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Intellect

BYU professor receives NSF CAREER award

For the second time in a year, a Brigham Young University mechanical engineering professor has been recognized as one of the top young scholars by the National Science Foundation.

Assistant professor Anton Bowden was recognized with the CAREER award. This marks the eighth time that BYU has won the award since the program started in 1995.

Bowden received the award for being one of the most promising new teachers in the field in regard to teaching and research. The award includes a $400,000 research grant.

“This is a really incredible opportunity,” Bowden said. “I’m really honored that I received the award. This is an amazing opportunity for biomechanics at BYU. It’s great that two people from our department got it in the same year.”

According to the NSF, the award is one of the foundation’s “most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Bowden is conducting research on spine ligaments and spine composition. Most of the research in the field is being done on the vertebrates. However, Bowden is one of the few focusing on the ligaments in the spine.

“Currently, when you go into the doctor’s they assess what spinal treatment you should get by evaluating your sex, age, race, weight — everything on the outside of your body,” Bowden said. “People are very different on the inside. That’s why we are working to get an inside look at the spinal ligaments.” His research will allow doctors to test a person’s spinal composition and assess which spinal treatment would be best for that individual.

Currently, spinal surgery is a $20 billion industry in the United States, and it is predicted that it will increase 20 fold by 2030.

“Patient satisfaction on spinal surgery is about 50 percent,” Bowden said. “I’m working on making it better.”

For more information, contact Anton Bowden at (801) 422-4760 or visit the NSF website at http://www.nsf.gov/.

Writer: Brandon Garrett

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