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Nobel laureate Stefan W. Hell among speakers at nanotechnology symposium

Annual event brings international experts to Northwestern on Nov. 14


Nobel laureate Stefan W. Hell is among six internationally renowned scientists who will speak on a wide range of topics at Northwestern University’s 2019 International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) Symposium on Thursday, Nov. 14. This year’s theme is “Maps, Materials and Methods for Navigating the Nanoscale World.”

The public symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Orrington Hotel, 1710 Orrington Ave., Evanston. The event is free, thanks to generous support from corporate sponsors, but registration is required.

“The IIN Symposium, now in its 16th year, is recognized as the global event for our nanoscience scholars at Northwestern, our friends in the community and colleagues across the globe,” said Milan Mrksich, interim vice president for research at Northwestern. He is an IIN member and the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering.

“An audience exceeding 800 participants will listen to technical yet quite accessible talks that describe the most recent advances in nanotechnology and their applications to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems,” Mrksich said. “The multidisciplinary talks attract people from several engineering and science departments as well as those concerned with ethics, societal impact and commercialization. This symposium also will showcase Northwestern’s leading position in nanotechnology and gives our work a global reach.”

Nanotechnology, the study of materials and processes that operate at the level of atoms and molecules, is a revolutionary branch of science and engineering. Properties -- optical, structural, electrical, mechanical and chemical -- for nearly every material change when shrunk down to the nanoscale.

Two of the six speakers are winners of Northwestern’s 2019 Kabiller Prize and the Kabiller Young Investigator Award. After welcoming remarks, the following scientists will present these topics: 

  • Stefan W. Hell, “MINFLUX Nanoscopy: Super-resolution Post-Nobel.” Hell is the director of both the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany. He received, along with two others, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of super-resolution fluorescent microscopy. 
  • Julia R. Greer, “Materials by Design: Three-dimensional Nano-architected Meta-materials.” Greeris the Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering and the director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, both at the California Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on creating and characterizing new classes of materials that utilize the combination of 3D architectures with nanoscale-induced material properties.
  • Harry L. Anderson, “Flow of Energy and Electrons in Molecular Nanorings.” Andersonis a professor in the department of chemistry and a professorial fellow of Keble College at the University of Oxford. His research is in the areas of molecular materials synthesis, supramolecular chemistry, molecular recognition, polymers and dyes. 
  • David J. Mooney, “Biomaterials to Reconstitute T Cell Immunity.” Mooneyis the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute at Harvard. He is a leader in the fields of biomaterials, mechanotransduction, drug delivery, tissue engineering and immune engineering.
  • Molly Stevens, “Designing Materials for Ultrasensitive Biosensing and Cell-interfacing.”Stevens is a professor of biomedical materials and regenerative medicine at Imperial College London and the recipient of the 2019 Kabiller Young Investigator Award. Her many contributions to nanomedicine include the development of nanoparticle-based serological tests for surveillance of Ebola survivors in Uganda. 
  • Chad A. Mirkin, “Opening the Field of Digital Medicine Through Spherical Nucleic Acids.” Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern, director of the IIN and the recipient of the 2019 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine. He is a world-renowned nanoscience expert known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and numerous other technologies.
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