2005 Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award

for the college undergraduate or graduate student
whose work in nanotechnology is deemed most notable

2005 Winner Announced

Christopher Levins, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, received the Foresight Distinguished Student Award. Levins is working to develop a systematic methodology for the design and synthesis of rigid macromolecular scaffolds capable of displaying chemical functionality in three-dimensional space. Such scaffolds are one approach to the construction of complex nanoscale devices. Levins synthesized critical molecular subunits that could be coupled together to form the scaffold elements. These subunits are similar to amino acids, but capable of forming two peptide bonds between adjacent subunits, thus eliminating rotational floppiness in the scaffold backbone. These subunits have been joined together to form either molecular rods or curved shapes, suggesting that the physical properties of the scaffolds can be controlled in a predictable way based upon the stereochemistry of the subunits included in a sequence.

Prize Award Banquet

winners of the 2005 Foresight Nanotech Institute prizes
Christopher Levins, right, winner of the Foresight Distinguished Student Award is shown accepting his award along with Dr. Christian Schafmeister, left, winner of the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Experimental work, and Dr. Christian Joachim, second from the left, winner of the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Theory, and Rocky Rawstern, second from the right, winner of the Foresight Institute Prize in Communication. The winners of the 2005 Foresight Nanotech Institute Prizes were announced at the Feynman Award Banquet, held on Wednesday evening, October 26, 2005, at the 13th Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology.

Relevant Research Areas

Research areas considered relevant to molecular nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing include but are not limited to:

  • biomolecular machinery
  • computational chemistry
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • mechanosynthesis
  • molecular machines
  • scanning probes
  • nanomaterials
  • self-assembly

Special consideration will be given to submissions clearly leading toward the construction of a general-purpose molecular assembler. Applicants wishing further information on the field of the prize are referred to the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (Wiley Interscience, 1992).

Distinguished Student Award Established in 1997

The Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award was established in 1997 and institutionalizes the first grant made in 1996 by Foresight to John M. Michelsen, a University of California at Irvine chemistry student.