Friday, May 3, 2013

Leanna Foster lands NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Leanna Foster on earning a National Science Foundation Fellowship.  NSF graduate fellowships are among the most prestigious and competitive fellowships within STEM fields.  Foster, advised by John Scully, is currently researching potential applications leveraging the
inherent antimicrobial properties of copper alloys for use in medical surface applications.

The research has the potential to significantly decrease the risk of healthcare associated infections - among them, MRSA.  Foster plans to investigate model copper alloys in order to determine the effect of secondary alloys (zinc, nickle, aluminum, and tin) on ion release rates; copper ion release rates dictate both an alloy's antimicrobial effectiveness and its tarnish resistance rate.

While studying Chemistry at Christopher Newport University, Foster interned with The Mariners' Museum in their conservation lab, where she gained a keen interested in metallic corrosion.  Additionally,  at NASA Langley she worked on polymer research in the Materials Development and Processing branch.

...and she bakes great cakes.