Donnelly receives NSF CAREER Award
Eve Donnelly, assistant professor and Dale R. Corson Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has recently received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award for her proposal, “Role of Variations in Tissue Material Properties in Bone Fracture Behavior.” The grant will support Donnelly’s research into how changes in bone tissue that result from osteoporosis affect bone fracture behavior.
Donnelly, who joined the faculty of Cornell Engineering in 2012, received her B.S. and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell in 2006. She was a Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell for two years and then she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery from 2008 to 2012.
Donnelly expects her research program to clarify the underlying causes of osteoporotic fractures, which are now just partially understood. Her work will also identify diagnostic indicators for this type of fracture. A potential benefit of this work is a reduction in healthcare expenditures in the US. Hip fractures are an important cause of disability and their cost to the US economy is significant. The prevention of fragility fractures has the potential to shrink a large and growing portion of healthcare expenditures in the US.
Donnelly’s collaborators on this award are orthopedic surgeons Joe Lane and Dean Lorich, of Weill Cornell Medical College’s affiliate Hospital for Special Surgery, and Professor Ani Ural of Villanova University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering; (Ural is a 2004 Cornell graduate with a B.S. in Civil Engineering). Lane and Lorich will collect patient biopsies and Uris will use the Donnelly Lab’s experimental measurements of bone tissue composition and mechanical properties in patient biopsies to model crack propagation in the bones of healthy and osteoporotic patients.
“I am very excited that this award will allow me to continue work on this project and support one of my talented Ph.D. students,” said Donnelly.