Magazine Lauds Technology Leaders
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 pioneering research. The list, selected by the Board of Editors, appears in the December issue.
Daniel E. Morse, professor of molecular genetics and biochemistry, is director of UCSB’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB). His former graduate student, Angela Belcher, who has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Creative Studies and a Ph.D. in chemistry from UCSB, is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also was named “Research Leader of the Year” by the magazine.
Scientific American recognized Morse for his innovative research developing biologically inspired routes to nanostructured semiconductor thin films. Morse discovered that putting molecules that mimic the enzymes of marine sponges onto gold surfaces could create catalytic templates for growing semiconductor films.
Belcher was recognized for “the use of custom-evolved viruses to advance nanotechnology,” the magazine reported. “Using nature to create machinery, Belcher employs a living virus called M13 to construct metal nano-components that may be eventually incorporated into commercial devices.”
The collaboration between the two scholars continues, as Belcher is now associated with the ICB. 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.