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Halas Wins Weizmann Women and Science Award
May 2017
HOUSTON, May 31, 2017 — Professor Naomi Halas at Rice University has won a 2017 Weizmann Women and Science Award from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel.

Professor Naomi HalasThe biennial award, which was established in 1994, honors internationally renowned women scientists who have made significant contributions, both in their respective fields and to the larger scientific community. The award is designed to promote women in science by providing strong role models to motivate and encourage the next generation of young women scientists. It includes a $25,000 research grant.

Halas, a pioneer in the study of the fundamental properties and potential applications of light-activated nanoparticles, is Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry, bioengineering, physics, astronomy, materials science and nanoengineering. In announcing the honor, the institute recognized Halas "for pioneering and seminal contributions to the field of plasmonics, which have profoundly influenced modern optics – both in basic understanding and in applications."

Halas and fellow 2017 honoree Ursula Keller of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich will accept their honors and deliver a series of lectures on June 7 at the Weizmann Institute.

"Ursi Keller has been a friend of mine since our postdoctoral days at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and I am thrilled to win this award with her," Halas said.

Halas’ work focuses on light-nanoparticle interactions and their applications in biomedicine, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, photocatalysis and sustainability. She has explored how light-activated nanomaterials can be used for applications ranging from the treatment of cancer and molecular sensing to biomimetic photodetection and off-grid solar-powered sterilization. Halas is the founding director of Rice's Smalley-Curl Institute, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Materials Research Society, the Optical Society, the American Physical Society, the International Society for Optical Engineering, and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The Weizmann Institute of Science is a multidisciplinary research institution in the natural and exact sciences.

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