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NC State faculty member named as 2019-2020 RTI University Scholar

Dr. Roger Narayan, a professor in UNC-CH and NC State University’s Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been selected as an RTI International University Scholar for the 2019-2020 academic year. Narayan was one of only four scholars chosen this academic year.

The RTI University Scholars Program — hosted each academic year since 2014-2015 and open to faculty from the 16 public universities of the UNC System and Duke University — provides financial support for “distinguished academic researchers to spend scholarly leave time at RTI,” with the goal of fostering future collaboration and catalyzing opportunities for additional joint projects.

RTI intentionally chooses scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, with previous scholars’ disciplines ranging from nutrition and healthcare to computer science and STEM education.

Narayan is the sixth NC State faculty member to be selected as an RTI University Scholar. The previous Scholars are Hollylynne Lee (Mathematics and Statistics Education), 2018-2019; Yang Zhang (Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) and James Levis (Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering), 2017-2018; and Owen Duckworth (Soil Science) and Nagui Rouphail (Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering), 2016-2017.

Scholars take pre-approved leave from their home institutions and partner with a host researcher at RTI, which funds half of the Scholars’ salaries while their home institution funds the remaining salary and maintains their benefits and employment status.

Narayan’s research interests center on the biomedical applications of lasers, such as medical device fabrication. In 2011, Narayan developed plastic microneedles with potential uses in skin cancer diagnosis.

As a 2019-2020 RTI University Scholar, Narayan will collaborate with David Dausch, of RTI, on a project that will evaluate microneedle-based devices as wearable sensors for health monitoring.

Narayan was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows in 2012. He is also Fulbright Scholar Award winner and a previous recipient of the National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award as well as the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. Narayan earned a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from NC State in 2002 after earning an M.D. from Wake Forest University in 2001.