Southern California Scholarship Award

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Chen Wei Photo

Graduate student Wei Chen (Zink group) has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Yin Chin Foundation of USA and STUF United Fund Inc.

The award is given annually to six Taiwanese citizens who are graduate students in Southern California.

A native of Nantou, Taiwan, Wei received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from National Taiwan University.

Wei is a 5th year materials chemistry graduate student in Professor Jeffrey Zink’s group. He developed an innovative strategy and nanomachine to achieve spatial, temporal, and dose control of drug delivery using non-invasive magnetic stimulation. Thermo-sensitive molecular gatekeepers attached to the surface of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are stimulated by superparamagnetic heating and thus control the dosage and timing of drug delivery. In addition, Wei developed a “chaperone-assisted” strategy for enabling both high loading and high release amounts of a water-insoluble antibiotic drug using MSNs. This drug delivery strategy efficiently killed M. tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for the widespread intracellular infectious disease tuberculosis that causes millions of deaths annually.