ISSN 2150-5128

University of Delaware Research Online Magazine


University of Delaware Research Online Magazine


Moving forward

Photo by Ashley Barnas

From the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

Charles G. Riordan Charles G. Riordan
Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation, University of Delaware

Ihope you and your loved ones are safe and well in these unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, we honor those who have fallen to this disease. I also want to thank the scientific community around the world working non-stop, the front-line workers who are keeping our society going, and all who with spirit and resilience are putting one foot in front of the other each day to keep moving forward.

Science and scientists are bringing remarkably effective vaccines and therapeutics to the fore. Until vaccinations become widespread, please be vigilant — physically distance, wear your mask and wash your hands.

UD researchers have been contributing to the COVID fight in so many important ways. Our leading epidemiology program and renowned Disaster Research Center have been sharing their expertise with policymakers on state to international levels. Our biochemists are analyzing the molecular structure of the virus to determine how it functions. Our engineers have created new face mask designs and methods for cleaning them. Our experts in psychology are providing the public with advice for maintaining good mental health amid the greater isolation and disruptions to daily life. And the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), a public-private partnership headquartered at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus and part of the Manufacturing USA Network, is helping to develop approaches to accelerate manufacturing once a vaccine has been approved for use.

At UD, we ramped down research activities in March, and then gradually began resuming work in the lab, in the field and at partner facilities a few months later. Our faculty, students and staff have been phenomenal throughout this multi-phase process — UD’s research operations have returned to nearly pre-COVID levels now, thanks to vigilance in following health and safety protocols.

While our faculty are doing a remarkable job winning major grants, our graduate students also are keeping UD’s research engine humming with their hard work and ingenuity. UD has 60 doctoral and 145 master’s degree programs, and we are poised for future growth with the recent launching of our Graduate College. We are pleased to introduce you to several of our graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in this issue. As they pursue projects across the sciences and humanities, I hope their commitment and character will fill you with unshakable confidence that we will move beyond these difficult days toward a brighter, more equitable future. 

We look forward to engaging you in this first digital-only issue of UD Research — be sure to check out our graduate student and robotics features for deeper interactivity and drop us a note at to let us know what you think.

Research will help us overcome this pandemic and the challenges beyond. As a research-intensive university, UD is training new generations to deliver facts, innovations and answers for society. We will keep moving forward. At UD, research never stops.

Charles G. Riordan Signature

Charles G. Riordan, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation