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Army awards up to $50 million to establish Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies

hree campuses in a seamless way so that we can increase the rate of productivity of discoveries and transition prototype development with our industrial partners.

"The teams at UCSB, MIT, and Caltech are recognized for developing a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to this kind of research--uniting researchers from multiple departments and programs into a single working unit without disciplinary borders," Morse said. "At UCSB both the dean of engineering, Matthew Tirrell, and the dean of science, Martin Moskovits, have been integral and essential to the process of envisioning the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies."

MIT's Belcher is known for nano-biotechnology research that began with a path-breaking experiment that engineered the binding of a biological material--peptides (short chains of amino acids)--to inorganic semiconducting materials. The Belcher group selects and evolves biological organisms to grow and assemble semiconductor and magnetic materials using environmentally friendly synthesis routes. These organisms are further engineered to form liquid crystals for display technology and as components for self-assembling electronics.

This strategy for "bottom-up" fabrication, atom by atom in imitation of nature, contrasts with the current "top-down" practice via subtraction from a bulk material to make a chip. The bottom-up approach enables the assembly of particles into an electronic structure, which can consist of layers of different semiconducting materials or different phases of the same material or some combination of both.

At Caltech David Tirrell has gained wide recognition for a series of experiments showing that the molecular recognition of the cell's protein synthesis machinery can be tricked to overlook subtle modifications introduced in the laboratory. The techniques have enabled his research group to engineer proteins with new structures and functions. The resultant semi-synthetic proteins and their
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Contact: Jacquelyn Savani
jsavani@engineering.ucsb.edu
805-893-4301
University of California, Santa Barbara - Engineering
27-Aug-2003


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