Biomed grad student Carrow receives Sigma Xi research grant

Carrow, JamesJames Carrow, graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been named recipient of a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research (GIAR).

Carrow, who is advised by Assistant Professor Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, was recognized for his project "Bioinspired Silicate Nanocomposites for Cartilage Tissue Engineering."

The primary goal of the project is to design a new treatment for osteoarthritis, a leading cause of physical disability in the United States. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage on the end of bones wears down. Carrow is developing a new biomaterials-based strategy to induce cartilage regeneration in absence of growth factors – proteins that can lead to serious side effects due to the large amounts required to stimulate cells. His study, Gaharwar says, could alter the traditional paradigm of growth factor incorporation for cartilage regeneration.

As a recipient of the grant, Carrow joins a select group of student standouts (only 10-15 percent of all grant applicants are awarded) and will receive funding for travel expenses to and from a research site or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.

“James is a hardworking, intelligent, tenacious and creative researcher,” Gaharwar says. “One of his huge strengths is that he is able to take complex problems or concepts and explain them in an easily understandable manner. His combination of intelligence, leadership, work ethic and research talent is unique. His genuine curiosity, enthusiasm and mastery of biomedical research, combined with his solid background in biomedical engineering will make him an asset to our graduate program.”

The Sigma Xi GIAR program has provided undergraduate and graduate students with valuable educational experiences since 1922. By encouraging close working relationships between students and mentors, the program promotes scientific excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has a distinguished history of service to science and society for more than 125 years. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world.