NMSU chemical, materials engineering professor receives Fulbright Faculty award

Jessica Houston, a New Mexico State University Chemical and Materials Engineering associate professor, has received a 2018-2019 Fulbright Faculty Fellowship award. The U.S. Department of State-sponsored award will fund a trip to Japan. The award is for about $43,000.

“Dr. Houston is well deserving of the Fulbright Faculty Fellowship,” said Lakshmi Reddi, College of Engineering dean. “She established her value as a faculty member early on with a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and continues to be one of our strongest faculty members. She contributes heavily to the college and her department as a teacher, instructor and leader.”

Houston’s research focuses on cytometry instrumentation development. She said she plans to spend six months in Japan. Houston will visit Saitama University, located about 15 miles north of Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture and work alongside Professor Miho Suzuki, a biochemist. The pair has collaborated for several years, and Suzuki has even visited NMSU and worked with Houston and her students.

“My plan is to immerse myself in the university environment and work with Miho and go into the labs and interact with students and understand what research is happening there and to also explore the surrounding community and maybe travel throughout Japan,” said Houston, who is planning on her husband, Kevin Houston, a chemistry and biochemistry associate professor, and their three children accompanying her.

“Japan is an interesting place for me to visit from my research prospective because that’s where a lot of new technologies in flow cytometry emerge,” she said. “There are a lot of single cell analyses, microscopy and cytometry tools that come out of Japan especially involving fluorescence and optical measurements.”

Houston hasn’t determined her dates of travel yet, but the award has a start date between July 1, 2018, through July 1, 2019.

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