California NanoSystems Institute
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May 06, 2016

Takhee Lee, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
and Astronomy,
Seoul National University
"Molecular-Scale Nanoelectronic Devices"

Molecular electronic devices that utilize molecules as electronic device components are fascinating [1], however molecular devices are not so practical because a typical vertically structured molecular devices has a very low devices yield. In this talk, I will explain a few methods to overcome this low yield problem; for example, (1) a method by introducing an intermediated protective layer between the molecular layer and the top electrode [2], and (2) a method with a direct metal transfer technique [3]. I will further explain our recent demonstration of molecular devices with device functionalities such as rectifying or photoswitching on flexible substrates [4]. If I have time, I will briefly discuss other research results on 2-dim material (such as MoS2) hybrid devices with organic materials [5].

[1] Chem. Rev. (2016)-DOI:10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00680, Adv. Mater. 23, 1583 (2011)-review.
[2] Akkerman et al. Nature 441, 69 (2006); Adv. Mater. 23, 755 (2011).
[3] Nanotechnology 26, 025601 (2015); Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 063110 (2015).
[4] Nature Nanotech. 7, 438 (2012), Adv. Funct. Mater. 24, 2472 (2014); Adv. Mater. 26, 3968 (2014).
[5] ACS Nano 9, 8044 (2015); ACS Nano 8, 4961 (2014); ACS Nano 8, 2774 (2014)

May 03, 2016

Sergei Magonov, Ph.D.
CEO, NT-MDT Development Inc.
"Expanding Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) with New Resonance Modes and High-Resolution Quantitative Studies of Mechanical and Electric Properties" Presented by Nano & Pico Characterization Laboratory

For past 30 years Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has developed into advanced surface characterization technique. Initial intention of high-resolution visualization of surface structures down to the atomic-scale has been realized, and AFM potential has drastically expanded towards examination of variety of properties (mechanical, electric, thermal, spectroscopic) on the nanometer scale. These practical efforts are strongly supported by a rational theoretical description of tip-sample force interactions.

Nowadays five core AFM modes include contact mode, which has off-springs for probing mechanical and electric properties, non-resonant oscillatory mode such as Hybrid mode and three resonant oscillatory techniques. The latter include amplitude modulation mode with phase imaging (tapping mode), amplitude modulation mode with frequency imaging and frequency modulation mode. A control of tip-sample forces in the modes is essential for optimization of low-force imaging, which provides true topography, and for performing high-force imaging that reveals variations of sample mechanical properties. In these methods, the phase, frequency and dissipation contrast emphasizes dissimilar components of heterogeneous materials yet its interpretation in terms of quantitative properties is not yet achieved.

The access to quantitative mechanical properties is simplified in Hybrid mode, where the tip intermittently contacts sample at 1-2 kHz frequency - well below the probe resonance. Yet this frequency is fast enough that the force-versus-deformation dependencies and related elastic modulus and adhesion can be retrieved practically simultaneously with sample topography. The maps of elastic modulus, which were obtained on lamellar structures of polymers, demonstrate high-spatial resolution of such studies that approach 10-20 nm - a typical size of the probe apex. Our current efforts are aimed on time-dependent mechanical properties and mapping of polymer viscoelasticity. Examination of local electric properties with AFM has been initiated even before the nanomechanical studies. Measurements of electrostatic force, surface potential and capacitance gradient (dC/dZ) were enhanced with multi-frequency approaches. High-resolution mapping of these properties will be shown on variety of materials: from metals and semiconductors to organic compounds and polymers.

Recent advances in nanoscale characterization are related to emerging combinations of AFM with Raman and IR spectroscopy that bring true chemical mapping to the sub-diffraction limit scales. Several examples of such studies on polymer blends and other compounds will be given.

April 15, 2016

UCLA Microbiome Center Lecture Series
“Oxidized Lipids, Intestine, Inflammation and Cardiovascular System”
Mohammad Navab, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology,
David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

“Mobile Microscopy, Sensing and Diagnostics Technologies”
Aydogan Ozcan, PhD
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering,
UCLA & HHMI Professor

March 30, 2016

James Versalovic, M.D., Ph.D
Texas Children’s Hospital,
Milton J. Finegold Professor and Vice Chair,
Dept. of Pathology & Immunology,
Baylor College of Medicine

2016 Harrison and Lya Cordova Latta Lecture
"Manipulating the Intestinal Microbiome to Change Gut Disease Outcomes"

About the Speaker:
Dr. James Versalovic received his M.D. with Honors at Baylor College of Medicine in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine in 1994. He pursued clinical pathology/microbiology residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Versalovic joined the pathology staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital and served as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1999. He is board-certified in clinical pathology and molecular genetic pathology.

Dr. Versalovic currently serves as Head of the Department of Pathology, Chief of the Pathology Service, and Director of the Texas Children's Microbiome Center. He serves as the Milton J. Finegold Professor of Pathology & Immunology, and also Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is Co-Director of the Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) training program at Baylor. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology and Editor of Therapeutic Microbiology: Probiotics and Related Strategies. As a Principal Investigator, his primary research interests include the human microbiome, probiotics, medical and molecular microbiology, innate immunity, digestive diseases, and gastrointestinal physiology. His research program is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (R01 and Roadmap funding). Dr. Versalovic has authored 88 primary manuscripts, 30 book chapters, and 2 patents. He has received the Lansky Award as a national leader in pathology under the age of 45 from the College of American Pathologists Foundation. He has also received the BioGaia Ivan Casas Probiotics Research Award and the BCM Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award.

March 24, 2016

Cancer Cell Mechanics
Presented by Nano & Pico Characterization Laboratory
“Green Tea as Cancer Preventive Beverage: From Development to its Biochemical and Nanomechanical Mechanisms”
Masami Suganuma, Ph.D.
Professor of Science and Engineering,
Saitama University, Japan

“Quantitative Evaluation of Cell Response on Chemically Designed Substrate”
Hiroshi Yoshikawa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry,
Saitama University, Japan

March 03, 2016

Sarah Keller, PhD
Professor of Chemistry,
Adjunct Professor of Physics,
University of Washington
Short Stories in Membrane Biophysics of How Complex Behavior Arises from Minimal Components
Abstract: This talk will briefly summarize recent research projects inspired by biological questions. Asking how molecules on the early Earth assemble into protocells of RNA surrounded by a membrane led to our discovery that the building blocks of RNA (nucleobases and sugars) bind to fatty-acid membranes and enhance stability (Black et al. PNAS 2013). Asking how groups of lipids diffuse within a membrane led to our measurement of growth exponents for membrane domains (Stanich et al. 2013). Asking how those domains are coupled across the two faces of the membrane led to the first measurement of the interleaflet coupling parameter (Blosser et al. BJ 2015). Asking how sub-micron, fluctuating domains might arise in a membrane led to our determination of the membrane’s effective critical dynamic exponent--the first successful systematic measurement of this fundamental physical parameter in any 2-dimensional system with conserved order parameter (Honerkamp-Smith et al. PRL 2012).

About the Speaker:
Sarah Keller is a biophysicist who investigates self‐assembling soft condensed matter systems. Her group’s primary research focus is on how simple lipid mixtures within bilayer membranes give rise to complex phase behavior. Her research has been recognized by the Tom Thompson Award and the Dayhoff Award from the Biophysical Society, the Avanti Award from the ASBMB, a Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation, and a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. In 2011 she was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences and was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington in 2000 after earning her Ph.D. from Princeton University and completing postdoctoral research as a Presidential Fellow at UC Santa Barbara and as an NIH NRSA Fellow at Stanford University. She is a recipient of UW’s 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award and the UW Postdoctoral Association’s 2012 Mentor Award. From 2010 to 2014 she served as the Associate Dean for Research Activities for the UW College of Arts and Sciences.

February 12, 2016

Lloyd Whitman, Assistant Director for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Twenty Five Hundred Years of Small Science: What’s Next?
Abstract: From the ancient Greeks to the recent greats of the nanotechnology world, I will present a personal perspective on the history of the National Nanotechnology Initiative and some of the science and policy challenges for the future of “small” science.

About the Speaker:Lloyd Whitman is the Assistant Director for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on detail from his position as Chief Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At OSTP, Lloyd supports the National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Materials Genome Initiative, helps the Administration maintain strong support for those initiatives within the Federal agencies and among key external stakeholders, and serves as a liaison to international nanotechnology and advanced materials programs and initiatives. Lloyd serves as the co-chair of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology, and provides guidance to the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office on its policies and operations. He also advises on other science and technology policy initiatives within OSTP as needed, including water S&T and advanced manufacturing. Lloyd received a B.S. in Physics from Brown University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Cornell University. He spent most of his research career at the Naval Research Laboratory, where he led an award-winning portfolio of research studying semiconductor, organic, and biomolecular nanostructures, their use in novel functional surfaces, and their integration into advanced sensor systems. Lloyd has over 160 publications and multiple patents in the areas of nanoscience and sensor technology, and has been recognized with numerous media citations and awards.

October 29, 2015

Rafal Klajn, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist,
Assistant Professor
Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science
From dynamically self-assembling materials to chemical reactivity in confined environments
Abstract: Living organisms are the most prominent examples of systems self-assembled and performing useful functions under far-from-equilibrium conditions. Inspired by nature, we design new materials whose structures and functions can be adjusted on demand, using external stimuli as “inputs”. Among the different external stimuli, we focus on magnetic fields (Adv. Mater. 2013, doi: 10.1002/adma.201201734; Science 2014, doi: 10.1126/science.1254132) and light (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, doi: 10.1021/ja505948q; Nature Commun. 2014, doi: 10.1038/ncomms4588; Nature Chem. 2015, doi: 10.1038/nchem.2303; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, doi: 10.1002/anie.201502419) since they can be delivered instantaneously and into precise locations. In this talk, I will discuss molecular switches and inorganic nanoparticles as the key building blocks of new dynamically self-assembling materials. These materials hold promise for novel applications as diverse as light-controlled catalysis (submitted for publication), or manipulating non-magnetic objects with the help of magnets (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, doi: 10.1021/ja309633v).

August 11, 2015

Jordan J. Green, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Neurosurgery, and Materials Science & Engineering Institute for NanoBioTechnology Translational Tissue Engineering Center The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Biodegradable polymeric particles for intracellular gene delivery and extracellular immunoengineering

The Green lab uses biodegradable polymers to construct nanoparticles that are safe and effective for intracellular delivery of DNA and siRNA and that can be used to engineer target cells from the “inside out.”  For intracellular delivery, the effect of differential polymer structure on the delivery of nucleic acids of different structures and sizes will be elucidated.  Biomaterial structure, and in particular polymer end-group, can determine cell-type specificity of nanoparticles in a range of cell types, including cancer cells vs. healthy cells.  Biomaterial degradation mechanism, and in particular bioreducible disulfide linkages, can enable environmentally triggered release and high siRNA-mediated knockdown.  Additionally, the Green lab develops biomimetic micro- and nanoparticles that act as artificial antigen presenting cells that can program biological immune cells from the “outside in.” The role of particle size and shape in constructing artificial antigen presenting cells and how these biomimetic particles can be used in cancer immunotherapy will be also be presented. 

Dr. Jordan J. Green is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Neurosurgery, and Materials Science & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also an executive committee member of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology and a co-founder of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at JHU. Dr. Green received his B.S. in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003 and completed his Ph.D. in biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007.  Subsequently, Dr. Green was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Institute Professor Robert Langer’s lab from 2007-2008. Dr. Green serves as the Chair of the Drug Delivery Special Interest Group of the Society For Biomaterials. He is also the CEO and co-founder of the Baltimore biotech startup company, AsclepiX Therapeutics. His work has resulted in the publication of over 60 papers and he has received numerous awards including the Maryland Outstanding Young Engineer Award, the Carnegie Mellon University Recent Alumni Award, the Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Award, and was named by Popular Science as one of the 2014 “Brilliant Ten.”  Dr. Green’s main research interests are in developing biomaterials and nanobiotechnology to meet challenges in cancer, regenerative medicine, and ophthalmology.

August 10, 2015

Frank Vollmer, PhD Laboratory of Nanophotonics & Biosensing Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany
Studies of Soft-Matter Dynamics with Micro- and Nanoscale Sensor Systems

Dr. Frank Vollmer will present his results on advancing chip-scale biodetection capabilities with optical and mechanical microresonators. In the optical domain, he has developed a biosensing platform that is capable of monitoring single DNA molecules and their interaction kinetics, hence achieving an unprecedented sensitivity for label-free detection of molecules and their dynamics with light. In the mechanical domain, he is developing a new force-based biosensing technique based on the quartz crystal microbalance. By applying centrifugal forces to a sample, it is possible to repeatedly and non-destructively interrogate its mechanical properties in situ and in real time.

Frank Vollmer obtained his PhD in ‘Physics & Biology’ from the Rockefeller University, NYC in 2004. He then became leader of an independent research group at the Rowland Institute at Harvard University where he was appointed Rowland Fellow from 2004 to 2009. In the year 2009 to 2010 he joined the Wyss Institute for Bio-Inspired Engineering at Harvard University as a Scholar-in-Residence. In 2011 he was appointed independent Max Planck Research Group Leader at the newly established Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany. Since 2012 he is also appointed Associate Biologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA where he directs a satellite laboratory.

May 28, 2014

CNSI Entrepreneurship Forum: Dr. John S. Foster, Owl Biomedical Inc.

About Dr. John Foster
Most recently Dr. John Foster has been the President and founder of Owl Biomedical Inc., a startup that developed the world’s first clinical sorter with applications in cell therapy and research.   Owl Biomedical Inc. was founded in 2011 and acquired by Miltenyi Biotec in 2013. Their first product, The Nanosorter, uses a closed fluid path cartridge that allows for “plug and play” cell sorting and avoids issues associated with traditional cell sorters.  At the heart of the cartridge is a patented silicon microchip capable of extraordinarily high-frequency fluidic valving.  Dr. John Foster earned his PhD at Stanford University where he was also a faculty member of the Applied Physics Department.  John then transitioned into industry roles - at IBM as R&D/Project Manager he was co-inventor of the proximity recording disk drive.  John was COO at Applied Magnetics Corp., then founder/CEO of Innovative Micro Technology (IMT), a turn-key MEMS foundry and contract manufacturing service provider.  
CNSI’s Entrepreneurship Forum is designed to enable entrepreneurial UCLA faculty, staff and students to exchange ideas and build relationships within the LA entrepreneurial ecosystem. The forum serves CNSI’s mission to facilitate commercialization by creating an environment where innovative ideas can be shared and cultivated into commercial opportunities. 

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April 29, 2014

Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS)
Engineered Hydrogel Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine Applications

Engineered materials that integrate advances in polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and biological sciences have the potential to create powerful medical therapies. Our group aims to engineer tissue regenerative therapies using water-containing polymer networks, called hydrogels, that can regulate cell behavior. Specifically, we have developed photocrosslinkable hybrid hydrogels that combine natural biomolecules with nanoparticles to regulate the chemical, biological, mechanical and electrical properties of gels. These functional scaffolds induce the differentiation of stem cells to desired cell types and direct the formation of vascularized heart or bone tissues. Since tissue function is highly dependent on architecture, we have also used microfabrication methods, such as microfluidics, photolithography, bioprinting, and molding, to regulate the architecture of these materials. We have employed these strategies to generate miniaturized tissue modules. To create tissue complexity, we have also developed directed assembly techniques to compile small tissue modules into larger constructs. It is anticipated that such approaches will lead to the development of next-generation regenerative therapeutics and biomedical devices.

About the Speaker

Ali Khademhosseini is an Associate Professor at Harvard-MIT's Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) as well as an Associate Faculty at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired engineering. He is also a Junior Principal Investigator at Japan’s World Premier International – Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR) at Tohoku University where he directs a satellite laboratory. In addition he is an adjunct faculty at the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin and an eminent scholar at Kyung Hee University in Korea.

April 18, 2014

Junji Kido, Ph.D.
Professor, Research Center for Organic Electronics
Department of Organic Device Engineering, Yamagata University
White OLEDs for Displays and General Lighting

Tannas Lecture Series: A Joint CNSI and Engineering Seminar Hosted by Prof. Yang Yang(1)


In 1993, we have developed white-light-emitting OLEDs for the first time. Since then, the performance of white OLEDs have been steadily improved and, today, they are considered to be the light source of the next generation. OLED displays based on white OLEDs have also been developed and large-size displays have been commercialized. Recently, high quantum efficiencies (QEs) can be obtained by using phosphorescent emitters such as iridium complexes. External QE of 25 to 30 percent was achieved for blue, green and red OLEDs, which correspond to the internal QE of nearly 100%. Device lifetime at high luminance levels, which is required for general lighting, has been significantly improved by using the multiphoton structure. By combining the above techniques, OLEDs can be extremely efficient and possess extremely long lifetime, even at high luminance level. In 2010, Lumiotec Inc. has started small-scale production of white OLED panels in Yonezawa, and luminaires using their panels have been commercialized.

In this talk, recent progress in white OLED will be discussed.

Refreshments will be served following the seminar (~4:45pm).

About the Speaker

Professor Junji Kido has received his B.S. degree in applied chemistry from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, in 1984 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in polymer chemistry from Polytechnic University, New York, in 1987 and 1989, respectively. In 1989, he joined the department of polymer chemistry in Yamagata University in Japan as an assistant professor and promoted to an associate professor in 1995, and to a full professor in 2002. His work has been recognized by awards from the Society of Polymer Science, Japan, (Society Award), and the Society for Information Display, U.S.A. (Special Recognition Award and Fellow Award) in 2002 and in 2008. He also received the Herman F. Mark Technology Medal from Polytechnic University (2007) and the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese Emperor (2013).

(1) Yang Yang is the Tannas Jr. Endowed Chair Professor in Engineering, UCLA.

April 16, 2014

Cyrus F Hirjibehedin, Ph.D.
London Centre for Nanotechnology, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Department of Chemistry, University College London (UCL)
Using Electronic Coupling To Control Magnetic Properties at the Atomic Scale

The drive to continue Moore’s Law by shrinking electrical components down to the ultimate limit has led to a great deal of interest in atomic and molecular-scale electronics, in which individual atoms and molecules can be used as circuit elements. More recent proposals also seek to exploit the magnetic properties of these nanoscale objects in new applications in information technology and spintronics. In typical device geometries, the magnetic element is coupled to electrical leads, and these interactions can strongly affect the properties of the quantum system.

Using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, we study the effects of interactions between individual magnetic atoms and molecules that are separated from an underlying metallic surface by a thin-insulating layer of copper nitride (Cu2N). For Co atoms on large Cu2N islands, we find that exchange coupling of the spin to the metallic bath can result in Kondo screening as well as dramatically shifting the energy levels of the spin and modifying its effective magnetic anisotropy [1], the property that determines the stability of its spin orientation. By controlling the exchange coupling, we can tune both the Kondo screening of the systems as well as the anisotropy energy over a broad range of values. Furthermore, this system constitutes one of the few cases in which an open quantum system’s energy levels, rather than just its excited-state lifetimes, can be controllably and observably renormalized.

April 01, 2014

From Startup to Exit: CNSI Entrepreneurship Forum, OIP-ISR Startup in a Box Program Launch Event

From Startup to Exit” Keynote Address
George Ayoub, Co-Founder & CEO, One Lambda

One Lambda was based on technology originally developed at UCLA and was recently acquired for $925M.

Followed by Networking Reception with Startup in a Box Vendors.

SIGN UP for the event

About the Speaker

George Ayoub is a co-founder of One Lambda, Inc., one of UCLA’s earliest startups founded in 1984, and was President and CEO until it was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in September 2012. He will be speaking about his journey that took him from UCLA’s Tissue Typing Laboratory to being the CEO of an IP-rich technology company–from bootstrapping to revenue and acquisition!

One Lambda is a San Fernando Valley company that was founded in 1984 and has more than 300 employees. Revenue last year was about $182 million. One Lambda’s technology was initially developed at UCLA by Professor Paul Terasaki; the firm’s co-founder. Learn more about the history of One Lambda and its connections to UCLA.

February 25, 2014

Achillefs Kapanidis, Ph.D.
Professor of Biological Physics, Clarendon Laboratory
Department of Physics, University of Oxford
Camera, Lasers, Action: Exploring Gene Machines by Single-Molecule FRET Movies


Single-molecule FRET microscopy is a versatile fluorescence technique that serves as a molecular ruler on nanoscale distances and distances changes within biomolecules. During the past 15 years, single-molecule FRET has uncovered substantial information about the dynamics of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), as well as the mechanisms of nucleic acid processing by a large variety of protein machines (“gene machines”). Such studies are often based on direct, real-time observation of the dynamics of surface-immobilized individual molecules of nucleic acids or their complexes with proteins, and offer first views of intermediates undetectable by more conventional structural and biochemical methods.

However, single-molecule FRET is often limited to a single observable, namely the FRET efficiency between the donor and acceptor probes; as a result, one may need considerable information about a system to interpret FRET signals appropriately. In my talk, I will describe how the coupling of the FRET signal with additional fluorescence observables at the single-molecule level can be used to explore transient reaction intermediates and reaction paths. Specifically, I will discuss combinations of single-molecule FRET with alternating-laser excitation (ALEX), tethered fluorophore motion (TFM) and protein-induced fluorescence enhancement (PIFE). I will also describe applications of such FRET-based techniques in mechanistic studies of gene transcription by RNA polymerase in bacterial and viral systems, as well as studies of site-specific DNA recombination. Prospects of extending single-molecule FRET in vivo will also be discussed using E.coli as the model system. Since those methods are general, they should be widely applicable to many other gene machines.

February 24, 2014

Christopher J. Barrett
McGill University, Montreal
2014 CNSI Canada Fulbright Research Chair
Opto-Reversible Materials Inspired by Nature: New Light on the Nano-Bio Interface


Developing new materials for two-way communication at the bio-interface represents an emerging interdisciplinary research challenge, and brain-machine interfaces in particular are very exciting, with recent breakthroughs achieved from various labs around the world towards various neurotransmitter sensing, signaling, and net brain process readout. At the heart of many of these collaborative interface attempts lies developing new materials which are compatible with biological tissue, and sensitive to fast and subtle signals, yet can also interface with traditional technologies for readout and interpretation. Some promising new directions in bio-materials for bio-surfaces have turned to natural materials and processes for inspiration, specifically in using light as opposed to electrical signals, and in using softer bio-compatible materials for implants in place of hard metal electrodes.

At McGill University, we are part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers that has designed soft sticky polymers based on molecular opto-switches as artificial mimics of the retinal photo-switch proteins that enable human vision, and thus a direct interface between neural cells and optical technologies. These ‘artificial vision’ molecules based on azobenzene structures respond physically when irradiated by changing shape, to permit visible to be converted directly and reversibly to mechanical work. When applied as bio-coatings, reversible changes in surface energy are also inducible as a result, for a variety of reversible surface switching applications via light, which we have demonstrated to be able to control and guide adjacent cells. Irradiation with light in the solar spectrum at sun-like intensities has also been shown to lead to a reversible photo-expansion of these materials and coatings, of up to a few percent, allowing the materials to function as photo-mechanical switches or light energy harvesters and actuator devices. Some simple macroscopic devices were fabricated with them that take mechanical advantage of this effect for larger scale motion driven by sunlight, such as bending, rolling, and ‘walking’, allowing them to function and light-powered ‘artificial muscles.'

December 10, 2013

Shiladitya Sengupta, Ph.D.
CNSI Lecture with Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta


According to the WHO, 70 percent of deaths due to cancer will occur in the developing world, where 95 percent of the population will not be able to afford next generation cancer therapies under development. Is there a way to address this challenge using nanotechnology? The talk shall address the way we currently view cancer therapy, the issues with that from a global perspective.

The talk shall present new data in our understanding of metastasis and resistance, two key reasons for cancer mortality, and therapeutic approaches based on this emerging understanding that can address the global challenge.

About Dr. Sengupta

Shiladitya Sengupta, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School Brigham & Women's Hospital. Shiladitya obtained his bachelors with honors and masters from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where he received the Geeta Mital Gold Medal. He then went to Trinity College, University of Cambridge as a British Chevening and Nehru Scholar for his PhD in pharmacology. His postdoctoral training was in biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received the Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize from the Indian Council for Medical Research and the Young Investigator award from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is a recipient of the TR35 Innovator Award from the MIT Technology Review Magazine and the Era of Hope Scholar Award from the US Department of Defense, and has supervised several best student paper awards at recent conferences.

December 05, 2013

Joyce Cutler Shaw
Art|Sci Exhibition Opening: "What Comes To Mind"

Joyce Cutler-Shaw is an artist of inter-media, although drawing is at the heart of her work. She considers drawing to be a primary language, a way of knowing, a mode of inquiry, and an act of empathy. She has exhibited internationally since 1972. Her current series, The Anatomy Lesson [1990–present] explores themes of survival, evolution and transformation. She proceeds from the point of view that we are of nature, and that human history is natural history. Her sources and inspiration come from the natural and medical sciences.

The Anatomy Lesson is an investigation of human identity and the evolving self from birth through death. To realize this independent, fine art project, Cutler-Shaw was honored to be the first visual artist, nationally, to have a medical school residency for a fine art project as Artist-In-Residence and Visiting Scholar at the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego (1991-present). She has been investigating the history of anatomy as a visual history of body imaging and the life cycle: how we are seen and how we see ourselves. To this end she has been visiting and documenting great historical medical collections and museums in the United States and internationally, as well as monitoring new medical imaging technologies.

She is the recipient of several prestigious grants such as Creative Capital Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation/Bellagio International Center, New York State Council for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts among others.

Joyce Cutler-Shaw’s works—public installations, drawings and artists books—are represented in both Museum and Library Special Collections, including the Albertina Museum in Vienna, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, The 42nd Street Library, the Klingspor Museum in Germany, the Teylers Museum in The Netherlands, the Herbert Johnson Museum at Cornell, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and the Wellcome Institute in London. Works from The Anatomy Lesson, purchased by the Wellcome Institute were on view in 1999, in their Art Gallery exhibition titled The New Anatomists.

About the sponsor: The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. The center’s affiliation with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) offers access to cutting edge researchers and their laboratories and a dedicated gallery for exhibitions. Here too the center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field of art|science for the present and future generations. In cooperation with CNSI, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Department of Design | Media Arts, the Art|Sci Center supports visiting research scholars and artists in residency from around the world. The center presents lectures, mixers, and symposia to bring artists and scientists together in order to mesh these cultures and inspire individuals to think about art and science as already interrelated and relevant to our society.

November 22, 2013

Prof. Young Kuk
CNSI Special Lecture featuring Prof. Young Kuk

Event Title

Defect States in Colloidal Quantum Dots Studied with Low-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy


Defect states within the bandgap of a colloidal quantum dot can significantly contribute to the overall quantum efficiency of the chromophore. The trap state may act as transient states that open nonradiative-transition channels of the excitonic state in the quantum dot. We have observed defect states in CdSe (CdSe/CdS) quantum dots using low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. We have mapped the spatial distribution of different defect states at various energy levels. We prove that a simulation based on the non-radiative transition via the trap state can cause the power law dependence of ‘on’ and ‘off’ probability as a function of time in a quantum dot light-emitting-diode. We suggest the ways to reduce the “blinking’ for better performance as an ideal chromophore. 

About Professor Kuk

Young Kuk is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. He completed his Ph.D. in Physics department at the Pennsylvania State University in 1981. Right after, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratory as a member of technical staff where he had worked for ten years before he joined Seoul National University in 1991.

For the last three decades, his research activity has been focused on physics in the nanometer scale, throughout his carrier using scanning probe microscopy and early days in his carrier using high energy ion scattering.

His major achievement can be summarized as follows. He has:

  1. Identified the geometric, electronic, spin properties in various nanostructures, such as spin and pseudospin degeneracy in a graphene layer (2010), heterostructure junctions in carbon nanotubes (2004), carbon nanotube peapods and its bandgap modification (2002), C60 fullerene (1993), and the reconstruction and the relaxations of Si(111)-(7x7) (1983), Au(110)-(1x2), Ag(110) (1982)
  2. Identified reaction and chemisorption processes of various molecules, including the chemisorption process of oxygen on Cu(110) (1989), the isomerization process of an azobenzene molecule (2006) and control of an azobenzene-derivative molecular rotor (2011)
  3. Studied nanomagnetic properties and spin structures using spin polarized scanning tunneling microscope in ordered Fe nano-islands (2010) and domain wall structures in a thin metal film (2011)
  4. Demonstrated the carrier dynamics on a Si(111)-(7x7) surface with laser excitation using STM (1991)
  5. Led the development of high spatial and energy sensitive scanning probe microscopy since 1984

Kuk has co-authored 170 refereed papers, six invited review papers and two book chapters, and co-edited two STM books. He was also introduced in featured articles in Physics Today, Science and Nature. He is a fellow in American Physical Society, Institute of Physics, and Korean Physical Society. He served or has served as editors or editorial board members in many international journals, such as nanotechnology, ACS nano, Solid State Electronics. He served as a vice president of research at Seoul National University from 2006 to 2008.

November 07, 2013

Diary of Smells: Shards

Diary of Smells is an ongoing multi-sensorial interactive abd interdisciplinary project. The olfactory, a forgotten sense and yet a powerful connector to memory and emotions is a protagonist among other characters such as sound, projection, sculpture, photography, book-art, mostly in the shape of installations.

Diary of Smells: Shards (estilhaços) is a work in progress composed of an installation and an olfactory artist's book. From the shards of broken wine glasses emerges a memory smell of a forgotten moment. The smells are reconstructed from texts written by several collaborators. Images emerging from the inscribed words instigate the creation of ten numbered fragrances in collaboration with Givaudan do Brasil, a leading fragrance and flavor company. This collaborative and interactive project takes the shape of an olfactory artist’s book and an installation.

The artist’s book shown here at UCLA is a work in progress. It comprises various stages of smell production, photographs and sound design.

About the artist: Josely Carvalho, a Brazilian multi-media artist lives in New York and Rio de Janeiro. Over the past three decades, she has assembled a body of work in a wide range of media that gives eloquent voice to matters of memory, identity and social justice while consistently challenging the boundaries between artist and audience and between politics and art.

Her latest project, Diary of Smells includes olfactory and its connection to emotions and memory in her visual/sound installations. She approaches smell through the construction of original fragrances (i.e. smell of nest), sculpture installations, smell video, photography, artist’s book, residences & smell walks.

She is the recipient of several prestigious grants such as Creative Capital Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation/Bellagio International Center, New York State Council for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts among others.

She has exhibited extensively internationally in several museums and cultural centers and has works in several public collections. She has received her BA from Washington University, School of Architecture, St. Louis, Mo. & she has taught at the School of Architecture, National University of Mexico & SUNY at Purchase. She was the founder and director of The Silkscreen Project, St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery in New York City.

About the sponsor: The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. The center’s affiliation with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) offers access to cutting edge researchers and their laboratories and a dedicated gallery for exhibitions. Here too the center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field of art|science for the present and future generations. In cooperation with CNSI, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Department of Design | Media Arts, the Art|Sci Center supports visiting research scholars and artists in residency from around the world. The center presents lectures, mixers, and symposia to bring artists and scientists together in order to mesh these cultures and inspire individuals to think about art and science as already interrelated and relevant to our society.

October 31, 2013

Art|Sci Exhibition: Dow Jones - A Solfège Economy
Dow Jones is a real-time singing portrait of the U.S. stock market, and by extension, the U.S economy. Each business day millions of publicly owned company stocks and shares are bought, sold and exchanged in a perpetual cycle for capital gain. Dow Jones interprets the resulting fluctuations in share values from companies in the Down Jones Industrial index to create a continuous sound of economic highs and lows.

Exhibiting Artist: Gareth Walsh

About the sponsor: The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. The center’s affiliation with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) offers access to cutting edge researchers and their laboratories and a dedicated gallery for exhibitions. Here too the center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field of art|science for the present and future generations. In cooperation with CNSI, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Department of Design | Media Arts, the Art|Sci Center supports visiting research scholars and artists in residency from around the world. The center presents lectures, mixers, and symposia to bring artists and scientists together in order to mesh these cultures and inspire individuals to think about art and science as already interrelated and relevant to our society.

October 09, 2013

Cardiac Dance: The Spirals of Life with Dr. Gerald Buckberg
The “cardiac dance” is the twisting, pulsing rhythms of the human heart in motion. Through the work of Drs. Francisco Torrent-Guasp and Gerald Buckberg, a new approach to dealing with congestive heart failure has been developed. What you will see on stage is our attempt to show this revolutionary concept through dance, music and multimedia.

Cost: Free and open to the public

About the sponsor: The Art|Sci Center is dedicated to pursuing and promoting the evolving “Third Culture” by facilitating the infinite potential of collaborations between (media) arts and (bio/nano) sciences. The center’s affiliation with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) offers access to cutting edge researchers and their laboratories and a dedicated gallery for exhibitions. Here too the center hosts the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute for high school students by introducing them to the vast possibilities in the quantum field of art|science for the present and future generations. In cooperation with CNSI, the UCLA School of the Arts and the Department of Design | Media Arts, the Art|Sci Center supports visiting research scholars and artists in residency from around the world. The center presents lectures, mixers, and symposia to bring artists and scientists together in order to mesh these cultures and inspire individuals to think about art and science as already interrelated and relevant to our society.

September 28, 2013

Octopus Mandala Glow
Victoria Vesna’s artwork will premiere at Santa Monica’s Glow festival on September 28th

Victoria Vesna, a professor in UCLA’s department of Design|Media Arts and director of the Art|Sci center at the California NanoSystems Institute, is a world-renowned artist who frequently collaborates with nanoscientists to unite the worlds of art and science. Her latest project, Octopus Mandala Glow (OMG), is part of a worldwide movement to encourage people to occupy their Ferris wheels, with a vision of creating a global chorus and spreading joy. For more info about OMG, please check out the project’s website:

Join the OMG movement now by donating the symbolic minimum of $8! Then pass it on to 8 friends. Your help will not only make this global project possible, but will also have you directly participating in the creation of the Octopus Mandala. We want to collect “Om’s” from the peaks of wheels all over the world—people of all religions, languages, and with different “views.” To donate, go to:

June 29, 2013

BLUE MORPH :: June - Aug at the Museum of Natural History, Marseille, France
BLUE MORPH installation opening at the Museum of Natural History at the Palais Longchamp in Marseille, the european cultural capital in 2013. Victoria Vesna is artist in residence at IMÉRA and she is presenting this work as part of a larger exhibition on light, "Lumiéres" that is also marking the reopening of the renovated museum. This interactive installation utilizes images and sounds of metamorphosis of a chrysalis into a butterfly created in close collaboration with nanoscience pioneer Jim Gimzewski.

June 24, 2013

Jurriaan Huskens
University of Twente, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, Molecular Nanofabrication group, Enschede, The Netherlands
Reactive Monolayers: Templates for Biomolecules and Interfaces for Technology
Abstract: Self-assembled monolayers have been the workhorse for nanotechnology since a few decades ago. They constitute an interface and “interphase” between a substrate and the “outside world.” Their functions are by far not only the basic types such as substrate protection, anchoring and tuning of hydrophilicity, but have progressed into ever increasing added value ranging from molecular recognition (e.g. for sensing), molecular construction, biomolecular orientation, electronic transport, signalling, etc.
Reactive monolayers, i.e. monolayers that have some reactive moiety at the headgroup that allows further functionalization, form a subclass that is extremely useful for molecular (nano)fabrication. The reactivity of such monolayers can be the same or drastically different (faster or slower) than of their solution analogs.
The current presentation focuses on examples that range from biomolecular templates to technological applications. The development of reactive platforms that signal attachment reactions occurring onto them is useful for biomolecular arrays. Examples will be shown of protein patterns, using a thiol-reactive platform [1]. Surface gradients are being developed and used to address and map reactivity profiles on surfaces on reactive monolayers [2]. Additionally, an example using paramagnetic complexes to make spintronic devices is shown [3]. Current and future developments of these lines will be shown as well.

[1] C. Nicosia, J. Cabanas-Danés, P. Jonkheijm, J. Huskens, ChemBioChem 2012, 13, 778.
[2] S. Krabbenborg, C. Nicosia, P. Chen, J. Huskens, Nature Communications 2013, 4, 1667.
[3] T. Gang, M. D. Yilmaz, D. Ataç, S. K. Bose, E. Strambini, A. H. Velders, M. P. de Jong, J. Huskens, W. G. van der Wiel, Nature Nanotechnology 2012, 7, 232.

June 13, 2013

“Advancing Technology to Meet Changing Demands”
RSVP to:

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Stephen F. (Steve) Hahn
Research Fellow
The Dow Chemical Company

Steve joined Dow in Midland, Michigan in 1982 and has worked in a variety of business and corporate research and new business development functions at Dow prior to assuming his current role in 2007. As Research Fellow, Steve leads Dow’s effort to identify emerging, strategically aligned chemical, materials, water and energy related business opportunities. He is focusing on the North American West Coast region and is currently located in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area of Northern California.

Steve has a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan Tech and an M.S. in Chemistry from Central Michigan University. He holds 37 issued U.S. Patents, has 40 publications in refereed journals, and 6 chapters in scientific reference books. Steve was named a Dow Inventor of the Year in 1990 and 1996, the Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at Michigan Tech in 1996 and 2003, and received the Dow Excellence In Science Award in 1999. He was a Visiting Professor of Chemistry and IPrime Scholar at the University of Minnesota in 2002. He received the American Chemical Society Cooperative Research Award in 2008 and the Council for Chemical Research Collaboration Award in 2010. He has represented Dow on Advisory Boards at the University of Connecticut and at Michigan Tech. Steve also serves on the advisory board for the Global Social Venturing Competition at the Haas School of Business at UC-Berkeley.

June 11, 2013

Leica Scientific Forum US - Los Angeles: Advances in Life Science

"Imaging neuronal and behavioral activity in the freely moving animal: What are they looking at?"

Featured Speaker: Jason Kerr, Network Imaging Group, MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen/DE

4:00 p.m.: Welcome and introduction by Shimon Weiss

In his talk, Jason Kerr will present:
  • Use of a head-mounted 2-photon microscope to image activity from cortical populations in the freely moving animal with single cell resolution.
  • Precise tracking of the animals head and eye positions during free movement.
  • How and why rodents move their eyes during free movement and the implications for cortical processing of vision.

5:15 p.m.: Discussion & post-lecture reception

Scientific Advisory Board: Prof. Roger Tsien (UCSD), Prof. Mark Ellisman (UCSD), Prof. Shimon Weiss (UCLA), Prof. Katsushi Arisaka (UCLA), Prof. Arnold Kriegstein (UCSF), Prof. Michael Stryker (UCSF), Dr. Thomas Zapf (Leica Microsystems)

For free registration, click here. Find more info here.

Event Flyer

June 10, 2013

ACS ChemWorx Demo: Spend Less Time Organizing and More Time Researching

Please RSVP. Pizza and refreshments will be served.

June 07, 2013

Federico Rosei
Canada Research Chair in Nanostructured Organic and Inorganic Materials INRS Energie, Materiaux et Telecommunications, Université du Québec
Exploring molecular assembly at surfaces
The adsorption and self-assembly of organic molecules at surfaces has recently been investigated extensively, both because of the fundamental interest and for prospective applications in nanoelectronics. Molecule–molecule and molecule–substrate interactions can be tuned by appropriate choice of substrate material and symmetry. Upon molecular adsorption, surfaces typically do not behave as static templates, but often rearrange to accommodate different molecular species. We review recent experiments using Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy, providing new insight into fundamental properties such as molecular diffusion and self-assembly via surface templating and H-bonding driven by co-adsorption. Our approach is to modify surfaces providing suitable surface cues, that may guide the assembly of adsorbates. Recent advances in using the substrate as catalyst for surface confined polymerization reactions will also be discussed.

May 29, 2013

Mapping adhesion, cytoskeletal and signaling protein transport and interactions in living cells by image correlation spectroscopy
Abstract: Image correlation methods are an extension of fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy that can measure protein-protein interactions and macromolecular transport properties from input fluorescence microscopy images of living cells. These approaches are based on space and time correlation analysis of fluctuations in fluorescence intensity within images recorded as a time series on a laser scanning or total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope. We recently introduced spatio-temporal image correlation spectroscopy (STICS) which measures vectors of protein flux in cells based on the calculation of a spatial correlation function as a function of time from an image time series. Here we will describe the application of STICS and its two color extension, spatio-temporal image cross-correlation spectroscopy (STICCS), for measuring transport maps of adhesion related macromolecules such as integrin, alpha-actinin, paxillin, talin, and vinculin within, or associated with the basal membrane in living U2OS osteosarcoma and CHO cells as well as during dynamic turnover of podosomes in dendritic immune cells. We will also highlight recent advances we have made with a new form of reciprocal (k-) space ICS, called kICS, that allows us to measure unbiased transport coefficients of fluorescently labeled membrane proteins even if there is complex photophysics (such as nanoparticle emission blinking) of the probe. We will describe kICS measurements of the transport properties of quantum dot labeled GPI anchored proteins in the cell membrane. Finally we will show how an extension of kICS was used to measure the transport properties of Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and detect transiently confined and more freely diffusing populations of this ion channel in the cell membrane.

Featured Speaker: Paul W. Wiseman, Departments of Chemistry & Physics, McGill University

May 14, 2013

Shana O. Kelley and Ted Sargent
Innovative solutions for sustainable energy and personalized healthcare: A role for nanotechnology
Two of society's most urgent needs – our growing demand for energy in a world with finite reserve of fossil fuels and the need to improve patient quality of life at a cost we can afford – present opportunities for the nanotechnologist. Scientists working at the nanometer scale – one billionth of a meter – are increasingly fashioning custom materials with precisely designed properties. We are endowing matter with new light-absorbing, electron-harvesting, molecule-analyzing, and state-reporting properties that are programmed in at the time of chemical synthesis and materials fabrication.

We will present the latest breakthroughs in solar cell technologies: flexible photovoltaic devices, printed like newspapers, that make the best use of the sun's broad visible and infrared spectrum. We will also discuss progress towards rapid, point-of-care, low-cost molecular diagnostics technologies that enable the early and sensitive detection of disease, results that guide the physician towards more responsive and more effective treatment solutions.

The talk will include both the latest advances in the lab and a discussion of the commercialization of these technologies in the form of start-ups InVisage Technologies and Xagenic.

Featured Speakers: Shana O. Kelley, Professor, Biochemistry at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine, Special Fulbright Canada Chair at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA and Ted Sargent, Vice-Dean, Research, for the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Professor in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), Fulbright Canada Chair at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA

**Sponsored by CNSI and Fulbright Canada, in association with Canadian Studies Program, UCLA International Institute

May 13, 2013

New Fluorescent and Labeling Technologies
Fluorescence microscopy offers the benefit of spatially resolved and multi-parametric analysis of cells in heterogeneous populations. Life Technologies offers three foundational approaches to fluorescent probes for microscopy; organic dyes, Qdot® labels, and fluorescent protein-based reagents. This comprehensive solution to fluorescence labeling and detection enables unmatched flexibility and ease of use, translating readily into a powerful toolbox of probes, sensors and applications for cellular imaging.

This seminar will provide an overview of new and existing cellular assays for fluorescence microscopy. Click-iT® technology, new pH sensor dyes, and BacMam gene delivery will be presented as particular examples of platforms which enable robust imaging of cell structure as well as various aspects of cell function such as cell cycle, internalization, and autophagy. New Molecular Probes® imaging assays for apoptosis and oxidative stress will also be discussed.

Featured Speaker: Scott Clarke, Molecular Probes by Life Technologies

*Hosted by the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Lab

May 09, 2013

LASER: Space and Place

Featuring: Donovan Keith (science animator) and Jon Christensen (UCLA Institute of the Environment)

This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here for a downloadable PDF map.

Everyone invited will introduce their work in 4-minute pecha-kucha style presentation. This is followed by drinks and food / socializing and making new connections.

Are you working on a cool project? We invite you to submit your name for this LASER! Send your title and 3-5 images to

May 09, 2013

Art|Sci Exhibition: Christina Agapakis "Bacterial Encounters"

Microbes are often synonymous with rot, decay, infection, and disease. When microbes are made visible—or worse, smellable—it signals danger, a situation best avoided. But microbes are unavoidable, essential as part of the ecology of the healthy human body and the global dynamics of biogeochemical cycles. The growing realization of microbial usefulness and diversity is changing our relationship to microorganisms from one of fear, isolation, and sterilization, to a more ecological understanding of symbiotic exchange. Bacterial Encounters is an exploration of nature and culture from a microbiological perspective, capturing the microbial ecology and the living diversity thriving after the death of the Salton Sea. Through culturing such microbes, we make visible the ecologies that make up our world.

May 02, 2013

Robert Bramucci, Ph.D
Vice Chancellor, Technology & Learning Services, South Orange County Community College District
PhD Career Planning Seminar: Online Teaching Opportunities for PhDs
  • How do you get involved in online teaching?
  • Where might positions for online teachers be available?
  • What are the pros and cons of online teaching?
  • How do you prepare for an online teaching assignment and what is the time commitment for an online class?
Space is limited! RSVP required.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Bramucci is Vice Chancellor of Technology & Learning Services for the South Orange County Community College District. He serves on the state Educational Technology Advisory Committee to the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and has earned the system's highest award for technology leadership.
Bob and his team have won two Campus Technology Innovator Awards from Campus Technology magazine and their work has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education and USA Today.
Dr. Bramucci has a PhD in experimental psychology from Washington State University, a M.A.P. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Arkansas, and a B.S. in psychology from Arkansas State Univ.

April 30, 2013

Igor L. Medintz
Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Delivering nanoparticles to cells: the challenge of exiting the endosome

Abstract: Nanoparticles, which range from metal and semiconductor nanocrystals to dendrimers, represent a potent assembly platform for decoration with proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, drugs, contrast agents and the like in pursuit of creating new nanomedicines and theranostic devices. At the most basic level these constructs will in many cases be required to undergo uptake into targeted cell populations to fulfill their intended role. The most popular method for facilitating nanoparticle uptake into cells is the use of cell penetrating peptides. Despite their diverse sequences and structures, these peptides invariably take advantage of some type of endosomal uptake to accomplish cellular delivery. Although somewhat efficient for delivery of noncovalently attached cargo such as nucleic acids to cellular targets outside the endosome, the nanoparticles themselves invariably remain sequestered in this complex vesicular system. The talk will focus on recent efforts with a modular, multifunctional peptide system to address and overcome this challenge. Preliminary screening of an initial peptide designed to deliver palmitoyl-protein thioesterase inhibitors to neurons indicated it could mediate endosomal escape of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) in cultured cells. Detailed studies characterized properties relevant to the peptide’s ability to mediate cytosolic delivery of QDs to a wide range of cell-types, brain tissue culture and the developing neuronal system in a model chick embryo system in a remarkably non-toxic manner. An iterative structure-activity relationship analysis of the peptide undertaken by discretely modifying key components including length, charge, fatty acid content and their order allowed us to define key motifs required for endosomal escape, to select more efficient escape sequences, along with unexpectedly identifying a sequence that specifically targeted QDs to cellular membranes. A model of peptide function and implications for in vivo labeling and nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery will be discussed.

April 25, 2013

Art|Sci Exhibition: Megan Daalder "Project Eureka"

Project Eureka is a shapeshifting narrative that will unfold over the course of 2013. Through performance, installation, and video the project will follow the first and last designer baby, as she struggles to contribute to the future of humanity in a post-climate change world.

This event is free and open to the public.

April 19, 2013

Arun Divakaruni, Ph.D.
Vice President of Scientific Communication, Weber Shandwick
UCLA Alumnus
A PhD Career Planning Seminar

ARUN DIVAKARUNI: Scientific Communication- Building Bridges Between Science and Business

  • What is scientific communication? Why do companies and scientists need to be good at it?
  • How are social and digital media changing the public conversation on science and medicine?
  • How can you start a career in scientific communication?

Space is limited! RSVP here!

Speaker Bio: Dr. Divakaruni is Vice President of Scientific Communications at Weber Shandwick, a leading public relations firm. He advises and develops communications programs for a range of biopharmaceutical clients aimed at a variety of audiences. He graduated with his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA.

Event Flyer

April 18, 2013

LASER: Speaking Your Mind

  • Mark Cohen (UCLA Neuroscience)
  • Stephen Nowlin (Art Center College of Design)
  • Aaron Thomen (Creator of MindMIDI)
  • Adam Steig (UCLA Nano Pico Characterization Facility)
  • Gerald Buckberg, MD (Distinguished Professor of Cardiac Surgery)
  • Anne Andrews (UCLA Neuroscience)
  • Paul Weiss (UCLA CNSI)
  • Laurent Bentolila (Scientific Director, Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Laboratory)
  • Gottfried Haider (independent artist)
  • Don Estes (Director, Psiometric Science Inc. (PSI) (Inventor-Author-Lecturer-Director))
  • James K. Gimzewski (UCLA Chemistry, "Duality" exhibition)

This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here for a downloadable PDF map.

Everyone invited will introduce their work in 4-minute pecha-kucha style presentation. This is followed by drinks and food / socializing and making new connections.

Are you working on a cool project? We invite you to submit your name for this LASER! Send your title and 3-5 images to

April 15, 2013

Prof. Shuit-Tong Lee
Soochow University
Silicon Nanostructures for Energy Applications

Featured Speaker: Prof. Shuit-Tong Lee, Director, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM); Dean, College of Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University; Director, SUN-WIN Joint Research Institute for Nanotechnology, Soochow University

Abstract: Si nanostructures in various forms can be controllably synthesized using metal-assisted vapor-liquid-solid growth, oxide-assisted growth, chemical or electrochemical etching methods. Si nanostructures (nanowires, quantum dots) exhibit unique and interesting structural, optical, electronic and chemical properties, which are being exploited for myriad exciting applications. For example, energy devices based on Si nanowire arrays can achieve efficiencies as high as 12% for solar energy conversion. Additionally, Si nanodots and nanowires can serve as efficient photo-catalysts for the redox reactions of organics. This presentation will discuss and highlight our recent works in developing silicon nanostructures for green, high-efficiency and low-cost solar energy harvesting and catalysis applications.

April 11, 2013

Prof. Xavier Intes, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Towards In-vivo Foster Resonance Energy Transfer Imaging

Featured Speaker: Professor Xavier Intes, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Hosted by: Dr. Xavier Michalet & Prof. Shimon Weiss

Abstract: Fluorescence is a ubiquitous readout of molecular localization that has enabled the elucidation of many biological processes. Co-localization of different fluorophores via fluorescence microscopy allows one to monitor protein interactions, but this has been limited by the resolution of the imaging technique used. Although super-resolved imaging microscopy techniques can break the diffraction limit, imaging of protein interaction is not directly achievable, but can be sensed via Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). FRET is the radiationless transfer of energy from an excited donor fluorophore to an appropriate acceptor in close proximity. The energy transfer only occurs between fluorophores separated by less than ~10 nm, enabling sensing of protein interactions at the nanoscale. However, to date, FRET applications are confined to microscopy of cells in culture. It is becoming increasingly important to translate FRET assays to small animal imaging where the in vivo physiological context is critical for drug development, the study of diseases, and fundamental cellular and molecular biology.
I will present my laboratory’s efforts towards establishing whole-body FRET imaging in small animals. I will report current instrumental, theoretical and experimental efforts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to develop a new method to perform whole-body fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) based on wide-field time-resolved illumination. I will also summarize our efforts, in collaboration with Dr. Barroso laboratory at Albany Medical College, to characterize an adequate near-infrared FRET pair and its application to monitor NIR-FRET labeled- iron-binding transferrin protein internalization in cancerous cells based on the reduction of donor fluorophore lifetime.

Bio: Xavier Intes is an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, U.S.. Dr. Intes received his Ph.D. in physics from Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Britton Chance and Arjun Yodh. Dr. Intes was the Chief Scientist of Advanced Research Technologies Inc, Montreal, Canada, and oversaw the development of two commercial time-resolved tomographic optical imaging platforms: Optix® and SoftScan®. He has been a faculty member of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since 2006.
Dr. Intes’ research interests are on the application of optical techniques for biomedical imaging in pre-clinical and clinical settings. His research concentration is on functional imaging of the breast and brain, fusion with other modalities, and fluorescence molecular imaging. The goal of his laboratory is to develop quantitative thick-tissue optical imaging platforms by focusing on three main areas: (a) design of new optical tomographic imaging instrumentation; (b) developing new reconstruction algorithms for quantitative volumetric imaging; and (c) investigating optimal experimental and theoretical parameters for functional, molecular, and dynamical optical imaging.

April 08, 2013

Jean-luc Doumont, co-founder of Principiae
A PhD Career Skills Seminar

JEAN-LUC DOUMONT: Persuading Others
  • Whatever your career path, the ability to persuade others of your ideas is an essential skill.
  • How can you sell your ideas effectively?
  • How can you better understand personal dynamics and effectively get your message across?

Space is limited! RSVP here!

An "Interactive Practice Session" with Dr. Doumont will follow the lecture from 5:30-6:30 in the CNSI 5th Floor Presentation Space and is limited to 25 participants. Please separately RSVP with your name, status (postdoc, grad student, etc.) and department. Limited to UCLA grad students, postdocs, and faculty.

Speaker Bio: Jean-luc Doumont is an engineer from the Louvain School of Engineering and he received his PhD in applied physics from Stanford University. He now devotes his time and energy to training engineers, scientists, business people, and other rational minds in effective communication, pedagogy, statistical thinking, and related themes.

Event Flyer

March 22, 2013

Presented by the UCLA Center for Biological Physics and CNSI

"Designing a Nanoviricide ® - Biophysics is the Key"

Featured Speaker: Anil R. Diwan, Ph.D., President and Chairman, NanoViricides, Inc.

Abstract: A "nanoviricide ®", is a biomimetic decoy designed to fool a virus particle into binding to it and thereby capturing the virus particle and rendering it harmless. It is constructed by chemically attaching virus-binding ligands to a polymeric micelle. Biophysics is of prime importance in designing these structures. The biomimetic ligands tend to have poor energies of interaction with the virus particle per ligand, yet a large number of ligands enable a successful interaction with the virus particle. Additionally, the nanoviricide competes with cells for binding to the virus particle, and must provide a substantially more efficient interaction than the cell-virus interaction, in order to achieve a therapeutic effect. The nanoviricide also must be able to exercise its effect in the biological matrix, be it in the bloodstream, plasma, mucosa, or other extracellular spaces. Further, it should have minimal undesirable interaction with the matrix and host cells so that sufficient material is available for clearing out a fulminant viral infection from a patient's body. In addition, the nanoviricide needs to be able to distribute itself within the body, across various barriers, so that it can reach the spaces where the virus particles are present. NanoViricides, Inc. has demonstrated that highly effective antiviral treatments can be created against a large number of viruses, despite these design challenges. The challenges and opportunities for understanding the behavior of virus-nanoviricide interactions, and the results from studies of nanoviricides development against various viruses such as influenza, HIV, Herpesvirus, adenoviruses, Dengue viruses, will be discussed.

March 18, 2013

James Watson, Ph.D.
IMED Seminar Series

60th Anniversary of the Double Helix: A Conversation with James Watson

Featured Speaker: James Watson, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate, Chancellor Emeritus, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories

Host: Lee Goodglick, Ph.D., MBA

This event is co-sponsored by IMED and CNSI

March 13, 2013

A PhD Career Planning Workshop

Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists

Featured Speaker: Ellen Daniell, Ph.D., Author, Every Over Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists

  • What are the challenges faced by women in science?
  • How can forming support groups help combat the competition, isolation, and inequity that come with careers in academics and industry?

For over 30 years, Ellen Daniell has been part of a professional problem-solving group of women (and some men) who have attained extraordinary distinction in various scientific fields. Dr. Daniell will share experiences and strategies of the group’s members in the course of their careers. The talk highlights the importance of cooperation and of not “going it alone” in a competitive world.

Speaker bio: Dr. Ellen Daniell holds a PhD from the University of California at San Diego. A past assistant professor in molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, she has held management positions in human resources and patent licensing for biotechnology. She is the author of Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists.

Space is limited! RSVP here.

Event Flyer

March 08, 2013

Professor John Rogers, UIUC
Distinguished Materials Scientist Seminar

Materials for Bio-Integrated Electronics

Featured speaker: Professor John Rogers, Lee J. Flory Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract: Biology is curved, soft and elastic; silicon wafers are not. Semiconductor technologies that can bridge this gap in form and mechanics will create new opportunities in devices that adopt biologically inspired designs or require intimate integration with the human body. This talk describes the development of ideas for electronics that offer the performance of state-of-the-art, wafer-based systems but with the mechanical properties of a rubber band. We explain the underlying materials science and mechanics of these approaches, and illustrate their use in bio-integrated, ‘tissue-like’ electronics with unique capabilities in cardiac electrophysiology, brain-machine interfaces, and continuous health/wellness monitors. Demonstrations in humans and live animal models illustrate the functionality offered by these technologies, and suggest several clinically relevant applications.

Bio: Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from the end of 2000 to 2002. He is now the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign with a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Rogers’ research includes fundamental and applied aspects of materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. He has published more than 350 papers and is inventor on more than 80 patents, more than 50 of which are licensed or in active use. Rogers is a Fellow of the IEEE, APS, MRS and AAAS, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His research has been recognized with many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2009 and the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2011.

March 07, 2013

LASER: Imagining Nature


  • Piero Scaruffi (founder, Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous)
  • Madeline Schwartzman (artist and author)
  • Noa Kaplan (UCLA Design Media Arts, media artist)
  • Errki Huhtamo (UCLA Design|Media Arts, author)
  • Sara Robinson (Oregon State Wood Science and Engineering)
  • Caitlin Berrigan (independent artist)
  • Allison Carruth (UCLA dept of English)
  • Amisha Gadani (artist in residence, Alfaro lab)
  • Rachel Mayeri (filmmaker)
  • Steven J. Oscherwitz (artist/theorist)

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Everyone invited will introduce their work in 4-minute pecha-kucha style presentation. This is followed by drinks and food / socializing and making new connections.

Are you working on a cool project? We invite you to submit your name for this LASER! Send your title and 3-5 images to

March 07, 2013

Art|Sci Exhibition Opening: Blanka Buic "Sci-Eye Apparatus"

Sci|Eye Apparatus is an experimentation in images, sound, and space, as we shape them with our tools. The Apparatus takes us through different scales, states, and dimensions. The intention is to help us imagine the invisible with composed aural atmospheres.

Blanka Buic studied music and economics, takes pictures and shoots videos for a living, and started exploring scientifically-inspired perception when she joined the Art | Sci center in 2009.

Soundscapes were created by Günther Jones, inspired by both natural and man-made rhythmic sounds that have their own kind of music.

Event Flyer

March 06, 2013

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Presents the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series

Partnering for Schools: Building the Future of Education in Los Angeles with Antonio VIllaraigosa and John Deasy

There's no question that a high quality public education system is crucial to ensuring a bright future for Los Angeles. The past decade has seen many innovative solutions to improve education in the city, but much work remains to be done.

Join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy for an engaging discussion on the future of education in Los Angeles. What models of reform would serve L.A. best? How can Mayoral involvement help LAUSD achieve its mission? What goals should guide the next generation of civic leaders as they shape a world-class public education system?

6:00- 7:00 PM: Reception
7:00- 8:30 PM: Program

Please RSVP by March 4.

Event Website

March 06, 2013

Research Supplier Show

Come hear about the latest technology and product offerings. Get ideas for solving your research challenges.

Featuring: catered lunch, goodies, R&D, lab & equipment suppliers, promotions, raffles, and supplier give-aways!

Participating Exhibitors:
  • AccuTek Laboratories
  • Bioline
  • BioTek Instruments
  • Clontech-Takara
  • CyBio Inc
  • E & K Scientific Products
  • EMD Millipore
  • Equitech Bio Inc
  • GenScript
  • Kapa Biosystems Inc
  • LabLogic Systems Inc
  • Life Technologies
  • Mettler Toledo
  • NanoString Technologies
  • Olympus America Inc
  • Pall Fortebio Corp
  • Qiagen
  • Roche Applied Science
  • Tecan US Inc
  • Thermo Scientific - Automated Liquid Handling
  • Thermo Scientific Lab Consumables – Nalg, Nunc
  • Thermo Scientific Protein Biology
  • USA Scientific
  • ValueGene Inc

This event is brought to you by Biotech Vendor Services, Inc (BVS)

March 05, 2013

Prof. Paul A. Alivisatos
Department of Chemistry, UC Berkeley
Special Physical Chemistry Seminar

Presented by the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Featured Speaker: Prof. Paul A. Alivisatos, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Design and Synthesis of Multi-Component Colloidal Nanocrystals for Catalysis and Sensing

Today it is possible to make nanocrystals with complex shapes, interconnections and topologies. This talk will first briefly describe new methods for imaging the growth and assembly of nanocrystals in the graphene liquid cell, providing new insights into how these materials form. Secondly, I will show examples of nanocrystal synthesis for a designed purpose: the formation of a nested system of nanoparticles for use in catalysis, and the synthesis of branched nanocrystals as a luminescent stress sensor.

For more information, contact: Carol Canedo, x64956

Event Flyer

March 04, 2013

Klaus-Robert Muller
Technical University (TU) Berlin
Public Lecture Presented by the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics

Toward Brain Computer Interfacing

Abstract: Brain Computer Interfacing makes use of brain signals for the control of objects (e.g., wheel chairs), spelling, computer gaming, and other applications. This talk will provide a brief overview of current Brain Computer Interface technology. In particular, it will show the wealth, complexity and difficulties of the data available. The challenge is enormous: Neuro-electric activities provide a high dimensional, very strongly noise contaminated data stream. This data stream needs to be processed and decoded accurately and in real time, so that (metaphorically speaking) thoughts can be translated into actions.

The talk will then report in more detail about the Berlin Brain Computer Interface that is based on Electroencephalography (EEG) signals, and take the audience all the way through the processing chain. Finally, Brain Computer Interfacing application examples ranging from clinical studies where 'locked-in' patients achieve communication to non-clinical applications where, for instance, complex cognitive states while driving a car are analyzed, will be presented.

Speaker Bio: KLAUS-ROBERT MÜLLER is Professor of Computer Science at Technical University (TU) Berlin and Director of the Bernstein Focus on Neurotechnology Berlin. Since 2012, he also holds a Distinguished Professorship for Neurotechnology at Korea University, Seoul. He studied physics and obtained his PhD in Computer Science at TU Karlsruhe in 1992. Starting in 1995, he built up the Intelligent Data Analysis (IDA) group at GMD FIRST (later Fraunhofer FIRST) and served as department head until 2008. He was also a Professor at University of Potsdam from 1999-2006. He was awarded the Olympus Prize by the German Association for Pattern Recognition DAGM in 1999, and the SEL Alcatel Communication Award in 2006. In 2012 he was elected to be a member of the German National Academy of Sciences - Leopoldina. His research interests are intelligent data analysis, machine learning, signal processing and Brain Computer Interfaces.

Reception in IPAM building following the lecture

Event Flyer

March 01, 2013

Dr. Jay Apt, Carnegie Mellon University
CGI Spring Symposium and Seminar 2013

Featured Speaker: Dr. Jay Apt, Director of the Electricity Industry Center, Tepper School of Business, Dept. of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Electricity- What's Next?

Renewables? Natural gas? Energy storage? At Carnegie Mellon’s Electricity Industry Center, we have been studying the characteristics of all these technologies to see how they might change the current electric grid. The discussion about renewable electricity has recently benefited from a scarce commodity: data. We now understand the character of fluctuations in power output from wind and solar power. Using the measured variations and moderate time resolution emissions data from natural gas generators, we can estimate additional air emissions from these generators caused by wind and solar. We know when connecting wind farms together with transmission lines to reduce variability reaches a point of diminishing returns, and are starting to learn how to best use new-technology batteries in the grid.

Following the seminar: Posters and networking reception with hors d'oeuvres

Event Flyer

February 28, 2013

SoCalBio Networking Forum

Crowdfunding for the Biosciences: A Real Prospect or Pipe Dream

Spurred by the passage of the Jobs Act, crowdfunding is the latest platform for companies and entrepreneurs to raise money. It is a way of raising capital that involves getting small amounts of money from a large number of investors. The Jobs Act has transformed the formerly "donate-to-my-cause" industry into a popular way for raising capital. This new source of money pushes behind some of the traditional sources like family and friends, angel investors and venture capital.

Crowdfunding promises to give some startups access to capital they wouldn’t have had otherwise, but it could also set up unprepared entrepreneurs for a headache. This SoCalBio mixer will provide a primer on this source of funding and discuss all the legal, accounting, and business strategy aspects of crowdsourcing for bioscience commercializatrion projects.

Our speakers and panelists will touch on:
  • How to crowdfund by reaching out to people in your network
  • How to tap into their desire to support your project and believe in your claims
  • How to keep crowdfunding legal
  • Are there crowdfunding best practices?
  • Is it realistic to crowdsource for biotech or medical device projects?
  • Will crowdsourcing hurt your chances of tapping into institutional money?

  • Howard Leonhardt, Chairman & CEO, CA Stock Exchange
  • Carl Esposti, Founder,
  • David Harvilicz, Founder & CEO,

Panel Discussion:
  • Joseph A. Boystak, President & CEO, Brightwaters Capital
  • George Colindres, Sr. Counsel, Perkins Coie
  • Eric Miles, Partner, Moss Adams
  • Roger Zickfeld, Managing Director, Zickfield Capital Advisors
Event Website

February 27, 2013

Greg Carman, Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UCLA
UCLA Science Faculty Research Colloquium

Future Nanoscale Multiferroic Devices

Present day electromagnetic devices rely on magnetic fields generated by passing a current through a conducting wire; a discovery made by Oersted nearly 200 years ago. While extremely useful, this approach fails at small length scales and thus presents a major obstacle to the further miniaturization of electronic devices. Recent scientific discoveries show that a magnetic material’s intrinsic magnetization can be manipulated with an electric field. This innovation thereby overcomes the deficiencies associated with Oersted’s current driven system, especially in the realm of nanotechnology. Professor Carman will describe the ongoing multiferroic research, and the potential applications that this new approach has to offer the scientific and engineering communities.

Speaker bio: Professor Greg P. Carman’s research is on understanding the multi-physics behavior of active materials such as piezoelectricity and magnetoelasticity. He is the Director of the new National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center focused on Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS), and is the Co-Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) in the Department of Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Professor Carman was awarded the “Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Prize” from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2004.

Event Flyer

February 26, 2013

Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, and David Miller, Former Mayor of Toronto
What A Mayor Can Do To Green A City

Join a conversation with Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, and David Miller, Former Mayor of Toronto. Moderated by Glen MacDonald, Director, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

RSVP Required. You can register here.

  • Registration (for RSVP only): 9:45 AM
  • Welcome and Introduction: 10:00 AM
  • Keynote Panel: What a Mayor Can Do to Green a City: 10:15- 11:15 AM

February 21, 2013

"Dog Nose Knows" + UCLA LASER

Art|Sci Exhibition: Dog Nose Knows

5:00- 7:00 PM (Art|Sci Gallery)

Conceptualized by UCLA professor Victoria Vesna and neuroscientist Siddharth Ramakrishnan, with graphics and game design by Adeline Drucker, "Dog Nose Knows" is a card game played from the point of view of a dog.

UCLA Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER)

7:00- 9:00 PM (5th floor Presentation Space)

"Games People Play"

February 21, 2013

The PhD Career Training Series Presents: A Career Mentoring Luncheon

Insider’s Advice on Transitioning from an Academic Postdoc to Founding a Company

Featured Speaker: Peter Bowers, Ph.D., Senior Director, Protein Engineering and Computational Biology, Anaptysbio Inc.

Dr. Peter Bowers will share his experiences founding a company after an academic postdoc. He will walk us through the basic steps of the process and the barriers he overcame to have a successful start-up company.

Dr. Bowers is the co-founder of Anaptysbio, a therapeutic antibody product company in San Diego. He currently is the senior director of protein engineering and computational biology where he plays a crucial role in the strategic leadership of his research department and the company’s technology.

Dr. Bowers completed his PhD in Biochemistry in 1998 at the University of Washington. After two years of postdoctoral training, he joined a start-up company in Woodland Hills, CA. Dr. Bowers later joined UCLA as a research fellow, where he developed computational methods to build protein networks and to decipher cellular processes from genomic data.

Space is limited! RSVP by Sunday, February 17.

To ensure a fully interactive experience for each participant, attendance is limited to 15 postdocs/ graduate students per luncheon. If you are interested in attending, please include a 3-5 sentence statement indicating how your attendance will benefit your specific career interests. Selected participants will be notified by Tuesday, February 19th, 2013.

Event Flyer

February 14, 2013

Workshop: "Chemical Romance"

Presented by: Christina Agapakis, UCLA Art|Sci Center

Parking is $11 all day, and is available in structure 3, adjacent to the building. For more information, call 310.825.9007.
This event is FREE and open to the public.

February 06, 2013

Kathleen Barker, Ph.D.
Career Development Workshop

Communication and Conflict in the Laboratory

Featured speaker Kathleen Barker, Ph.D. will provide an interactive workshop on communication and conflict management in the laboratory. Topics will include effective communication and conflict management with colleagues, peers, and PIs.

Speaker Bio: Kathy Barker received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and was an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Cell Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller when, inspired by the frustrated conversations among scientists, she left the lab to write. Her first book, At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator, sought to demystify the culture of the laboratory and of research for newcomers, and her second book, At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory (updated title At the Helm: Leading your Lab) covered the importance of communication and organizational skills in managing a laboratory. She is currently working on a book as scientists as activists, working beyond the bench.

Register here!

Event Flyer

February 06, 2013

Kathleen Barker, Ph.D.
Career Development Workshop

I Was Trained to Do Everything But Run a Lab!

Featured speaker Kathleen Barker, Ph.D. will provide an overview of lab management for future or new PIs. Topics will include managing your science, yourself, individuals, and groups. Planning and managing projects, delegating tasks, and creating positive and productive team dynamics.

Speaker Bio: Kathy Barker received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and was an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Cell Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller when, inspired by the frustrated conversations among scientists, she left the lab to write. Her first book, At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator, sound to demystify the culture of the laboratory and of research for newcomers, and her second book, At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory (updated title At the Helm: Leading your Lab) covered the importance of communication and organizational skills in managing a laboratory. She is currently working on a book as scientists as activists, working beyond the bench.

Register here!

Event Flyer

February 01, 2013

Dr. Willem Vermaas, Arizona State University
CGI Winter Symposium and Seminar 2013

Featured Speaker: Dr. Willem Vermaas, School of Life Sciences and Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis, Arizona State University

Cyanobacteria as solar-powered biocatalysts that produce and excrete useful products

We have set out to “teach” cyanobacteria to use solar energy to fix CO2 to make and excrete organic molecules for human use, and not have the energy go into just biomass. We use the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 as a model biocatalyst and focus on production of laurate, a saturated C12 fatty acid. In order to have Synechocystis produce laurate, we have equipped it with a thioesterase from plants that cleaves acyl-ACP (acyl-carrier protein), an intermediate in the native lipid biosynthesis pathway, when the acyl group has reached the C12 length. Modifications have been made in order to enhance carbon flux into the lipid/fatty acid biosynthesis pathway and eliminate laurate consumption by the cyanobacteria. Such new approaches to biofuel production can be much more sustainable and “green” than current practices, and makes cyanobacteria leading candidates for the production of the next generation of biofuels, commodity chemicals, and other compounds that currently are made from oil.

Following the Seminar: Poster session and networking reception with hors d'oeuvres

Event Flyer

January 31, 2013

A PhD Careers Workshop: HRL Laboratories Company Information Session

Interested in working for HRL Laboratories?

Directors and Managers of the four Laboratory and Human Resources will describe the working environment at HRL and share their thoughts on the type of scientists and engineers that HRL Laboratories typically recruits. Networking session to follow.

  • Frank Brady, Director, Shared Services
  • David H. Chow, Ph.D., Director, Microelectronics Laboratory
  • Roy Mark Matic, Ph.D., Manager, Advanced Technology Information & Systems Sciences Laboratory
  • Leslie Momoda, Ph.D., Director, Sensors & Materials Laboratory
  • Richard Ross, Ph.D., Manager, Computational Physics, Applied Electromagnetics Laboratory

Space is limited! RSVP here!

Event flyer

January 31, 2013

Professor Chaim Sukenik, Bar Ilan University
Special Lecture featuring Chaim Sukenik, Bar Ilan University

Controlling the Reactivity, Stability, and Stiffness of Interfaces using Self-Assembled Monolayers and Thin Oxide Films

Featured Speaker: Professor Chaim Sukenik, Edward and Judy Steinberg Chair in Nanotechnology and Professor of Chemistry, Bar Ilan University, Israel

Abstract:This talk will report on our recent efforts to develop new approaches to controlled in situ chemical transformations within self-assembled monolayers and on our work involving the application of nanometric oxide films to polymer interfaces. These tools have allowed us to address problems ranging from semi-conductor wafer bonding to the biocompatibility of polymer-based devices. This work has developed new chemistry for biomolecule anchoring, a new approach to creating hybrid electronic-photonic devices and a new way to precisely and predictably control the stiffness of polymer surfaces.

January 25, 2013

Dr. Rajeev Ram, MIT
CGI Winter Symposium and Seminar 2013

Featured Speaker: Dr. Rajeev Ram, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE)

The Role of Microsystems for a Clean Energy Future

I will focus on improvements in electrical energy efficiency from lower cost, more efficient, solid-state lighting to lighter weight electrical vehicles to a flexible electricity grid. Technologies include chip-scale megahertz switching frequency converters for solid-state lighting and microprocessor power supplies, advanced power electronics platform for photovoltaic converter applications – from chip-scale sub-module DC/DC converters to light-weight multi-MW utility-scale inverters for large solar farms and more. New research to leverage high-voltage, wide-bandgap devices to realize 4-10x cost reductions in FACTS and HVDC sub-systems. Such costreductions are essential to realizing a grid where power can be routed much as information is routed within Communications networks today.

Following the seminar: Posters and Networking Reception with hors d'oeuvres

Event Flyer

January 25, 2013

Professor Guy Le Lay
Special Lecture featuring Guy Le Lay, Aix-Marseille University, CNRS-CINaM

The Dawn of Silicene

Silicene, graphene’s silicon cousin, born in 2012, did not exist in nature; it is in its infancy. Still, it offers many exciting promises due, typically, to its Dirac fermions, its two-dimensional topological insulator character, the hint for high-temperature superconductivity, and, last but not least, its direct compatibility with current silicon-based electronics.

In this talk, Professor Le Lay will present a state-of-the-art review on silicene and draw perspectives for potential applications.

January 17, 2013

Art|Sci Collaborations

UCLA Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) & North|South Mixer

17 Jan 2013 - 7:00 pm
17 Jan 2013 - 9:00 pm

LASER is a project of Leonardo®/ISAST, started by Piero Scaruffi in San Francisco and spreading to New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles! UCLA Art|Sci center is extending our social networking from North / South campus mixers to the Los Angeles megalopolis. Our first meeting will be held at the California NanoSystems Institute presentation space. Art|Sci director Victoria Vesna will lead the LASER meetings.

The inaugural LASER will showcase the work of:

  • Christina Agakapis (post-doc, bio)
  • Jonathan Arnou (UCLA SPIN lab)
  • Robert Bilder (UCLA neuroscience)
  • Rita Blaik (PhD, material sci)
  • Mark Cohen (UCLA neuroscience)
  • Douglas Campbell (MindShare LA)
  • Joyce Cutler-Shaw (artist)
  • James Gimzewski (UCLA nanotech)
  • M.A. Greenstein (GGI Inc)
  • Erkki Huhtamo (UCLA media history)
  • David Familian (UCI Beall gallery)
  • Siddharth Ramakrishnan (Seattle)
  • Marcos Novak (UCSB, media art)
  • Julie Pate (independent artist)
  • Eric Parren (independent artist)

This event is FREE and open to the public.
Click here for a downloadable PDF map.

Everyone invited will introduce their work in 3 minute pecha-kucha style presentation. This is followed by drinks and food / socializing and making new connections.

January 16, 2013

Toby Freedman, Synapsis Search
Career Opportunities for PhDs in Biotech and Pharma Industries

Toby Freedman, author of Career Opportunities for PhDs in the Biotech and Drug Development Industries, will be presenting to UCLA trainees on the careers available to PhDs in these industries.
  • Have you heard that bench research is only one of over 100 different careers in the biotechnology and pharma industries?
  • For what bioscience industry jobs are YOU qualified and how can you get qualified?
  • How do you decide which career will be the best match for your interests, skills and professional goals?

RSVP here!

Speaker Bio: Toby Freedman is an author, recruiter, entrepreneur and Founder and President of Synapsis Search. Her book, Career Opportunities in Biotechnology & Drug Development, provides a comprehensive overview of the many careers in the life sciences industry, covering over 20 vocational areas ranging from venture capital to marketing to discovery research.
She founded her own recruiting firm, Synapsis Search, which is focused on life science R&D and business placements. She earned a PhD in molecular biology from UNC Chapel Hill, and conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University and at the University of Texas‐Austin.

January 14, 2013

Jane Wells, CNBC
Managing Invention Seminar

"Fiscal Cliff", "Rise Above": The Evolution of Business News

Featured Speaker: Jane Wells, CNBC Reporter

About the series:
The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), and the Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMED) have teamed up to create an educational seminar series here at UCLA called Managing Invention. The series is designed to inspire faculty and student researchers who are interested in turning their discoveries into breakthrough technologies and start-up companies. Stimulate the inventor in you!

For additional information, please contact: Lee Goodglick, Ph.D. or David Ghatan

Event Flyer

December 10, 2012

“Coupling Molecular and Process Parameters for High Performance Electronic Polymers”

Speaker: Dr. Elsa Reichmanis, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

This presentation will explore the array of polymer technologies used in electronics applications, along with key fundamental materials parameters that may facilitate definition of materials architectures leading to subnanometer scale dimensional control of features for future semiconductor fabrication technologies. To enable advanced applications, this control must be extended into the micro- and macro-scales. Molecular structure and the processing associated with incorporation of materials into devices both play an active role in ultimate performance.

The seminar will be followed by a networking reception with Hors d’oeuvres

Event Flyer

November 15, 2012

Suzanne Anker Lecture | Exhibition: GENETIC SEED BANK
Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. Her works include digital sculpture, installations and large-scale photography.

October 25, 2012

Art|Sci Exhibition + North | South Mixer: Rita Blaik – Altered States
Rita Blaik, Art|Sci fellow, UCLA IGERT clean energy fellowship recipient and doctoral student in material science, presents her ephemeral photographs that cross the boundaries on materiality. The exhibition will be followed by the North | South Mixer and the introduction of the newly formed Undergraduate Art and Science Club.

October 17, 2012

Leslie Ann Momoda, Ph.D.
Director, Sensors and Materials Laboratory
HRL Laboratories, LLC

A PhD Career Skills Workshop: Transferrable Career Skills from PhD to Industry

What skills are transferrable from academic training to the industry setting?

Which additional skills can help you be more successful in an industry career?

This workshop will explore what skills acquired during PhD and postdoctoral training are useful in the industry setting, from the perspective of someone who has successfully gone through a career transition.

Leslie Ann Momoda, Ph.D.

Dr. Momoda is currently the director of the Sensors and Materials Laboratory at HRL Laboratories, LLC in Malibu, CA. She joined HRL Laboratories in 1990 after receiving a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. She has over 20 years of experience in the fields of materials synthesis, processing, and characterization for electronic and structural applications. Dr. Momoda has lead several major programs in fuel cell subsystems and smart material applications. As a laboratory director, she now manages a laboratory of 70 scientists and engineers. She is a member of the Materials Research Society and is on the advisory board for engineering departments at several major universities.

Space is limited!

The Ph.D. Career Planning Series is a collaborative project of: Academic Services, UCLA Graduate Division | The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) | The Society of Postdoctoral Scholars at UCLA | David Geffen School of Medicine, Office of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

October 04, 2012

CNSI Special Lecture featuring Stan Williams, Hewlett-Packard
**Please Click Here to RSVP

CNSI Special Lecture featuring Stan Williams
HP Senior Fellow & Vice President, Director of Cognitive Systems Lab
Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, CA)
CNSI, External Advisory Board Co-Chair

“Mott Memristors, Spiking Neuristors and Touring Complete Computing with an Action Potential”

Dr. Matthew Pickett and I have been collaborating on a project at HP Labs to explore the possibility of using "locally-active memristors" as the basis for extremely low-power computation utilizing neither transistors nor semiconductors but rather inorganic and electronic neurons. We first analyzed the thermally-induced first order phase transition from a Mott insulator to a highly conducting state in a family of correlated-electron transition-metal oxides, such as Ti4O7 and NbO2. The current-voltage characteristic of a simple cross-point device that has a thin film of such an oxide sandwiched between two metal electrodes displays a current-controlled or 'S'-type negative differential resistance (NDR) caused by Joule self-heating if the ambient temperature is below the metal-insulator transition (MIT). We derived simple analytical equations for the behavior these devices [1,2] that quantitatively reproduce their experimentally measured electrical characteristics with only one or two fitting parameters, and found that the resulting dynamical model was mathematically equivalent to the "memristive system" formulation of Leon Chua and Steve Kang [3]; we thus call these devices "Mott Memristors". Moreover, these devices display the property of "local activity"; because of the NDR, they are capable of injecting energy into a circuit (converting DC to AC electrical power) over a limited biasing range. We built and demonstrated Pearson-Anson oscillators based on a parallel circuit of one Mott memristor and one capacitor, and were able to quantitatively model the dynamical behavior of the circuit, including the subnanosecond and subpicoJoule memristor switching time and energy, using SPICE. We then built a neuristor, an active subcircuit originally proposed by Hewitt Crane [4] in 1960 without an experimental implementation, using two Mott memristors and two capacitors. The neuristor electronically emulates the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the axon action potential of a neuron, which has been recently shown by Chua et al. [5] to be a circuit with two parallel memristors, and we show experimental results that are quantitatively matched by SPICE simulations of the output bifurcation, signal gain and spiking behavior that are believed to be the basis for computation in biological systems. Finally, through SPICE, we demonstrate that spiking neuristors are capable of Boolean logic and Touring complete computation by designing and simulating the one dimensional cellular nonlinear network '137'.

1. Pickett, M. D., Borghetti, J., Yang, J. J., Medeiros-Ribeiro, G. & Williams, R. S. Coexistence of memristance and negative differential resistance in a nanoscale metal-oxide-metal system. Advanced Materials (2011).
2. Pickett, M. D. & Williams, R. S. Sub-100 femtoJoule and sub-nanosecond thermally-driven threshold switching in niobium oxide crosspoint nanodevices. Nanotechnology In Press (2012).
3. Chua, L. & Kang, S. Memristive devices and systems. Proceedings of the IEEE 64, 209-223 (1976).
4. Crane, H. D. The Neuristor. IRE Transactions on Electronic Computers EC-9, 370-371 (1960).
5. Chua, L., Sbitnev, V. & Kim, H. Hodgkin-Huxley axon is made of memristors. International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos 22, 1-48 (2012).

Stan Williams is an HP Senior Fellow and director of the Memristor Research group at HP Labs.

He is currently focused on developing technology that supports the concept of CeNSE: The Central Nervous System for the earth. The idea is that nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize human interaction with the earth as profoundly as the Internet has revolutionized personal and business interaction.

Prompted by his exploration of the fundamental limits of information and computing, Williams recently completed extensive research in nano-electronics and nano-photonics.

For the past 30 years, his primary scientific research has been in the areas of solid-state chemistry and physics and their applications to technology. This evolved into the areas of nanostructures and chemically assembled materials, with an emphasis on the thermodynamics of size and shape.

Williams has been awarded more than 60 U.S. patents, published more than 300 papers in reviewed scientific journals and presented hundreds of invited plenary, keynote and named lectures at international scientific, technical and business events.

He has received numerous awards for business, scientific and academic achievement. Most recently he received the prestigious 2007 Glenn T. Seaborg Medal awarded by the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

He was named to the inaugural Scientific American 50 Top Technology leaders in 2002 and then again in 2005 (the first to be so named twice). In 2005, Small Times magazine named the U.S. patent collection Williams has assembled at HP as the world’s top nanotechnology intellectual property portfolio and in 2000, MIT’s Technology Review placed one of his patents among the top 5 that “will transform business and technology.”

Williams received a bachelor of arts in chemical physics in 1974 from Rice University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978. He was a member of technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs from 1978 to 1980 and a faculty member of the Chemistry Department at UCLA from 1980 to 1995.

August 01, 2012

John D. Loeser, M.D., Professor of Neurological Surgery and Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Harborview Medical Center
Theme-based Discussion: Pain
Title: “Pain: A Journey”

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Seminar
2:00 - 3:00 PM - Breakout Discussion

Abstract: Although we have all experienced pain and witnessed it in others, there is still much uncertainty about its meanings, neurological substrates and psychological components. This talk will be a journey through contemporary understandings of the varieties of pains and their significance and treatment strategies. Contemporary health care issues in the U.S. impact pain management. Philosophy, rather than pharmacy, will be emphasized.

Bio: John D. Loeser, M.D. is Professor of Neurological Surgery and Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and was the Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine from 1983 to 1997. He is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Medicine. He has been active in research, teach¬ing, and patient care in the field of pain management for over 30 years. Dr. Loeser is recognized as an expert in the surgical treatment of pain and multidisciplinary pain management. He was the Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Center from 1982-1997. His career also focused upon pediatric neurosurgery. His research and teaching efforts have included the development of the human nervous system, neuropathic pain, low back pain and multidisciplinary pain management.

Host: Dr. John McDonald, Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Event Flyer

A selection of articles from International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP):

Additional resources on the subject of Pain:

This seminar is the first of a new Theme-based Discussion series presented by the California NanoSystems Institute.

July 25, 2012

Tom Hunter, Ph.D., J.D.
Patenting Therapeutic Biologics
Bio: Dr. Hunter has experience in biotechnology and nanotechnology patent analysis and prosecution, strategic portfolio management, and infringement, enforcement and due diligence analyses and opinions. He has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications in the areas of molecular biology, physiology, immunology, stem cell therapeutics, oncology, neurobiology, protein engineering, functional genomics, diagnostics, and therapeutics, as well as “hybrid areas” including biomaterials, bioengineering, molecular machines, biological computers, and molecular memories.

Prior to joining WAVS IP, Dr. Hunter worked for the Quine Intellectual Property Law Group, P.C. as Of Counsel. Previously Dr. Hunter was a partner at Skjerven Morrill MacPherson, LLP, and before that practiced as an associate attorney at Townsend and Townsend and Crew, LLP and at Majestic, Parsons, Siebert and Hsue, LLP. Dr. Hunter was also staff scientist with American Science and Engineering and with Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory before attending graduate school. After he completed the Ph.D. program at University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Hunter joined Operon Technologies as a Senior Scientist helping Operon grow from three employees to a company valued at more than $100 million.

Event Flyer

Hosted by the Office of Intellectual Property & Industry Sponsored Research.

July 17, 2012

Seiji Ogawa, Ph.D.
Kansei Fukushi Research Center, Tohoku Fukushi University,Sendai, Japan
Seiji Ogawa, Ph.D. will present the early history of functional MRI through the biophysical insights that led to the discovery of the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD)signal effects that are the basis of the overwhelming majority of MRI means of studying brain structure function relationships. He will consider the future potentials of imaging, including means of visualizing fast brain activity.

Seiji Ogawa trained as an applied physicist in Tokyo and received a PhD in chemistry from Stanford University. He worked for 33 years in Biophysics research at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and was a Distinguished Member of the technical staff. In 2001, he became Director of the Ogawa Laboratories for Brain Function Research in Tokyo. He has received several awards for his magnetic resonance work, is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has been awarded the Japan International Prize. He is presently Professor of Kansei Fukushi Research Center, Tohoku Fukushi University, in Sendai, Japan.

Dr. Ogawa’s lecture is sponsored by the UCLA/Semel NeuroImaging Training Program with funding from the National Institutes of Health R90 DA022768 and T90 DA023422.

Event Flyer

June 07, 2012

Michael E. Nelson, Ph.D.
Venable, LLP
Washington, DC
Patenting Small Molecule Therapeutics
Abstract: Not all patents are the same. Patent strategies and the requirement of what constitutes a complete application differ from one field of invention to another.

UCLA Office of Intellectual Property (OIP) partners with Venable LLP to bring to UCLA inventors a seminar on patenting therapeutic small molecule inventions and uses thereof. This subject matter specific seminar (drugs, biomarkers, cell therapy) is part of a series of seminars OIP hopes inventors working on the respective subject matters can attend so that inventors recognize how they can contribute to strengthening patent rights. This ranges from providing the information that is needed to meet certain statutory requirements of patentability (written description and enablement) to brainstorming different permutations of the invention, including consideration on what the product deriving from the invention constitutes, potential modifications that may yield the same intended results, and future products or uses. This contribution and cooperation by inventors are important as we move towards a first to file system (effective March 16, 2013) where we have to balance filing early versus having a complete application that meets the patentability requirements. This session will focus on pharmaceuticals, following a typical discovery-to-development scenario, from turning a target associated with a disease into a screening assay, to identifying active organic compounds, and developing methods of using them. The types of information most relevant to patenting valuable inventions will be discussed for each stage.

Speaker: Michael E. Nelson, Ph.D. is a patent agent at Venable LLP in Washington, DC, who focuses on drafting, prosecuting, and advising clients on intellectual property and patent prosecution of domestic and foreign patent applications. Dr. Nelson’s practice focuses on the chemical and pharmaceutical arts including organic compounds, small molecule therapeutics, organic synthesis processes, natural products, and pharmaceutical formulations. Dr. Nelson also focuses on polymers and organic materials including organic semiconducting, light-absorbing, and light-emitting materials for electronic devices. Dr. Nelson studied Chemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas and earned his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from The Ohio State University in 2001.

Dr. Nelson’s laboratory research experience includes high-throughput parallel synthesis of small molecules for biological screening; synthesis of complex organic compounds as anti-cancer agents; and synthesis of isotope-labeled small molecules to investigate the biosynthesis of natural products. Dr. Nelson has performed research for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the NIH Chemical Genomics Center.

Dr. Nelson also served as a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, examining patent applications in the field of organic synthesis, organic semiconducting materials and organic electroluminescent devices.

Dr. Nelson is also currently pursuing a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.

May 30, 2012

Professor Walter Kohn
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
University of California, Santa Barbara
Electronic Structure of Matter: Wave Functions and Density Functionals
Abstract: In 1926 Schrödinger published his famous equation which revolutionized all of chemistry and a great deal of physics. In principle, (apart from relativistic effects), it described completely the electronic structure of matter, including atoms, molecules, solids, liquids, and plasmas. However, in practice, unless symmetries radically simplified matters, calculations with “chemical accuracy” were usually limited to systems of ten to twenty atoms.

Beginning in 1964 a new viewpoint, called Density Functional Theory, was developed, which is based on the probability density distribution of electrons in the system in question. Apart from providing additional insights into electronic structure, it has also allowed extensions to much larger systems, up to 500 to 1000 atoms. It has found a great many practical applications in physics and chemistry, for example, to defects in solids, drug design, and biological molecules.

In this talk I will explain the basic ideas of Density Functional Theory, compare its strengths and weaknesses with those of the more traditional wave function approach, and describe some applications.

Bio: Originally from Austria, Walter Kohn studied Mathematics and Physics at the University of Toronto. He then completed his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University in 1948, followed by postdoctoral work at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Kohn has made major contributions to the physics of semiconductors, superconductivity, surface physics and catalysis. He was the founding director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara, which is one of the leading research centers in physics. He has received numerous awards including the Niels Bohr/Unesco Gold Medal, the United States National Medal of Science and the Richard Prange Prize. His role in creating Density Functional Theory, the most widely used theory of the electronic structure of matter, earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998. In recent years, he was an active member of the U.S. government’s Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee and a consultant with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 2005 he produced a documentary on solar power entitled “The Power of the Sun.” Kohn currently works on Macular Degeneration, renewable energies and global warming

Event Flyer

2012 Green Family Lecture Series - Research Lecture

For more information and to RSVP visit:

May 23, 2012

Lasse Jensen, PhD
Department of Chemistry
The Pennsylvania State University

Understanding the molecule-plasmon coupling
Abstract: Controlling the optical behavior of molecules near the vicinity of noble metal nanoparticles continues to be an active research area in nanoscience. A molecular level understanding of the optical properties of such metal-molecule complexes is important for many applications such as energy harvesting, nanoscale optical circuits, and ultra-sensitive chemical and biological sensors. In this talk we will discuss our recent theoretical studies aimed at understanding the coupling between molecules and plasmons. We will show how electrodynamics simulations can be used to describe the optical properties of mixed exciton-plasmon states arising when strongly absorbing dyes interacts with plasmons. Electronic structure methods will be used to explore the chemical coupling in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and resonance effects in SERS and surface-enhanced hyper-Raman scattering.

April 16, 2012

Philip C. Bevilacqua, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Center for RNA Molecular Biology
Department of Chemistry
The Pennsylvania State University

Protein-Like Functions in a Small RNA Enzyme
RNA enzymes catalyze chemical reaction with just four, similar nitrogenous heterocycles. Yet RNA enzymes share remarkably similar properties to the much more chemically diverse protein enzymes. I will discuss how RNA side chains participate in proton transfer, with pKa's shifted to neutrality. We take an interdisciplinary approach involving mechanistic enzymology, crystallography, Raman spectroscopy, and theory to arrive at a unified mechanism for the ribozyme. These studies show that RNA can approach proteins in terms of intrinsic rates of reaction.

April 06, 2012

Dr. Jean-Luc Doumont
Structuring Your Research Paper
Dr. Jean-Luc Doumont has a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford, and now teaches scientists and engineers how to structure their thoughts both verbally and in writing. The audience left his presentation skills workshop last year saying it was one of the best talks they'd ever heard -- Come see what his focus on simplicity, structure, and audience understanding can do for your manuscripts!

PLEASE RSVP HERE: The Society of Postdoctoral Scholars, UCLA

Papers are one of the few deliverables of the work of researchers. Well-designed, they efficiently allow each reader to learn only what he or she needs to. Poorly designed, by contrast, they confuse readers, fail to prompt decisions, or remain unread. Based on Dr. Doumont's book Trees, maps, and theorems about "effective communication for rational minds," the lecture shows how to structure scientific papers, theses, and technical reports effectively at all levels to get the readers' attention, facilitate navigation, and, in this way, get the message across optimally.

Speaker Bio: An engineer from the Louvain School of Engineering and PhD in applied physics from Stanford University, Jean-Luc Doumont now devotes his time and energy to training engineers, scientists, business people, and other rational minds in effective communication, pedagogy, statistical thinking, and related themes.

Articulate, entertaining, and thought-provoking, Dr. Doumont is a popular invited speaker worldwide, in particular at international scientific conferences, research laboratories, and top-ranked universities. For additional information, visit Principiæ.

March 29, 2012

Andrey Rogach,PhD
Director, Centre for Functional Photonics (CFP) Professor of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong
ACS Nano Associate Editor

Functional Hybrid Structures of Semiconductor Nanocrystals
Research Interests:
Colloidal semiconductor (quantum dots) and metal nanocrystals. Using the colloidal chemistry approaches we synthesize semiconductor and metal nanorystals of variable sizes, shapes and compositions, tuning the emission of semiconductor nanocrystals and surface plasmon resonances of metal nanoparticles through the visible and near-IR spectral range. Colloidal nanocrystals, with their variable surface chemistry determined by a reach choice of capping ligands are ideal building blocks for fabrication of different hybrid nanostructures. We apply optical spectroscopy to study energy transfer and charge separation in these nanostructures and look for different applications of semiconductor and metal nanocrystals, ranging from photovoltaics and water splitting to biological fluorescent labels and SERS substrates.

March 14, 2012

Mauro Ferrari, M.D., President and CEO; Ernest Cockrell Jr. Distinguished Endowed Chair, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, and President, Alliance for NanoHealth, Houston, Texas
Nanomedicine Transitions To Transport Oncophysics
Dr. Mauro Ferrari is a founder of biomedical nano/micro-technology, especially in their applications to drug delivery, cell transplantation, implantable bioreactors, and other innovative therapeutic modalities. In these fields, he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and six books. He is the inventor of more than 30 issued patents, with about thirty more pending in the US and internationally. His current major areas of research interest include nanotechnology, biomechanics, microtechnology, bioengineering and biomaterials.

Event Flyer

Co-sponsored by: IMED, JCCC Cancer Nanotechnology Program Area, Division of Nanomedicine, and California NanoSystems Institute

March 05, 2012

Jay Nadeau,PhD
Biomedical Engineering, McGill University

Towards new methods of protein structure determination
The Biomedical Engineering in Advanced Applications of Quantum, Oscillatory, and Nanotechnological Systems (BEAAQONS) cellular nanoprobe lab at McGill Iniversity is headed by Dr. Jay Louise Nadeau, a biophysicist with expertise in semiconductor synthesis, ion channels, and selective labelling of cells in culture, organisms, and the environment - including extreme environments such as the Canadian High Arctic. While at NASA, she was one of the first to identify toxic effects of semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots) on bacteria and mammalian cells. Currently funded by the EPA and the Canadian government, she has built a group to specifically address the following questions:

  • How do size, material composition, and surface coat affect the toxicity of nanoparticles?

  • How do these data translate into real-life recommendations for use and disposal of commonly-used nanomaterials?

  • Can the toxic properties of nanomaterials be exploited to create anti-cancer drugs, particularly those for photodynamic therapy (PDT) of skin and lung cancers?

  • Can nanoparticles be used to identify and quantify bacteria in the environment and to eliminate pathogens?

February 24, 2012

Bruce Logan,Ph.D.
Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute
Penn State University

Clean-Green IGERT (CGI) Winter Symposium & Seminar
Title: Bioelectrochemical systems for energy production and the generation of other value-added products

Abstract: The ability of certain microorganisms to transfer electrons outside the cell (exoelectrogens) or to accept electrons directly into the cell (electrotrophs) has created opportunities for new types of bioelectrochemical technologies, including: microbial fuel cells (MFCs), to produce electrical power; microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), to produce fuels such as hydrogen and methane gases; microbial desalination cells (MDCs) to partially or fully desalinate water; and microbial reverse electrodialysis cells (MRCs) that can be used to boost current densities in MFCs or MECs. In this presentation, I highlight different applications possible for these bioelectrochemical systems, and present new architectures that are being used to scale down these systems for high though put screening, and to scale up these systems for commercial applications.

Bio: Bruce Logan is the Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, and Director of the Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute. He has published over 300 journal papers and several books (including one on microbial fuel cells), and works in a variety of research areas including bioenergy production, bioremediation, environmental transport processes, colloidal dynamics, and microbial adhesion. Dr. Logan is a visiting professor at Newcastle University in the UK, Harbin Institute of Technology in China, Dalian University of Technology in China, Dalian University of Technology in China, and he is an investigator with the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

Following the seminar:
Clean-Tech Energy Generation Demos
Clean-tech and Sustainability Poster Session
Hors d'oeuvre Buffet
Event Flyer

February 10, 2012

Rakesh Agrawal, PhD
Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor,
School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
Nobe Founders Lecture: Chemical Engineering in a Solar Energy Driven Sustainable Future
Abstract: Chemical engineering as a discipline evolved in the 20th century with the conversion and use of then abundantly available fossil resources, mainly coal, natural gas and crude petroleum. However, going forward the fossil resources are finite and economic growth, environmental concerns and political landscape are reshaping the availability as well as the manner in which these resources will be used. Ultimately a transition from fossil resource based state to a renewable energy based state is inevitable. Such a transition provides us the same level of dramatic opportunity and growth as experienced by chemical engineers during the early to mid part of the last century.

In this presentation we will focus on a future where the basic human needs of food, chemicals, heat, electricity and transportation will generally be met by solar energy. Transition from fossil resources to such a solar-energy-driven future provides an unprecedented opportunity for chemical engineers. Novel technologies and solutions will be needed to satisfy all the basic needs of daily human life. We will discuss some of these challenges and opportunities to satisfy chemicals, fuels and electricity needs.

In a solar-energy-driven world, it will be particularly challenging to satisfy the need of the transportation sector due to its requirement of high energy density fuel and associated ease of handling. Novel solutions to meet this challenge and sustain the current transportation sector will be presented. These solutions provide a feasible framework for a sustainable solar economy. They also provide exciting possibilities for Chemical Engineers to apply their expertise and contribute to the grand challenge of energy.

Bio: Rakesh Agrawal is Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University. Previously, he was an Air Products Fellow at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., where he worked until 2004.

A major thrust of his research is related to energy issues and includes novel processes for fabrication of low-cost solar cells, biomass and liquid fuel conversion, and energy systems analysis. His research further includes synthesis of muticomponent separation configurations including distillation, membrane and adsorption based processes, basic and applied research in gas separations, process development, gas liquefaction processes and cryogenics. He is a member of the NRC Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES). He was a member of the AIChE’s Board of Directors and also its Energy Commission. He has published 95 technical papers and holds 116 U.S. and more than 500 foreign patents. These patents are used in over one hundred chemical plants with total capital expenditure in multibillion dollars.

He has received several awards including, J & E Hall Gold Medal from the Institute of Refrigeration (UK), Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement from the University of Delaware, Industrial Research Institute (IRI) Achievement Award and from the AIChE: the Gerhold, Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, Institute Lecture, Chemical Engineering Practice, Fuels and Petrochemicals Division and Founders awards. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the AIChE. Agrawal received the 2010 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor for technological achievement given by the President of the United States to America’s leading innovators.

Dr. Agrawal received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, in Kanpur, India; an M.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware, and an Sc.D. in chemical engineering from the MIT.

February 01, 2012

Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center
Karolinska Institutet,
Stockholm, Sweden

Using “Tissue Microbiology” to Obtain a Coherent Picture of Infection
The study of the complex interplay between an infecting organism and its host is a cornerstone of infection biology.

By combining the power of multiphoton-based animal imaging with the precision of micro-surgery, we have developed a system which allows the visual tracking of a live infection within a living animal. Observations begin with the first interactions between host and pathogen. By using GFP expressing uropathogenic E. coli we are able to follow the progressing pathophysiology of pyelonephritis. By so doing, vasal, immune and nephritic events, previously un-described, have been revealed.

Isogenic strains, carrying mutations in virulence factor genes such as a-haemolysin, Type 1 and P fimbriae, are used to address their role for the kinetics of bacterial colonization in vivo as well as the host’s immune and physiological responses. Transcriptional profiling and comparative tissue transcriptomics has revealed a core of 80 genes directing the multi-cellular tissue responses. This demonstrated a marked role of IFN-ã in prompt inter-organ communication.

The ‘all-inclusive’ aspect of intravital studies is the foundation for an emerging field we have termed ‘tissue microbiology’. Because intravital studies deepen understanding of the pathophysiology of infection, they promise to have great value in identifying future treatment regimes.

Hosted by the California NanoSystems Institute and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics

Event Flyer

January 18, 2012

Plasma Etching - Mysteries of Dry Etching Revealed!
One Day Workshop
7:30am - 6:00pm

The one-day workshop on plasma-etching (reactive ion etching) is co-hosted by HSSEAS’ Nanoelectronics Research Facility (NRF) and CNSI’s Integrated Systems Nanofabrication Cleanroom (ISNC) and Plasma-Therm.

Led by David Lishan, Principle Scientist and Director of Technical Marketing at Plasma-Therm, the workshop will stress fundamentals and advanced technology as applied to semiconductor, MEMS, and nanofabrication. Lectures will include sections on etching compound semiconductors, metals, dielectrics, and deep silicon as well as endpoint methods.

Workshop Objectives:
  • Learn the fundamentals of plasma etching, plasma reactors, and etching mechanisms
  • Review state-of-the-art etching technologies for deep silicon etching, compound semiconductors, dielectrics, and metals
  • Explore the fundamentals and new ideas in endpoint detection
  • Understand thermal budget considerations

Attendance is free but registration is required. RSVP to

View Workshop Flyer for complete Agenda and additional information.

January 17, 2012

Leica Scientific Forum Los Angeles - Advances in Life Science
Featured Speaker: Xiaowei Zhuang

Title: Bioimaging on the Nanoscale: Single-molecule and Super-resolution Fluorescence Microscopy

Abstract: Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) is a new form of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, which surpasses the diffraction limit by using single-molecule imaging and photoswitchable probes to temporally separate the spatially overlapping images of individual molecules. This approach allows multicolor, 3D imaging of living cells with nanometer-scale resolution. In her talk, Xiaowei Zhuang will discuss the general concept, recent technological advances and biological applications of STORM.

4:00 Welcome and introduction by Chairman Prof. Shimon Weiss, followed by Xiaowei Zhuang's lecture.

5:15 Discussion & post lecture reception

Scientific Advisory Board: Prof. Roger Tsien (UCSD), Prof. Mark Ellisman (UCSD), Prof. Shimon Weiss (UCLA), Prof. Katsushi Arisaka (UCLA), Prof. Arnold Kriegstein (UCSF), Prof. Michael Stryker (UCSF), Dr. Thomas Zapf (Leica Microsystems)

For free registration please e-mail to:

Learn more:


December 13, 2011

Molecular Probes by Life Technologies
Speaker: Daniel W. Beacham, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist at Molecular Probes

Title: “Labeling and Detection Strategies in Cellular Biology” Fluorescence microscopy offers the benefit of spatially resolved and multi-parametric analysis of cells in heterogenous populations. Life Technologies offers foundational approaches to fluorescent probes for microscopy with small-molecule organic dyes, Qdot® nanocrystals, and fluorescent protein biosensors. This seminar provides an overview of new and existing cellular assays for traditional fluorescence microscopy, high content automated imaging, and even high throughput microplate biology. New Click-iT® chemistry, pH sensor dye technologies, and BacMam gene delivery will be presented as platform examples which enable imaging of cell structure and function during mitosis, endocytosis, autophagic, synaptic and mitochondrial stress processes. New Molecular Probes® imaging assays for apoptosis and oxidative stress will be discussed, as will next generation calcium probes and biosensors for cardiac, neuroscience, and cancer research.

RSVP by December 9th to

Hosted by the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Lab, CNSI-UCLA

December 07, 2011

Eli Yablonovitch, Director
NSF Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science (E3S)
University of California at Berkeley
A breakthrough technology for high efficiency solar-cells
Using a technique called "epitaxial lift-off", Alta Devices has created solar cells with an astonishing 28.2% efficiency. These thin-film solar cells break the previous record of 26.4% efficiency, and are 150-200 times thinner than conventional solar cells. Professor Yablonovitch is a leader in photonics, energy harvesting and the founder of several companies. At this seminar, he will describe the "epitaxial lift-off" technology that has enabled single-junction solar cells of unprecedented efficiency, and attracted over $70 million in capital for commercializing these next generation solar cells.

Eli Yablonovitch is the Director of the NSF Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science (E3S), a multi-University Center based at Berkeley. He received his Ph.d. degree in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 1972. He worked for two years at Bell Telephone Laboratories, and then became a professor of Applied Physics at Harvard. In 1979 he joined Exxon to do research on photovoltaic solar energy. Then in 1984, he joined Bell Communications Research, where he was a Distinguished Member of Staff, and also Director of Solid-State Physics Research. In 1992 he joined the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was the Northrop-Grumman Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering, and where he remains as Adjunct Professor. In 2007 he became Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley, where he holds the James & Katherine Lau Chair in Engineering.

November 30, 2011

Artist in Residence: Diane Gromala
The Wild West of Chronic Pain: Collaborations among Artists, Scientists and Health Care Experts
Noon to 5pm: guided tours

Artist in Residence: Diane Gromala

Why is a media technology -- immersive VR -- known as a "non-pharmacological analgesic"? Can a robot reduce anxiety? How might novel forms of social media combat the social isolation experienced by seniors who have chronic pain? What do Sufi practices and phosphorescent creatures have to do with pain?

Members of the Transforming Pain Research Group comprise artists, musicians, computer scientists, engineers, designers, psychophysicists and pain physicians. All are exploring the ways that new technologies may help the 1 in 5 people who suffer from chronic pain. Referred to as the silent epidemic, this relatively new disease has no known cause and no cure. While health care researchers explore its etiology, experts from diverse disciplines are working on ways to help with managing chronic pain. See what a group of innovative researchers north of the border are doing.

November 17, 2011

Alasdair C. Steven, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health
Imaging Phase Transitions in Viruses
The forces that stabilize macromolecular assemblies such as virus capsids are coordinated on three levels: in the folds of protein subunits; between subunits in oligomeric building-blocks (which can be homomeric or heteromeric); and between building-blocks in higher order structures. Many assemblies undergo concerted conformational changes - in effect, phase changes - at successive stages of their functional cycles. They affect all three structural levels. In the maturation of virus capsids, they control the capsid's physical stability and its ability to interact with other proteins and nucleic acids. We have been using a combination of calorimetry and time-resolved cryo-electron microscopy to investigate thermodynamic and structural aspects of these phase changes. Recently, we came across a different kind of phase-change - one from solid to gas - that occurs in proteins embedded in densely packed DNA. Although, like other radiation damage effects, this bubbling is detrimental to native structure, it can nevertheless be exploited to investigate the internal structure of nucleoprotein complexes.

November 14, 2011

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong,
Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation,
Chairman and CEO of both the Institute for Advanced Health,
and the Healthcare Transformation Institute (HTI)

Streaming Video
IMED & CNSI: Managing Inventions Seminar
About the series:
The CNSI and the IMED Seminar Series are teaming up to create a new educational seminar series that will be held once a month - called “Managing Invention”. These seminars will focus on the actual logistics of how to manage and build on discoveries here on campus. The goals of this series are to connect the UCLA community, bring to light available resources, and communicate the stories of successful discoveries.

Event Flyer (PDF)

For additional information, please contact:
Lee Goodglick, Ph.D.,
David Ghatan,

October 27, 2011

A State of Change: California's Forgotten Landscapes
With paintings and historical accounts, ecologist and author Laura Cunningham leads us on an exploration of California's early ecosystems and denizens. By visiting the forgotten past, we gain deeper insights into the future of California's ever-changing landscapes. Based on her new book, A State of Change.

Sponsored by: UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of History, La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, Audubon California, The Autry National Center, Environment Now, The G2 Gallery, HeyDay Books, & Los Angeles Audubon Society.

Event Website

October 27, 2011

Chin-Lin Guo
Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Long-range mechanical force enables self-assembly of epithelial tubules in fluidic/semi-fluidic phases

Spatiotemporal coordination of cell positioning and differentiation is critical in morphogenesis. Loss of coordination is often a hallmark of tissue abnormality and tumorigenesis. Recent studies indicate the importance of mechanical force in morphogenesis such as tubular pattern formation. However, how cells coordinate mechanical interactions between each other and with extracellular matrix (ECM), to initiate, regulate, or maintain long-range tubular patterns is unclear. Using a two-step process to quantitatively control cell-ECM interaction, we find that epithelial cells, in response to a fine-tuned percentage of type I collagen (COL) in ECM, develop various patterns resembling those observed in tubulo-lobular organs. In contrast with conventional thought, these patterns arise through bi-directional transmission of traction force, but not through diffusible biochemical factors secreted by cells. In turn, the transmission of force evokes long-range (~600ƒÝm) intercellular mechanical interactions. A feedback effect is encountered when the mechanical interactions modify cell positioning, COL alignment, and nucleus signaling. Mathematical modeling and micro-patterning experiments reveal that such feedback is a novel cell-number-dependent, rich-get-richer process, which allows cells to integrate mechanical interactions into long-range coordination. Remarkably, such feedback enables a bi-stability of tissue morphology: lobular or tubular. The spatial scale of coordination is further predicted and verified to be maximized in fluidic/semi-fluidic phases, leading to the formation of a single long-range (~1cm) epithelial tubule (i.e., singularity). We then find that cell differentiation (i.e., apicobasal polarity formation) in the fluidic phase relies on formation of ECM scaffolds around self-assembled lobule/tubules. However, these scaffolds do not cover the entire lobule/tubules, while cells in the no-ECM areas still form polarity. This contradicts current models where cell-ECM contact is assumed to coordinate and maintain polarity. A 1-D free energy model is proposed to account for such unconventional observation. Finally, we show that tumor colonies can use mechanical interactions to develop various invasion patterns. At low [COL], colonies synergistically develop long-range invasive path. At high [COL] or high colony density, colonies form random, independent scattering patterns. Our results have two impacts. First, they suggest a potential mechanism cells can use to form and coordinate long-range tubular patterns, independent of those controlled by diffusible biochemical factors. Second, they provide a new strategy to engineer/regenerate tubular organs using scaffold-free self-assembly.

October 26, 2011

Wenbing Yun,
Founder, CTO, Xradia, Inc.
Nondestructive 3D/4D X-ray Imaging with Multi-scale Resolution down to 50 nm
Abstract: Multi-scale resolution 3D/4D(3D+time) x-ray imaging with multi-scale resolution down to 50 nm offers unique capability to study a wide range of materials and engineering problems, including material failure mechanism including crack initiation and propagation, corrosion or electron migration induced failure, relationship between structures and mechanical property, porosity and permeability characterization, and establishing experimental data for accurate computer modeling/simulation. Combined with in-situ loading or environmental cells, high resolution 3D/4D x-ray imaging can be used to study real sample in real environment and operating condition, enabling scientists and engineers to study a wide range of interesting problems previously difficult or impossible to study. The performance of Xradia’s multi-scale x-ray imaging microscopes will be presented and some selected applications will be discussed, including battery materials, thermal barrier coatings, oil reservoir rocks, bio-scaffold and bio materials.

Bio: Dr. Wenbing Yun is a world renowned expert in x-ray imaging theory and techniques, and an entrepreneur. He is CTO and president of Xradia, Inc. which he founded in 2000. Xradia is a world leader in supplying advanced x-ray imaging products and solutions. Xradia has assembled a highly qualified technical and management team, introduced products in a rapid pace, achieved rapid (~50%) annual revenue growth over five years, and is profitable. He was responsible for all Xradia’s fund raising including $12M private investment and more than $10M government grant. Prior to founding Xradia, Dr. Yun was responsible for developing and managing x-ray microscopy programs at Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National Laboratories (ANL). He was responsible for developing an advanced x-ray imaging facility with a budget of about $13M while at ANL. Dr. Yun received three prestigious R&D 100 Awards, published over 100 scientific papers and one book chapter, filed and awarded more than 40 patents and holds numerous trade secrets. Dr. Yun holds a PH. D. in Physics from State University of New York at Stony Brook and obtained his B.S. from Jilin University, China.

October 13, 2011

Feng Guo, Ph.D., UCLA Associate Professor Department of Biological Chemistry
JCCC Research Seminar - “Heme and microRNA biogenesis”
Speaker: Feng Guo, Ph.D., UCLA Associate Professor Department of Biological Chemistry

Talk Title: “Heme and microRNA biogenesis”

Dr. Feng Guo's research focuses on the functions of RNA that extend far beyond coding for amino acid sequences. Dr. Guo's research group is interested in elucidating how non-coding RNAs function by forming defined three-dimensional structures and by interacting with proteins. In particular, they are investigating how a class of small RNAs (called microRNA or miRNA) is processed and used as guides for target recognition in RNA interference. The projects will be investigated using X-ray crystallography, biochemistry and in vitro evolution methods.

October 03, 2011

William Ouchi, Senior Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Business of Science Center Seminar: Building an Entrepreneurial University
Speaker: William Ouchi, Senior Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management

Talk Title: “Building an Entrepreneurial University”

Please join us for a presentation by Professor Ouchi to discuss new opportunities now being created at UCLA to support university inventors, followed by a conversation with the audience about the value of synergy between the academic and industrial communities, and highlighting ways they can work together to create a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Following Professor Ouchi’s presentation, the Business of Science Center will award a $20,000 prize to the winning team in the inaugural BSC Venture Team Competition. This competition was created to identify and fund promising UCLA technologies and provide practical business experience to our students. It was co-sponsored by Perkins Coie and the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

For additional information, please contact us at (310) 206-8611,

Event Flyer (PDF)

September 26, 2011

Hisato Yasumatsu,
Cluster Research Laboratory, Toyota Technological Institute: in East Tokyo Laboratory, Genesis Research Institute, Inc., Japan
Special Seminar: Specific Functions and Phenomena Induced by Electronic and Kinematic Interactions between Cluster and Solid Surface
Abstract: When a cluster encounters a solid surface, novel static and dynamic properties emerge due to significant exchange of electrons and kinetic energies between them, being controlled with the decisive parameters of the atomic composition of the cluster and its collision energy toward the target surface [1]. Therefore, it is true that specific functions and phenomena are expected in such a cluster-surface system. In the present talk, two representative studies on the cluster-surface interaction in the energy ranges of 10 eV and 10 keV will be delivered.

At a collision energy low enough to avoid cluster dissociation, one can fix uni-composition clusters firmly on a solid surface by landing cluster ions mass-filtered out of an cluster-ion beam. Strong nano-space electric field is generated at the interface between the cluster and the surface due to electron transfer between them [2], where one can expect functions relating to catalysis, photoelectric effects, photoreaction, etc. Geometric, electronic and catalytic properties of Pt [2-5] and Pt-Ag bi-element clusters [6,7] on a silicon surface will be presented according to the STM/STS and the temperature-programmed reaction (TPR) experiments. On the other hand, at collision energies much higher than those of local phonons of the target surface and the incoming cluster, one can deposit most of the collision energy into a tiny volume of the topmost layers of the target and the center of the cluster [1], so that a large number of atoms and clusters are ejected from the ultra-hot region in experience of ultrahigh-pressure chemistry [8]. Experimental and simulation studies on the impact of CO2 cluster cations onto a graphite surface will be presented.

[1] H. Yasumatsu and T. Kondow, Rep. Prog. Phys. 66, 1783-1832 (2003).
[2] H. Yasumatsu, T. Hayakawa and T. Kondow, Chem. Phys. Lett. 487, 279 (2010).
[3] H. Yasumatsu, T. Hayakawa, S. Koizumi and T. Kondow, J. Chem. Phys. 123, 124709 (2005).
[4] H. Yasumatsu, T. Hayakawa and T. Kondow, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 014701 (2006).
[5] H. Yasumatsu, P. Murugan and Y. Kawazoe, submitted to Phys. Stat. Solidi (2011).
[6] H. Yasumatsu, M. Fuyuki, T. Hayakawa and T. Kondow, J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 185, 012057 (2009).
[7] H. Yasumatsu, Euro. Phys. J. D, 63, 195-200 (2011).
[8] H. Yasumatsu, Y. Yamaguchi and T. Kondow, Mol. Phys. 106, 509 (2008); ibid, 106, 1123 (2008).

September 14, 2011

Sir John E. Walker, FRS
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1997
Director of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Lab, Cambridge, U.K.
ATP Synthase: the Understood, the Uncertain and the Unknown
UCLA Physiology Distinguished Lecture Series

Speaker: Sir John E. Walker, FRS, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1997, Director, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Lab, Cambridge, UK

Event Flyer

Sponsored by the Department of Physiology, Dean’s Office, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Eppendorf and New Brunswick Scientific.

August 26, 2011

Tomohide Takami,
Research Professor
Division of Quantum Phases and Devices
Department of Physics, Konkuk University

Exploring nano-world with pipette probe
Abstract: Scanning probe microscopy including scanning tunneling microscopy have explored various kinds of solid state surfaces at nano-scale. However, they cannot probe "moving" atoms, molecules, and nano-particles. In this talk, we would like to demonstrate how we explore moving species with a nano-pipette. We have developed a probe to detect sodium and potassium ions separately in liquid with the nano-pipette having an ion filter. [1,2] Also we have fabricated a bio-mimetic probe called "nano-mosquito". [3] We would like to show the capability of nano-mosquito to explore nano-world.

[1]Jong Wan Son, Tomohide Takami, Joo-Kyung Lee, Bae Ho Park, and Tomoji Kawai, Appl. Phys. Lett., 99, 033701 (2011).
[2] Tomohide Takami, Jong Wan Son, Joo-Kyung Lee, Bae Ho Park, and Tomoji Kawai, Jpn J. Appl. Phys. vol.50, no.8, in press;
[3] Tomohide Takami, Jong Wan Son, Joo-Kyung Lee, Bae Ho Park, and Tomoji Kawai, in Physics, Chemistry and Applications of Nanostructures, V. E. Borisenko, S. V. Gaponenko, V. S. Gurin, C. H. Kam, Eds., (World Scientific, Singapore, 2011), pp. 535-538.

August 25, 2011

Paul Weiss
Director, California NanoSystems Institute; Editor, ACS Nano
Small is Beautiful: Everyday Applications and Advances in Nanochemistry

ACS  ACS Webinar

Dr. Paul Weiss, editor of ACS Nano and Director of California NanoSystems Institute, will discuss everyday applications and advances in nanochemistry.

Did you know that over eight hundred products ranging from food packaging to cosmetics have resulted from nanotechnology research? Yet this is just the beginning. Advances in nanochemistry will continue to create applications that may someday impact global economics and stir debate about environmental and health concerns. Join Dr. Weiss, as he takes us on a journey to discover the role of these tiny materials in our future.

Andrew MaynardThis webinar is moderated by Andrew Maynard, Director of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center. He is a leading authority on the responsible development and use of emerging technologies, and on innovative approaches to addressing new risks.

To register and get more information, go to

August 16, 2011

Xiaodong Chen
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Bio-inspired materials for nanoelectronics and energy applications
Bio-inspired materials, inspired by the diverse and sophisticated materials and hierarchical material systems found in nature, are becoming of increasing interest. Currently, it more focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of the synthesis and hierarchical organization of natural occurring materials, and uses this understanding to engineer new eco-friendly "bio-inspired" materials for diverse applications. In addition, the incorporation of biomimetic design principles and materials into devices has the potential to create economic competitiveness in a world striving to improve its sustainability. This talk will describe our recent efforts on developing bio-inspired materials for nanoelectronics and energy applications. For instance, the examples on nanoelectronic devices based on the bio-integrated materials will be presented with some unique properties, such as memristive behavior. Furthermore, I will show how we developed universal approaches for creating bio-inspired hierarchical structures composed of functionalized graphene sheets. When the bio-inspired hierarchical structures were used as electrode materials, they behaved enhanced energy storage performance. Finally, I will discuss how the bio-inspired materials can be used for light harvesting with enhanced photo-activity.

Bio: Asst Prof Chen is currently in the School of Materials Science and Engineering since Jan 2009. He received his BS degree in chemistry (honors) from Fuzhou University in China in 1999 and MS degree in physical chemistry (honors) from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, under the guidance of Prof. Minghua Liu in 2002. After that, he moved to University of Muenster in Germany and obtained his PhD degree in biochemistry (Summa Cum Laude) under the direct of Prof. Harald Fuchs and Prof. Lifeng Chi. In 2006, he joined prof. Chad Mirkin's group at Northwestern University as postdoctoral fellow. Since 2009, he is NRF research fellow and Nanyang Asst Prof in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. He has done significant research work in the area of self-assembly, nanoelectroncis, and plasmonics, and published over 40 papers in prestigious refereed journals.

Event Flyer

August 11, 2011

Vincent Croquette
Director of Research at the CNRS, Physics Laboratory of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
Single-molecule sequencing by force: forward and backward motion of replicative polymerases and their coupling with helicases
In the replisome the polymerase collaborates with the helicase to drive the leading strand synthesis. In vitro, the helicases alone appear to unwind the replication fork with a rate far slower than the replicative one. Polymerases alone are even worse when working on a fork substrate that is in strand displacement. On the other hand, coupling the two enzymes leads to a fast and processive synthesis. The understanding of this coupling is far from perfect and was the motivation of our study.

We investigate replicative polymerases and their helicase coupling in single molecule assays using a DNA hairpin in an unzipping configuration. In this simple fork model we assist these enzymes by an external force which provides a control parameter. Modulating the force between 0 and 15pN is a mean to assist a molecular motor opening the fork and thus to replace a partner in the collaborative work. This strategy has already been used to evidence that T7 and T4 helicases display an unwinding rate increasing exponentially with the force. We have conducted this assay with different replicative polymerases, we show that strand displacement polymerization is possible with substantial assisting force level. When the force is reduced we show that the exonuclease activity is dominant. This finding leads to the development of a Cyclic Polymerase Assay (CPA) where a polymerase is periodically switched from polymerization to strand degradation by modulating the assisting force. Such an assay is very convenient to study polymerase activity. Moreover, we present here a single molecule version of the Sanger sequencing method. We shall also discuss other sequencing assay using a DNA hairpin.

Finally, the same assay can also be carried out to study the coupling between helicase and polymerase. We find that the coupled system is very efficient and advances at maximum rate, in stark contrast to the case of the isolated polymerase. We explain this result by a collaborative model where both the helicase and the polymerase are described by the Betterton-Julicher helicase model (Betterton 2003). The helicase is described by a fast passive helicase while the polymerase corresponds to a slow weakly active helicase.

Event Flyer

August 04, 2011

Jochen Feldmann
Photonics and Optoelectronics Group Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
Nanoplasmonics on Phospholipid Membranes
Nanoplasmonics with metal nanoparticles has opened a range of opportunities for enhancing and manipulating optical signals; for sensing small amounts of chemical material; and for producing novel diagnostic tools. In addition, light can be used to guide, release, heat and print metal nanoparticles. This talk describes how these functions are being utilized by the Photonics and Optoelectronics Group in their work on artificial vesicles and living cell membranes.

Bio: Jochen Feldmann is a distinguished professor of physics at Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU). He directs the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), an umbrella organization made up of seven Bavarian universities and research facilities. Lead members are the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and LMU, both designated as elite universities by the German government. Professor Feldmann's research interests include: semiconductor nanocrystals, conjugated polymers, hybrid nanobiosystems, single molecular spectroscopy, and optothermal and optomechanical manipulation.

Event Flyer

July 19, 2011

Patrick Chain, PhD, Metagenomics Team Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Applying Next Generation Sequencing Toward Understanding Microbial Communities
Event Flyer

July 07, 2011

Ted Sargent
Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology
Associate Chair of Research, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Toronto
Full-spectrum solar cells based on colloidal quantum dots
To be efficient, solar photovoltaics must match their absorption spectrum to the sun's spectrum reaching the earth's surface. Our group focuses on using colloidal quantum dots "solution-synthesized, solution-processed, quantum-size-effect-tunable materials" to build low-cost solar cells that offer a route to high efficiencies through spectral utilization matched to the sun. The community has made great progress in recent years, achieving 6% solar power conversion efficiencies half a decade after the first reports of infrared solution-processed photovoltaics. Advances include the realization of densely-packed, well-passivated colloidal quantum dot solids based both on short organic and novel small inorganic ligands. I will review the latest advances and discuss the prospects for the field, including the advances in materials chemistry needed to bring CQD PV above 10% solar power conversion efficiencies.

Bio: Ted Sargent holds the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology at the University of Toronto, where he also serves as Associate Chair for Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is Fellow of the AAAS "...for distinguished contributions to the development of solar cells and light sensors based on solution-processed semiconductors" and is Fellow of the IEEE "...for contributions to colloidal quantum dot optoelectronic devices." His work has been published in Nature, Science, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials, and Nature Photonics. He is a KAUST Investigator.

May 26, 2011

Scott T. Phillips, Martarano Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University
Synthetic Methodologies to Thermally Stable Signal Amplification Reagents and their use as Diagnostic Sensors and Chemical Detectors
This talk will describe the synthesis and development of small molecules and their polymer composites that are capable of detecting a specific chemical or biochemical analyte and amplifying signal for the detection event. Applications of these detection and amplification reagents will be described in the context of point-of-care diagnostics, controlled release, sensors, and environment-responsive materials.

Bio: Scott T. Phillips currently is the Martarano Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University. His research group is developing thermally-stable small molecule and polymer reagents for autonomous detection and signal amplification, as well as new types of shape-shifting and vanishing plastics. His work in these areas has been recognized by Popular Mechanics, the Gates Foundation, DARPA, and the Beckman Foundation, and several of his recent publications have been highlighted in the popular press, including Nature Chemistry, New Scientist, C&E News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, and JACS Select.

May 17, 2011

Paul Tumeh
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
The Use of Nanotechnology for Needle-Free Immunization
Needle-free immunization is a global priority. Currently, no adequate needle free delivery technologies exist. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 30% of the nearly 2 billion immunizations given worldwide each year are unsafe. These account for nearly 21 million people infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), two million people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and 260,000 new HIV infections annually. Transcutaneous immunization (TCI) is an immunization strategy that specifically addresses this need by combining the clinically proven strategy of vaccination with a lower-cost, safer, and potentially more effective delivery technology. However, several factors have impeded the widespread adoption of TCI, including: 1) limited loading capacity for aqueous-insoluble antigens; 2) inability to encapsulate diverse chemical payloads; 3) high cost of manufacturing which challenges scaled-up production, 4) chemical instability; 5) mechanical instability; and 6) the requirement of costly medical devices such as ultrasound to achieve stratum corneum penetration. Nanopolymersomes, vesicle constructs of diblock copolymers, have the potential to address these limitations and will be the focus of discussion.

Joint Hosts: UCLA School of Medicine and CNSI

May 06, 2011

Michael L. Shuler
Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering
Cornell University
Building a "Body-On-A-Chip": Towards Better Drug Development
We seek to understand the response of the human body to various pharmaceuticals. Tissue engineered constructs can play a significant role in drug development. Our platform technology is an in vitro system that combines microfabrication and cell cultures and is guided by a computer model of the body. We call this in vitro system a micro cell culture analog (microCCA) or a "Body-on-a-Chip". A microCCA device contains mammalian cells cultured in interconnected micro-chambers to represent key body organs linked through the circulatory system and is a physical representation of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model. MicroCCAs can reveal toxic effects that result from interactions between organs as well as provide realistic, inexpensive, accurate, rapid throughput toxicological studies that do not require animals. The advantages of operating on a microscale include the ability to mimic physiological relationships more accurately, as the natural length scale is on the order of 10 to 100 microns.

We have done "proof-of-concept" experiments on two systems to evaluate combination therapy for cancer. The first system evaluated possible combination therapies for multidrug resistant (MDR) cancer using the chemotherapeutic drug, doxorubicin, and two MDR suppressors: cyclosporine and nicardipine. The system demonstrated that a combination of MDR suppressors was more effective than using a single type of suppressor. We have also used a microCCA to test potential combination therapies (Tegafur and uracil) for colon cancer. Tegafur is a prodrug for 5-FU, and uracil is an inhibitor of DPD, an enzyme that deactivates 5-FU. Simple microwell plates cannot probe this system, but the microCCA predicts the types of responses observed experimentally. A "pumpless" system that would be easier to utilize has been demonstrated with Tegafur also. We have coupled these body modules with a micro model of the GI tract to examine the response to oral exposure of drugs, chemicals, or nanoparticles.

Overall, we believe that in vitro microfabricated devices with cell cultures provide a viable alternative to animal models to predict efficacy and toxicity in response to pharmaceuticals.

Sheldon Friedlander Founders Lecture in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 2011 (PDF)

Bio: Michael L. Shuler is the James and Marsha McCormick Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Chemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He is currently the director of a NCI funded Physical Sciences-Oncology Center, the Center for the Microenvironment and Metastasis. Shuler received both of his degrees in chemical engineering (BS, University of Notre Dame, 1969, and PhD, University of Minnesota, 1973) and has been a faculty member at Cornell University since January, 1974. Shuler's research is focused on biomolecular engineering and includes development of "Body-on-a-Chip" for testing pharmaceuticals and chemicals for toxicity; of production systems for useful compounds, such as paclitaxel from plant cell cultures; and of computer models of cells relating physiological function to genomic structure. Shuler's research has helped to lay the foundation for modern biochemical engineering and has led to commercial processes for production of the anticancer agent, Taxol; to tools to produce proteins from recombinant DNA (the "High Five" cell line); to software to support systems biology; and to devices for drug development. He also has received numerous national and international awards for his research and teaching. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame (2008). He has been recognized with the Amgen Award in Biochemical Engineering as well as the Professional Progress and Warren K. Lewis Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Also, he was the inaugural awardee for the J.E. Bailey Award from the Society for Biological Engineering. Shuler has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

May 03, 2011

Balaji Narasimhan
Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor and Associate Dean of Research
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Iowa State University
"Pathogen-Mimicking" Nanoparticles for Prevention and Treatment of Respiratory Infectious Diseases
The design of vaccines and therapeutics to address respiratory infectious diseases is fraught with challenges ranging from the need for cold storage to poor immunogenicity to the need for multiple doses to the need for needle-based methods that require medical professionals to administer. In this talk, we describe the molecular design of a safe, non-toxic, and efficacious nanoparticle-based platform that can address the challenges mentioned above and provide a robust technology to address both pre- and post-exposure to respiratory pathogens. These degradable nanoparticles are based on amphiphilic polyanhydrides, which degrade by hydrolytic cleavage of the anhydride bond. We have shown using a bottom-up approach that vaccine adjuvants based on amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticles are capable of mimicking a natural infection and inducing an immune response that provides long-lived protection against a subsequent challenge. These hydrolytically degradable materials possess the unique ability to mimic pathogens with respect to persisting within and activating immune cells.

Our studies have shown that these nanoparticles are safe when administered via multiple routes - intranasal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular. These particles are stable at high temperature for extended periods of time obviating the need for cold storage, which is a major hurdle in the deployment of vaccines to remote regions of the globe. The particles are effectively taken up by immune cells and like many pathogens, they quickly distribute to tissue sites distal to the site of administration. These nanoparticles can be used to encapsulate vaccine antigens and/or antibiotics and deliver them in a sustained manner to immune cells. Using Yersinia pestis, a respiratory biodefense pathogen which causes pneumonic plague, as an example, we have shown that nanoparticle-based vaccines confer full protection in a single dose administered intranasally ten months prior to lethal challenge. Additionally, these particles can be used to effectively deliver antibiotics intracellularly in a single administration, which has important implications for patient compliance, dose sparing, and cost savings. This rational approach for designing novel amphiphilic materials as nanoscale adjuvants and therapeutics has the tantalizing potential to catalyze the development of next generation technologies against emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Event Flyer

April 27, 2011

Jenny Kim
University of California, Los Angeles
Science and Dermatology: More than Skin Deep
The skin is the largest organ of our body and plays a crucial role in protecting the host. While skin appears to be a mere covering of our body, it is a rather well-organized, complex organ, both at a cellular and molecular level, which provides multiple functions for the host. The skin is best thought of as an immune organ and the first line of defense. During this talk, Dr. Kim will discuss skin immunity and the sophisticated protective mechanisms that keep us healthy. She will also discuss what happens when the same mechanism goes awry and leads to inflammation, injury and a disease state. This talk will highlight how the science of dermatology can be more than skin deep and its application can be utilized by all disciplines for applied sciences.

Video Event Flyer

April 18, 2011

Dante R. Chialvo
UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine
Criticality in brain's physics and mind dynamics
It is well known that dynamical systems posed near a second order phase transition generate a bewildering variety of robust and flexible behavior, associated with the abundance of metastable states at the critical point. This universal feature led us to argue, since the last millennium, that the most fundamental cognitive properties of the functioning brain are only possible because it is spontaneously located at the border of such instability. In this talk we review the motivation and then describe recent experimental results, both in health and disease, at various brain scales ranging from a few millimeters up to the entire cortex. Finally we will discuss which aspects of the mind dynamics can be usefully explained in terms of critical phenomena, as well as the lesson and implications for building emerging intelligent devices.

Event Flyer   Video

Papers and background information can be found at

April 14, 2011

Wentai Liu
Electrical Engineering
Campus Director of NSF-ERC on Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems (BMES)
Director of Chan Soon-Shiong Bionic Engineering Center
University of California at Santa Cruz
Engineering Hope with Biomimetic Systems
Research in biomimetics has progressed rapidly in the recent years fueled by the unique interdisciplinary efforts fusing engineering, medicine, and biology. This research has to address the aspects of humanity and societal impacts, technical challenges and barriers, targeting a wide range of applications. These applications span from understanding the highly complex biological systems, to treating/restoring/repairing the lost biological functions such as deafness, blindness, seizure, and paralysis, to building human-machine interface for performance enhancement. Biomimetic systems will offer viable solutions to neural disorder diseases which potentially affect very large population of people worldwide and thus occupy large market share in healthcare.

The success of biomimetic systems depends on several major enabling technology include biological recording, stimulation, bio-signal processing, wireless communication, sensing, electrode, hermetic packaging, and powering, where the implants must deal with critical constraints of size, power, reliability, safety, and technology. This talk will define enabling technologies and challenges to realize integrated and miniaturized biomimetic systems, especially neural implants, which can be used for building advanced neuroscience and neuroprosthetics platform with closed-loop control mechanisms. We will cover the development history, market opportunity, technical challenge/barriers, enabling technology, and application examples.

Bio: Wentai Liu received a B.S. degree from National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan, a M.S. degree from National Taiwan University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 1983, he joined North Carolina State University, where he held the Alcoa Chair Professorship in electrical and computer engineering and was the founder of the Analog/Mixed-Mode Design Consortium. Since 2003, he has been a professor in the electrical engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is also the campus director of the NSF Engineering Research Center on Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems. His research interests include neuroengineering, invasive and non-invasive neural prosthesis, brain-machine interface, bioelectronics, transceiver, sensors and actuators, timing/clock optimization, computer vision/image processing. Since its early stages, he has been leading the engineering efforts of the retinal prosthesis to restore vision, finally leading to successful preliminary implant tests in blind patients. He has published more than 250 technical papers and is a co-author of Wave Pipelining: Theory and CMOS Implementation (Kluwer Academic). He received 2009 R&D-100 Editor Choice Award, 2010 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Invention Award, Outstanding Paper Awards from IEEE-CVPR (1986) and ACCV (2009) Conferences, Alcoa Foundation's Distinguished Engineering Research Award, NASA Group Achievement Award, and Outstanding Alumni Award from National Chiao-Tung University, where he also holds a Chair Professorship. He has served as guest editors for IEEE proceeding and IEEE Trans. on MTT and is currently an Associate Editor for both IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Engineering and IEEE Trans. on Bio-Circuits and Systems. He is the founder of the International Conference on Neuroprosthetic Devices (ICNPD).

April 05, 2011

Integrated AFM and Raman: A Synergistic Chemically Correlated Structural Tool with Ultimate Nanometric Resolution
Visit the Nanonics website for a description of the live demonstration of Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) at Workshop.

Please join us for this special lecture, followed by an exciting workshop where Nanonics Imaging and Renishaw will present a live demo of AFM-Raman Imaging & Spectroscopy.

April 5th - 6th at 10:30 am

Live AFM-Raman Demos:
Tuesday, April 5th (12:30-5:00)
Wednesday, April 6th (10:00-3:00)

Attendance is free but space is limited so please RSVP today!
To register, please contact Steve Barnett:
(916) 897.2441

Event Flyer

****The workshop will provide an opportunity for you to analyze YOUR samples. Please note in your RSVP that you would like to bring samples with you.****

For more information please visit:
Nano & Pico Characterization Lab Events
Renishaw page on Raman Spectroscopy
Nanonics Imaging

March 30, 2011

CNSI-Renishaw workshop on confocal Raman spectroscopy and imaging
Come by to hear about recent advances in confocal Raman from the Renishaw team. There will be two talks, refreshments and a demonstration of the industry-leading Renishaw inVia confocal Raman system. Attendance is free but space is limited so RSVP today!

To register please contact Andrew King:
(847) 286-9953

CNSI-Renishaw Workshop Flyer

For more information visit:

****In addition, the Renishaw team will be working with leading SPM manufacturer Nanonics to provide a VERY exciting opportunity to experience the extraordinary power of combined AFM-Raman using near-field enhancement in the tip-enhanced configuration (TERS). Such systems are at the forefront of both instrument development and basic research. See details at this flyer.****

March 10, 2011

Nancy Y. Ip
Division of Life Science
and State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience
The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
From understanding neural plasticity to development of cognitive enhancers
Defects in neuronal migration as well as formation and pruning of synaptic contacts lead to abnormal brain function in various neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding the signaling mechanisms that underlie the establishment of neuronal connections is therefore pivotal for identifying new targets and developing neurotherapeutic agents. My laboratory has been interested in deciphering how receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and their downstream signaling molecules relay extracellular signals that are crucial during nervous system development and functioning. In this talk, I will discuss how the Rho GTPase regulator α2-chimaerin, a signaling protein activated by the RTK EphA4, regulates neuronal migration and how EphA4-mediated signaling regulates the abundance of glutamate receptors to maintain the stability of neuronal network during homeostatic plasticity. Furthermore, we have established a focused knowledge-based drug discovery program to search for novel drug leads from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This TCM-based strategy has been adopted to identify novel lead compounds that modulate synaptic functions and therefore represent potential therapeutic agents for neurological disorders. In this talk, I will discuss the cognitive enhancing effect and the underlying mechanisms of one of the novel lead compounds identified through this strategy.

March 08, 2011

Kevin Kelly
Electrical Engineering
Rice University
Cameras, Cars, and Carbon
Our lab's research has focused on imaging, manipulation, and spectroscopy at the nanoscale including the investigation of single molecule electronic and mechanical devices, and the development of a new imaging technique based on the mathematics of compressive sensing. To build and understand the mechanics of nanoscale motion and manipulation in molecular systems, we have used scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to probe a family of molecules based around the concept of the Nanocar. I will highlight our recent work with various molecular wheels including fullerenes, carboranes, and ruthenium compounds. In addition to single molecule mechanics, we have employed STM to study conducting polymers and graphene as candidates for future electronic devices. Lastly, we have built an imaging system by coupling an optical modulator, a single detector, and the mathematics of compressive sensing. Benefits of our scheme include greater sensitivity and lower cost imaging beyond the visible spectrum as well as the implementation of a compressive confocal microscope system.

March 04, 2011

Ingrid Repins
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
CIGS Photovoltaics: A Path to Grid Parity
For many years, renewable energy research has chased grid parity, i.e. the point at which the cost of electricity from renewables equals that from traditional sources. For the first time in history, isolated pockets of grid parity have occurred for multiple renewable generation methods. Plausible paths to widespread grid parity for photovoltaics around 2015 exist. However, aggressive improvements to both module and non-module costs are needed. This presentation discusses the current status of CuInxGa1-xSe2 (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic technology and manufacturing relative to grid parity, and where opportunities for improvement exist.

February 11, 2011

Andrew Wee
Physics and Chemistry
National University of Singapore
Epitaxial Graphene: Growth and Doping
The growth of high quality epitaxial graphene will facilitate the development and commercialization of graphene nanoelectronics devices, and the main substrate-based approaches are chemical vapour deposition (CVD) on metal catalytic thin films and thermal decomposition of silicon carbide (SiC). We have performed detailed studies using in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), synchrotron photoemission (PES) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to investigate the structure of the various reconstructions of 6H-SiC(0001) prior to its thermal decomposition to form epitaxial graphene (EG). We show that the transition from monolayer EG to trilayer EG adopts a bottom-up growth mechanism, and x-ray absorption fine structure studies indicate an increase in disorder of Si atoms in the SiC substrate beneath the surface and the formation of Si clusters.

A major challenge in graphene-based devices is opening the energy band gap and doping. Molecular functionalization of graphene is one approach to modifying its electronic properties. Surface transfer doping by surface modification with appropriate molecular acceptors represents a simple and effective method to non-destructively dope graphene. Surface transfer doping relies on charge separation at interfaces, and represents a valuable tool for the controlled and non-destructive doping of semiconductors and nanostructures at relatively low cost, thereby facilitating the development of hybrid organic-graphene nanoelectronics. Molecular self-assembly of bimolecular systems on epitaxial graphene and HOPG is demonstrated. Surface transfer hole doping of epitaxial graphene using oxide thin films is also discussed.

February 09, 2011

Introduction to Confocal Raman Microscopy and Imaging
Nano & Pico Characterization Lab Workshop
Sponsored by Horiba Scientific

The workshop will provide a detailed introduction to the principles and instrumental considerations of confocal Raman microscopy and imaging. Our application experts will review how Raman microscopy can be applied to provide detailed molecular identification and environmental characterization with a spatial resolution from a few microns down to tens of nanometers. Applications covered will include studies of nanomaterials, bio-sciences, pharmaceuticals, forensics, polymers and geo-sciences. Recent advances in hyphenated Raman spectroscopy coupling Raman measurements with AFM and fluorescence imaging will be described in detail. The lectures will inform the audience of the powerful possibilities of Raman spectroscopy and will be followed by hands on demonstrations where participants will have the opportunity to try the technique on their own samples.

Dr. Andrew Whitley
Dr. Whitley is the Vice President of Sales at HORIBA Scientific, Edison, NJ.
Emmanual Leroy
Mr. Leroy is the Raman Development Manager at HORIBA Scientific, Edison, NJ.

The workshop is free, but advanced registration is required due to the limited number of places available. To register, please send your contact information to Charles Higgins ( or call 760.804.0987.

Workshop Flyer

January 27, 2011

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Director, NIAID
30 Years of HIV AIDS: A Personal Journey
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Special Research Seminar

Hosted by: Dr. Tomas Ganz

January 14, 2011

Ken Babcock
Affinity Biosensors
Santa Barbara, CA
Weighing Nanoparticles and Cells with Microchannel Resonators
Microchannel resonators are MEMs-fabricated, vacuum-packaged fluidic microchannels whose mechanical resonant frequency changes in response to the mass they contain. With femtogram (10-15 g) resolution, these sensors can measure the mass, density, and size of individual micro- and nano-scale particles with resolution and accuracy that surpasses mature technologies such as light scattering. This talk will survey the capabilities and applications of this technology for nanoparticle characterization, as well as efforts underway to push the mass sensitivity toward nanoparticles and viruses as small as 10 nm. In addition, gentle fluidics allow measurement of living bacteria, algae, and mammalian cells with resolution far beyond conventional methods such as the Coulter counter. Monitoring the growth of individual cells is enabling fundamental studies of the cell cycle, cancer, and drug susceptibility.

Event Flyer (PDF)

1:00 PM lecture will begin in the CNSI Presentation Space
Demonstration to follow in the Nano & Pico Characterization Lab.

January 06, 2011

Andrew Kasarskis, Ph.D., Senior Director, Multiscale Biology, Pacific Biosciences
Single Molecule Real Time DNA Sequencing & Infectious Disease
Speaker: Andrew Kasarskis, Ph.D., Senior Director, Multiscale Biology, Pacific Biosciences

Talk Title: Single molecule real time DNA sequencing and infectious disease

Sponsors: UCLA Global Bio Lab, the CNSI, and the Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

Event Flyer (PDF)

December 16, 2010

National Cancer Center, Korea
2nd NCC-UCLA Video Conference on Cancer Research
The National Cancer Center is holding a Korea-US video conference on cancer. The audiences in Korea and the USA will include graduate students and lab researchers. All are welcome to attend this seminar.

Date and Time
4:00-6:00pm, December 16 (Los Angeles)
9:00-11:00 am, December 17 (Seoul)

(USA) UCLA, California NanoSystems Institute
(Korea) National Cancer Center, Ilsan, Kyoungki-do, Korea


  1. Hyunjin Kim (Molecular Imaging and Therapy Branch, NCC): "A Positively charged iron oxide nanoparticle as a simple and efficient stem cell labeling agent for in vivo MRI tracking"

  2. Kyong-Ah Yoon (Lung Cancer Branch, NCC): ?Colorimetric detection of EGFR gene mutation based on the aggregation of gold nanoparticles?

  3. Courtney R. Thomas (Zink group): ?Magnetically Activated Nanovalve for Drug Delivery?

  4. Travis A. Pecorelli (Zink group): ?Snap-top Container for Drug Delivery?

  5. Jie Lu, PhD (Tamanoi group): ?Pre-clinical Mouse Experiment"


Dr. Yongdoo Choi
Principal Investigator
Senior Research Scientist
Molecular Imaging and Therapy Branch
National Cancer Center (South Korea)

Dr. Jeffrey I. Zink
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry
Member, NanoBiotechnology and Biomaterials, NanoElectronics, Photonics, Architectonics, NanoMechanical and Nanofluidic Systems, California NanoSystems Institute Researcher, Inorganic, Nanoscience and Materials

Dr. Fuyu Tamanoi
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Professor and Vice Chair, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics Director, JCCC Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program Area
Member, California NanoSystems Institute

November 17, 2010

Novel Ways To See and Recognize Life!
New Life Science AFM/ILM Imaging Workshop

Recognition Imaging: Tracking Nanoscale Biochemistry
Stuart Lindsay, Ph.D. (The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University)
Recognition imaging generates simultaneous maps of topography and chemical identity in real-time AFM images. It utilizes a recognition ligand attached to the AFM probe via a flexible tether. Antibodies have been used extensively, though in some cases we have obtained better selectivity with DNA aptamers. Applications include the chromatin remodeling and identification of post-translational modifications of histones. We are also developing a three-way linker to co-locate factors in images. This works by first imaging with two recognition ligands, blocking one, and then re-imaging. Thus, two different factors can be identified with nanometer precision in one field of molecules.

Combined AFM/ILM Imaging Applications for the Life Sciences
W. Travis Johnson, Ph.D. (Agilent Technologies)
The resolution of a standard optical microscope is limited by the wavelength of light. In contrast, image resolution with an AFM is limited only by the radius of the tip of the AFM probe. With an AFM, high-resolution images of living cells, proteins, and nucleic acids can be obtained under physiological conditions. A combined AFM/ILM system provides data complementary to information obtained via either technique alone. For example, such a system provides accurate positioning of samples under the AFM probe. A combined system can also be used to gather cell morphology information, biomechanical data, and information regarding the architecture of membranes, cellular processes, organelles, and cytoskeletal structures.


Following lunch, there will be a demonstration of the new Agilent 6000ILM AFM, a system that seamlessly integrates the capabilities of an atomic force microscope (AFM) with those of an inverted light microscope (ILM) or confocal microscope.

Download the workshop flyer (PDF)


Sponsored by Agilent Technologies

October 29, 2010

Jun Zhu
Pennsylvania State University
Controlling the Property of Graphene with Adatoms
I will discuss our work on fluorinated graphene. In the limit of very dilute fluorination, fluorinated graphene undergoes a carrier density driven metal-insulator transition, exhibiting weak localization at high densities and variable range hopping at low densities. In the hopping regime, the system displays a very large negative magnetoresistance in a perpendicular magnetic field. The zero field resistance is reduced by up to a factor of 40 and has yet to saturate at 9 Tesla. Possible explanations include adatom-induced magnetism and interference-driven Anderson localization. In the opposite limit of full fluorination, we demonstrate the synthesis of nanocrystalline graphene monfluoride, CF. We show evidence of the structure and vibrational modes of CF Transport measurements indicate a large band gap with strongly insulating behavior. Photoluminescence studies reveal several emission modes in the visible range. Their temperature dependence points to sub gap defect states. The band edge emission of CF has yet to be found, likely in the deep UV.

October 12, 2010

Kevin Kjoller
Vice President of Product Development
Anasys Instruments
Nanoscale IR Spectroscopy using an AFM
The ability to unambiguously identify arbitrary material under the tip of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) has long been identified as one of the primary interests of users of probe microscopy. While the AFM has the ability to measure a range of material properties including mechanical, electrical, magnetic and thermal, the technique has lacked the robust ability to characterize and identify unknown materials. Infrared spectroscopy is a benchmark technique routinely used in a broad range of sciences to characterize and identify materials on the basis of specific vibrational resonances of chemical bonds. Several AFM probe-based techniques have been used to beat the diffraction limit of conventional IR measurements, including near field optical techniques. Other IR techniques are based on measuring the local temperature rise from spectral absorption through the use of temperature-sensing probes integrated with conventional Fourier Transform IR (FTIR) spectrometers. To our knowledge, however, none of these techniques provide readily interpretable broadband IR spectroscopy with nanoscale resolution. We have successfully integrated the capabilities of AFM with IR spectroscopy to allow chemical characterization on the micro and nanoscale. The instrument employs a technique called photothermal induced resonance (PTIR) that uses an AFM probe to measure the local thermal expansion from IR light incident upon a sample. This technique enables the ability to obtain a high quality IR spectrum at a selected point in an AFM image and/or automatically map spectra at an array of points on a sample to enable chemical mapping. In addition, local mechanical and thermal properties can be obtained from the sample. In this presentation, we will share the details of the measurement technique including application examples on polymer multilayers and blends, along with measurements on biological samples.

Nano IR Seminar Flyer (PDF)

October 05, 2010

Jesse D. Bloom
Beckman Fellow
California Institute of Technology
Constraints on the Evolution of Influenza Antiviral Drug Resistance
Co-sponsored by:

California NanoSystems Institute

UCLA Dept. of Microbiology Immunology & Molecular Genetics (MIMG)

UCLA Global Bio Lab

Download the Seminar Flyer (PDF)

September 23, 2010

International Forum on Water, Materials Science, and Nanotechnology
The Egyptian Cultural and Education Bureau in Washington, DC will hold the International Forum on Water, Materials Science, and Nanotechnology on September 23, 2010 from 8:00 am (Los Angeles) to 10:00 am (Los Angeles). The first hour will be Egyptian and US government officials discussing research collaboration opportunities, funding, and a proposed Cairo workshop on water. The second hour will be a series of US-Egypt engineering and science exchanges in the areas of water quality, desalinization, and water management.

Event Agenda (All times listed are PST)

W. Edward Johansen, JD, Moderator and Co-Organizer of the Event
- Academy of Scientific Research and Technology - Maged Al-Sherbiny, PhD, President: Keynote for the International Forum on Water, Materials Science and Nanotechnology
- Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau - Maha M. Kamel, MD, PhD, Director and Co-organizer of the Videoconferences on US-Egypt Science: ?US-Egypt Science Year 2011?
- National Science Foundation - Omnia El-Hakim, PhD, Program Director of Diversity and Outreach, Engineering Directorate
- Environmental Protection Agency - Nora F. Savage, PhD, National Center for Environmental Research, Office of Research and Development

Water Quality I
- Rice University - Vicki L. Colvin, PhD, Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical & Bio-molecular Engineering: ?Nanotechnology: Safe Solutions to Hard Problems in Water?

Water Quality II
- California NanoSystems Institute (UCLA) - Shailly Mahendra, PhD, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Desalinization and Nano-membranes
- Cairo University - Ahmed Galal Helmy, PhD, Dean, Faculty of Science

Water Management
- UCLA - Michael K. Stenstrom, PhD, PE, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Cairo University - Abdallah S. Bazaraa, PhD, Professor, Department of Irrigation and Hydraulics, Faculty of Engineering

July 29, 2010

Research Supplier Product Show

BVS Presents
Research Supplier Product Show
Thursday, July 29th ? 11:30am to 1:00pm
CNSI Lobby

Including: Lunch by Panda Express, Lab Samples, Promotions, Raffles, & More!!

Attending and Sponsored By:
Abcam Inc
AnaSpec Inc
Cell Biosciences Inc
Cell Signaling Technology
Clontech - Takara
Denville Scientific
EMD Biosciences Inc
Fermentas Inc
GE Healthcare
Gilson Inc
Laboratory Equipment Co.
Laguna Scientific
Mettler Toledo
New Brunswick Scientific Co.
Roche Applied Science
Sartorius Biotech Inc
Tissue Culture Biologics
USA Scientific
ValueGene Inc
Wako Chemicals USA Inc

This show is brought to you by Biotech Vendor Services (BVS)

Download the flyer here (PDF)

July 15, 2010

International Forum on Cancer, Materials Science and Nanotechnology
"International Forum on Cancer, Materials Science and Nanotechnology" - a videoconference hosted by the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau on Thursday, July 15th will concurrently be held in the CNSI Auditorium in addition to three other locations (Cairo University, University of Texas Health Science Center, and Georgia Institute of Technology). A video feed of all speakers and the post conference reception will be shown in the CNSI Auditorium.

Agenda (All times listed are PST)

W. Edward Johansen, JD, Moderator and Co-organizer of the Videoconferences on US-Egypt Science

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (Cairo, Egypt) Maged Al-Sherbiny, PhD, President - "Keynote for the International Forum on Cancer, Materials Science and Nanotechnology"

Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau (Washington, DC) Maha M. Kamel, MD, PhD, Director and Co-organizer of the Videoconferences on US-Egypt Science - "US-Egypt Science Year 2011"

National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD) Piotr Grodzinski, PhD, Director, NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer - "New class of cancer diagnostic and therapeutic solutions - through the experience of NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer"

University of Texas Health Science Center (Houston, TX) Mauro Ferrari, PhD, Professor - "Historical View of Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine"

California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA) Paul S. Weiss, PhD, Director and Professor - "Eyes of the 21st Century: Patterning and Imaging from the Subnanometer to the Wafer Scale"

Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) Mostafa A. El-Sayed, PhD, Professor - "More than one way to see and to beat cancer cells to death with gold nanoparticles"

California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA) Jeffrey I. Zink, PhD, Professor - "Multifunctional Mechanized Nanoparticles for Targeting, Imaging and Drug Delivery"

California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA) Fuyu Tamanoi, PhD, Professor - "Using mesoporous silica nanoparticles to shrink tumors in mice"

Civilian's Research and Education Foundation (Arlington, VA) Eric J. Novotny, PhD, Senior Vice President - "The Value and Achievements of International Cooperative Research"

National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD) George A. Komatsoulis, PhD, Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer (acting)/Chief, Informatics Operations Branch (acting), Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology: "International Cooperation for Cancer Research-cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid"

Cairo University (Cairo, Egypt) Abdel-Rahman N. Zekri, PhD, National Cancer Institute (Egypt) - "How can we collaborate with US research universities on cancer research?"

Cairo University (Cairo, Egypt) Ahmed Galal Helmy, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Science - "Egyptian Universities Welcome Expanded Research Collaboration"

11:00am to 2:00pm (Washington, DC)
There will be a reception at the Egyptian Cultural and Education Bureau at the conclusion of the forum. The participants in Los Angeles, Cairo and Atlanta will be able to "informally meet" the participants in Washington, DC.

The videoconference is a prelude to 2011 US-Egypt Year of Science - declared by Margaret Scobey, US Ambassador to Egypt, and Hany Halal, PhD, Egypt's Minister of Higher Education.

June 29, 2010

Israel Rubinstein
Materials & Interfaces
Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot, Israel
Gold Nano-Island Films: Properties and Sensing Applications
Gold nano-island films prepared by evaporation on transparent substrates and annealing, display a localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) extinction band whose intensity, wavelength and shape are sensitive to the film morphology and the refractive index (RI) of the adjacent medium. Such systems are useful as optical transducers in label-free sensing based on RI change induced by binding of an analyte to a recognition interface on the Au islands, carried out using common spectrophotometry-based instrumentation.

Here we study the preparation on glass substrates of Au island films with tunable morphology and optical properties using discontinuous, evaporated Au layers as well as continuous layers which undergo depercolation upon annealing. The mechanism of structural transformation is influenced by the initial structure of the Au film, which varies with the nominal thickness. High-temperature annealing induces partial island embedding in the glass, thereby stabilizing the morphology and optical response. The RI sensitivity (RIS) of thermally depercolated films shows exceptionally high values, up to ca. 700 nm / RI unit. Optimization of the transducer performance requires determination of the RIS and plasmon decay length, both dependent on the Au island film morphology.

Biological applications of LSPR transducers based on evaporated / annealed Au nano-island films are demonstrated using several biological systems showing specific receptor - target analyte interactions, including proteins, carbohydrates and polynucleotides. Specificity and sensitivity are achieved by immobilization of the receptors on optimized Au island films and use of a flow-cell configuration. The results indicate that LSPR transducers comprised of Au nano-island films provide a convenient, inexpensive and sensitive system for studying biomolecular interactions and for label-free biosensing applications.

June 15, 2010

Eric Betzig
HHMI, Janelia Farm Research Campus
Leica Scientific Forum Los Angeles: Advances in Life Science
Talk Title: Pushing the Envelope in Biological Imaging

4:00pm Welcome by Shimon Weiss, UCLA's Dean M. Willard Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physiology; Director, Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Lab at CNSI

Eric Betzig's talk will cover:

Fluorescence imaging beyond the diffraction limit with photoactivated localization microscopy, deep tissue imaging with two-photon adaptive optics, and high speed volumetric cellular imaging with Bessel beam plane illumination microscopy.


5:30pm Post Lecture Reception - Meet the Speaker

Leica Scientific Forum Flyer

Scientific Advisory Board: Prof. Dr. Roger Tsien (UCSD), Prof. Dr. Mark Ellisman (UCSD), Prof. Dr. Shimon Weiss (UCLA), Prof. Dr. Katsushi Arisaka (UCLA), Prof. Dr. Arnold Kriegstein (UCSF), Prof. Dr. Ronald D. Vale (UCSF) and Dr. Thomas Zapf (Leica Microsystems GmbH)

For free registration please e-mail:

Learn more:

May 07, 2010

George Georgiou
Chemical Engineering
University of Texas at Austin
Engineering The Next Generation of Cancer Therapeutic Enzymes and Antibodies
Our lab is broadly interested in the development of platform technologies for the discovery and pharmacological development of therapeutic proteins, especially for cancer. In recent years, there has been intense interest on the metabolic abnormalities displayed by cancer cells and how these effects may be exploited for therapeutic purposes. The use of enzymes to systemically deplete metabolites required for the growth of tumor cells, but not of normal tissues, has been pursued for many years. However, with the exception of childhood leukemia (ALL) where administration of the bacterial enzyme, asparaginase, has been shown to have significant therapeutic benefit, there are no other enzyme drugs for cancer treatment. This is because bacterial enzymes elicit strong adverse responses due to immunogenicity, whereas human enzymes that display either the proper catalytic activity or pharmacological properties for reactions relevant to cancer therapy are not available. We have been using protein engineering strategies to create human enzymes that display new catalytic properties of therapeutic relevance and also the proper stability and in vivo persistence appropriate for therapeutic applications. We have developed a family of such therapeutics for various malignancies. One such example, an engineered human arginase I for the treatment of liver cancer and metastatic melanoma is now in advanced preclinical development.

In parallel, we have been developing a number of technologies for the isolation of IgG antibodies to cancer antigens and for the enhancement of Fc-mediated effector functions. A summary of this work will also be presented.

Ken Nobe Founders Lecture in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 2010 Flyer

George Georgiou is the Cockrell Endowed Professor at the University of Texas, Austin where he has joint appointments in Chemical Engineering, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Biomedical Engineering. He is also a member of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas, Austin. He received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Manchester, U.K. and his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1987. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers. He has received numerous awards including the AIChE Professional Progress Award for outstanding contributions to Chemical Engineering by an individual under 45 (2003) and was named as "One of the Top 100 Eminent Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era" by AIChE (2008). His research is focused on the discovery and pharmacological optimization of protein therapeutics and also on the mechanisms of redox homeostasis and protein secretion in bacteria. Dr. Georgiou and his collaborators have developed the anti-infective antibody drug, AnthemTM, currently in late-stage clinical development, an array of therapeutic enzymes in preclinical development, and antibodies for cancer chemotherapy. Dr. Georgiou has published >170 research articles and is co-inventor on 38 US patent applications of which 26 have been licensed to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

May 03, 2010

AFM Images of Cells
Frontiers of Nanoscale Characterization Using Scanning Probe Microscopy
This workshop series, provided in collaboration with our partner Veeco Instruments, is the first in a series aimed at exposing members of the CNSI, UC faculty, staff and students as well as the industrial scientific community toward a variety of cutting-edge nanoscale characterization techniques through scanning probe microscopy (SPM). The series serves to highlight techniques currently available in the NPC Lab and aid in determining the best path for new instrument acquisitions. The first workshop will focus on 'High-Resolution Imaging and Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping'. Upcoming events in the series will include 'Scanning Probe Measurements with Various Applications Modules - Electric, Magnetic, Thermal and Electrochemical' as well as 'Scanning Probe Applications' in the Life Sciences.

Please see the workshop flyer for more detailed information.

April 23, 2010

Jeffrey Brinker
Chemical and Nuclear Engineering
University of New Mexico
Engineered Biotic/Abiotic Materials and Interfaces for Understanding and Controlling Biology
In recent work we have shown that yeast, bacterial, and mammalian cells, when introduced into self-assembling solutions of phospholipids and soluble silica, serve as living colloids directing the formation of unique biotic/abiotic interfaces and architectures through cellular response pathways such as the high osmolarity glycerol pathway observed in yeast. The result is a lipid-associated cellular interface coherently incorporated within a surrounding lipid templated silica nanostructure. This structure preserves cell viability under externally desiccating conditions allowing probing of the behavior of individual cells for the first time under conditions of complete chemical and physical isolation. For individual Staphylococcus aureus, we show that self-signaling within this confined environment induces genetic re-programming of the cell according to a two-component regulatory pathway normally associated with high cellular density i.e. 'quorum sensing'. This 'discrete' quorum sensing allows S. aureus to sense confinement and to activate virulence and metabolic pathways needed for survival. Overall we show that cellular confinement within self-assembled and lithographically defined environments reinforces chemically and mechanically induced pathways recently recognized as being important in controlling behavior of not only bacteria but also cancer. Turning these lipid-associated silica nanostructures inside out, we have also recently explored lipid bilayers supported on mesoporous silica nanoparticles (aka 'protocells') as a new nanoparticle delivery agent, allowing the targeted delivery of arbitrary cargo to arbitrary cancer with unprecedented specificity. Compared to current liposomal delivery agents, protocells show a million-fold greater killing efficacy.

April 16, 2010

Younan Xia
Biomedical Engineering
Washington University
Shape-Controlled Synthesis of Metal Nanocrystals
Control of nanocrystal shape may initially seem like a scientific curiosity, but its goal goes far beyond aesthetic appeal. For metal nanocrystals, shape not only determines their intrinsic chemical, plasmonic, and catalytic properties but also their relevance for electronic, optical, and sensing applications. Part of our research over the last decade has focused on shape-controlled synthesis of noble-metal nanocrystals. While the synthetic methodology mainly involves solution-phase redox chemistry, we have been working diligently to understand the complex physics behind the simple chemistry - that is, the nucleation and growth mechanism leading to the formation of nanocrystals with specific shapes. Polyol synthesis of silver nanocrystals provides a good example to illustrate this concept. We discovered that the shape of silver nanocrystals are dictated by both the crystallinity and shape of nanocrystallite seeds, which are, in turn, controlled by factors such as reduction rate, oxidative etching, and surface capping. The same mechanism also works for other systems including gold, palladium, and platinum. The success of these syntheses has enabled us to tailor the electronic, plasmonic, and catalytic properties of noble-metal nanocrystals for a range of applications.

April 05, 2010

Lifeng Chi
Physikalisches Institut and Center for Nanotechnology (CeNTech)
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität
How far can we play with molecules?
Self-assembly of functional organic molecules and nano-entities plays increased important role in modern science and technology. Self-assembly processes are mainly classified as static self-assembly and dynamic self-assembly (similar to self-organization). While the current understanding of self-assembly comes from the examination of static systems, much less attention is paid to kinetic effects on self-assembly process, and mechanistic details of dynamic self-assembly are poorly understood. In this talk, different issues concerning self-assembly of organic molecules on surfaces will be outlined. It is aiming to address the question: how far can we play with molecules in order to organize them into systems with advances functions?

March 29, 2010

Jorge O. Sofo
Associate Professor of Physics
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director of the Materials Simulation Center, MRI
Pennsylvania State University
Electronic states, magnetism, and transport in partially fluorinated and hydrogenated graphene
It has been demonstrated beyond any doubt that graphene, a single plane of carbon atoms in the honeycomb lattice, has excellent and fascinating electronic properties including very high mobility almost independent of doping, quantum Hall effect at room temperature, and magnetism. In order to harness this potential into devices and electronic applications, we need to find a way to confine charge carriers in graphene. We will review on possibility of confinement based on the chemical functionalization of graphene with hydrogen or fluorine. The fluorination of graphite has been known for many years while hydrogenation is a recently demonstrated possibility. Both show interesting similarities and differences due to the different electronegativity of the adatoms. We will show that this functionalization opens the way to study much more than simple graphene devices. The functionalized structures show a full set of interesting properties such as Kondo phenomena, variable range hopping, and anisotropic magnetism.

Sofo Bio
Sofo joined the faculty at Penn State in 2001 as the first director of the Materials Simulation Center, a facility of the Materials Research Institute which provides students and faculty with access to computational resources and software for materials simulation. He was named associate professor of physics in 2002 and associate professor of materials science and engineering in 2003. Prior to joining Penn State, he was an assistant professor at the Instituto Balseiro of the University of Cuyo in Argentina from 1996 to 2001. He was a part-time research associate professor at the University of Tennessee from 1997 to 2001. He was a research fellow with the National Research Council for Science and Technology of Argentina (CONICET) from 1995 to 2002. He was a research associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1993 to 1995 and at the University of Tennessee from 1992 to 1993. He was a guest professor at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Karl-Franzens University in Austria in 2000 and 2001. He also was a consultant for Allied Signal Corporation from 1997 to 1999 and for Marlow Industries from 1994 to 1995. He earned a master's degree and a doctoral degree at the Instituto Balseiro of the National University of Cuyo in Argentina in 1988 and 1991, respectively.

March 25, 2010

Chen Wang
Director, National center for Nanoscience and Technology
Beijing, China
Single Molecule Approach towards Modulating Peptide Aggregation Behavior by Using STM
The fine folding and assembling characteristics of amyloid peptides are keen to the pharmaceutical studies of drug molecules and pathological analysis at molecular level for neurodegenerative disorder processes such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). We present the observations of multiple folding characteristics of amyloid peptide by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Molecularly resolved core regions of the peptide assembly structures are identified. In addition, a single molecular approach can be developed using chaperon-like molecular modulators for modulating the aggregation behavior of vital analogues of amyloid peptides relating to Alzheimer's disease (AD), diabetes, etc. In addition, it is identified that the introduction of chaperon-like modulators (terminus molecular modulators: agents interact with C terminus of peptides and side group molecular modulators: agents interact with side group of peptides) could regulate the peptide assembling behavior at molecular level via hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interactions. Chaperon-like modulators affect assembly behaviors as well as the morphology of beta-amyloid peptide aggregates. Furthermore, the modulators could significantly accelerate the aggregation of peptide in aqueous solution and lead to varied cytotoxicity. The results provide a novel approach towards modulating Aβ peptide aggregation.

Background: CNSI Director Paul Weiss has brought to UCLA an established relationship with the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology's current director Chen Wang and previous director Chunli Bai, now executive vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of the board of the NCNST. The NCNST of China is co-founded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Ministry of Education. It is a subsidiary non-profit organization of CAS which enjoys full financial allocations with a status of independent non-profit legal entity. It will have 155 formal employees. The center was officially founded on December 31, 2003, with CAS, Peking University and Tsinghua University as its initiators and co-founders.

March 15, 2010

Samuel Sánchez
National Institute for Materials Science, (NIMS)
International Research Center for Materials Nanoarchiectonics (MANA)

Microbots as Nanotechnology tools. Catalytic nanomachines
Abstract: Recently a lot of attention has been dedicated towards development of man-made synthetic catalytic micro- nanomotors which try to mimic biological counterparts in terms of propulsion power, motion control and speed. Here we show wireless control of self propelled catalytic Ti/Fe/Pt rolled up microtubes (microbots) which are used to perform various tasks such as selective loading, transportation, assembly and delivery of microscale objects in a fluid: polystyrene particles, thin metallic films (?nanoplates?) and mouse neurons (Catecholamines). Microrobots are self-propelled by ejecting microbubbles in a fluid via catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water in the presence of platinum film and their motion is controlled by and external magnetic field.

Biography: Samuel Sanchez received his PhD at the Autonomous University of Barcelona,Spain, in 2008. He studied and developed new composite materials for the construction of electrochemical biosensors based on soft polymers, carbon nanotubes, and metallic nanoparticles. After one year as Assistant Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, he joined the ICYS at the International Research Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, in February 2009 in a tenure track position. He is currently working on the development of micro/nanorobots based on the nanotechnology of bimetallic nanowires and rolled-up microtubes. He will be Group Leader at IFW, Dresden (Germany) from May 2010.

March 12, 2010

Angus I Kingon
Professor of Engineering and University Chair of Entrepreneurship and Organizational Studies
Brown University
Increasing the Impact of University Research
In the presentation, Professor Kingon will discuss the role we play as faculty members in ensuring that there is commercial and social impact for our research. He will begin with a macro-perspective: how well are we doing as a university in maximizing the commercial and social outcomes from our (substantial) investment in scientific research? Then from the perspective of an individual faculty member - is it my responsibility to assist in commercialization? To what extent? Is it acceptable to want to create wealth from my research? Or how do I better connect to industry to develop collaborations?

In this presentation he will discuss selected results from the literature on university commercialization of research. He will focus on the obstacles to commercialization activities, from both a macro and faculty perspective, and discuss solutions, followed by a presentation of the results of recent "action-based based research" on improving the commercial outcomes. Professor Kingon will illustrate the talk with two examples of programs (both funded by NSF) that improve commercialization outcomes. One program integrates the entrepreneurship education of graduate students with the establishment of high growth potential new ventures. The second program facilitates the efficient interaction of faculty and post-docs with industry partners in exploring new opportunities that may emerge from the research.

Angus Kingon is Professor of Engineering, and Barrett Hazeltine University Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organizational Studies at Brown University as of 2008. He is the Academic Director of the Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship program, and the co-Director in the graduate Masters-level Program on Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME) at Brown University.

About Angus Kingon

March 11, 2010

George A. Olah
1994 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker
Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry; Director, Loker Hydrocarbon
Institute, University of Southern California
Efficient Carbon Capture, Storage and Recycling Based on the Foundations of Lewis, Meerwein, Wittig and Winstein, for a Sustainable Future
Prof. Olah will be talking about his discoveries in the area of carbocations, for which he won the Nobel Prize, and his current interest work to develop new cleaner and renewable fuels based on methanol.

Winstein Program

February 22, 2010

Prof. Chunli Bai
Executive Vice President, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chairman, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology
Nano Science and Technology: Challenges and Opportunities
Abstract:Nanoscience and Nanotechnology will play a very important role in the next S&T revolution. I will use some examples to illustrate recent nano applications in China, and to make an analysis on the nano S&T developments including problems and challenges to be faced. I will also discuss the potential opportunities for nano S&T to make breakthroughs in the future.


ACS Nano ? "A Conversation with Dr. Chunli Bai" - From July 22, 2008

Professor Chunli Bai Biography
Chunli Bai is Executive Vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Vice-president of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), President of the Graduate University of CAS, Director of Division of Chemistry and member of Executive Committee of the Presidium.

He graduated from the Department of Chemistry, Peking University in 1978 and received his MS and Ph.D. degrees from CAS Institute of Chemistry in 1981 and 1985, respectively. During 1985-1987, he was at Caltech, the US for advanced study, conducting research work in the field of physical chemistry as a post-doctorate associate and visiting scholar. After his return home in 1987, he continued his research at CAS Institute of Chemistry. From 1991 to 1992, he was a visiting professor at Tohoku University in Japan.

His research areas involve the structure and properties of polymer catalysts, X-ray crystallography of organic compounds, molecular mechanics and EXAFS research on electro-conducting polymers. In the mid-1980s, he shifted his research orientation to the field of scanning tunneling microscopy, and molecular nanotechnology.

Prof. Bai has a long list of scientific publications and has won more than twenty prestigious awards and prizes for his academic achievements. Because of his meritorious service, he was elected a member of CAS and a fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) in 1997. He is also foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, foreign member of Russian Academy of Sciences, honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Indian Academy of Sciences, and honorary doctor or honorary professor in several universities abroad. Prof. Bai now serves as the chief scientist for the National Steering Committee for Nanoscience and Technology and Chairman of China National Center for Nano science and technology.

In his social activities, he is president of Chinese Chemical Society, vice president of TWAS, president of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies. He is the member of the International Editorial Adversary Board of JACS, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Chemical Physics Letters, and etc.

December 01, 2009

Prof. Stefan W. Hell
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Department of nanoBiophotonics, Göttingen/DE
Leica Scientific Forum Los Angeles - Advances in Life Science
Talk Title: Nanoscopy with Focused Light
  • Breaking the diffraction barrier
  • STED microscopy and its application to Life Science Research
  • Expansion to low-intensity operation by switching the flourophore
Photo Gallery

Stefan Hell Flyer

Scientific Advisory Board: Prof. Dr. Roger Tsien, University of California San Diego (UCSD), Prof. Dr. Mark Ellisman, University of California San Diego (UCSD), Prof. Dr. Shimon Weiss, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Prof. Dr. Katsushi Arisaka, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Prof. Dr. Arthur Kriegstein, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Prof. Dr. Ronald D. Vane, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Thomas Zapf (Leica Microsystems)

For free registration please e-mail to: Learn more:

November 17, 2009

Paul Weiss & Milan Mrksich
From Molecules to Monolayers: Self-Assembly and Analysis, Molecule by Molecule

Sigma-Aldrich® Materials Science, in association with Elsevier's Materials Today, proudly presents an inaugural LIVE Webcast event from both the CNSI & Northwestern University. If you aren't able to attend either seminar in person, please visit the Self-Assembly webinar website or the registration website to watch online.

UCLA Flyer

Professor Paul Weiss

Director of California NanoSystems Institute
Professor - Chemistry and Biochemistry - University of California, Los Angeles

"Self and Directed Assembly of Single Molecule Environments"


We place single molecules and larger groups into precisely controlled environments on surfaces. The monolayer matrices and the inserted molecules can be designed so as to interact directly, to give stability or other properties to supramolecular assemblies. New families of molecules are being developed to yield even greater control and are enabling determination of the key design parameters of both the molecules and assemblies. This in turn is enabling controlled chemical patterning from the sub-nanometer to the centimeter scales. At the same time, a suite of tools is being developed to give unprecedented information on the structures and properties of these assemblies.

Professor Milan Mrksich

Investigator - Howard Hughes Medical Institue - Chicago, IL
Professor - Chemistry - University of Chicago, IL

"Using Self-Assembled Monolayers and Mass Spectrometry for BioChip Applications"


Biochips are prepared by applying an array of proteins, peptides, carbohydrates or other molecules to a flat substrate. They are used to profile enzyme specificities, profile cellular lysates for enzymatic activities, perform high throughput screening, and other applications. Yet, challenges in immobilizing biomolecules in a functional state and in developing label-based formats to assay biochemical chemical activities still limit the use of these tools. This talk will describe an approach for using mass spectrometry to analyze biochips-including enzyme-mediated reactions of immobilized biomolecules and protein-protein interactions. The method is based on self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold that present proteins and small molecules with control over the densities, patterns and orientations of these species. The chips are compatible with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry and therefore do not require fluorescent or radioisotopic labels for analysis. This technique, termed SAMDI MS, can efficiently monitor a broad class of enzyme activities-including kinase, protease, methyltransferase and carbohydrate-directed modifications-and can detect proteins having molecular weights up to 100 kD. The talk will describe examples that use peptide arrays to characterize enzyme function.

September 17, 2009

Optical Approaches to Probe Neuronal Circuits

Optical Approaches to Probe Neuronal Circuits; A Sampling of Research in the UCLA Department of Neurobiology

1:30pm Welcome: Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD and Thomas Otis, PhD:
   "Why Do We Need Optical Tools to Study Neuronal Circuits?"

1:45pm Baljit Khakh, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology
   "Non Invasive High Resolution Monitoring of Astrocyte Excitability in Neuronal Circuits"

2:15pm Thomas Otis, PhD, Professor, Department of Neurobiology
   "A New Optical Method for Measuring Electrical Signals in Single Neurons and in Neuronal Circuits"

2:45pm Wiktor Janczewski, PhD, Associate Researcher of Neurobiology
   "Shining Light on Breathing"

3:15pm Break and Refreshments

3:45pm Joshua Trachtenberg, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
   "Using Optogenetics to Determine How Activity Wires the Cortex"

4:15pm Carlos Portera-Cailliau, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology
   "High-Speed Two-Photon Calcium Imaging of Neuronal Activity"


August 26, 2009

Functional Genomics Minisymposium
Initial RNA interference (RNAi) applications focused on individual gene knockdowns, however advancements in synthesis, design and delivery now enable screens of functionally related gene families (e.g., kinase, phosphatase or ubiquitin families) or whole genome screens. We will highlight the progression of RNAi technologies including the importance of functionality and specificity and describe recent innovations to improve the quality and reliability of target validation strategies. We will further review how these attributes minimize the complexities of screening and we will provide a strategy for hit stratification that facilitates the development of pathway mapping.

10:00 - 10:45am Seminar #1 - High Troughput Screening Capabilities at UCLA - From Small Molecules to Functional Genomics.
Presented by Robert D. Damoiseaux, Ph.D. Scientific Director, Molecular Shared Screening Resources. University of California, Los Angeles
10:45 - 11:45am Seminar #2 - Tools and Strategies for High Throughput RNAi Screens
Presented by Queta Smith, Ph.D. Associate Director, Technical Communications. Thermo Scientific Genomics
11:50 - 12:30pm Seminar #3 - Hit Stratification for RNAi Screens
Presented by Queta Smith, Ph.D. Associate Director, Technical Communications. Thermo Scientific Genomics

Seminar Flyer can be downloaded here.

May 11, 2009

Michael Pepper
University of Pretoria
Bedside to Bench: Defining the Market in Health Biotechnology in South Africa
Bio: Michael Pepper is a Professor in the Unit for Advanced Studies and an Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria. He is also Professeur Associé in the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He is based at the University of Pretoria.

Michael Pepper was born in South Africa in Bloemfontein and attended Pretoria Boy's High School. He obtained his MBChB (1982) from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, and moved to Geneva (Switzerland) in 1986. He obtained his PhD (1990), MD (1992) and Privat Docent (Habilitation) (1997) degrees from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva. He returned to South Africa in July 2004.

Michael has worked extensively in the field of molecular cell biology in the context of clinically-oriented problems. He has made seminal contributions to understanding the mechanisms of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, particularly with regard to their application to the clinical setting. His current interests are in the fields of cell-based therapy (including stem cells) and pharmacogenetics.

Michael has published 102 original papers in peer-review journals (mean impact factor per publication: 5.7), and 56 book chapters and review articles. He has co-authored 131 abstracts. He has received a number of awards for his research. He has been extensively involved in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and has lectured extensively on the international circuit. He is frequently solicited as a peer reviewer, and until recently was on the editorial boards of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology, The Angiogenesis Journal and. He is currently on the editorial boards of Lymphatic Research and Biology, Current Cardiology Reviews.

Michael is a member of the National Biotechnology Advisory Committee to the Minister of Science and Technology and is a founder member and Past-President of BioSA, an organization which represents the interests of Biotech SMMEs in South Africa. He is also a member of the Licensing Executives Society and the South African Medical Association. He was on the European Vascular Biology Association EXCOM from 1993-2004.

April 24, 2009

Donald Ingber
Director, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology
Harvard Medical School & Children's Hospital Boston

From Biological Design Principles to Bioinspired Nanotechnologies
The burgeoning field of Nanotechnology offers exciting new approaches to attack fundamental questions in biology, create smart medical devices, and positively impact human health. Creation of biologically-inspired nanotechnologies also could revolutionize how materials are designed and manufactured for industrial, aerospace and military applications. But the fields are constrained by a lack of understanding of how living cells and tissues are constructed so that they exhibit their incredible organic properties, including their ability to change shape, move, grow, and self-heal. These are properties we strive to mimic, but we cannot yet build man-made materials that exhibit these features, or develop devices to selectively control these behaviors. To accomplish this, we must uncover the underlying design principles that govern how cells and tissues form and function as hierarchical assemblies of nanometer scale components. In this lecture, I will review work from my laboratory and others which has begun to reveal these design principles that permit self-assembly of 3D structures with great robustness, mechanical strength and biochemical efficiency, even though they are composed of many thousands of flexible molecular scale components. We also are beginning to understand that biological materials are simultaneously "structure and catalyst": the molecular lattices that form the frameworks of our cells and tissues combine mechanical functions and solid-phase biochemical processing activities. In the course of the lecture, I also will describe how recently developed nanotechnologies have been used to create model systems for biological studies, and how they have led to new approaches to interface living cells with microchips, control mammalian cell and tissue development, and probe the process of mechanotransduction - how cells sense mechanical forces and convert them into biochemical responses. Finally, the more fundamental question of how nanoscale structural networks impact information processing (signal transduction) networks to control cellular "decision-making" also will be explored. Understanding of these design principles that govern biological organization is critical for any nanotechnologist who wants to harness the power of biology.

April 14, 2009

Rob Candler
Electrical Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles
CNSI PhD Careers Workshop
Okay, now that you have a freshly minted PhD (or will soon have one), what can you do with it? How do you establish a career with an advanced degree: becoming a faculty, working in corporate R&D, training to be a VC, or get another degree in MBA or Law?

Through this workshop series, we hope to help you successfully apply for a job. We will invite speakers who just made these choices and can now reflect on their experience. We will recruit speakers who do the actual hiring and can offer you sound advice.

To kick off this workshop series, Professor Rob Candler will share his recent experience of acquiring a faculty position at UCLA. Please bring your questions and join us on this informal discussion session.

Please RSVP with Peggy Wu ( so we can order enough brownies and cookies for you.

Rob Candler, Assistant Professor - Electrical Engineering, UCLA
"Pathways for Getting a Faculty Position"
2PM, April 14, 2009
CNSI Presentation Space
Download Flyer

Rob N. Candler received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University in 2000, and he earned the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, in 2002 and 2006, respectively. He was a research engineer from 2006-2007 and then a senior research engineer from 2007-2008 at the Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA. During this time, he was also a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford University, where he taught a graduate level course on Sensors. He joined the faculty at UCLA in 2008, where he is currently an Assistant Professor and directs the UCLA Sensors and Technology Laboratory.

April 06, 2009

Mayank R. Mehta
Brown University
Neurophysics of learning: Space, time and oscillations

March 30, 2009

Jason Ritt
Burroughs Wellcome CASI Postdoctoral Fellow
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
Embodied active sensing in the rodent vibrissa system
In nature, sensation is partly a behavioral process, in which organisms actively acquire and modify sensory information through self-motion (e.g. eye motions or scanning with fingertips). The choice of motions depends in general on goals and context. Also important, though not as well studied, is the dependence of these active sensing choices on the physical embodiment of the organism (e.g. the optical structure of eyes or mechanics of fingertips).

I will outline a combined experimental and theoretical approach to these themes built around the rodent vibrissa (aka whisker) tactile sensory system. A first step in this approach is our quantification of vibrissa "micromotions" believed to underlie tactile texture discrimination in freely behaving animals, an advance enabled by the development of novel high speed (>3000 Hz) videographic and computer tracking methods. We find the animal's embodiment has a marked influence on pre-neural tactile inputs, for example through mechanical resonances in the vibrissae. Moreover, micromotions in freely behaving animals differ substantially from stimuli typically utilized in anesthetized neurophysiology studies, raising questions of how well such studies can be extrapolated to natural contexts.

I will then describe ongoing experiments integrating the videography with neurophysiology. Using chronically implanted multi-electrode "hyperdrives" in primary somatosensory cortex, we record neural activity during tactile behaviors. In addition, we have recently begun to combine the recordings with direct alteration of the activity of the cortical circuit through "optogenetics", the optical stimulation of genetically targeted neural subpopulations (e.g. specific interneuron subtypes). I will sketch preliminary work attempting to unify experimental observations and predictions via computational modeling of the processes by which rodents choose how to gather information from the world, and utilize that information to make decisions. I will conclude by discussing applications to rodent disease models.

March 23, 2009

Dejan Vučinić
Salk Institute - Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Three innovations in bio-acousto-optics
Laser beam steering using acousto-optic deflectors is superior to the more widely used electromechanical scanning methods for its greater speed and lower latency, random access in constant time, insensitivity to environmental perturbations, and intrinsic lensing ability which enables access in three dimensions with no macroscopically moving parts. I will describe three little technological advances in acousto-optic 3D scanning microscopy that solve several long-standing obstacles to its wider adoption: a way of shrinking an entire acousto-optic microscope down to a size suitable for head-worn or hand-held deployment; a way of quickly superresolving fluorescent objects in three dimensions within large volumes; and a way of making an acousto-optic microscope confocal with the aid of a CMOS descanner. I will explain the biological motivations behind these advances and discuss their implications for the future of imaging fast neuronal activity in the intact brain.

March 16, 2009

Alipasha Vaziri
Janelia Farm Research Campus
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Unlocking the Power of Classical and Quantum Optics in Biology: Applications to New Tools for Neuroscience and Fundamental Biological Questions
In the recent years from the intersection of physics and biology, significant advancements in life sciences have emerged. This development has been fueled by two main drivers. On one hand many biological fields and neuroscience in particular, are currently limited by the available tools; hence the development of new physical techniques and methods have enabled new biological discoveries. On the other hand, a physics based approach to addressing biological questions can lead to an understanding of biological problems on a more fundamental level. In this context I will discuss a few developed and planed approaches to structural and functional imaging in neuroscience and understanding of biological function at molecular to atomic scale.

We have developed a super-resolution imaging technique (PALM) based on serial activation and excitation of photoswitchable fluorescent proteins, which allows optical imaging of intercellular protein distributions at nanometer resolution. By combing this technique with an approach to control the optical pulse duration at different axial locations, we have recently extended this technique to three dimensions and to thick biological samples.

In a different project, we have developed schemes for optical control of neural activity via multi-photon activation of genetically expressible ion-channel proteins such as Channelrhodopsin. This technique will allow studies of neural connectivity and mechanisms of neural integration on the single neuron level. By integrating this technique with optical methods for nano-scale voltage sensing, we are currently working towards a scheme for full optical control and recording of neural activity.

Finally, I will discuss ideas about how the application of femtosecond correlation spectroscopy might be used for studying coherent energy transport phenomena in bio-molecular complexes with metal-ion binding domains such as ion-channels and enzymes.

March 09, 2009

Anne Taylor
California Institute of Technology
Investigating neuronal plasticity using microfluidic devices
Neurons exhibit remarkable plasticity both in their morphology and in the strength of their synaptic connections. The complex connectivity of neuronal networks within the intact brain, however, presents extreme challenges for studying the cell biology of plasticity in axons, dendrites, and their synapses. During this seminar I will discuss the development and use of microfluidic devices to create organized connections between cortical neurons, providing unprecedented access to different neuronal populations and their subcellular compartments for measurements and manipulations. I will also discuss unique investigations of neuronal plasticity using these microfluidic devices. Axonal protein synthesis is a process which provides some autonomy to axons in order for them to respond to local conditions distal from their cell bodies (e.g., following axonal injury and during growth cone regeneration). Axons are known to locally translate mRNA in invertebrate as well as mammalian peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons, yet little is known about mammalian cortical axons due to the technical challenges of accessing their axonal compartments. Using microfluidic devices, we have recently identified a large mRNA population in mature cortical axons, providing evidence that these axons have the capacity for local protein synthesis. This work also shows that the mRNA profile in cortical axons has similarities to the mRNA profile in regenerating PNS axons, suggesting a common function for axonal protein synthesis following injury in both these types of neurons. Second, I will discuss work to investigate synaptic plasticity using newly developed microfluidic devices. I will discuss my work to access and manipulate synaptic regions at the micron level for the purposes of investigating synapse to nucleus signaling as well as for investigating local changes at synapses.

February 10, 2009

Heinz Berke
Inorganic Chemistry
University of Zurich
Chemistry in Ancient Times: The Invention of Blue and Purple Pigments
Blue and purple materials are not found in surface soil and prevented prehistoric mankind to have access to blue and purple pigments. Only after mining came up about 3000 BC, the rare gemstone Lapis Lazuli became available, which was then also used as a stable, but precious, blue pigment. Ancient mankind "lived" color and the demand for blue and purple pigments became so enormous that it could not be satisfied with Lapis Lazuli alone. In various civilizations this triggered the development of respective pigments by aid of chemistry.

Ancient Egyptians invented Egyptian Blue, a calcium copper silicate (CaCuSi4O1O) constituting a defined chemical compound, which came into use already in predynastic Egypt more than 3000 years ago. Later Egyptian Blue spread into Mesopotamia, Persia and was furthermore utilized by the ancient Greek and also the Romans in the Mediterranean area till the fall of the Roman Empire. Egyptian Blue was used to color vitreous materials, such as faience objects and frits, but also was used as a paint and in compact body artifacts. It was prepared at temperatures of 800 °C from limestone, sand and a copper mineral in the presence of a flux, such as papyrus ash, rock salt or Trona, a mixture of salts with sodium sulfate as the most effective constituent.

Earlier and recent studies of ancient Chinese polychromy revealed that three man-made barium copper silicate compounds were used as pigments or in compact body objects: BaCuSi2O6 (Chinese or Han Purple), BaCuSi4O1O (Chinese or Han Blue), chemically related to Egyptian Blue, and BaCu2Si2O7 (to be denoted as Chinese or Han Dark Blue) (see phase diagram Figure below). The forth phase of the BaO/CuO/SiO2 phase diagram, Ba2CuSi2O7, was apparently not prepared and used as a pigment. While the Ba/Cu 1:1 compounds were utilized from late Western Zhou Period (approx. 800 BC) till the end of Han Period (approx. 200 AD), BaCu2Si2O7 appeared as a pigments on only a few objects of the Han Period. Synthetic access to the barium copper silicate compounds was a difficult task in ancient times, as it is still nowadays in particular with respect to the preparation of high quality materials. Historically the compounds were obtained by flux syntheses at temperatures between 850°C and 1000°C applying appropriate stoichiometries of the starting materials.

All the original Chinese samples investigated up to now contained lead. The addition of lead turned out to be an ingenious chemical trick crucial to synthetic success, in particular when the very stable barite mineral (BaSO4) was used as a barium starting material.

Maya Blue is the youngest of the three artificial historic pigments and was developed and used by the Indians of central America from about 400 AD on. Chemically it is based on indigo, which is intercalated into white clays (Palygorskite and Sepiolite) at temperatures between 200 and 400 °C, thus effecting stabilization of the organic dye and turning it into a pigment.

Based on their chemistry and the availability of starting materials, the geography and the historic developments of these blue and purple pigments will be reviewed.

January 14, 2009

Richard R. Schrock
Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thousands of Catalysts for Olefin Metathesis: Variability, Longevity, and Asymmetry at the Metal
Complexes of the type M(NR)(CHR')(OR")2 (M = Mo or W) are established high oxidation state olefin metathesis catalysts, whose overall efficiencies depend dramatically upon the electronic and steric characteristics of the NR and OR" or (chiral) diolate groups. Complexes of the type M(NR)(CHCMe2R')(OR)X (MonoAlkoxidePyrrolide or MAP) species are remarkably active catalysts that are asymmetric at the metal. The latter property can be exploited through synthesis of M(NR)(CHCMe2R')(OR*)X species in which OR* is an enantiomerically pure alkoxide. Such species have been employed (inter alia) for a relatively short and enantioselective synthesis of the Aspidosperma alkaloid, quebrachamine (96% ee). This approach to asymmetric metathesis takes advantage of controlling the chirality at the metal through manipulation of the relative reactivities of two diastereomers. Recent applications of MAP species to a variety of reactions catalyzed by alkylidene complexes, along with fundamental studies concerning metathesis at a stereogenic metal center, will be discussed.

November 24, 2008

Xiang Zhang
Chancellor's Professor and Director
NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC)
University of California
Photonic Metamaterials, Nano-plasmonics and Superlens
Recent theory predicted a new class of meta structures made of engineered sub wavelength entities - meta "atoms" and "molecules" which enable the unprecedented electromagnetic properties that do not exist in the nature such as optical magnetism and artificial plasma. Especially, the predicted superlens made of metamterials breaks the fundamental diffraction limit, which may have profound impact in wide range of applications such as nano-scale imaging, nanolithography, and ultra-density data storage.

I'll discuss a few recent experiments that demonstrated these intriguing physics. We created the first bulk optical metamaterials that show the negative refractions. We demonstrated the unique superlens and hyperlens using carefully design of plasmonic materials dispersions. I will further discuss a new technology based on superlens for nano-scale lithography that may transform the next generation of nano-manufacturing, along with nano plasmonics for imaging and bio-sensing. The surface plasmon indeed promises an exciting engineering paradigm of "x-ray wavelength at optical frequency".

November 17, 2008

Luke P. Lee
Department of Bioengineering,
Director, Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center
Co-Director, Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC)
University of California, Berkeley
Nanobiophotonic Cellular Galaxy and Optogenetics for Quantitative Biology and Biomedical Innovations
Our understanding of biological systems is increasingly dependent on our ability to visualize and measure biomolecules and biological events with high spatial and temporal resolution in a living cell. Current fluorescence and confocal microscopy requires fluorescent labeling steps. The electron microscope (EM) can resolve subcellular structures without labeling, but EM imaging damages living cells. Moreover, fluorescence and EM microscopy cannot provide spectroscopic information (i.e. chemical fingerprints). Innovative nanoplasmonic local light sources and Plasmonic Resonance Energy Transfer (PRET) nanospectroscopy offer striking advantages over traditional molecular imaging techniques: stability, biocompatibility, selectivity, and spectroscopic imaging capability. By visualizing intracellular nanoplasmonic probes, we obtain snapshots of what we, metaphorically speaking, refer to as the Cellular Galaxy. By focusing on specific nanoplasmonic probes within this "galaxy" of probes, we can measure ultra-localized biochemical structural and kinetic features. In essence, the nanoplasmonic probes function as explorable "nano-satellites" in the living cellular environment.

We also have developed Oligonucleotides on a Nanoplasmonic Carrier Optical Switch (ONCOS) for the remote optical control of gene regulation and protein expression. The Optogenetic ONCOS allows on-demand gene silencing with nanometer-scale spatial resolution and localized temperature controls in living cells. The ONCOS and PRET are being applied for molecular/cellular diagnostics, therapeutic applications, and experimental system biology since these nanoplasmonic biophotonic devices will provide us precise spatial and temporal controls of gene interferences and spectroscopic information of living cellular mechanism. Bionanophotonic molecular ruler is also accomplished to measure the dynamics of DNA and protein interactions and understanding cellular dynamics. In-vivo Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) probes, in-vitro integrated nanofluidic SERS, and optofluidic ICs are developed for label-free molecular diagnostics and drug discovery. All these nanoplasmonic biophotonic devices can impact on optogenetics, medical diagnostics, and systems nanomedicine.

November 10, 2008

László Forró
Institute Director
Institute of Physics of Complex Matter
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Interdisciplinary Strategies in Nanoscience
We put a strong emphasis on the synthesis and study of various nanostructures like fullerols, nanoparticles, inorganic nanowires and nanotubes, carbon nanotubes, nano-peapods etc. Many of these structures are similar in size and shape to biomolecules like actin, microtubules, DNA, intermediate filaments etc. In this talk I will illustrate how can we use the experimental methods and approaches elaborated for the former systems to obtain relevant quantities in the study of biomaterials.

August 19, 2008

KINC/CNSI Cooperative Symposium on Nanoscience

This one-day kick-off event will initiate and build cooperative research between CNSI and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Institute for the Nanocentury. Researchers from both institutes will discuss their findings, new techniques and technologies representing a cross-section of capabilities at both facilities. Topics span nanophotonics, molecular assembly, nanomaterials synthesis and characterization for applications in communication, on-chip imaging, and green energy technology.

KAIST Institute for the NanoCentury (KINC) was established from the beginning to remove the barriers between different disciplines and foster true interdisciplinary collaboration and thereby pursues creative converging research that transcends any particular academic field. KINC carries out researches on nanoscience and nanotechnology through collaboration between the relevant industries and KAIST professors from various departments such as mechanical engineering, physics, bio and neuroscience, biology, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and chemistry.




Main Research Fields

Nanomaterials for Energy & Environment
- Nanoporous materials and nanoparticles for high performance applications
- Nanomaterials for energy storage
- Green process technology

Multi-functional Nanomaterials
- Development of multi-functional nanocomposites
- Energy absorbing materials by nano-interface engineering
- Nanomaterials for sensors and actuators

Photonic Nanostructures
- Design and fabrication of photonic structures
- Fabrication of optofluidic devices

Trans-scale NanoManufacturing
- Development and applications of 3D nano-fabrication processes
- Development of trans-scale nanomeasurement and nano-positioning systems

Nano-Bio Convergence
- Development of highly sensitive detection system for biomarkers by using nanomaterials
- Development of bio-mimetic materials for biomedical and dispensing system
- Development of biomolecular imaging system using nanomaterials

May 23, 2008

Gregory Stephanopoulos
Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Metabolic Engineering: Enabling Technology for the Biological Production of Fuels and Chemicals
Metabolic engineering is a young field, just over 15 years old. During this period, it has developed a well-defined methodology and a focused research portfolio of rich intellectual content and particular relevance to biotechnology and biological engineering. Its goal is to harness the immense potential of microorganisms for the production of useful products, in particular from renewable resources. This it does by engineering the cellular metabolism such as to favor product-forming pathways while maintaining normal cellular functions. After many successful applications, Metabolic Engineering now needs to adapt itself to rapid changes whereby we have instead of too few genes lots and lots of genes and, instead of a handful of measurements, avalanches of data. Although the focus (e.g. improving cells) and main theme (e.g. assessing cell physiology) of metabolic engineering remain the same, new tools are required to take advantage of these developments. Such tools will come from a systemic view of cellular function and will strengthen the integrating and quantifying aspects that have given this field its unique identity.

In this talk we will review how metabolic engineering, as a field, helped crystallize these concepts along with the main challenges in aligning metabolic engineering with the goals and mind-frame of the new biology. New concepts of importance in the post-genomic era will be presented that allow the engineering of cells to elicit multigenic properties, a task difficult to achieve following the usual single gene paradigm. These ideas will be illustrated with examples from applications of Metabolic Engineering to the production of chemical products and biofuels from renewable resources.


Dr. Gregory Stephanopoulos received his degrees in chemical engineering (B.S.: NTU Athens, M.S.: University of Florida, Ph.D.: University of Minnesota, 1978). He taught at Caltech (1978-85) after which he was appointed Professor of ChE at MIT. He served as Associate Director of the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center (1990-97) and is also the Taplin Professor of HST (2001-), Instructor of Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School (1997-), and the W. H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

Dr. Stephanopoulos' current research focuses on metabolic engineering, the engineering of microbes for the production of fuels and chemicals. He has coauthored or -edited 5 books, ~300 papers and 25 patents and supervised 50 graduate and 40 post-doctoral students. He is presently the editor-in-chief of Metabolic Engineering and serves on the Editorial Boards of 7 scientific journals and the Advisory Boards of 5 ChE departments. He has been recognized with numerous awards (Dreyfus, Excellence in Teaching-Caltech, AIChE Technical Achievement Award, NSF PYI, AIChE-FPBE Division Award, M.J. Johnson Award of ACS, Merck Award in Metabolic Engineering, C. Thom Award of SIM, the R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering of AIChE, and the Founders Award of AIChE). In 2002, he was elected to the AIChE Board of Directors, and in 2003 to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). In 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree (doctor technices honoris causa) by the Technical University of Denmark.

Dr. Stephanopoulos has taught undergraduate and graduate core courses of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

April 25, 2008

Assemblymember Mike Feuer to Host Nanotechnology Summit at the CNSI
Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) in association with UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) present "The Future of Nanotechnology: Legislative Summit".

There are spaces in the world too small to be seen with even the most powerful optical microscopes. Nanotechnology, sometimes referred to as the science of the very small, has far-reaching economic and quality-of-life implications. How small is small? A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. The human hair is approximately 80,000 nanometers wide, for example. A nanometer-sized particle also is smaller than a living cell and can be seen only with the most powerful microscopes available today. Numerous products featuring the unique properties of nanoscale materials - including computer equipment, drug delivery systems and medical diagnostic tools, burn and wound dressings in hospitals, car parts, protective coatings on eyeglasses, cosmetics and clothing - are available to consumers and industry today. And new uses in our homes, offices and on the road are being envisioned and developed. This summit is the first step for stakeholders from industry, government, research institutes and environmental groups to discuss responsible ways to regulate nanotechnology without stifling progress.

Panel 1: Environmental and Health Implications of Nanotechnology: Narrowing Our Knowledge Gap

The first panel will address the state of the science regarding the potential environmental and human health impacts of nanotechnology and nanomaterials. Nanomaterials are widely used in a variety of industrial applications and consumer goods such as clothing, sporting goods and cosmetics.

Confirmed Panelists:

Leonard H. Rome, Ph.D, Director, California NanoSystems Institute
Andre Nel, Ph.D, MD, Director of the University of California Lead Campus for Nanotoxicology Research and Training
Hilary Godwin, Ph.D, UCLA School of Public Health
Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Abraxis BioScience, Inc

Panel 2: Regulating NanoTechnology: Managing Risks while Promoting Progress

This panel will build upon the first to explore the policy issues associated with nanotechnology and nanomaterials, including the need for information regarding the environmental and health risks. Panelists will examine the potential application of existing federal and state legal authorities, including EPA's voluntary Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program, in defining and responding to such risks.

Confirmed Panelists:

John Froines, Ph.D, Director, UCLA Center of Occupational and Environmental Health
Tim Malloy, JD, Professor of Law, UCLA and Co-Director, Frank G.Wells Environmental Law Clinic
Jeffrey Wong (DTSC), Chief Scientist, Department of Toxic Substances Control
George Alexeeff, Ph.D, Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Terry O'Day, Executive Director of Environment Now

(Continental breakfast will be served from 8:00am - 9:00am in the CNSI lobby)

Photo Gallery

Daily Bruin

April 04, 2008

Rob N. Candler
Bosch Research and Technology Center
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University
Thermoelastic Dissipation as an Energy Loss Mechanism in Silicon Microelectromechanical Resonators
The silicon microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonator is poised to replace the quartz resonator as the device of choice for frequency references, which pervade most of the electronic devices currently being produced, with > 10 billion quartz timing crystals produced every year. Before silicon can overtake this industry, some critical technological challenges must be solved, namely stable packaging and optimization/understanding of energy dissipation of resonators.

One fundamental challenge for micro/nanoscale resonators is to understand the pathways by which they dissipate their vibrational energy. Even though these resonators have been in the research community for multiple decades and the underlying mechanisms of energy dissipation are fundamental physical phenomena (e.g., heat flow, phonon-phonon interactions, dissipation from chemical bonds on the resonator surface, elastic collisions with air molecules, energy loss from the resonator anchors), predictive models still do not exist for all types of energy dissipation. Without an understanding of these phenomena, it is impossible to predict the quality factor, a critical parameter, of a resonator.

One energy loss mechanism that becomes relevant at the micro/nanoscale is thermoelastic dissipation (TED), a phenomenon where energy is irrecoverably transferred from the mechanical to the thermal domain. Finite element simulations that capture the bi-directional coupled physics between mechanical and thermal domains were used to predict the TED-limited quality factor in MEMS resonators. Experimental validation was obtained by fabricating these devices within a novel single-wafer encapsulation technique. This encapsulation enabled reliable, repeatable measurement of devices and mitigation of other energy loss mechanisms, thereby isolating TED as the dominant energy loss mechanism. Based on these simulations, novel resonator geometries were designed, fabricated, and tested, demonstrating the ability to engineer the quality factor in MEMS resonators.

January 09, 2008

Virtual Surgery: Computational Methods and Simulations for Facial Reconstructions
This talk will cover a personal history of this surgeon who has attempted over the past thirty years to apply computer methods to the surgical care of patients with facial malformations. The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center was the first center funded by the National Institutes of Health to study children with severe facial malformations. Evaluation of treatment outcomes required the development of statistical methods for the evaluation of smoothly curving three dimensional surfaces. This naturally led to numerical "error terms" when fitting a particular patient to normative models for the purposes of surgical simulation. As numerical surgical planning evolved, it became necessary to develop methods for delivering coordinated intraoperative precision. This led to the use of intraoperative vision systems and surgical robotics. Coincident with the craniofacial effort was an outreach program to repair cleft lip and palate in developing countries. Teaching the complex three dimensional movements required to achieve good results is difficult. We began using a three dimensional computer graphics animation program, Maya®, to describe these procedures. Later these procedures were abstracted into video game format to allow the student to explore these procedures in an interactive way.

The Speaker

Court Cutting is Professor of Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center. Over the past 20 years his surgical practice has been devoted to the care of children with facial malformations. Dr. Cutting has developed an intraoperative virtual reality system for the tracking and positioning of facial skeletal fragments. He began working with the Smile Train charity in 1999 to develop training tools to teach cleft lip and palate surgery to doctors in third world countries.

This lecture is part of the IPAM workshop "Scientific Computing Applications in Surgical Simulation of Soft Tissues". For more information about this lecture (including directions and parking) and other activities at IPAM, visit our website or call 310-825-4755.

November 14, 2007

Peter Sellars,
UCLA Professor World Arts and Cultures

Streaming Video

Return to the Public Sphere! Three or Four Things to Do With a Major Research University
Cutting across disciplines, going outside the University, completes the total picture of what University life could and should be. Peter Sellars is one of the leading theatre, opera, and television directors in the world today, having directed more than one hundred productions, large and small, across America and abroad. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship and was awarded the Erasmus Prize at the Dutch Royal Palace for contributions to European culture. A graduate of Harvard University (where during his senior year he directed Gogol's /The Inspector General /and Handel's opera /Orlando* */at the A.R.T.), he studied in Japan, China, and India before becoming Artistic Director of the Boston Shakespeare Company. His contemporary visions of Mozart's operas *Cosi */Fan Tutte, //The Marriage of Figaro/, and /Don Giovanni/, created in collaboration with Emmanuel Music and its Artistic Director Craig Smith, were hailed in Boston and in Europe and were televised by National Public Television. At twenty-six he was made Director of the American National Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

He was Artistic Director of the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals, and is currently a Professor of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA. Mr. Sellars has collaborated with The Wooster Group and was featured in Jean-Luc Godard's film of /King Lear/. He has also appeared on Bill Moyers' /A World of Ideas/, /Miami Vice/, and /The Equalizer/, directed a rock video for Herbie Hancock, and produced a series of radio episodes for The Museum of Contemporary Art's The Territory of Art series. His first feature film, /The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez/, is silent in color (starring Joan Cusack, Peter Gallagher, Ron Vawter, and Mikhail Baryshnikov).

UCLA Today Online Story

November 05, 2007

Massimiliano Zecca
Waseda University, Japan
Understanding Human and Humanoid Motions and Emotions
The average age of the Japanese population is rising fast because of an increased life expectancy and a reduced birth rate. In this aging society, it is expected that there will be a growing need for home, medical and nursing care services, including those provided by robots, to assist the elderly both on the physical and the psychological levels. These new devices should be capable of smooth and natural adaptation and interaction with their partners and the environment, should be able to communicate naturally, and should never have a negative effect on humans, neither physical nor emotional. The concept behind all these devices is "partner". In particular, Partner Robots will act as human peers in everyday life and perform mental and communicational supports for humans as well as physical supports.

In this regard, human-robot communication and interaction (particularly in regard to the role of emotions) are extremely important, especially in the case of home and personal assistance for elderly and/or handicapped people. If a robot had a "mind" (intelligence, emotion, and will) similar to the human one, it would be much easier for the robot to adapt and interact with its human partners and the environment. Unfortunately, at present, we do not yet have sufficient knowledge and understanding of humans, and we do not know how to clearly define the criteria to evaluate these interactions.

To solve this problem, we should observe and analyze the human being, an extreme and exquisite example of robotic system. This could lead to the clarification of the basic mechanisms of the human neuromusculoskeletal system, and how its performance is related to emotional perception and expression. This, in turn, will be the core part of a huge range of extremely important applications involving the interactions between people and robots. The possible outcomes of this research for an aging society are tremendous.

The ultimate goal of these research activities is to provide the society with the tools necessary to improve and enhance the quality of life of elderly and disabled people: better health-care systems, human-support devices, teleoperation methods, and so on.

This video of emotion expressions will be the main topic of the talk: Video

To see all the videos and a further description of the robot, please visit this website: WE-4RII

October 22, 2007

Joseph Wang
Biodesign Institute
Arizona State University
Nanomaterial-based Biosensors and Biomedical Devices
The unique properties of nanoscale materials offer excellent prospects for the monitoring biomolecular interactions and for designing novel bioelectronic devices exhibiting novel functions. This presentation will describe greatly amplified and multiplexed bioelectronic assays of DNA and proteins based on different biomaterial-nanomaterial assemblies. We will also discuss new nanowire-based machine-like operations ranging from delivery vehicles (and related self-powered nanomotors) to 'artificial-muscle' nanoactuators (based on electrical or magnetic stimuli). Finally, we will illustrate novel nanowire-based strategies for activating on-demand bioelectrocatalytic processes and bioelectronic devices, in general.

Joseph Wang is one of the most-cited researchers in bioelectronics and biosensors.

September 18, 2007

Robert W. Williams, Ph.D.
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Dunavant Chair: Developmental Genetics, Department of Pediatrics
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Expression Genetics and the Phenotype Revolution
The identification of disease genes associated with pervasive and common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurodegeneration, and addiction can require huge population sizes. Massive projects of these types require extremely efficient phenotyping technologies. We have made enormous progress on the genotyping front, and it is now time to focus energy on devising ultrahigh-throughput methods to phenotype. Molecular phenotyping of the transcriptome has matured, and it is now possible to acquire more than 1 million mRNA microphenotypes. Proteomic and cell-based assays are also maturing rapidly. As I will review in this talk, rodent populations combined with massive phenome data sets and sophisticated bioinformatic data mining methods are essential to gauge our ability to predict susceptibility and disease outcome in human populations.

Biography: Robert (Rob) W. Williams received a BA in neuroscience from UC Santa Cruz (1975) and a Ph.D. in physiology at UC Davis with LM Chalupa (1983). He did postdoctoral work in developmental neurobiology at Yale with P. Rakic and moved to the University of Tennessee in 1989. He is a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and holds the Dunavant professorship in developmental genetics in the Department of Pediatrics. Williams is a past president of the Society for Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society and founding director of the Complex Trait Consortium ( He is a member of the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice and Chair of the Society for Neuroscience Neuroinformatics Committee, and he serves on the Editorial Board of Genes, Brain & Behavior, Neuroinformatics, Alcohol, Molecular Vision, European Journal of Anatomy, Alcohol, BiomedCentral Neuroscience, the Journal of Biomedical Discovery and Collaboration, and Behavior Genetics.

August 16, 2007

Alan E. Rowan
Department of Molecular Materials
Institute for Molecules and Materials (The Netherlands)
From Single to Assembled Chromophores
Abstract Description:
The study of individual chromophores, in particular porphyins and phthalocyanines, at a surface is of increasing interest due to the numerous foreseen applications in the area of nanotechnology. The development the of catalytic surfaces or spintronic arrays requires a precise control over the deposition and ordering of the molecules at the solid liquid interface. The self-assembly and self-ordering of such molecules at a surface is complex mechanism of multiple processes such as dewetting, supramolecular self-assemblyand many others which occur simultaneously. Once formed the investigation of the properties and behaviour of, individual chromophores or the formed arrays and their subsequent application as functional surfaces is also a non-trivial process.

The in-depth study of several systems ranging from monomeric to trimeric and polymeric systems and their self-assembled architectures has been carried out using SPM (scanning probe microscopy) and CFM (confocal fluorescence spectrsopytechniques at the liquid-solid interface. Using the former technique (STM) the catalytic cycle a single manganese porphyrin on a gold surface has been monitored during the conversion of an alkene to an epoxide using molecular oxygen (Nature Nanotechnology 2, 28 - 289 (2007)). Combining both above techniques the assembly of porphyrin trimers into a periodic array of micronmeter long nanowires at a surface has also been studied. By the precise design of the chromophoric building block, parallel m long consisting of millions of lines 5 nm thick, 100 molecules covering areas cm2, can be self-organized and the subsequent surface ultilized as a command layer for twisted nematic liquid crystal devices (Science (2006), 314(5804), 1433-143)).

In a finally assembly approach, polyisocyanide-molecules based m and wires can be synthesized, with lengths upto 15 molecular weights in excess of 20 million Daltons (see figure above). The investigation of the energy and electron transfer along these wires has led to there application in photovoltaic devices, (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 4045 -4049; J. Phys. Chem. B 2006, 110, 7803-7812).

The motion of these chromophoric wires in a polymeric matrix has been observed using CFM, revealing the first example of reptation in a polymer matrix. The concept, synthesis and observations for these different chromophoric assemblies will be discussed.

August 07, 2007

Andreas Kilbinger
Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz, Institut fur Organische Chemie
Duesbergweg 10-14, 55099 Mainz, Germany;
Oligo(p-benzamide)s - Supramolecular Synthons for the Nanoscale Organization of Polymers
Coil-coil block copolymers and their solution and bulk structures have been studied in great detail. Amphiphilic coil-coil diblock copolymers typically form phase-separated morphologies with domain sizes between 10 nm and 100 nm.[1] One way to obtain smaller domain sizes is via rod-coil block copolymers in which a discrete oligomeric rod-block is attached to a polydisperse coil-block. This allows the generation of nanoscopic domain sizes on similar length scales as that of the oligomeric rod itself.

Such precisely defined oligomers can be synthesized and attached to polymeric coil blocks using the tools of classical multi-step organic synthesis. In recent years, this boundary between classical organic synthesis and polymer chemistry has been crossed by many groups aiming to create new block-copolymer architectures in which at least one block is precisely defined. [2]

Recently, we described the synthesis[3] and aggregation behavior[4,5] of a series of oligo(p-benzamide)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) monomethyl ethers in which strong directional hydrogen bonds are responsible for the formation of nanoscale solution structures. An overview of different synthetic strategies aiming at precisely defined oligo(p-benzamide) (OPBA) coil-block copolymers will be presented. The nanoscale aggregates formed by these polymers in non-polar solvents were analyzed using scanning probe microscopy (SPM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as well as light scattering techniques.

An overview of four different synthetic approaches to such polymer architectures is presented: a precursor route for synthesis on a soluble support (1), an iterative oligomer synthesis in solution (2), [6] a fully automated solid supported synthesis (3)[7,8] and an automated larger scale synthesis (4)[9] for supramolecular rod-coil copolymers are described. These four different synthetic routes allow the preparation of materials with varying degrees of precision, ranging from exact molecular weight and sequence control for the solid supported synthesis, to polydisperse materials for the automated lager scale synthesis.

Oligoaramide hetero-sequence design as a means to control shape, non-covalent interaction and hierarchical organization into nanostructures will be discussed.

Figure: A) TEM image of an OPBA-PEG copolymer, dropcast from CHCl3 solution. B) Reference: tobacco mosaic virus C) AFM image (tapping mode) of an OPBA-PEG copolymer D) Molecular model of an OPBA-PEG rod-coil copolymer E) Model of a bilayer hockey puck micelle consisting of a crystalline OPBA core and PEG (blue) corona.

June 08, 2007

Organized by
Victoria Vesna, Director
Art | Science Center
UCLA Art|Sci Center Presents:Tesla: Visions + Inspirations
Nikola Tesla's visions and inventions were at the core of the generation, transmission and use of electricity that has transformed our world. His genius and his importance to humankind is now only beginning to be fully appreciated, particularly as we become wireless and more energy conscious. Join us to hear about Tesla through the work of Artists, Scientists and Engineers who have been inspired by his legacy.


Greg Leyh, Nevada Lightning Lab - featuring a phased pair of Tesla coils, 122 feet tall. Lightning on Demand

Susan Joyce, Director, Fringe Gallery, Los Angeles

Milos Ercegovac, Professor, Computer Science, UCLA

Paulette Phillips, Artist, Homewrecker Electromagnetic Sculpture

Gisele Trudel and Stephane Claude, AElab Sparks - Experimental documentary on the life of Nikola Tesla

Nina Czegledy, The Resonance Project Co-Curated with Louise Provencher

May 29, 2007

Menachem Elimelech

"Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials in Aquatic Environments: Transport, Aggregation, and Environmental Implications"
Professor of Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Yale University will be the guest speaker for the MWH Distinguished Lecture in Environmental & Water Resources Engineering.

Naturally occurring nanoparticles are ubiquitous in aquatic systems. With the emergence of nanotechnology, engineered nanomaterials, such as fullerene and carbon nanotubes, will likewise find their way into natural waters. Understanding the aggregation behavior of these nanoparticles is important for predicting their transport, reactivity, and bioavailability in aquatic environments. This presentation will focus on the role of solution chemistry in the aggregation kinetics of iroiron oxide (hematite) and fullerene (C60) nanopatricles. The early stage aggregation kinetics of these nanoparticles have been investigated via time-resolved dynamic light scattering (DLS), under various solution chemistries (monovalent and divalent cations, and presence of polysaccharides and humic acid) Supported by TEM and AFM measurements, the mechanisms of nanoparticle aggregation are elucidated. In addition to the aggregation kinetics data, recent work on the interaction of carbon nanotubes with bacterial cells will be described.

Prof. Elimelech is the Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Yale University. In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and in 2005 was awarded the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize, perhaps the most prestigious award in the US for researchers in the water quality and water resources.

This event is presented by the UCLA Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the CNSI Nanotoxicology Seminar Series in conjunction with WMH.

May 22, 2007

Luis Echegoyen
Division Director, Chemistry
National Science Foundation

Chemical and Electrochemical Properties of Endohedral and Multilayer Fullerenes
Trimetallic nitride endohedral fullerenes ( M3N@C2n, M=Sc, Y, Er, Gd, etc and n=34-44) were serendipitously discovered in 1999 and constitute a very interesting class of compounds. The interplay between the nature of the endohedral cluster and the exohedral chemical properties has turned out to be a rich field with unanticipated results. Reactions that work well on a given carbon cage (C80) with one metallic cluster completely fail when the metal is changed. Other reactions show different regiochemistry as a function of the encapsulated metal cluster. Somewhat surprisingly, different isomeric forms (for example, Ih and D5h symmetry Sc3N@C80 ) exhibit totally different redox properties and these have been used as the basis for a separation method. The redox of many of these compounds show irreversible behavior, but the detailed mechanisms are still not well understood, and probably involve EC processes within the carbon cage. Electrochemical and ESR results are somewhat contradictory but can be rationalized by invoking intracage chemical rearrangements.

Dr. Luis Echegoyen is the Division Director for NSF Chemistry (CHE). He joined the National Science Foundation from Clemson University where he served as Chair for the Department of Chemistry. Prior academic experience includes serving as Associate Professor and Professor at the University of Miami; Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park; Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Puerto Rico and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He also conducted research at Union Carbide Corporation, Bound Brook, New Jersey. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Echegoyen maintains an active research program with interests including Fullerene electrochemistry, monolayer films, supramolecular chemistry, and spectroscopy; endohedral Fullerene chemistry and electrochemistry; carbon nanoonions, synthesis, derivatization and fractionation; and chemical and active cation transport through membranes. He has published numerous research papers and books.

In addition, Dr. Echegoyen has extensive past experience with NSF, including serving as a Program Officer in Chemical Dynamics Program; a member of the Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering (CEOSE); and a member of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee. In addition, he has served as principal investigator for several research grants supported by NSF.

May 17, 2007

Mark R. Wiesner
Duke University
Nanotoxicology Seminar - "Assessing the Risks of Nanoparticles: The Fullerene Example"

Emerging technologies, including nanotechnologies, affect the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of our world, often in ways that are entirely unanticipated. There is considerable effort underway to explore uses of nanomaterials in applications such as membrane separations, catalysis, adsorption, and analysis with the goal of better protecting environmental quality. Along with the growth of a nanochemistry industry there is also the need to consider impacts of nanomaterials on environment and human health. Early work on nanomaterial exposure and toxicity has often focused on a relatively newly discovered allotrope of carbon referred to as fullerenes. Early data on potential fullerene exposure and toxicity are examined.

April 18, 2007

Mary Neu, Ph.D.
Download the Flyer
Actinide Chemistry in the Nuclear Energy Cycle: Separations Related to Fuels and Environmental Transformations of Plutonium
Special Seminar sponsored by the School of Public Health

Featured Guest: Mary Neu, Ph.D., Associate Director for Chemistry, Life, and Earth Sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Nuclear Power is an energy supply that can both reduce the U.S. dependence on imported oil and gas and also reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. There are several options to increase this power source. Each option has specific science and technology needs, including the following: separations and process chemistry for fuel production and (re)processing, nuclear chemistry advances for safeguards and transmutation, and aqueous and materials chemistry for waste storage and disposition. This seminar will include a very brief introduction to chemistry in the nuclear cycle followed by recent fundamental actinide research results that are relevant to actinide/lanthanide separations and the environmental chemistry of plutonium and other actinides. Special emphasis will given to plutonium biogeochemistry and detailed interactions between plutonium species and environmental bacteria.

Dr. Mary Neu is currently Associate Director for Chemistry, Life, and Earth Sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This 900-person organization comprises the Bioscience Division, the Chemistry Division, and the Earth and Environmental Science Division. Neu received B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Alaska and a Ph.D. in inorganic and nuclear chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She has authored more than 40 publications in refereed journals and reference books, and her research expertise covers a wide variety of actinide and non-actinide science. Her scientific interests include transuranic speciation; solution thermodynamic and kinetic studies; f-element coordination chemistry; and the environmental behavior of actinides; biogeochemistry; and environmental science.

April 06, 2007

See Agenda for Speaker Listing


Symposium: Nanomedicine and Chemical Biology
Synopsis: Nanoscience is the science of making things very small and creating machines and materials at the molecular or supra-molecular level. Novel applications of this multidisciplinary science promise to transform the future of medicine by providing new diagnostic devices, analytical tools, therapies, and drug-delivery vehicles. This exciting event will be held on the UCLA campus with experts from throughout the country presenting the latest scientific information on Nanotechnology related to Medicine.

Sponsored by: The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, The California NanoSystems Institute, and UCLA Extension.

Coordinators: Kenneth Bradley, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, UCLA, and Heather Maynard, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA.

General Information: Early registration is highly encouraged. Registration is limited. To guarantee lunch and seating, you must pre-register. UCLA students, staff, and faculty may attend free of charge, but must pre-register. Enrollment/Registration

Registration at the door subject to space availability.

Parking is available but limited in lot P7. All UCLA staff and faculty are encouraged to park in their designated lots and enjoy the walk to DeNeve Plaza in the northwest sector of UCLA. Click here for parking information and a campus map. UCLA Extension is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), Provider Number BRN# CEP 11952. This symposium is approved for 6.0 contact hours.

March 14, 2007

Andrew Jamison, Professor
Technology, Environment, and Society
Hubris or Hybrids? On the Cultural Assessment of Nanotechnology
Guest Speaker: Professor Andrew Jamison, Technology, Environment, and Society from Aalborg University, Denmark

Abstract: As with many new technologies before they find their appropriate - and often inappropriate - uses in society the meanings of nanotechnology are still unclear. There is both a great deal of hype and a good deal of ignorance accompanying the emergence of this new field of research, and it can therefore be of some importance to attempt to provide a cultural assessment of nanotechnology. Drawing on a conceptual framework that he has developed with Mikael Hard in their recent book, Hubris and Hybrids. A Cultural History of Technology and Science (Routledge 2005), Andrew Jamison will discuss both the manifestations of hubris, as well as the processes of hybridization that will be necessary if nanotechnology is to have a meaningful presence in our societies. He will also present his own experiences bringing contextual knowledge into the education of nanoscientists and engineers as an example of hybridization.

February 12, 2007

Christoph Gerber Director of Scientific Communication, National Center of Competence for Nanoscale Science (NCCR) from The Institute of Physics, University of Basel, Switzerland
"AFM Technology beyond Imaging: Applications towards Personalized Medical Diagnostics"
Abstract Description: Micro-fabricated silicon cantilevers arrays offer a novel label-free approach where ligand-receptor binding interactions occurring on the sensor generate nanomechanical signals like bending or a change in mass that is optically detected in-situ. We report the detection of multiple unlabelled biomolecules simultaneously down to picomolar concentrations within minutes. Differential measurements including reference cantilevers on an array of eight sensors enable sequence-specifically detection of unlabelled DNA and are suitable to detect specific gene fragments within a complete genome (gene fishing). Expression of detection of inducible genes and the detection of total RNA fragments in an unspecific background will be shown.

Ligand-receptor binding interactions, such as antigen recognition will be presented. Antibody activated cantilevers with sFv (single chain fragments) which bind to the indicator proteins show a significantly improved sensitivity which is comparable with SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance).

In addition, this technology offers a broad variety of receptor molecules application such as e.g. membrane protein recognition, micro-organism detection, enantiomeric separation.

New coating procedures, enlargement of the active surface area by dendritic molecules as well as improvement of the receptor-cantilever chemical bond will be presented.

These new findings may lead to a novel individual diagnostic assay in a combined label-free GENOMICS and PROTEOMIC biomarker sensor (COMBIOSENS).

December 11, 2006

Jackie Ying
Executive Director
Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN)
Nanostructure Processing of Advanced Catalysts and Biomaterials
Abstract Description:
Nanostructured materials are of interest for a variety of applications. This talk describes the synthesis and properties of two classes of nanostructured materials: nanoparticulate materials and nanoporous materials for catalytic and biomaterials applications. Nanoparticulate materials are made up of crystallites or particles of ~10 nm. They may be generated by various physical and chemical approaches with ultrahigh surface areas. Through controlled synthesis in reverse microemulsions, my laboratory has achieved complex oxide nanoparticles with ultrahigh thermal stability for the effective catalytic combustion of methane. This approach has also enabled us to derive polymeric nanoparticles for the glucose-sensitive delivery of insulin. Through chemical precipitation and additive dispersion, we have also attained nanocomposite systems as highly selective and sensitive semiconductor sensors, bioactive ceramic orthopedic implants, and efficient gene delivery vectors.

My laboratory is involved in the synthesis of novel nanoporous materials with tailored oxidation states, coordination chemistry and electronic structure. We have found that sol-gel processing can be combined with supramolecular templating agents in deriving well-defined mesoporous and microporous transition metal oxides (termed TMS). The compositional flexibility and pore size tailoring of the TMS molecular sieves open new possibilities for catalytic applications beyond the silicate-based zeolitic materials or mesoporous MCM-41. We have also attained mesocellular foams by using triblock copolymers and swelling agents in templating silicate precursors. These ultralarge-pore materials have been used to fixate organometallic ligands for the effective epoxidation, hydroxylation, Heck catalysis and asymmetric hydrogenation. The resulting heterogenized catalysts provide for excellent activity, enantioselectivity and reusability.

September 07, 2006

Tony James,
University of Bath


Steven Bull
University of Bath

Molecular Sensors Using Boronic Acids

Professor Fraser Stoddart, CNSI Director, is hosting Professor Steven Bull, Department of Chemistry and Professor Tony James, Royal Society University Research Fellow both from the University of Bath of the United Kingdom.

Abstract: Much recent attention has been paid to the development of synthetic molecular receptors with the ability to recognise selectively small molecules involved in biological pathways. Current projects within my group are aimed at improving the selectivity and extending the range of molecules, which can be recognised using boronic acid based systems.

Click here to read and/or download the entire article.

August 15, 2006

Professor Uri Banin
Institute of Chemistry & the Center for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hybrid Metal-Semiconductor Nanoparticles
Special Physical Chemistry Seminar Co-Hosted by CNSI

Guest Speaker: Professor Uri Banin, Institute of Chemistry & the Center for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Abstract: An important frontier in nanocrystal synthesis is the growth of composites of different materials in the same nanostructure as means of increasing functionality. One particularly interesting combination of materials is that of a metal and semiconductor in the same nanoparticle where metal tips can provide anchor points for electrical connections and for self assembly.

We developed the growth of metal (Au) tips on the apexes of semiconductor (CdSe) rods, forming 'nano-dumbbells' (NDB's), via a simple chemical reaction. From the viewpoint of self-assembly they are equivalent to bi-functional molecules such as the di-thiols manifesting two sided chemical connectivity and the use of the tips for assembly is demonstrated. We also found that by increasing the concentration of gold in the reaction, rods with a metal tip on one side are formed. This process occurs by a unique ripening process as substantiated by experimental work and model calculations. The process leads to a transition from two to one sided growth.

Such systems manifest a unique model for a metal-semiconductor nanoscale junction. A fundamental and intriguing problem associated with such systems is the mechanical and electronic properties of the metal-SC nanojunctions. The electronic properties of metal-semiconductor nanojunctions were investigated by scanning tunneling spectroscopy of the gold-tipped CdSe rods and by electrostatic force microscopy. In STS sub-gap states at the metal-semiconductor interface were observed, while in EFM we see evidence for charge separation at the metal semiconductor interface.

May 23, 2006

Sergio Cova
IEEE-LEOS Distinguished Lecturer from Politecnico di Milano, Dip. Elettronica e Informazione
CNSI Special Seminar: Photon Counting Microdetectors and Their Applications
Photon counting is the technique of choice for the ultimate sensitivity in optical signal measurements. Started and developed with photomultiplier tubes, it received new impulse from the introduction of microelectronic detectors, called Single-Photon avalanche Diodes SPAD.

They combine typical advantages of microelectronics (small size, high reliability, ruggedness and suitability to integrated systems) with improved basic performance (high photon detection efficiency, low dark-counting rate, picosecond photon-timing and high counting-rate capability).

The seminar will outline the evolution of SPAD devices and associated electronics and will illustrate some examples of recent applications, such as: analysis of DNA and proteins; single molecule spectroscopy; adaptive optics in modern telescopes; non-invasive testing of ULSI circuits.
May 04, 2006

"Science Engineered by Art" Presentation by Fraser Stoddart
The UCLA Science Faculty Research Colloquium Series is designed to promote interdisciplinary research and to be of interest to a general audience.

May 4, 2006 -Science Engineered by Art

Streaming Video

Abstract: What have Norse mythology, Christian iconography, Shinto shrines, the Charing Cross Underground Station in London, and Ballantine's beer from New Jersey got in common? They all have a symbol which mathematicians, who are into knot theory, would call a "six-three-two," also known as the Borromean Rings (BRs). Their proliferation on crests and statues, commissioned by the Borromeo family in 15th Century Tuscany, sealed the BRs' etymological fate. In addition to the BRs having made cultural inroads into art, theology and heraldry, the 20th Century witnessed the emergence of this six-node, three-component link on to the scientific scene in particle physics and molecular biology. In his UCLA Science Faculty Research Colloquium, Stoddart will relate how chemistry has just started to get in on the act with molecular BRs these past couple of years. By employing chemical synthesis in an unconventional manner, he will trace how molecular BRs - a chemical Gordian knot - have become ten-a-penny overnight. The tale illustrates Noel Coward's much quoted words, "The secret of success is the capacity to survive failure."

What do Moore Hall, Haines Hall and the Powell Library on the UCLA Campus have in common? Their walls and floors and ceilings are plastered with "four-two-one" knots, also known as Solomon Knots (SKs). This four-noded, two-component link is believed to contain all the wisdom of King Solomon: many cultures, including Stoddart's very own Celtic one, have adopted this emblem to represent knowledge. He will relate how ploutering about with the recipe for making molecular BRs produces molecular SKs. Just how and why remains a mystery to be solved.

Ask Stoddart the question, what are these molecular BRs and SKs good for and the answer is he doesn't know yet. What he can claim, however, is that history has a habit of repeating itself. Some 18 years ago, his group made their first "two-two-one" knot, also known as a catenane, i.e., a two-node, two-component link. Bistable analogs, and close relatives of this mechanically interlocked molecular compound, wherein one of the two links - the one responsible for bistability - is broken and blocked at each end, provide access to nanometer-scale switches. In this simple molecular abacus, which is called a bistable rotaxane, the surviving link can be induced to move between two different stations, realizing the ON/OFF states of the switch in the appropriate device setting. By feats of engineering from the top down, these bottom-up assembled bistable rotaxanes have been used successfully to create molecular random access memory (RAM) at a density that is well beyond 2020 on the semiconductor industry's roadmap.

Fraser Stoddart is Director of the California NanoSystems Institute, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and holds UCLA's Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences. He is internationally renowned for his research in molecular electronics - using molecules on the nanoscale as switches in computers and other electronic devices - and artificial molecular machines - using linear motor-molecules in nanochemomechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). Fraser is a pioneer in the making and harnessing of the mechanical bond in chemistry. His Colloquium is titled "Science Engineered by Art."