About the Workshop

The last three decades have been marked by new discoveries, innovations and diverse applications of micro- and nanotechnologies, which have come from both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Today, many devices and commodities we use daily incorporate some form of micro- or nanoscale technology. However, many of the potentials of nanotechnology, particularly the most innovative ones involving self assembly and bottom-up approaches are yet to be realized.

This important two-day workshop will look at how far micro, nano, and bio systems have come in 30 years, what key challenges remain, and what exciting frontiers are still to be explored. For example, we will address questions such as:

  • What are the key impediments of nanotechnology today in meeting global challenges such as universal health care?
  • What are the conceptual and fundamental shortfalls?
  • What key lessons have been learned?
  • What areas of health and medicine can be addressed using nanotechnology?
  • What are the most effective areas of interface?
  • What technological background should be developed for the new generation of scientists to address these questions at the interface?

These exciting subjects will be addressed in formal talks, poster sessions, panel discussions, and informal meetings.

The workshop features five invited speakers including Dr. Subra Suresh, National Science Foundation; George M. Whitesides, Harvard University; Mark S. Lundstrom, Purdue University; Marvin H. White, Ohio State University; and James D. Plummer, Stanford University.

The poster session features 40 posters and short oral presentations focusing on three key areas:

  • Fabrication of nano-bio systems: success stories and grand challenges
  • What we have learned about bio using nano
  • New application frontiers in nano-bio systems

Read more about how micro, nano and biotechnology will influence the future of medicine and health care.


Subra Suresh
National Science Foundation

Subra Suresh, distinguished engineer and professor, was sworn in as the 13th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on October 18, 2010. Suresh leads the only federal agency charged with advancing all fields of fundamental science and engineering research and education. He oversees the NSF's $7-billion budget, directing programs and initiatives that keep the United States at the forefront of science and engineering, empower future generations of scientists and engineers, foster economic growth and innovation, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

Prior to his confirmation as NSF director, Suresh served as Dean of the Engineering School and Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He joined MIT's faculty ranks in 1993 as the R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. During his more than 30 years as a practicing engineer, he held joint faculty positions in four departments at MIT as well as appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Brown University.

A mechanical engineer interested in materials science and biology, Suresh pioneered research to understand the mechanical properties of materials. His most recent research tackled the biomechanics of red blood cells under the influence of diseases such as malaria. In 2006, Technology Review magazine selected Suresh's work on nanobiomechanics as one of the top 10 emerging technologies that "will have a significant impact on business, medicine or culture."

Holding true to his personal ideals, Suresh successfully leveraged his renowned research and leadership positions in academia to increase the number of women and minority engineers. He personally mentored more than 100 engineers and scientists in his research group. As department head and dean of engineering, he also led a successful campaign to increase the number of women among MIT's engineering faculty ranks.

The Padma Shri Award (2011) from the President of India, Indian Science Congress General President's Award (2011), Society of Engineering Science Eringen Medal (2008), European Materials Medal (2007) and Acta Materialia Gold Medal (2006) are among the many prestigious awards Suresh has received for his innovative research and commitment to improving engineering education around the world. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and Spain's Polytechnic University of Madrid. He has been elected a fellow or honorary fellow of all the major materials societies in the United States and India, including the American Society of Materials International, Materials Research Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Ceramic Society, the Indian Institute of Metals and the Materials Research Society of India.

Suresh has authored more than 230 research articles in international journals and is a co-inventor in more than 18 U.S. and international patent applications. He is author or co-author of several books that are widely used in materials science and engineering, including Fatigue of Materials and Thin Film Materials. He has consulted with more than 20 international corporations and research laboratories and served as a member of several international advisory panels and non-profit groups.

Suresh has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, German National Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of the Developing World, Indian National Academy of Engineering and Indian Academy of Sciences.

He earned his bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras in 1977; his master's from Iowa State University in 1979; and his doctorate from MIT in 1981. Suresh married his wife, Mary, in 1986, and they have two children, Nina and Meera.

George M. Whitesides
Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Department of Chemistry
Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

George M. Whitesides was born August 3, 1939 in Louisville, KY. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (with J.D. Roberts) in 1964. He was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 to 1982. He joined the Department of Chemistry of Harvard University in 1982, and was Department Chairman 1986-89, and Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry from 1982-2004. He is now the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor.

Professor Whitesides and his group work in four areas: biochemistry, materials science, catalysis and physical organic chemistry. Each of these areas requires development of the fundamental skills of experimental chemistry - synthesis and characterization of new compounds, examination of relations between molecular structure and reactivity or physical properties - but each, in addition, develops skill in other techniques - surface spectroscopy, microbiology, electron microscopy, ellipsometry, reactor design, measurement of such physical properties. The group is eclectic and generalist in its approach: at different times research on a particular problem may require organic synthesis, organometallic chemistry, spectroscopy, computer analysis, biochemistry, molecular biology or a wide range of other techniques.

The specific foci of the research vary widely. Work in biochemistry currently centers on adhesion of mammalian cells, viruses and bacteria to surfaces, polyvalency, rational drug design, and biophysical studies centered around capillary electrophoresis and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Those coworkers concerned with materials science are occupied with the fabrication of nanostructures, microfluidic systems, microelectromechanical systems, and 3-D microstructures. The synthesis and characterization of structurally well-defined organic surfaces (especially using self-assembled monolayers) and solids, and the use of these assemblies to study physical properties such as wettability and biocompatibility, are an important component of this work. This area also includes studies in physical optics and unconventional methods of lithography (soft lithography; various forms of near-field optical lithography). Much of the work in catalysis centers on fuel cells. Problems in physical-organic chemistry address issues in self-assembly, especially using meso-scale systems (objects with dimensions from 10 µm - 10 mm, held together by capillary and/or magnetic forces). Computation and simulation is also important tools in the group.

The group uses classical chemical techniques to work in areas of research that lie at the boundaries between chemistry and biology, catalysis, solid state physics, and engineering. Students who work in the group emerge as generalists, and there is a strong emphasis in learning how to carry out multidisciplinary and multiinvestigator research, and how to communicate the results of research effectively.

Mark S. Lundstrom
Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University

Mark Lundstrom is the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1973 and 1974, respectively and joined the Purdue faculty upon completing his doctorate on the West Lafayette campus in 1980. Before attending Purdue, he worked at Hewlett-Packard Corporation on NMOS process development and manufacturing. At Purdue, his research has explored solar cells, heterostructure devices, carrier transport physics, and the physics and technology of nanoscale devices. His current focus is on energy conversion devices such as solar cells and thermoelectric devices. In the 1990s, Lundstrom co-founded (with his colleagues, Nirav Kapadia and Jose Fortes, the PUNCH project, which provided online simulation services for research and education in micro and nanoelectronics. That work led to the NCN and nanoHUB.org, which now serves the nanotechnology community worldwide. He is the author of Fundamentals of Carrier Transport (2nd Ed., Cambridge, 2000) and Nanoscale Transistors: Device Physics, Modeling, and Simulation (Springer, 2005). Lundstrom is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has received several awards for his teaching and research, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

Marvin H. White
Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Marvin H. White recently joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty as a professor. He comes to Ohio State from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he was the Sherman-Fairchild Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Sherman-Fairchild Center for Solid State Studies.

Prof. White's research interests include micro and nanoelectronics and the characterization of advanced solid-state devices. He has authored or co-authored nearly 300 technical papers, contributed chapters to four books and has 27 U.S. patents. At Lehigh, he graduated 34 PhD and 62 MS students.

Prior to joining Lehigh University in 1981, Prof. White worked for the Westinghouse Electric Company for 20 years. During sabbaticals, he served as a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory, and program director in solid state and microstructures at the National Science Foundation. Prof. White obtained a bachelor's degree in engineering physics and mathematics, and an MS in physics from the University of Michigan. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University.

Prof. White is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Life Fellow, and a distinguished national lecturer of the IEEE Electron Devices Society. He has received several awards for his contributions to the development of high-sensitivity, solid-state cameras and imagers widely used in consumer and technical applications and for major contributions to progress in semiconductor devices including the IEEE Electron Devices Society's 1997 J. J. Ebers Award and the IEEE 2000 Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award.

James D. Plummer
Dean, School of Engineering
John M. Fluke Professor of Electrical Engineering
Stanford University
Stanford, California

Jim Plummer was born in Toronto, Canada. He obtained his BS degree from UCLA and his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1966, 1967, and 1971, respectively. From 1971 to 1978, he was a research staff member in the Integrated Circuits Lab at Stanford. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1978 as an associate professor and became professor of electrical engineering in 1983. His career at Stanford has included serving as director of the IC Laboratory, senior associate dean in the School of Engineering, and chair of the Electrical Engineering Department. He is currently the Frederick Emmons Terman Dean of the School of Engineering. He also holds the John Fluke Professorship in Electrical Engineering.

Throughout the 1980s and '90s, a major focus of his work was on silicon process modeling. This work involved many students and other faculty, particularly Professor Bob Dutton, and resulted in the development of several generations of SUPREM, which has become the standard process modeling tool used worldwide today. His recent work has focused on nanoscale silicon devices for logic and memory and has demonstrated new device concepts such as the TRAM thyristor based memory cell and the IMOS device which achieves <kT⁄q subthreshold slopes.

Plummer is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the IEEE. He has received many awards for his research, including the 1991 Solid State Science and Technology Award from the Electrochemical Society, the 2001 Semiconductor Industry Association University Research Award, and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal. He has graduated more than 80 PhD students with whom he has published more than 400 journal papers and conference presentations. These papers have won eight conference and student best paper awards including two at IEDM and three at ISSCC. His recent textbook, "Silicon VLSI Technology - Fundamentals, Practice and Modeling," is used by many universities around the world. He has also received three teaching awards at Stanford. He serves on the Board of Directors and on the technical advisory boards of several public and start-up companies and was one of the founders of T-RAM.

Plummer directed the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility from 1994 to 2000 and received an NSF commendation in 2000 for national leadership in building the NNUN, a consortium of five universities who opened their nanofabrication facilities as national resources for industry and for students from around the nation.

Mihail C. Roco
Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology
National Science Foundation

Mihail C. Roco is the Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a key architect of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.  Prior to joining National Science Foundation, Dr. Roco was Professor of mechanical and chemical engineering.  He is the founding Chair (in August 2000) of the U.S. National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET).   Dr. Roco was a researcher in multiphase systems, visualization techniques, computer simulations, nanoparticles and nanosystems. He is credited with thirteen patents, contributed over two hundred archival articles and in twenty books including “Managing Nano-Bio-Info-Cognition Innovations” (2007), “Mapping Nanotechnology Knowledge and Innovation: Global and Longitudinal Patent and Literature Analysis” (2009)."  Dr. Roco is a corresponding member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences and a Fellow of AIChE, Fellow of ASME, and Fellow of the Institute of Physics.  Dr. Roco was elected as Engineer of the Year by the U.S. Society of Professional Engineers and NSF in 1999 and again in 2004. He was awarded the National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies in 2007 “as the individual most responsible for support and investment in nanotechnology by government, industry, and academia worldwide.”

Lynn Preston
ERC Program
National Science Foundation

Lynn Preston is the Deputy Director of the Division of Engineering Education and Centers of the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Leader of the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program, a major NSF program established in 1984. ERCs have been instrumental in changing the culture of engineering education and research by developing cross-disciplinary teams of faculty and student who work in collaboration with industry to advance next-generation technology and education. Over 50 ERCs have successfully completed their full term of NSF support have strongly impacted the competitive positions of their member firms, generated advanced technology with 10s of billions of dollars of economic impact, and contributed over 10,000 graduates who are proven industrial and academic leaders. In 2008, Ms. Preston restructured this successful program to make an even larger impact on innovation, supporting new Third-Generation (Gen-3) ERCs charged with additional goals for pursuing translational research partnerships with small firms and education programs that stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation.

Ms. Preston joined the National Science Foundation staff in 1972, leading programs and offices that supported interdisciplinary research to advance technology. In the early 1980's, she developed the first program in NSF to focus biologists and biochemical engineers on the emerging field of bioengineering and has been instrumental in structuring the Foundation's efforts in bioengineering research and education since that time.

Ms. Preston has received numerous awards from the National Science Foundation for her leadership in interdisciplinary research and the ERC Program. For her leadership of the ERC Program and its role as a model program for industry/university collaboration in NSF and around the world, in 2000 she was honored by the President of the United States with a Meritorious Executive Service Award and by the Foundation with its prestigious Distinguished Service Award. In 2003, she was honored by the National Society of Professional Engineers as the NSF Federal Engineer of the Year for her contributions to engineering research and education. In 2006, she was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering for her leadership in developing and sustaining NSF support for the field of bioengineering and the contributions ERCs have made to this field. In 2009, she and the Gen-3 ERC team received the NSF Director's Award for Collaborative Integration.

Ms. Preston's university education focused in biology, chemistry, and economics. She earned her BA and MA degrees in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining the NSF, she worked on macro-economic modeling and the development of the volunteer force for the Institute for Defense Analyses, and as a member of a joint US-Thai economic development team in Thailand.

Robert J. Trew
Division Director
Division of Electrical, Communications & Cyber Systems
National Science Foundation

Robert J. Trew received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1975. He is currently the Director of the Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division at NSF, and the Alton and Mildred Lancaster Distinguished Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Dr. Trew served as the ECE Department Head for eleven years at three different universities: NCSU, Virginia Tech, and Case Western Reserve University.

From 1997 to 2001 Dr. Trew served as Director of Research in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, with management oversight responsibility for the basic research programs of DOD. During this time Dr. Trew directly managed DOD's University Research Initiative, which includes the MURI, DURIP, DEPSCoR, and HBCU/MI programs. He also represented the DOD basic research program to various organizations such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Academies, professional societies, and other organizations devoted to national basic research policy. From 1997-98 he was DOD representative to the White House OSTP Committee on Science and the National Research Council's Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR). Dr. Trew served as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Government interagency committee that planned and implemented the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). He also served as a Program Manager in the Electronics Division of the U.S. Army Research Office from 1992-97.

Dr. Trew is a Fellow of the IEEE, and serves on the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Administration Committee (ADCOM) and was MTT Society President for 2004. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Proceedings. He was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques from 1995 to 1997, and from 1999-2002 was founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Microwave Magazine. Dr. Trew performs research in the area of physically-based semiconductor device models for computer-aided design, nanoelectronics, wide bandgap semiconductor microwave devices, THz technology, and high frequency electronic devices. He was twice named an IEEE Microwave Distinguished Lecturer.

Dr. Trew has received numerous awards, including the 2001 IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award, an IEEE Third Millennium Medal Award, the 1998 IEEE MTT Society Distinguished Educator Award, the 1991 Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award, and a 1992 NCSU Distinguished Scholarly Achievement Award. He received an Engineering Alumni Society Merit Award in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2003. Dr. Trew has authored or co-authored over 170 publications, 20 book chapters, and has given over 390 technical and programmatic presentations. Dr. Trew has nine patents.