UC & sister institutions form 'Institute Without Walls' for transdisciplinary collaborations

The University of California and a group of sister institutions announced today creation of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter as an international, multi-campus organization exploring the frontiers of science.

As an "Institute without Walls" the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM) will promote transdisciplinary collaborations between physical and biological scientists around the world. Topics will range from the mysteries of "Mad Cow" disease to self-assembling materials.

ICAM was conceived at a workshop at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in December, 1998, and became an independent unit of the University of California with headquarters at Los Alamos in March, 1999, before evolving to the international form unveiled today.

Founding branches of ICAM are at the University of California at Davis, University of California at Riverside, University of California at Irvine, Boston College, University of Chicago, Florida State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa State University, Rutgers University, and a consortium of Max Planck Institutes led by the Max Planck Institute for the Chemistry and Physics of Solids in Dresden.

UC San Diego and a consortium of French scientific institutions in the Paris area are expected to become ICAM branch members shortly.

Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico will serve as ICAM's lead campus. The laboratory is one of three national laboratories managed by the University of California for the federal government.

Topics explored at ICAM workshops so far include the organizing principles that may be responsible for the folding of proteins and their association with illnesses such as Alzheimer's and "Mad Cow" disease, the measurement and understanding of emergent behavior in high temperature superconductors, designing self-assembling materials, the emerging field of biological physics and the physics of measuring systems on the nanometer (one bi

Contact: Todd Hanson
DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

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