CRANFORD - New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) undergrad and Cranford native Sydney Sweet has been named a Goldwater Scholar this year by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The scholarship is recognized among the country’s most prestigious for STEM undergraduates pursuing research careers.
According to the release, Sweet is a junior majoring in chemical engineering, whose nanoparticle research is aiming to improve health care for Type 2 diabetes patients. During a first-year NJIT Provost Summer Research Fellowship with her professor Xiaoyang Xu, she began a study of hydrogels for the delivery of heart regenerative therapeutics, and contributed on a review paper on nanotechnology-mediated devices to treat obesity published in the journal Advanced HealthcareBiomaterials.
Since then, she’s earned a $3,000 seed grant for research to improve diabetes drug delivery — work she’s presented at the 2019 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) national conference in Orlando, Fla.
“My research is exciting because I am developing a novel oral delivery system using nanoparticles that can offer a safer way to deliver drugs than how they are typically administered now via subcutaneous injections, therefore improving outcomes and quality of life of diabetes patients,” said Sweet, an Albert Dorman Honors College scholar.
Through NJIT programs, she’s also landed her current co-op at Infineum, and a study-abroad opportunity in Melbourne, Australia, last year, which she says has shaped her future career plans.
“Living in Melbourne for six months greatly expanded my worldview. … The city’s sustainability efforts and wildlife conservation inspired me to pursue nanomaterials research in the future that could improve alternative energy sources to combat climate change," said Sweet. "I am grateful for the opportunities that may arise from being a Goldwater Scholar, but my greatest takeaway is the empowerment that it’s already sparked in me to pursue my own research path.”