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OSA / MRS Congressional Fellowship

Materials Research Society / Optical Society of America


Term: 2007-2008
Alicia Jackson

Alicia Jackson earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2007. Her dissertation was on "Phase Separation and Nanostructuring in the Ligand Shell of Nanoparticles." During her thesis research, she discovered that mixtures of molecules, when assembled on nanoparticles, show ordered phase-separation at a molecular length scale, resulting in several novel and unexpected properties. This discovery has a number of interesting biotechnological applications, as well as having wide-reaching implications for the environmental health and safety implications of nanoparticles.

Alicia's interest in science policy grew out of her desire to have a broader impact on scientific research and its societal impacts than that afforded to her through basic research. While at MIT, she co-created a new science policy course for science and engineering graduate students and post-docs with the head of the MIT Washington Office, Bill Bonvillian. The aim of the course is to develop a new generation of policy-versed and active scientists.

After completing her Ph.D., Alicia will spend the summer of 2007 at the National Academies of Science as a Christine Mirzyan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow. While there, she will work with the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy on the project of Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Era.

During her time as the MRS/OSA congressional fellow, Alicia looks forward to developing policies that will encourage the critical scientific developments and technology transfers necessary to solve the many environmental, health, and defense challenges facing us today and that encourage the link between technological and economic development and contribute to human progress.