Ph.D. student receives first-place at nanotech conference

A UALR graduate student has won a first-place award at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference, held June 7 to 12 at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass.

Gordon Research Conference 2015
UALR Ph.D. student Mohamed H. Lahiani, left, stands with his faculty advisor Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya.

The Gordon Research Conferences promote discussions and the free exchange of ideas at the research frontiers of the biological, chemical and physical sciences.

Mohamed H. Lahiani, a Ph.D. student in UALR’s Applied Bioscience Program, presented his award-winning research poster at the conference. The conference encompassed wide discussion on nanotechnology research advances across the field of agricultural science.

His poster presentation, “Plant Uptake of Carbon Nanohorns Affect Growth and Gene Expression,” was a collaboration with Oak Ridge National laboratory and Texas A&M University.

It focused on understanding plant nanoparticle interactions and the possible applications of a newly synthesized nanomaterial, known as nanohorns, in areas of plant biology and agriculture.

Lahiani’s faculty advisor at UALR, Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya, presented her research at the conference with a talk on “Carbon-Based Materials as Positive Regulators of Plant Development.”

She said the conference was particularly timely given major global advances regarding the use of nanotechnology in agriculture, food science, and bioengineering.

Khodakovskaya added that well-known experts from major U.S. universities exchanged new ideas and discussed new avenues of modern nanobiotechnology at the conference.

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