Foresight's student award-winners go on to great things

Foresight Research Analyst and Technical Editor James Lewis has tracked the careers of those receiving Foresight’s student award.  Here are his findings on the careers of a few of these gifted young researchers:

We at Foresight find it gratifying to track the subsequent careers of those who have won our nanotechnology-related prizes and awards, in this case the Foresight Distinguished Student Award, last made in 2007 to a Rice University graduate student, Fung-Suong Ou. Mr. Fung joins a distinguished group of winners who have launched impressive careers in nanoscience and nanotechnology. [ ]

The Foresight Distinguished Student Award was established in 1997 and is given to a college undergraduate or graduate student whose work is notable in the field of nanotechnology. Typically, the nominations are made by the most prominent researchers in nanoscience and nanotechnology from among their most promising and productive students. The significance of the award is best exemplified by the distinguished careers of previous awardees. To cite only five spanning a wide area of nanoscience and the first eight years that the award has been made:

The first award was made to Phil Collins, then of the Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley, and the Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and currently Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy, School of Physical Sciences, University of California at Irvine. He maintains an active research group in nanoelectronics, carbon nanotubes, and molecular electronics including sensors and bioelectronics. [reference ]

In 1998 the award was made to Fotis Nifiatis, then a graduate student at Hunter College, CUNY, for his work on metal-mediated self-assembly of large arrays and tapes. Currently on the Chemistry faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh, he continues research on coordination chemistry and photochemistry aiming to develop newer and more efficient molecular devices, the formation of supramolecular devices via self-assembly of porphyrins, and the application of two-photon initiated processes to microfabrication.

The 1999 award was made to Anita Goel, then an MD/PhD candidate at the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and also a PhD candidate at Harvard’s Physics Department. Ms. Goel was selected for her work on using optical and magnetic “tweezers” to probe the real-time single molecule dynamics of motor enzymes “dancing on DNA.” She was named one of the world’s “top 35 science and technology innovators under the age of 35” by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine and is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Nanobiosym, Inc. From the Nanobiosym web site: “Her work on establishing the feasibility of the Gene-RADAR® technology platform at Nanobiosym® has been recognized by multiple rounds of funding from the United States Department of Defense agencies including Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and US Dept of Energy (DOE) and US Defense Threat Reduction Agency.” [references: ]

In 2000 the Foresight Distinguished Student Award was won by Christopher Love, then a PhD candidate in Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Mr. Love was selected for his work in architectures for molecular electronic computers and nanomanipulation of structures on surfaces. He had contributed to nanotechnology research at three major U.S. research laboratories, starting in MITRE’s Nanosystems Group at age 16, before becoming in 2007 an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There he has continued to apply his nanostructure toolkit to exploring the intricacies of the immune system. [reference

Among more recent awardees, in 2004 a Graduate Fellow at Nanorex Corporation and Syracuse University doctoral candidate, Damian Allis received the Foresight Distinguished Student Award for his work in the application of theoretical computational methods to the design and study of molecules and nanostructures, materials for molecular electronics, non-linear optical materials, and molecular building blocks and biomimetic principles. He is currently Research Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Syracuse University where his research emphasizes computational quantum chemistry and molecular nanotechnology, including the design and simulation of molecules and nanostructures, and molecular-based materials for molecular electronics. [references ]

Thanks for that great summary, Jim!  —Christine Peterson

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