Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), has selected Prof. Shanta Dhar to receive the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award to pursue novel research in the field of cardiovascular diseases. With this award, Prof. Dhar, an assistant professor for one year at UGA, is being recognized as one of the top junior research faculty in the country; she is one of only 30 scientists to win the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award this year. This competitive award provides $5,000 in seed funding from ORAU and $5,000 in matching funding from the faculty member's university. ORAU is a university consortium that leverages the scientific strength of 99 research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industries. The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. Dhar and her team are designing nano-sensors using biodegradable polymers, metal complexes, and small peptides for apoptosis detection in atherosclerotic plaques. The study will develop targeted noninvasive imaging technique to discriminate between atherosclerotic lesions using a nanoparticle platform.