Dr. Yaroslava G. Yingling, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science
and Engineering at NC State, has received a Faculty Early Career Development
Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award, known as the NSF
CAREER Award, is one of the highest honors given by NSF to young faculty who
exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education
and the integration of education.
The award will provide funding over five years to Yingling’s research project
entitled, “Integrating DNA and Inorganic Surfaces for Functional Materials Design”
and is supported by the Materials and Surface Engineering Program in the Division
of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation and the Condensed Matter and
Materials Theory in the Division of Materials Research.
The project will develop a better understanding of the structure and properties of
DNA-functionalized surfaces. The research will also formulate rules that will enable
the design of new functional materials for biosensors and enhance researchers’
ability to control and direct the materials assembly processes. Yingling will
use molecular modeling techniques to develop a theoretical description of the
correlation between DNA structure, surface design and properties of these DNA-
If successful, the research will make progress on developing materials for DNA
microarrays and biosensors, DNA-based targeted drug delivery, DNA nanomaterials
assembly, and DNA directed surface assembly and patterning. The proposed research
program will be closely integrated with the educational activities and will provide new
education opportunities in disciplines related to DNA and functional surfaces for K-12,
graduate and undergraduate students.