Professor receives NSF CAREER Award to Study Bioremediation of Hazardous Chemicals

Jan 14, 2013

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Shaily Mahendra, a UCLA assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF CAREER award is the organization’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

This award will fund her research that investigates how environmental microbes use specific enzymes to detoxify hazardous chemicals, such as 1,4-dioxane, which are currently unregulated but are emerging as contaminants in drinking water supplies.

Mahendra explores microbial interactions with chemical contaminants and nanoparticles, with an eye on a broad range of applications, such as ecotoxicology, biodegradation,  bioremediation, and disinfection. Since starting at UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Mahendra has received large grants from NSF, the U.S. Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment, and from the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, all on looking at environmentally friendly ways to clean up toxic chemicals.

She was a 2011 PopTech Science Fellow and a 2011-12 UCLA Hellman Fellow.

To find out more about Mahendra and her research:

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