New Faculty Spotlight

Lior Pachter is a leading computational biologist working in genomics who arrived in April 2017 from UC Berkeley to take up the position of Bren Professor of Computational Biology at Caltech. He is particularly interested in applications of high-throughput sequencing to RNA biology.

New Assistant Professor of Computational Biology, Matt Thomson, arrived in January 2017 from UCSF where he was a Fellow with an independent laboratory. Matt's group is applying quantitative experimental and modeling approaches to gain programatic control over cellular differentiation.

Lihong Wang joined the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2017 as Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Prior to joining the Caltech faculty, he held the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professorship of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. His primary research interest is in the development of novel biomedical imaging technologies.



Research Spotlight - Viviana Gradinaru

The Rosen Center is pleased to shine a spotlight on Dr. Viviana Gradinaru, assistant professor of biology and biological engineering at Caltech. Gradinaru, who is also a Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and her lab focus on developing tools and methods for neuroscience (optogenetic actuators and sensors; tissue clearing and imaging; gene delivery vehicles) as well as on investigating the mechanisms underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS). Gradinaru serves as PI for Caltech’s CLOVER (Clarity, Optogenetics and Vector Engineering Research) Center, which supports tissue clearing and imaging projects, optogenetic studies, and custom gene delivery vehicle development at Caltech through technology and methodology innovation, training, and infrastructure and reagent sharing. The Rosen Center extends sincere congratulations to Gradinaru on three recent notable achievements:

*Peter Gruss Young Investigator Award: Gradinaru was named as the inaugural recipient of this award from the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience to honor collaboration, creativity and curiosity-driven research.

*NIH Director’s Blog: Gradinaru’s research, using optogenetics and CLARITY to study a mouse-model of Parkinson’s disease, was recently featured on the blog.

*Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience: Gradinaru has been chosen to lead this new Center within the new Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech. 05-03-17


New Rosen Center Resource

In April 2017, the Rosen Center completed a survey of 27 current Caltech students who have received awards and/or honorable mentions in the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. We have summarized their advice to colleagues who are preparing an application, and a list of resources they found particularly valuable. - NSF Best Practices & Resource Guide 05-01-17


18 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awards and Honorable Mentions

Since 2015, eighteen Caltech graduate students working with Center-affiliated faculty members have received awards or honorable mentions in the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The students (and year of award or honorable mention) are: Mary Arrastia (2017), Dawna Bagherian (2015), Kelsey Boyle (2015), Stephanie Breunig (2017), Griffin Chure (2015), Alex Cohen (2017), Sarah Cohen (2016), Kari Hernandez (2017), Andrew Hill (2017), Elizabeth Holman (2015), Erik Jue (2015), Heidi Klumpe (2016), Mark Kozlowski (2015), Rebekah Silva (2015), Alvita Tran (2017), Zachary Wu (2017), Emily Wyatt (2015), and Lealia Xiong (2017). Please join us in congratulating them on this remarkable achievement! 05-01-17


Frances Arnold Awarded 2017 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research recognizes significant advances in convergence research -- the integration of two or more of the following disciplines: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biomedicine, biology, astronomy, earth sciences, engineering, and computational science -- for achievements possible only through such integration. The 2017 prize recognized convergence research benefitting any area of science such as agriculture, energy, the environment, or major advances in technology (such as imaging, nanotechnology, robotics, communications, or computing). 02-10-17



New Rosen Center Resource

We are happy to announce a new resource publication prepared by the Rosen Center to assist Caltech faculty and grants managers preparing DARPA proposals - "Helpful Guide for DARPA Proposals." Also available are templates offered by DARPA's Biological Technologies Office for the Technical Volume I Proposal and Cost Volume II Proposal. We hope you find these resources useful. 12-06-16


Research Spotlight - Frances Arnold

The Rosen Center’s December Spotlight shines on Dr. Frances Arnold, Caltech's Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry. Research in the Arnold group focuses on evolutionary protein design methods the use of laboratory evolution experiments to elucidate principles of biological design. The lab generates novel and useful enzymes and organisms for applications in medicine, neurobiology, chemical synthesis and alternative energy. Multidisciplinary research is the norm in the Arnold lab, where members have expertise in a variety of disciplines, including chemistry, bioengineering, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, chemical engineering, chemistry and applied physics. Two graduate students from the Arnold group (Ruijie “Kelly” Zhang and Kevin Yang) have been selected as trainees in the NIGMS-sponsored Biotechnology Leadership Predoctoral Training Program in Micro/Nanomedicine. The Rosen Center extends sincere congratulations to Arnold and her lab on two notable achievements in 2016:

*Millennium Technology Prize – Technology Academy Finland declared Frances Arnold the winner of the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize, worth one million euros, in recognition of her pioneering work in directed evolution and the creation of new and better proteins.

*Grand Prize in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge AwardArnold lab research, published in Science, shows directed evolution techniques can be used to persuade enzymes to create chemical bonds between silicon and carbon. This is a transformation not found in nature and one that has great potential for the manufacture of novel chemical and pharmaceutical products. The winning team is comprised of Arnold group members: Russell (Rusty) Lewis, a graduate student in Bioengineering, Kai Chen, a graduate student in Chemistry, and Jenny Kan Ph.D. a postdoctoral scholar in Chemistry & Chemical Engineering. 12-01-16


Research Spotlight - Mikhail Shapiro

This month, the Rosen Center shines a spotlight on Dr. Mikhail Shapiro, assistant professor of chemical engineering and Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator. Shapiro and his research group engineer biomolecules with unusual physical properties and use them to image and control biological function non-invasively, e.g. using magnetic fields and sound waves. Projects in the lab encompass bioacoustics, biomagnetism, biophysics and biochemistry. Results from their recent work impact not only our fundamental understanding of chemical biology, but also provide the framework for the development of new tools for research, diagnostics and therapeutic applications. Two graduate students from the Shapiro group (Pradeep Ramesh and Robert Hurt) have been selected as trainees in the NIGMS-sponsored Biotechnology Leadership Predoctoral Training Program in Micro/Nanomedicine. The Rosen Center extends sincere congratulations to Shapiro on two notable achievements in 2016:

*Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation – Shapiro was one of only 18 fellows selected after nomination by Caltech’s president. Each Fellow receives a grant of $875,000 over five years to pursue their research.

*Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences – one of 22 exceptional early-career scientists selected, Shapiro received four years of flexible funding to pursue foundational, innovative research relevant to the advancement of human health. 11-30-16


Newman Named MacArthur Fellow

Dianne Newman, the Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology, has been selected as MacArthur Fellows. The Fellowship is a five-year grant awarded to "individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future," according to the foundation's press release. Fellows receive $625,000 over the five years and are nominated anonymously by leaders in their respective fields. Newman is also co-PI on a Rosen Center Pilot Research Grant Award. 09-26-16


Aravin Named HHMI Faculty Scholar

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Simons Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today announced the selection of 84 Faculty Scholars, early career scientists who "have great potential to make unique contributions to their field," according to the press release from the three philanthropies. This year is the inaugural year of the Faculty Scholars program, with more than 1,400 faculty applicants throughout the United States. Alexei Aravin's previous research led to the discovery of a group of small, non-coding RNAs called piRNAs that protect germ cells against mutations caused by transposons—segments of genetic material that undergo relocation within the genome. Now, Aravin is studying the molecular mechanisms behind the piRNA pathway to understand how piRNAs are produced. "I am honored and excited about having been selected for such a prestigious award," says Aravin. "I am looking forward to branching into and exploring new directions in RNA biology." 09-23-16


Two New Rosen Center Resource Publications Available

We are happy to announce two new resource publications are now available - "A Guide to the NIH K99/R00 Program" and the complementary "Walk-through Demonstrating How To Use NIH REPORTER To Search for K99 Awards." We hope you find them useful. 08-26-16


The Rosen Center Sponsored "25 Years of Directed Evolution" Symposium at Caltech, July 29th

In honor of Frances H. Arnold's contributions to the field of directed evolution, alumni from the lab, the Caltech community and special guests hosted a full-day scientific symposium on July 29, 2016. Our Guest of Honor was Frances H. Arnold, Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry; Director, Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center; Director, Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program. Dr. Arnold recently received the Millenium Technology Prize in recognition of her discoveries that launched the field of ‘directed evolution’, which mimics natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory. This technology uses the power of biology and evolution to solve many important problems, often replacing less efficient and sometimes harmful technologies. Thanks to directed evolution, sustainable development and clean technology have become available in many areas of industry that no longer have to rely on non-renewable raw materials. Frances is the first woman to win the award, underscoring her status as a strong role model for women working in technology. 08-01-16


Ahmad Omar Receives HHMI Gilliam Fellowship

Ahmad Omar is one of 34 recipients of a 2016 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study in recognition of his exceptional academic and personal achievements. A third year graduate student, Ahmad works with Professor Zhen-Gang Wang in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. Ahmad was nominated for the fellowship by Frances Arnold, the Director of the NIGMS Biotechnology Leadership Predoctoral Training Program in Micro/nanomedicine at Caltech. The Gilliam Fellowships are aimed at increasing diversity in the scientific workforce by supporting exceptional students who are pursuing PhDs in the life sciences. HHMI received applications from 142 students this year. The fellowships provide full support to promising doctoral students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Each fellow will receive an annual award totaling $46,000, which includes a stipend, a training allowance, and an institutional allowance, for up to three years. In addition to receiving support for advanced studies, Gilliam Fellows also attend meetings with HHMI scientists and receive intensive mentoring from their advisors. The fellowships were established in 2004 in honor of the late James H. Gilliam Jr., a charter Trustee of HHMI who spent his life fostering excellence and diversity in education and science. Since then, HHMI has provided more than $16 million to fund the Gilliam program. Ahmad’s unwavering optimism, willpower and determination are an inspiration to the Wang group and the graduate student population as a whole. We are pleased that the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study will give Ahmad the resources, time and freedom to build a leadership role in science that fits his unique talents, imagination and passion for research. 07-20-16


Biotechnology Leadership Program Welcomes Five New Trainees

We ask you to join us in welcoming the 2016 cohort of Caltech's Biotechnology Leadership Predoctoral Training Program in Micro/nanomedicine. Established in 2015, and led by Director Frances Arnold, the NIH Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program (BLP) brings together 23 outstanding Caltech faculty members from multiple graduate options to conduct interdisciplinary biomedical research at the micro- and nano-scales. The BLP training program provides trainees unique opportunities to participate in industry-relevant research and exposes trainees to the wide variety of careers available to biomedical leaders. Thus, the BLP training grant program provides excellent training for scientists who intend to conduct biomedical research, regardless of whether they choose to pursue their careers in industry, academia, a government lab, or even in a start up company. Without exception, the eleven trainees in the BLP are collaborative, passionate and accomplished young researchers. They demonstrate leadership and are characterized by a pay-it-forward attitude, teaching and mentoring other students. 07-01-16


Five Rosen Center Pilot Research Grants Awarded

The Rosen Center is pleased to announce today the award of five new Pilot Research Grants that will support bioengineering-related research in 10 Caltech laboratories. The projects involve two postdocs and four graduate students as key researchers. Demonstrating the Rosen Center’s interdisciplinary support of bioengineering, the projects represent a wide range of departments: Bioengineering, Biology, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Medical Engineering, Neurobiology, Applied Physics and Material Science, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and Geobiology. We hope you will join us in congratulating Julia Greer, Joel Burdick, Carlos Lois, Viviana Gradinaru, Dianne Newman, Jacqueline Barton, Yu-Chong Tai, Azita Emami, Henry Lester and Changhuei Yang on their awards. 06-10-16



The Rosen Center extends our congratulations to Alexei Aravin on his promotion to Professor of Biology with tenure. 06-01-16


Frances Arnold Wins 2016 Millenium Technology Prize for 'Directed Evolution' Revolution

Biochemical engineer, and Director of the Rosen Bioengineering Center, Frances Arnold receives the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize. The Prize has been awarded in recognition of her discoveries that launched the field of ‘directed evolution’, which mimics natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory. This technology uses the power of biology and evolution to solve many important problems, often replacing less efficient and sometimes harmful technologies. Thanks to directed evolution, sustainable development and clean technology become available in many areas of industry that no longer have to rely on non-renewable raw materials. Professor Arnold is the first woman to win the award, underscoring her status as a strong role model for women working in technology. The Millennium Technology Prize, worth one million euros, is one of the world’s most prestigious science and technology prizes. 5-24-16


Gradinaru Team's Research on Bypassing the Blood-Brain Barrier Highlighted in Scientific American

The June issue of Scientific American features work by neuroscientist Viviana Gradinaru and her team showing that a harmless virus can pass through the blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs or genetic therapies. 5-23-16


Collaborative Approach Leads to Discovery of a Regioselectivity Switch in Nitrating P450s

The newest publication from Frances Arnold's lab describes how a collaborative approach between experiment and simulation has revealed a single mutation in the F/G loop of the newly described nitrating cytochrome P450 TxtE that controls loop dynamics and, more surprisingly, the regioselectivity of the reaction. This mutation is present in a subset of homologous nitrating P450s that produce a previously unidentified biosynthetic intermediate, 5-nitro-L-tryptophan. First author of the work is Dr. Sheel Dodani, currently a postdoc with Dr. Arnold. We encourage you to read the paper, "Discovery of a regioselectivity switch in nitrating P450s guided by molecular dynamics simulations and Markov models", at Nature Chemistry (doi:10.1038/nchem.2474). 4-22-16


Biotechnology Leadership Trainee Publishes Study on Practical Limits of Novel Optical Technique in Brain Tissue

Effectively detecting and treating disease requires the ability to focus light deep into biological tissues such as the brain. Led by Changhuei Yang (Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering and Medical Engineering), the Caltech Biophotonics Laboratory has published a new study investigating the practical application of a novel optical technique that moves us closer to solving this fundamental problem in optics. Co-author Josh Brake (a trainee in the Biotechnology Leadership Program) says "The new technique essentially makes normally opaque biological tissue as optically transparent as a jellyfish. The results of this study give us a practical idea of how deeply we can focus light in biological tissues, thus opening the door to a whole new and exciting class of medical devices." The Lab is currently developing methods to use this technique and the results from this study to probe brain function with light - giving neuroscientists a tool to decode how the brain works and how the various parts communicate with each other. You may read the publication here and read more about the work in the Biophotonics Lab here 4-6-16


Nomination Period Opens for 2016 Cohort in Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program

Caltech's Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program, sponsored by the NIGMS and the Rosen Center, has opened the nomination period for the 2016 cohort. This unique program prepares excellent Caltech graduate students for a variety of careers in biotechnology and requires students complete a 2-3 month industry internship while in grad school. We invite you to learn more about the program here. 4-1-16


2016 Rosen Center Pilot Grant RFP Issued

The Rosen Center is offering a limited number of Pilot Research Grants to Caltech faculty who are working collaboratively at the cutting-edge of science. Designed to encourage the sharing of resources and ideas, the grants will be used to support a Caltech graduate student or postdoc who works with the collaborating PIs. Proposals must describe how the grant funds will be used to collect essential data that will make the project competitive for larger, external awards in the future. Interested Caltech faculty may contact Kim Mayer for more info. 4-1-16


Counting Molecules with an Ordinary Cell Phone

Researchers in the lab of Rustem Ismagilov, Caltech's Ethel Wilson Bowles and Robert Bowles Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and director of the Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for Medicine, have developed a new visual imaging technology for analysis of complex molecular information that doesn't require counting or visual data interpretation, so the results can be read quickly - even by those with little or no training. Read the paper here. 3-22-16


10 Years of DNA Origami

Caltech hosted a symposium in March 2016 to celebrate the publication of Paul Rothemund’s paper on DNA origami (Nature, March 16, 2006). The paper marked a turning point in DNA nanotechnology, enabling unprecedented control over designed molecular structures. This symposium will survey the spectrum of inspiring research that it has lead to — and perhaps to give a glimmer of what is yet to come. Learn more about DNA origami here. 2-22-16


Gradinaru receives Presidential Early Career Award

Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05), an assistant professor of biology and biological engineering has been named a recipient of the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). More here. 2-29-16


Ben and Donna Rosen enhance their support of bioengineering research at Caltech

Caltech board chair emeritus and longtime Compaq chairman Benjamin M. (Ben) Rosen (BS '54) and his wife, Donna, have made a bequest commitment to advance scientific exploration at the intersection of biology and engineering. More here. 2-2-16


Frances Arnold joins Illumina Board of Directors

Illumina, Inc. today announced that Dr. Frances Arnold has joined the company’s Board of Directors. More here. 1-28-16



Erik Winfree inducted into AAAS

Erik Winfree (PhD '98) has been elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Winfree, a professor of computer science, computation and neural systems, and bioengineering, was recognized by the AAAS for his "foundational contributions to biomolecular computing and molecular programming." More here. 12-1-15


Research from Julia Kornfield's Lab Featured in Science

A research group headed by Julia Kornfield has created a fuel additive composed of a novel type of polymer—a long molecule made up of many repeating subunits—capped at each end by units that act like Velcro. The individual polymers spontaneously link into ultralong chains called "megasupramolecules." Megasupramolecules, Kornfield says, have an unprecedented combination of properties that allows them to control fuel misting, improve the flow of fuel through pipelines, and reduce soot formation. Megasupramolecules inhibit misting under crash conditions and permit misting during fuel injection in the engine. We encourage you to check out the coverage by the BBC and Reuters. You can read more about this work here. 10-7-15


Ellen Rothenberg and Barbara Wold receive a 2015 Rosen Bioengineering Center Pilot Research Grant

Rosen Bioengineering Center Pilot Research Grants provide critical financial support collaborative early-stage projects that require sharing of ideas, people and resources between labs. The goal of the program is to help teams develop strong preliminary data that will enhance their competitiveness for large, collaborative awards from external agencies like NIH, NSF, DoD and others. We invite you to read more about this collaborative project. 9-25-15

Julia R. Greer’s Research Earns a PNAS Cover

Two recent manuscripts from the lab of Rosen Center faculty member Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, have garnered exceptional recognition in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and Science. The papers describe Greer’s advances in understanding the atomic-level structure of metallic glasses and nanolattices. Harnessing the power of these materials will enable the development of lightweight, durable materials with optimized properties and novel 3-D architectures for a variety of applications. Read more about the work and its implications here. 9-24-15


The Rosen Bioengineering Center welcomes the inaugural cohort of six trainees into the Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program at Caltech

Led by Frances Arnold, the program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences. Says Arnold, "This modern approach will help students and faculty to effectively translate discoveries in the lab into relevant technology and products that solve real-world problems." You may learn more about the program and our first group of trainees. 9-22-15


The Rosen Bioengineering Center extends our congratulations to the eight newly appointed 2015 Heritage Principal Investigators at Caltech

Among the Investigators are five Rosen Center faculty: Mikhail Shapiro, Viviana Gradinaru, Mitchell Guttman, Hyuck Choo and Azita Emami. As part of the Heritage Research Institute for the Advancement of Medicine and Science at Caltech, the Investigators will have unique opportunities to learn from and collaborate with each other as well as with practicing physicians in the community. [More info] 9-22-15


Science in a Small World

On May 19, 2015, the Rosen Bioengineering Center is hosting two poster sessions and a series of short talks to highlight exciting microbial biotechnology research at Wageningen University and Caltech! We invite you to join us! [More info] 5-5-15


Paul and Daisy Soros New American Fellows

Congratulations to Mohamad Abedi, first year Bioengineering PhD student, on being named one of the 2015 Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellows! 4-15-15


Watson Lecture

Pamela J. Bjorkman, Max Delbruck Professor of Biology and HHMI Investigator, presents the Watson Lecture on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 in Beckman Auditorium. 4-1-15


National Academy of Inventors

National Academy of Inventors holds its 4th annual conference at Caltech March 19 and 20, 2015. [Pasadena Now Article] 4-1-15


12th Annual World Brain Mapping and Therapeutic Congress

The 12th Annual World Brain Mapping and Therapeutic Congress will be held March 6-8, 2015, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. 3-2-15


2015 Sloan Fellowships

Viviana Gradinaru and Mitch Guttman are among the prestigious 2015 Sloan Research Fellows. [Announcement] 2-26-15


National Academy of Engineering

Mory Gharib and Robert Grubbs are among the newest honorees elected to the National Academy of Engineering. [Announcement] 2-9-15


Packard Foundation

Frances Arnold Receives Packard Foundation Appointment

On December 15, 2014, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced the selection of Frances Arnold as the new Chair of the Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering Advisory Panel. 12-15-14


Caltech Ranked Top University

Caltech Ranked Top University In the World Again in 2014 by the Times Higher Education University Rankings.


National Academy of Inventors

Frances Arnold elected to the National Academy of Inventors for 2014.


The Surprising Strengths of Materials in the Nanoworld

On September 24, 2014, Julia Greer, Caltech materials scientist, presented a talk at the TEDxCERN meeting, in Geneva, Switzerland. 09-24-14


2014 Rosen Graduate Scholar

Manuel Monge Named 2014 Rosen Graduate Scholar. 11-13-14

John C. Doyle

Variability Keeps the Body in Balance

By combining heart rate data from real athletes with a branch of mathematics called control theory, a collaborative team of physicians and Caltech researchers led by John Doyle have devised a way to better understand the relationship between heart rate variability and health--a step that could soon inform better monitoring technologies for athletes and medical professionals. [Caltech Article] 09-22-14

Viviana Gradinaru

Sensing Neuronal Activity with Light

A new way of mapping neural networks in a living organism has been made possible by a tool developed by Frances Arnold and Viviana Gradinaru. [Caltech Article] 09-18-14

Julia Greer

Ceramics Don't Have To Be Brittle

Caltech materials scientist Julia Greer and her colleagues have developed a method for constructing new structural materials by taking advantage of the unusual properties that solids can have at the nanometer scale, where features are measured in billionths of meters. [Caltech Article] 09-15-14

David Tirrell

Seeing Protein Synthesis in the Field

An interdisciplinary team of Caltech researchers lead by David Tirrell has developed a novel way to visualize proteins generated by microorganisms in their natural environment, possibly giving scientists insights to how uncultured microbes react and adapt to environmental stimuli over space and time. [Caltech Article] 09-09-14

Frances Arnold

Why Reprogramming Tiny Life Could Reap Rich Rewards

Frances Arnold is rebuilding bacteria to create new kinds of food, and fuel for our cars. Recent advances in molecular biology mean it is possible to manipulate DNA and, in effect, speed up the process of evolution. [BBC Article] 08-22-14

Mark Davis

Prince of Asturias Award

Professor Mark Davis Receives the Prince of Asturias Award. The Awards are presented at an academic ceremony held each year in Oviedo, capital of the Principality of Asturias. [Read More about the Prince of Asturias Award] 08-21-14

Viviana Gradinaru

Interview with Professor Viviana Gradinaru

Professor Gradinaru played an instrumental role in the development of optogenetics during her doctoral and postdoctoral studies at Stanford. Her lab is currently studying neural connectivity in behavior and developing tools for electrical and biochemical control. In the following interview, she discusses her research and road to academia, and offers advice to current students. [Read Viviana Gradinaru Interview] 08-21-14


Programmed to Fold: RNA Origami

Researchers have developed a new method for organizing molecules on the nanoscale. Inspired by techniques used for folding DNA origami—first invented by Paul Rothemund, a senior research associate in computation and neural systems. [Caltech Release] 08-20-14

Michael Roukes

Michael Roukes to Deliver Niels Bohr Lecture at the University of Copenhagen

Michael Roukes will deliver the Niels Bohr Lecture at the University of Copenhagen in November 2014, named in honor of one of the earliest pioneers of quantum theory. Roukes' talk will be on the convergence of neuroscience and nanoscience, to enable large-scale mapping of brain activity. A vision for this field, which he developed in collaboration with five scientists outside of Caltech, spurred the launching of Obama’s BRAIN Initiative in 2013. [Full Article] 08-20-14

Niles Pierce

Niles Pierce Named Guggenheim Fellow

Niles A. Pierce, Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Bioengineering, is one of only two engineers nationwide to be named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Professor Pierce is working to engineer programmable molecular instruments capable of reading out and regulating the state of biological circuitry within intact biological organisms. Often characterized as "midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for individuals who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. The fellowships are appointed based on prior achievement and exceptional promise and they aim to provide Fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible. [List of 2014 Fellows] 04-11-14

John Dabiri

New Dean of Undergraduate Students

John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, will become Dean of Undergraduate Students, effective July 1, 2014. Professor Dabiri was suggested for this position by several Institute constituencies and enjoys the confidence and respect of students and faculty alike. He is particularly committed to enhancing faculty-student interactions. 03-14-14

Julia Greer

Professor Greer Named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum

Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, has been selected as a 2014 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Each year the selection Committee, which is headed by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, identifies and recognizes the most distinguished leaders under the age of 40, nominated from around the world. Candidates are selected based on their proven track record of professional accomplishments, breadth of their expertise, commitment to society and their ability to overcome adversity. [List of 2014 Honourees] 03-11-14

Ali Hajimiri

Bending the Light with a Tiny Chip

Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have developed a new light-bending silicon chip that acts as a lens-free projector--and could one day end up in your cell phone. They were able to bypass traditional optics by manipulating the coherence of light—a property that allows the researchers to "bend" the light waves on the surface of the chip without lenses or the use of any mechanical movement. [Caltech Release] 03-10-14

John Dabiri

Professor Dabiri Delivers Roddam Narasimha Distinguished Lecture

John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, recently delivered the Roddam Narasimha Distinguished Lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinaga. His lecture was entitled Bio-inspired Wind Energy: From Fish Schools and Seagrass to Better Wind Farms. The Roddam Narasimha Seminar Series honors one of India’s eminent scientists and engineers. It provides a forum for young professionals to present their work in a topical area of Indian national importance. 02-04-14