty Visit Bangalore to Explore Collaborations

Nine Brandeis scientists visited two institutions in Bangalore, India on June 12-14 to exchange ideas and to explore future research and educational collaborations.  A two-day symposium was held at the National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS).   The scientific presentations by Brandeis and Indian scientists culminated in a public lecture on “Clockwork genes: discoveries in biological time” by Michael Rosbash.  The event was capped by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Brandeis and NCBS pledging the two institutions to work toward establishing exchange programs for graduate students, postdocs and faculty (see below).    At the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), discussions were held about establishing an undergraduate exchange program between the two institutions.  Brandeis and IISc scientists also spoke about research in several areas of soft matter physics in a one-day symposium and discussed future research collaborations.   At an evening Science Café, similar to the events held in Waltham this spring, Brandeis neuroscientist Don Katz discussed his work on the neurobiology of taste with a group of Brandeis alumni and friends.  In addition to Rosbash and Katz, the Brandeis team included Leslie Griffith, Sue Paradis and Paul Miller (Biology), Irv Epstein (Chemistry), and Bulbul Chakraborty, Zvonimir Dogic and Mike Hagan (Physics).

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