School of Science at IUPUI Professor Earns National Science Foundation Career Award

Release Date: 
Aug 17 2009

Highest National Honor In Science

Indianapolis, IN - Assistant chemistry professor at School of Science at IUPUI, Dr. Sapna Deo, quickly made her mark on the world of chemistry and research when she was recently awarded the "Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers" from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF award for scientists is one of the most prestigious awards honoring investigators excellence in the laboratory and classroom.

Deo, a professor for only four years, was one of roughly 30 recipients receiving the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to scientists for their extensive research accomplishments and noteworthy educational contributions.

Dr. Sapna DeoI

"The School of Science is thrilled for the leadership role Dr. Sapna Deo has taken with research and education early in her career," said Bart Ng, Dean of the School of Science at IUPUI. "Her work in science will be modeled for years to come and her efforts to educate young students will prove to be beneficial to the University and the entire science community."

Deo's research is opening new avenues of inquiry in dealing with disease and combating the threat of biowarfare by identifying the RNA markers that exist in those divergent fields. But her most valued work is making her research, and science in general, fun and exciting for students.

"I like to make research and science fun so young students will begin to have interest in research and science," said Deo. "I believe nurturing a young student's curiosity for science is most imperative for the advancement of science and community."

In researching and working with RNA markers, Deo designed probes to be able to detect RNA markers. The probes force the markers to light up in a colorful glow giving students a great visual tool when looking at RNA markers for diseases. Deo has taken the experiment to various primary schools throughout the state to entice students to consider science as a career. Further, she involves university graduates and undergraduates as well as high school students in her research mentoring and nurturing each one's passion for discovery.