Foster lab copyCHES Graduate Affiliate Fred Foster was recently awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation to support his research "Microstructure and mechanical properties of primate dental enamel." Fred is using methods from material science engineering to study the adaptations in teeth that help them perform and resist failure over lifetimes, which are relatively long in the nonhuman primates.

The broader impacts of Fred’s project will contribute to advancing and developing biomedical engineering, one of the fastest growing job markets in the country. For example, Fred’s work will improve the curriculum in Biomedical Engineering program here at Rutgers, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, partly by developing a laboratory component that emphasizes the value of understanding the mechanical properties of teeth in biomedical engineering applications.