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Carolina biomedical engineer Anne Marion Taylor is among 126 scientists and scholars in the United States and Canada to receive 2013 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Sloan fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of early-career researchers, whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars among the next generation of scientific leaders in eight fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Taylor will receive a two-year, $50,000 grant to further her research.

Taylor’s research explores the intersection of neurobiology, neurotechnology and biomedical engineering to study the cellular mechanisms critical in learning and memory. Her work, based at UNC School of Medicine, seeks to develop microfluidic devices to improve the organization and access to neurons and neuronal circuits. One such device directs the growth of axons, enabling investigations in axonal and synaptic cell biology.

“The use of Anne’s devices and methods has catalyzed a paradigm shift in the current understanding of synapse development,” says Nancy Allbritton, chair of the joint department of biomedical engineering between UNC and North Carolina State University. “Her simple, robust tools are so successful and have had such a significant impact that the devices are now commercially available – a tremendous achievement for such a young investigator.”

Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. Since then, 39 Sloan fellows have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in their fields and 16 have received the Fields Medal, the top honor in mathematics.

Published February 28, 2013.