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U-M to hold nanotechnology symposium in September


August 9, 2006, ANN ARBOR, MI – The Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences (M-NIMBS) will host a symposium on nanotechnology in science and society on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9. The Friday sessions require registration at: The Saturday morning session is free and open to the public.

The symposium will give students, faculty and the public an opportunity to learn about nanotechnology and its role in society from world experts, as well as a chance to discuss the possibilities and implications of new technologies.

Nanotechnology is the science of the ultra-small. One nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter, which means it would take about 80,000 nanometers lined up side-by-side to equal the width of a human hair.

Nanotechnology has the potential to greatly impact the quality of everyday life in ways we can only imagine today. It is already being used in commercial applications ranging from computers to stain-resistant pants. In medicine, it has the power to provide new drug delivery systems and diagnostic tools, and to repair damaged parts of the body.

Session one of the symposium will be held on Friday, Sept. 8 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BSRB) auditorium located at 109 Zina Pitcher Place on the U-M’s medical campus. Presentations at the first session will focus on nanomaterials and techniques with the following speakers:

* Michael J. Sailor, Ph.D., Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of California - San Diego, California.
* Samuel I. Stupp, Ph.D., Director, Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
* Michael Roukes, Ph.D., Director, Kavli Nanosciences Institute, Caltech, Pasadena, California
* Mostafa A. El-Sayed, Ph.D, Director, Laser Dynamic Laboratory, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia

The keynote speaker, Mostafa El-Sayed, will present ”Why Gold Nanoparticles are More Precious Than Pretty Gold: Properties and Applications In Making Nano-Motors and in Cancer Diagnostics and Laser Selective Photo-Thermal Therapy.”

This will be followed by dinner and a second session of presentations from 7 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. focused on toxicology of nanoparticles, including nanoscale mechanisms of nanoparticle interactions with cell membranes. Scheduled speakers are:

* Mark Banaszak-Holl, Ph.D., a U-M professor of chemistry, applied physics, biophysics, and macromolecular science and engineering
* Barbara A. Baird, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, Nanobiotechnology Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
* Gregory Lanza, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cardiology in the Medical School, Washington University in St. Louis.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the general public is welcome to join a panel of experts in the Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BSRB) auditorium located at 109 Zina Pitcher Place on the U-M’s medical campus for the third session of the symposium.

Eric Rabkin, Ph.D., a U-M professor of English language and literature, will give a talk titled “Science Fiction, Perceptions of Science and the Future of Nanoscience.” An open discussion will follow on the impact of nanotechnology on business and industry. The forum will be moderated by James R. Baker Jr., M.D., director of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences.

Forum members will include:

* Eric Rabkin, Ph.D., professor of English language and literature, University of Michigan
* Steve Swanson, chairman & CEO, Nanocerox, Ann Arbor, Michigan
* John Denniston, (invited) partner in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Park, California
* Youseph Yazdi, Ph.D., corporate director, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey

The Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences was established at U-M in 2005. Its mission is to develop and market medical and biological applications of nanotechnology.

For program details and to register for the Friday sessions of the nanotechnology symposium, please go to:

For questions, please call Gloria Benko at 734-647-2777 or e-mail

Written by Sally Pobojewski


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