03/04/2008 08:00:00

Kavli Nanoscience Institute Hosts Inaugural Symposium

PASADENA, Calif.--The California Institute of Technology stands poised to open the door to advances in nanotechnology that have the potential to revolutionize medical diagnosis and therapy. On Tuesday, March 4, the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at Caltech will celebrate the completion of its new cleanroom facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a symposium. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 9 a.m. at the Steele Laboratory, and the symposium starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Millikan Boardroom.

This new cleanroom will provide researchers at Caltech access to a state-of-the-art fabrication facility with a suite of equipment unparalleled by any other cleanroom facility in the world," says Axel Scherer, Caltech's Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, and Physics, and director of the KNI.

Research in the facility will involve nanotechnology-based platforms that allow scientists to detect a multitude of proteins in the body at one time. These techniques will enhance the speed, accuracy, capabilities, and cost-effectiveness of in vitro diagnostic testing, providing real-time results for early detection of a variety of diseases, including cancers, virus infections such as AIDS and flu, and chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes, without invasive procedures.

A core mission of the KNI is to drive the state of the art in nanofabrication, the process of designing and manufacturing devices that are nanometers in size. To this end, the KNI is developing strategic instrumentation for advancing nanofabrication capabilities. The centralized, multi-user laboratories and cleanrooms within the KNI will enhance interactions between scientists of different disciplines by providing contiguous research space. The facilities are available to users from both academia and industry.

Speakers at the symposium, titled "The Next Generation of Medical Diagnostics: Applications of Nanotechnology," will present cutting-edge medical diagnostic research advances. David Baltimore, Caltech's Millikan Professor of Biology, Caltech president emeritus, and Nobel laureate, will discuss the influence of micro- and nanotechnology on the evolution of medicine.

Caltech scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, and bioengineering will also present talks. Other featured speakers include Richard Cote from the University of Southern California, who will discuss patient treatments, Joseph Beechem of Invitrogen Corporation, Andre Ruzycky of Johnson & Johnson Company, Christopher Amies of Siemens Medical Solutions, and Craig Adams of Beckman Coulter. These experts will provide insights into future medical devices from an industry perspective and will share their visions for patient care.

Representatives of The Kavli Foundation, including Fred Kavli, founder and chairman, David Auston, president, and Miyoung Chun, vice president of science programs, will attend the ceremony and symposium. Also in attendance will be Jim Omura, technology strategist of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Representatives from the media are welcome to attend the ceremony and symposium, but are asked to RSVP to Mary Sikora at mksikora@caltech.edu or (626) 395-3914.


Written by Jacqueline Scahill