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Washington University chosen as NIH Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology

Washington University in St. Louis has been chosen as a Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology (PEN) by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

Karen Wooley, Ph.D., Washington University professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, is principal investigator of the Program, which NHLBI is funding at $12.5 million for five years.

Three other PENs will also be established. Washington University will serve as the administrative center for this new nanotechnology initiative.

Collaborators with Wooley include 13 faculty members from the Washington University School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Medicine, plus one from each of the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Santa Barbara.

Nanotechnology involves the making of materials, devices and systems of extremely small sizes, generally between one and 100 nanometers. One nanometer is one one-thousandth of a micron; a single strand of human hair is between 50 and 100 microns, so a nanometer is 50,000 times smaller than a human hair. Nanotechnology enables researchers to take advantage of properties and surface areas to create faster, more efficient chips, sensors, pumps, gears, lasers, novel materials and drug delivery systems.

According to Wooley, the prime focus of the Washington University PEN is the development of nanoscale agents that can be assembled, labeled, targeted, filled and activated for eventual diagnosis and treatment of various diseases relevant to NHLBI.

"Having this program is invaluable to the advancement of nanotechnology because it brings together people with crucial skills and expertise, allowing them to cooperate with each other. This will allow nanotechnology to coalesce into realized devices that are greater than the individual contributions alone," Wooley said. "The initiatives we'll undertake will provide the leadership for nanoscience and
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Contact: Tony Fitzpatrick
tony_fitzpatrick@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
29-Apr-2005


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