Friday, October 3, 2008

Mostafa El-Sayed receives US highest honor in Science

From BizJournals

Georgia Tech chemistry professor Mostafa El-Sayed has won the 2007 Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor in the field. He will get the medal from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony on Sept. 29.

El-Sayed thanked his past and current grad students, colleagues and administrators who have supported him in his career. “My goodness,” said El-Sayed, who also is the director of the laser dynamics laboratory. “I am very fortunate and lucky to be doing science in America. There are so many excellent people doing science all over this country.”

El-Sayed’s citation reads: “For his seminal and creative contributions to our understanding of the electronic and optical properties of nano-materials and to their applications in nano-catalysis and nano-medicine, for his humanitarian efforts of exchange among countries and for his role in developing the scientific leadership of tomorrow.”

El-Sayed is now working with his son Ivan, of the University of California San Francisco, to develop cylindrical gold nanorods that can bind to cancer cells. Once the cells are bound to the gold, they scatter light ,which makes them easy to detect. Using a laser, they can selectively destroy the cancer cells without harming the healthy cells. The nanorods are tuned to a frequency that allows them to use lasers that can delve under the skin to kill cancer cells without harming the skin.

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