The University of California, Riverside's Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering has received a grant of more than $2.6 million for the next three years from the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.
Professor Ashok Mulchandani, chair of the department and a recognized leader in the area of development of biosensors for organophosphate-based chemical warfare agents, has assembled a team of experts from four different institutions to work on developing an analytical device for the detection of agents of terrorism, chemical warfare agents and explosives. The project team comprising of the Principal Investigators (PI), Ashok Mulchandani and Prof. Joseph Wang from New Mexico State University, and Co-PIs Prof. H. James Harmon from Oklahoma State University, Dr. Greg Collins from Naval Research Laboratory, and Prof. Wilfred Chen from UCR will develop a 'Field-Portable Chip-Based Anti-Terrorism Microanalyzer,' which is the title of the project.
Wilfred Chen, associate professor of chemical engineering at UCR, will work on the biochemistry aspects of the research project. "Our work will focus on developing 'laboratory on a chip' technology for the immediate detection of agents of terrorism," said Chen.
"While the fruits of the research will benefit all citizens in the end, the project is poised to directly benefit first responders such as fire fighters, police, and paramedics," Mulchandani said. "Security, intelligence and law enforcement personnel also stand to benefit."
Work on the project is expected to begin in summer, 2002.
Editors' note: Interviews with Profs. Mulchandani and Chen can be arranged through the University Relations Office, UCR, (909) 787-2645.