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Scientific American names UCSB professor, alumna to list of Top 50 in Technological Leadership

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) -- A UC Santa Barbara professor and one of his former graduate students have been named to the 2006 "Scientific American 50," the magazine's annual list of individuals, groups, and companies that have demonstrated outstanding technological leadership through their pioneering research. The list, selected by the Board of Editors of Scientific American, appears in the magazine's December issue.

Daniel E. Morse is a professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry and director of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) at UCSB. His former graduate student, Angela Belcher, who has both a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from UCSB, is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to being in the "Scientific American 50," she also was named "Research Leader of the Year" by the magazine.

The collaboration between the two scholars continues, as Belcher is now associated with the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies. She is the ICB coordinator at MIT, which is, along with the California Institute of Technology, a partner in the UCSB-based institute. A total of 60 researchers from the three institutions are involved in the ICB.

In congratulating Morse, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said the distinction was "wonderful recognition" of Morse's pioneering work in molecular genetics as well as his outstanding teaching and student mentoring.

Scientific American recognized Morse for his innovative research developing biologically inspired routes to nanostructured semiconductor thin films. Morse discovered that by putting molecules that mimic the enzymes of marine sponges onto gold surfaces, his research team could create catalytic templates for growing semiconductor films. "Inspiration from a lowly marine sponge may eventually yield more powerful batteries," the magazine noted.

Belcher was recognized for "the use of custom-evolved viruses to advance nanotechnology," the m
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Contact: Paul Desruisseaux
paul.d@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-8273
University of California - Santa Barbara
14-Nov-2006


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