Nanotechnology at Penn Gets a $11.4 Million Boost

Grant | Call it a big grant for a tiny-scale science.

The University will receive $11.4 million from the National Science Foundation for the creation of a new nanoscale science and engineering center. The enterprise, known as the Nano/Bio Interface Center, will allow scientists across campus to study the intersection of technology and biology at the nanoscale—or molecular—level.

The five-year grant is renewable for a second term, for a total of $23 million, and comes on top of several million dollars in funds already available for nanotechnology at Penn.

“As electronics and machines are driven ever smaller, they inevitably will be integrated with biological systems, which will have dramatic technological, biomedical, and social implications,” said Dawn Bonnell, the director of the new Nano/Bio Interface Center and a professor in the materials science and engineering department. “The new center will bring together Penn’s renowned strengths in nanotechnology and the life sciences, as well as lead the national discussion on the ethical considerations surrounding nanoscale science and its potential impact on humanity.”

The center also will administer new undergraduate minor and Ph.D. certificate programs in nanotechnology as well as work with Philadelphia schools to boost science literacy and encourage future careers in this field.

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