Responsive Color: Imaging Bodies, Sensing the Environment
Often, we think of the material world in terms of static, stable objects with fixed boundaries and predictable properties: what we can see with our eyes and hold in our hands. But technological and artistic innovations, as well as environmental and sustainability concerns, are challenging our conventional notions about materials and highlighting the limitations of “static object” thinking. Cassandra Fraser’s lab investigates luminescent boron dyes for imaging and sensing. Responsive to thermal, optical, mechanical, and biological stimuli, these dyes show potential as dynamic media not just for science and medicine but also for art and design, as environmental reporters and “renewable inks.”
Cassandra L. Fraser is a professor of chemistry at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments in the department of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Architecture. She specializes in responsive materials for imaging, sensing, and detection, specifically oxygen-sensing biomaterials and mechanochromic luminescence materials. Fraser holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College, Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a PhD from the University of Chicago. She was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, granted a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an National Science Foundation CAREER award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and young professor awards from Dupont and 3M. She has been awarded the Radcliffe fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her teaching recognitions include the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award, and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Teaching Award.