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Genetically Engineered Materials Science & Engineering Center

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MRSEC: Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineering Center  (University of Washington)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Genetically Engineered Materials Science & Engineering Center (GEMSEC) is a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Washington funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). MRSECs support interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that are important to society.

GEMSEC is an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers working together to marry the science and technology of biology and materials science at the fundamental level. The center focuses on research to adapt and develop molecular biology and genetics protocols to engineer peptides and proteins as a utility to synthesize, morphogenize and assemble functional hierarchical structures for use in technologies and medicine. GEMSEC's interdisciplinary research group focuses on adaptation of molecular biology and genomics techniques to developing new materials and systems.

Education & Outreach

GEMSEC's mission includes a range of education, human resources and outreach activities. The Center will run summer programs (the Materials Camp for high school students and teachers, for example), year-round mentorship and research projects for high school and undergraduate students, and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Teachers (RET) targeted for Seattle-area science teachers. Working closely and collaboratively with local tribes in Washington State, a significant outreach goal of the Center is to attract, educate, and graduate Native American students with BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees that focus on transferring Mother Nature's molecular ways to practical engineering.

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  • Image from an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
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