National Agencies Turn to Clarkson
Laurel Kuxhaus, an associate professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at Clarkson, has been named program director of the Biomechanics & Mechanobiology Program within the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation, Directorate for Engineering at the NSF.
Kuxhaus comes to the position directly from serving as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Congressional Fellow in Bioengineering. She has been working on Capitol Hill this year in the office of Congressman Daniel Lipinski, crafting science and technology policy. Key accomplishments include the drafting of the Growing Artificial Intelligence Through Research (GrAITR) Act, and the Medical Device Sterilization Challenges Act of 2019. “It’s been an incredible experience to work on Capitol Hill for the year and see how policy is created at the top,” said Kuxhaus, “I look forward to serving at the National Science Foundation.”
At the National Science Foundation, her background in both bioengineering and policy will enhance the management, operation, and evaluation of programs within the Division.
In this position, Kuxhaus will be responsible for long-range planning and budget development for the Biomechanics & Mechanobiology Program. She will oversee the NSF award process for researchers in her program, which includes merit review, award and declination process, and identifying future funding opportunities.
In 2018, Kuxhaus was named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She was nominated for her continued dedication to engineering education, scholarly research, and service to the ASME Bioengineering Division. She concentrates her research in orthopedic biomechanics.
Professor Thomas Lufkin
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development division of the NIH has awarded $459,000 to Professor Thomas Lufkin, the Bayard and Virginia Clarkson Endowed Chair in Biology for the research project "Genome-Wide Analysis of The Transcriptional Cooperation Between Runx2 And Runx3 During Skeletal Development".
Lufkin has been studying the genes controlling skeletal formation and development for more than 25 years. His long-term focus has been on what is referred to as "master" regulatory genes which control the size, shape and number of bones and cartilages in the human body.
Lufkin is currently focusing much of his laboratories’ research on the intervertebral discs of the spine, which give the spine flexibility, but which can be prone to fail during trauma or advanced aging, resulting in severe and chronic low back pain.
Future research directions are focused on repairing injured spinal discs through regenerative medicine-based strategies. Lufkin's work on skeleton development has been supported in the USA by the NIH, NSF, ACS, the March of Dimes as well as by other agencies abroad.