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International Research Experience for Students
Analytical Applications of Nanomaterials and Microfluidic Devices

Recent developments in nanotechnology and microfluidics have allowed the understanding and rational utilization of a series of micro total analysis systems (uTAS). The existing links between these two fields have enabled crossing the traditional borders and the development of unique training opportunities for students in science and engineering tracks. Furthermore, the interest in analytical applications combining microfluidics and nanomaterials has grown exponentially in the last years. Although this integration has enhanced sensing, separation, and extraction procedures, the applicability of specific nanomaterials for chemical analysis depends mainly on the chemical composition, structure, size, morphology, and preparation method. Considering these characteristics and their importance for future developments, this IRES program aims to provide students an enriching research experience and link chemical properties with a real-world analytical problem.

Support offered

NSF Logo The IRES grant provided travel expenses (flight to Sao Paulo and ground transportation to the final destination), housing, meals, and a modest schollarship. The IRES grant did not pay for any other expense outside the scope of the sponsored activity. This program was financed by the NSF - Office of International Science and Engineering, Award #1458177 and it is now closed.

This page will be mantianed as a reference for other students interested in similar activitioes.

Program Activities

Picture of Dr. Torresi and Kaylee Clark in Sao Paulo

Prior to departure, selected students will be required to:
Obtain a valid passport and the corresponding visa to travel to Brazil. Please visit the US Department of State for more information
Remain in academic good standing and within their overall majors
Assit to a half-day orientation at local institution (personal interview, program details, flight arrangements, and instructions to apply for the corresponding visa)
Acquire minimum communication skills in Portuguese and learn basic cultural codes of Brazil
Complete a laboratory training at home institution (including Research Orientation and research training activities)
Complete an on-line laboratory safety & waste disposal training
Complete the "ethics in science" course
Perform a 10-min oral defense of the project at their home institutions

Once in Brazil, students will be required to form teams with existing students enabling a closer interaction between peers, as well as training experience to the junior mentor. Selected students are expected to work 40 hours/week and submit a mid-term report describing the performed activities and plans for the remaining of the visit. Upon returning to the US, students are expected to remain engaged in research activities and to present the results of the program in a scientific meeting (also supported by the program).


2019 Summer
2018 Summer
2017 Summer
2016 Summer

Portrait of Dr. Gomez (co-PI) along with the Brazilian mentors: Drs. Carrilho, Do Lago, Cabral, da Silva, and Simionato

Leadership and Potential Mentors

This program is directed by Dr. Garcia (PI, Clemson University) and Dr. Frank Gomez (Co-PI, California State University - Los Angeles). The program also involves the participation of the following collaborators in Brazil:
- Dr. Emanuel Carrilho (Coordinator & mentor, USP - Sao Carlos)
- Dr. Murillo Cabral (Mentor, USP - Sao Carlos)
- Dr. Claudimir L. do Lago (Mentor, USP - Sao Paulo)
- Dr. Jose A. Fracassi da Silva (Mentor, UNICAMP)
- Dr. Ana Valeria Colnaghi Simionato (Mentor, UNICAMP)

About the location

Combined image showing landmarks in Sao Paulo

The program is focused in three universities located in the geographic center of the state of São Paulo. The state's altitude is over 800m, offering a mild altitude climate. Most of the year the city is windy, sunny and with mild temperatures at night. For this reason the city is nicknamed "Cidade do Clima" (Weather City) and celebrates once a year an event called "Festa do Clima". Nowadays most of the region's agricultural production has shifted from coffee to sugar cane and dairy products, but the mainstay of the city's economy is industrialized and technological products. The University of Sao Paulo (USP) is the largest higher education and research institution in Brazil. It has outstanding projection around the world, especially in Latin America, and develops great part of Brazilian master's and doctor's degrees that work in higher education and research institutes. It is a public and free university, composed of seven campuses, 40 learning and research units, five hospitals, five museums, and five specialized institutes. It also includes multiple experimental laboratories and centers of scientific and cultural diffusion including a radio, a TV, a news agency, two local magazines, a newspaper, and an internet portal. It comprises all areas of the human activity and offers approximately 700 regular courses and graduates an average of 5,500 students per year.