Synthetic biology is a robust interdisciplinary field that uses tools and concepts from engineering, physics and computer science to build new biological systems. At Feinberg, scientists are pursuing synthetic biology research to address the health challenges and diseases that humans face. It has been described as using biology’s mechanisms of creating molecules to make new molecules biology never knew about. While some may think it’s science fiction, new technology makes synthetic biology a reality.
While the field is relatively young, synthetic biology is thriving at Northwestern and driving innovation. Establishing synthetic biology as a research priority at Feinberg has bolstered the university’s ability to harness the research and translate it to real-world scenarios… Continue reading.
Northwestern University faculty member Milan Mrksich was on Capitol Hill last week testifying before Congress on issues critical to keeping the country scientifically competitive.
Mrksich testified before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, discussing sustained investment in fundamental nanoscience research, the economic opportunities of nanotechnology, and the obstacles to realizing these benefits.
Mrksich, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology, with appointments in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Feinberg School of Medicine, testified July 29 at a hearing titled “Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.”
“Nanotechnology is a broad-based field that, unlike traditional disciplines, engages the entire scientific and engineering enterprise and that promises new technologies across these fields,” said Mrksich, an entrepreneur and one of the world’s leading engineers working at the interface between materials and biology. “Current challenges to realizing the broader economic promise of the nanotechnology industry include the development of strategies to ensure the continued investment in fundamental research, to increase the fraction of these discoveries that are translated to technology companies, to have effective regulations on nanomaterials, to efficiently process and protect intellectual property to ensure that within the global landscape, the United States remains the leader in realizing the economic benefits of the nanotechnology industry.”