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  • National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Bestows Grants

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2005
The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, based in Washington, has announced the recipients of its Futures awards to support interdisciplinary research on nanoscience and nanotechnology.

The 14 seed grants, each in the amount of $50,000 or $75,000, are designed to stimulate research in areas that are considered risky or unusual. They allow scientists to initiate their investigations by recruiting students and postdoctoral fellows, purchasing equipment and acquiring preliminary data, all of which can help position them to compete for larger awards from other sources.

Funded by a $40 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles, the Futures Initiative is a 15-year program created to foster interdisciplinary research, identify and explore new research topics and enhance communication among researchers, universities, funding agencies and the public. Established by the foundation and the National Academies in Washington in 2003, the initiative also underwrites conferences and other awards.

Among the recipients, their research topics and awards are:

Robert Austin, Eric Wieschaus and David Tank, Princeton University in New Jersey, for up-conversion nanocrystals for nano-imaging in tissues, $75,000.

Luke Lee, University of California, Berkeley, for quantum nanoplasmonic probes for in vivo molecular imaging, $75,000.

Shana Kelley, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass., and Edward Sargent, University of Toronto, for designer biomolecular templates for inorganic nanoparticle growth: bottom-up control over infrared-emitting quantum dot synthesis and properties, $75,000.

Donald Ingber, Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, Boston; Jeffrey Byers, US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington; and Michael Simpson, University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, for multiplexed dynamic molecular force spectroscopy array, $75,000.

The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
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