Inside Rensselaer
Focus on: NanoBio Cluster Solidifies New Research Collaboration
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Robert Linhardt, President Jackson, and Richard Siegel, director of the Nanotechnology Center and the Robert W. Hunt Professor of Materials Engineering, cut the ribbon on the new facility.
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Focus On: NanoBio Cluster Solidifies New Research Collaboration
Scientists and engineers from the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) and the Nanotechnology Center gathered with Rensselaer leadership to celebrate the newest research collaboration on campus — nanobiotechnology. The two teams of researchers formally began a collaboration between the two key campus research centers by opening up a new research laboratory on the third floor of CBIS devoted to the emerging area of scientific research.

The opening of the new NanoBio Cluster, as the lab will be called, was completed with a ribbon cutting by President Shirley Ann Jackson; Richard Siegel, director of the Nanotechnology Center and the Robert W. Hunt Professor of Materials Engineering; and Robert Linhardt, acting director of the CBIS and the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. ’59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering. During the ceremony, President Jackson praised the researchers for the progress that they are making on this new research front.

“Keep the collaboration going and growing,” she said. The ceremony was followed by a tour of the new lab, hotel office space, and research equipment that will used by the nanobio researchers. CBIS has devoted $22.5 million from the historic Gen*NY*sis fund to improve research infrastructure and purchase cutting-edge equipment for all its researchers in the past two years. The equipment — particularly the new atomic force/TIRF microscope, the new optical tweezer/molecular capture microscope, the fluorimeter, the analytical ultracentrifuge, and the small-angle and large-angle X-ray scattering devices (i.e., SAX and WAX) — will be extremely helpful for researchers looking to link the minuscule world of nanotechnology with the theories, techniques, and living cells of biotechnology.

An expanding field of study, nanobiotechnology (or bionanotechnology) brings together the synthetic, nanoscale structures of nanotechnology and the principles of living organisms studied in biotechnology to develop new technologies. These technologies can fuse actual living cells to nanodevices to create biosensors and biocomputers or mimic the unique aspects of living organisms to construct new, better performing nanotechnologies.

“RPI is making a strong commitment to nanobiotechnology at a very important time,” said Glenn Monastersky, associate director of CBIS. “Our new cluster will gather very talented scientists from diverse areas of expertise and provide them with an interdisciplinary center that is outfitted with an exceptional array of state-of-the-art equipment.”
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 1, Number 6, October 25, 2007
©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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