Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shreyas Mandre wins HFSP grant

Shreyas Mandre, assistant professor of engineering, is part of an international research team awarded a Young Investigator Grant by the Human Frontier Science Program. The team will receive $350,000 in each of three years to study the mechanics of the human foot.

“Understanding the fundamental mechanics of the foot informs the fields of biotechnology, robotics and
human evolutionary biology,” Mandre said. “Our research in this field considers the interaction of the foot with uneven ground to investigate how humans maintain a stable running gait. The interdisciplinary and international nature of this research falls squarely within HFSP purview.”

The research is led by Madhusudhan Venkadesan, a biomechanician from the National Center for Biological Sciences in India, and in collaboration with Mahesh Bandi, a physicist at Japans Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. The researchers hope to shed light on evolution of bipedalism, a task possible only by combining the capabilities of the three team members.

“The goal of my lab is to develop simple but quantitatively accurate descriptions of phenomena with applications to energy, environment and biology,” Mandre said. “We welcome interdisciplinary collaboration with other groups and actively seek talented undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers.”

“The interdisciplinary and international nature of this research overlaps perfectly with the research mission of the School of Engineering and Brown University,” said Larry Larson, dean of the School of Engineering.

Based in Strasbourg, France, the Human Frontier Science Program aims to promote basic research in the life sciences by funding researchers all over the world. This year, the organization awarded $34 million to 33 research teams that include scientists from 26 countries.