Dr. Eduardo Nicolau: creating solutions with nanoparticle chemistry

Lorraine Doralys Rodriguez-Rivera's picture
Dr. Eduardo Nicolau
Dr. Eduardo Nicolau

The International Space Station (ISS) as well as space shuttles possess a limited amount of energy to keep their equipment working once they have been launched into space. Could you imagine being able to generate energy, for the ISS, using molecules found in the astronauts’ urine? Or being able to turn non-drinking water into one that is actually safe to drink?  Moreover, being able to use special materials, called biomaterials, to develop bone grafts?

Although this may sound like science fiction, Dr. Eduardo Nicolau and his students are working very hard to find solutions to these real-world problems. For instance, astronauts, people with severe health conditions, and countries where water scarcity is an issue, could benefit from Dr. Nicolau’s research.

But, how is he planning to accomplish these solutions? It is by studying the interaction between nanoparticles and biomacromolecules. What this means is that Dr. Nicolau focuses on trying to understand how tiny materials, called nanoparticles, “see” biological molecules. “We would like to know if they ‘meet and greet’ or if they ignore each other”, expressed Dr. Nicolau. Depending on the kind of interaction, Dr. Nicolau decides if these nanoparticles or biological molecules are suitable for solving the aforementioned real-world problems.

UPR-Río Piedras Professor recognized by international scientific organization

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

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Dr. Jorge L. Colón, Professor from the University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus, was elected as a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), for his distinguished contributions to the Chemistry field and his community service.

For the full article, please reefer to the spanish version of this site.



Convocatoria Director Departamento de Química

Enrique J Vargas's picture

El Comité de Consulta para la Designación del Director(a) del Departamento de Química del Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez informa que ha extendido el período de nominaciones.  El Comité invita a la comunidad a someter nominaciones para el puesto de Director(a) del Departamento de Química.

Los nominados deben cumplir con los siguientes requisitos para el cargo:

1. Poseer un doctorado en una de las áreas de la química.





Dr. Jorge Colón will receive highest honor by the Puerto Rico Chemists Association

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture

University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras, Department of Chemistry

Rebecca Soler, President of the Puerto Rico Chemists Association (Colegio de Químicos de Puerto Rico), has announced that Professor Jorge L. Colón has been named the recipient of the highest honor conferred by the Colegio, the Dr. Osvaldo Ramírez Torres Award 2014-2015. The award is given to chemists that have stood out for their continuous and significant contributions to Science, the community, and the Colegio.

María Tamargo: a scientist passionate about the intersection of mentoring, teaching and research

Gabriella Sanguineti Lozada's picture
Dr. Tamargo con su grupo de investigación
Dr. Tamargo with her research group. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tamargo.

Dr. María Tamargo’s interest in science began as a young woman. She was first exposed to chemistry as a high school student, where she had the opportunity to study in Spain for a year. This opportunity sparked her desire to become a scientist and therefore, she decided to major in chemistry. For her undergraduate degree, María attended the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, where her parents were also professors. At the time, the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico did not offer a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Recognizing her scientific talent, one of her professors encouraged María to transfer to the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, where she completed her B.S. in Chemistry.

Having witnessed first-hand the joys of research, María aspired to be a university professor, and was accepted to the doctoral program at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. She described her first year there as challenging, as she wondered whether she was as prepared as her classmates. However, with perseverance and the support of graduate peers and mentors, María finished her PhD and had three postdoctoral offers, including a faculty job offer in Puerto Rico, and another as research scientist at the renowned AT&T Bell labs. While her initial intention was to become a chemistry professor, she could not refuse the opportunity offered by Bell labs to be part of their cutting edge research, and decided to work in industry.

LAUNCH busca ideas para el desarrollo de tecnología verde

Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer's picture

LAUNCH is an open innovation platform that was founded by NASA, NIKE, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The U.S Department of State to identify and foster breakthrough ideas for a more sustainable world.  LAUNCH aims to move beyond incremental change and make an impact at a system-wide level and is currently focused on transforming the system of materials and manufacturing.

LAUNCH System Challenge: Green Chemistry





Taller Sobre el Carbono Profundo

Melitza Crespo-Medina's picture

La semana pasada (del 17 al 22 de febrero) tuve la oportunidad de participar en el primer taller de científicos en etapas tempranas de su carrera interesados en el estudio de las reservas de carbono en las profundidades de La Tierra o el carbono profundo. El taller fue auspiciado por el Observatorio de Carbono Profundo o DCO (por sus siglas en Inglés). El mismo reunió 40 científicos de 15 países envueltos en los diferentes aspectos del DCO: Vida en las Profundidades (Deep Life), Energía en las Profundidades (Deep Energy), Reservas y Flujos (Energy and Fluxes) y Física y Qímica Extrema (Extreme Physics and Chemistry).

ACS on Campus: A journey from art to science

Uldaeliz Trujillo's picture

Between "Art, Science and Education." That was the theme for the outreach activity ACS on Campus, organized this past Friday, January 31, 2014, by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in collaboration with Dr. Ingrid Montes, Professor in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras and member of the Board of Directors of this organization.

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