Penn State engineer earns Scialog grant to advance imaging

August 17, 2022

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Research Corporation for Science Advancement News. Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, was featured.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, the James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, was named a Scialog Advancing BioImaging 2022 award recipient. He will use the award to collaborate with Luke Mortensen, associate professor in the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering, on a project titled “Transforming Imaging Collection in the Brain.”

The project is one of 10 that will receive that will receive a combined $1,180,000 in funding from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation and the Walder Foundation. Cheng and Mortensen’s project is funded by CZI.

Cheng was named a Scialog Fellow by the RCSA in 2021, affording him the opportunity to collaborate with other early career scientists and engineers — representing institutions across the U.S. and Canada — with the goal of developing the next generation of imaging technologies.

“Multidisciplinary collaborations create synergies that spark new ideas,” said Daniel Linzer, RCSA president and chief executive officer. “In the same way, funding organizations investing in forward-thinking projects like these can work together to expand the horizons of knowledge.”

Scialog is short for “science + dialog.” Created in 2010 by RCSA, the Scialog format supports research by stimulating intensive interdisciplinary conversation and community building around a scientific theme of global importance. This year, the theme and focus of the first in-person RCSA conference since 2019 was advancing bioimaging. The meeting, held May 19-22, brought together 45 early career chemists, physicists, biologists, bioengineers and medical imaging specialists.

Teams of two to three fellows who have not previously collaborated competed for the awards, which serve as seed funding for high-risk, high-reward projects based on the innovative ideas that emerge at the conference. The teams developed new research ideas to bridge their different expertise, methods and technologies in new ways to enable major advances in bioimaging. They wrote and pitched their proposals at the conference.

The participants will convene again in Tucson, Ariz., on May 18-21, 2023, for the third year of this initiative to discuss progress and compete for another round of funding.


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