Purdue University Research Highlights from 2021

From FDA approval on a Purdue-developed drug that helps surgeons find cancer lesions to self-aware algorithms that stop hackers to a new test for bovine respiratory disease, Purdue’s faculty helped to advance key research that improves our work, health, and world. Enjoy our round up of Purdue research news from 2021. 

Pioneering imaging drug allowed surgeons to find cancer lesions

A pioneering new imaging drug developed by Purdue chemistry researcher Phil Low will help surgeons find additional cancer lesions. The drug, developed with support from Purdue’s Center for Cancer Research and the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery, was approved by the FDA in November. Read more

Whitest paint could help combat global warming

Purdue mechanical engineering professor Xiulin Ruan created the world’s whitest paint, which could eventually reduce or even eliminate the need for air conditioning. Its unique concentration of barium sulfate particles with varying sizes enable it to reflect 98.1% of sunlight. Read more

Cracking the code of cellular defense

Imagine the day when any tissue or organ can be repaired or the replacements personalized to the patient. Through the NSF-funded EMBRIO Institute, Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering professor David Umulis believes we can use AI to see how cells defend themselves or repair their damage with the help of biochemical and mechanical inputs and reactions. Read more

‘Self-aware’ algorithm to ward off hacking attempts

Purdue University professor of Nuclear Engineering Hany Abdel-Khalik has come up with a powerful response to hackers attempting to attack our most critical infrastructure. Abdel-Khalik, a CERIAS affiliated researcher, is working to make the computer models that run these cyberphysical systems both self-aware and self-healing. Read more

Pen-side test for bovine respiratory disease may save cattle industry millions

Mohit Verma, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, is leading research on a new on-site kit for testing bovine respiratory disease, which is the most common and costly disease affecting cattle in the world. The new testing kit will help save time, effort, and resources during treatment. Read more

Using remote sensing technologies and techniques in archaeology

An NSF-funded interdisciplinary research project, Remote Observation and Sensing Technologies and Techniques in Archaeo-Anthropology (ROSETTA), led by Sorin Adam Matei, associate dean of research and graduate education in the College of Liberal Arts, combines the strengths of our remote sensing, computational, and socio-humanities scholars to build artificial intelligence-based framework for modeling complex urban constructions. Read more

Purdue co-leads on DOD-funded lead-free adoption project

A new consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Defense has selected Purdue University to co-lead a project to advance adoption of lead-free electronics in defense systems. The project, for which Carol Handwerker, Purdue’s Reinhardt Schuhmann Jr. Professor of Materials Engineering is a principal investigator, will accelerate the transition to lead-free electronics in aerospace, defense, and other high-performance electronics. Read more

Canadian firm secures exclusive rights to Purdue’s rare-earth element separation and purification tech

A Canadian firm, Medallion Resources, acquired the exclusive rights to Purdue University-developed rare-earth element separation and purification technologies. The flagship technology from Purdue is known as ligand-assisted displacement (LAD), developed by Purdue Chemical Engineering professor Linda Wang. Her LAD technology could enable the U.S. to more safely utilize critical resources from domestic sources and aligned nations. Read more

Purdue researchers develop responsive practices for K-6 students with high intensity needs

A team of interdisciplinary researchers at Purdue was awarded $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to develop responsive practices for K-6 students with high intensity needs. The IPE-SHINES project, led by Rose Mason, associate professor of special education in the Department of Educational Studies, addresses a national need for highly skilled Speech-Language pathologists (SLPs) and Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Read more

‘Marathon of crisis’: Nurses’ mental health in forefront of new study

Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences professor Karen Foil’s research project, “Nurses’ Psychological Trauma and Cognitive Control in the COVID-19 Pandemic,” sheds light on vital mental health topics such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and drug and alcohol use during the height of the pandemic. Read more

Purdue planetary researcher plays key roles in Mars rover mission

Purdue planetary scientist Briony Horgan has several key leadership roles for the Mars rover mission. Horgan’s team produced one of the major results on the location that contributed to NASA’s selection of Jezero Crater as the Mars landing site. She is on the rover’s Mastcam-Z camera team — the scientific eyes for Perseverance, and she is one of the tactical science leads working with NASA to plan the next day’s activities for the rover. Read more

Purdue spotlights quantum and work-life research with prestigious awards

Three Purdue professors advancing quantum science and work-life and work-life family research policy were chosen to receive the university’s most prestigious research and scholarship awards in 2021.

Ellen Ernst Kossek, a leading social scientist whose work has shaped the field of work-life and work-family research policy in the U.S. and internationally, received the 2021 Lu Ann Aday Award, the most prestigious award given by the university for exceptional work in the humanities and social science.

Michael J. Manfra, a leading condensed matter experimentalist, received the 2021 Arden L. Bement Jr. Award, the most prestigious award given by the university in pure and applied science and engineering.

Yong Chen, a leading quantum researcher whose work is at the convergence of two fields with successful experiments in both condensed matter physics and atomic, molecular, and optical physics received the 2021 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, the most prestigious award given by the university for outstanding work in the natural sciences.