News & Events
  • UW MolE welcomes new Ph.D. cohort

    We are thrilled to welcome our newest cohort of molecular engineering (MolE) doctoral students to the University of Washington! Though this might not be the circumstances under which they envisioned starting graduate school, with some students even participating remotely from another state or country, we applaud our incoming students for their resilience and flexibility. Please join us in welcoming them to the UW and our molecular engineering community! Learn more about each student and their current research interests.

  • From clean energy postdoc to microscopy and nanomechanical testing expert

    Micah Glaz, Molecular Analysis Facility staff scientist and nanomechanical testing expert, came to the UW as a postdoc before joining the MAF team to take advantage of the opportunity to teach more while staying close to the forefront of scientific research. Read our Q&A with Micah!

  • “Experiences of Black STEM in the Ivory” event examines inequities, calls for action

    Five institutions, including MolES, came together to organize a virtual conference on racial inequity in STEM. At the event, students, faculty, and staff shared their perspectives on the barriers facing Black scholars, and inspired participants to take action.

  • MolES faculty receive NSF EAGER award to develop new SARS-CoV-2 antibody test

    James Carothers, Dan Evans Career Development Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Jesse Zalatan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, have been awarded a National Science Foundation EAGER grant to develop a new type of SARS-Cov-2 antibody test. Carothers and Zalatan will receive $300,000 over a one-year period from funds made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

  • MolE Alum receives 2020 Graduate School Dissertation Award

    Recent MolE program alum Dan Lee was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Dissertation Award in mathematics, physical sciences and engineering from the UW Graduate School for his dissertation, “Synthesis of novel backbone functional polymers.” As a graduate student in Suzie Pun’s lab, Dan developed easily synthesized, biocompatible hydrogels that can conduct electricity and could be used to engineer cardiac or neural tissues among other applications. In this profile from the UW Graduate School, Dan shares how he found opportunities to innovate as a scientists and molecular engineer when things didn’t go according to plan.

  • MolES Associate Director Christine Luscombe elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

    Seven University of Washington scientists including Christine Luscombe, professor of chemistry and of materials science and engineering, have been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS). By sharing their expertise with decision makers in Washington State, WSAS members help to solve some of the most vexing problems facing the state.

  • Developing rapid COVID-19 tests for the home and clinic

    At the onset of the #COVID-19 pandemic, MolES faculty member Paul Yager, a UW professor of bioengineering, knew a rapid and accurate test would be needed to screen patients for the new coronavirus. He immediately set to work adapting his point-of-care testing research to developing an at-home test for the new virus.

    Read more about how the Yager lab is developing easy, fast and accurate COVID-19 tests to be used at home and in the clinic.

  • Meeting the need for COVID-19 test kits: Pivoting from Seattle Flu Study and developing new rapid tests

    MolES faculty member and bioengineering professor Barry Lutz, in partnership with Dr. Matthew Thompson, a UW professor of family medicine and global health, is pioneering at home test kits for the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Read more about how the Lutz lab is developing new ways to rapidly test for COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 Research at MolES

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MolES faculty have pivoted their research to address the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. They are leveraging molecular engineering approaches and tools to develop improved diagnostics, targeted treatment strategies, and a better understanding of the virus. We highlight a few of these projects here.

  • Designing proteins that can sequence DNA

    Sinduja Marx has long been interested in developing miniaturized, parallelized and personalized sequencing and diagnostics tools. As a molecular engineering grad student in the labs of physics professor Jens Gundlach, and Institute for Protein Design director David Baker, Marx is designing synthetic biological channels for nanopore DNA sequencing and molecular diagnostics. In this Q&A, Marx talks about her research and advice for prospective grad students.

  • Seeing is believing: using electron microscopy to probe teeny tiny structures

    We recently spoke with Ellen Lavoie, Molecular Analysis Facility staff scientist and electron microscopy expert, about how she came to be a TEM expert and what she loves about her work. Read our Q&A with Ellen!

  • Pacific oysters in the Salish Sea may not contain as many microplastics as previously thought

    Using advanced instrumentation in the Molecular Analysis Facility, researchers in the lab of MolES faculty member and materials science & engineering professor Christine Luscombe have discovered that Salish Sea oysters may not contain as many microplastic contaminants as previously thought.

  • Fall 2019 molecular engineering Ph.D. graduates

    Since launching the molecular engineering Ph.D. program in 2014, it has grown to include over 70 students working across the University of Washington on everything from designing and testing battery materials to designing proteins that can turn genes on or off at will. Congratulations to our latest graduates – Justin Davis, Dion Hubble and Grant Williamson!

  • Microscopy: Where science meets art

    Scott Braswell, Molecular Analysis Facility staff scientist and Scanning Electron Microscopy expert, loves that microscopy draws on many areas of knowledge; knowledge of what you’re observing, technical skills in capturing a good image, and your own aesthetic. Read our Q&A with Scott.

  • First-of-its-kind hydrogel platform enables on-demand production of medicines and chemicals | UW News

    Researchers in the lab of MolES faculty member and professor of chemistry Al Nelson – along with collaborators at the University of Texas – unveiled a new way to produce medicines and chemicals and preserve them using portable “biofactories” that are embedded in water-based gels known as hydrogels. The approach could help people in remote villages or on military missions, where the absence of pharmacies, doctor’s offices or even basic refrigeration makes it hard to access critical medicines and other small-molecule compounds.

  • Collaborating for Clean Tech

    MolE PhD student Ted Cohen shares how molecular engineering has opened new opportunities for collaboration. Cohen is a 4th year molecular engineering Ph.D. student co-advised by Professor of Chemistry Daniel Gamelin and Professors of Materials Science & Engineering Christine Luscombe and Devin Mackenzie.

  • Team uses golden ‘lollipop’ to observe elusive interference effect at the nanoscale | UW News

    A team led by MolES faculty member David Masiello and scientists from the University of Notre Dame used recent advances in electron microscopy to observe Fano interferences — a form of quantum-mechanical interference by electrons — directly in a pair of metallic nanoparticles.

  • Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale | UW News

    A team led by MolES faculty member Peter Pauzauskie, a professor of materials science and engineering, has developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.

  • New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells | UW News

    A team led by David Ginger, professor of chemistry and MolES faculty member, has developed a way to map strain in lead halide perovskite solar cells. Their approach shows that misorientation between microscopic perovskite crystals is the primary contributor to the buildup of strain within the solar cell, which creates small-scale defects in the grain structure, interrupts the transport of electrons within the solar cell, and ultimately leads to heat loss through a process known as non-radiative recombination.

  • New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions | UW News

    A team led by MolES faculty member Arka Majumdar, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and physics, has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As they report in a paper published October 4 in the journal Science Advances, their designed optical element focuses light to discrete points in a 3D helical pattern.

  • Research team receives NSF award to develop ‘smart’ synthetic cell systems

    An interdisciplinary research team led by MolES faculty member James Carothers, Dan Evans Career Development Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, received a new $1 million research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate whether cells can learn.

  • Corie L. Cobb receives DARPA Young Faculty Award | Mechanical Engineering

    Corie L. Cobb, Washington Research Foundation Innovation Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Clean Energy, is the recipient of a 2019 Young Faculty Award from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

  • A New Clue to How Life Originated | The Atlantic

    A new study published in PNAS from the lab of Sarah Keller, MolES faculty member and UW professor of chemistry, was recently featured in The Atlantic.

  • Scientists can now control thermal profiles at the nanoscale | UW News

    In a paper published online July 30 by the journal ACS Nano, David Masiello, MolES faculty member and professor of chemistry, and colleagues from Rice University and Temple University, report a new breakthrough on controlling the thermal profiles of materials at the nanoscale. The team of researchers designed and tested an experimental system that uses a near-infrared laser to actively heat two gold nanorod antennae — metal rods designed and built at the nanoscale — to different temperatures. The nanorods are so close together that they are both electromagnetically and thermally coupled. Yet the team measured temperature differences between the rods as high as 20 degrees Celsius. By simply changing the wavelength of the laser, they could also change which nanorod was cooler and which was warmer, even though the rods were made of the same material.

  • First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure could lead to longer-lasting devices | UW News

    For the first time, scientists have visualized the electronic structure in a microelectronic device, opening up opportunities for finely tuned, high-performance electronic devices. UW physicists David Cobden and Xaiodong Xu, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Warwick, developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in operating microelectronic devices made of atomically thin — so-called 2D — materials. Their findings, published last week in the journal Nature could lead to new, finely tuned, high performance electronic devices.

  • Elizabeth Nance is one of six UW professors to a receive 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers | UW News

    The award, also known as the PECASE, is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early-career scientists and engineers “who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.”

  • Hail to the fiber king: a profile of MolE student Hao Shen

    Hao Shen pioneered the creation of self-assembling protein fibers from scratch in the lab of UW Biochemistry professor David Baker. Hao was part of our first cohort of students and is the first student to receive a PhD in molecular engineering from the University of Washington. Read more about Hao’s scientific journey!

  • MAF to host biomedical characterization workshop July 29-31

    Workshop attendees will learn the nuts and bolts of surface characterization including commonly used methods and data analysis techniques. Lectures are accompanied by demonstrations on MAF instruments to provide attendees with a better understanding of the materials covered in workshop lectures.

  • Scientists use molecular tethers and chemical ‘light sabers’ to construct platforms for tissue engineering | UW News

    In a paper published May 20 in the journal Nature Materials, a research team led by MolES faculty member Cole DeForest unveiled a new strategy to keep proteins intact and functional in synthetic biomaterials for tissue engineering. Their approach modifies proteins at a specific point so that they can be chemically tethered to the scaffold using light. Since the tether can also be cut by laser light, this method can create evolving patterns of signal proteins throughout a biomaterial scaffold to grow tissues made up of different types of cells.

  • Breakthroughs in 3D organ printing detailed in Science Magazine | UW Medicine

    Bioengineers have cleared a major hurdle on the path to 3D printing replacement organs with a breakthrough technique for bioprinting tissues. A research team led by MolES faculty member Kelly Stevens, assistant professor of bioengineering and investigator at the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, has created exquisitely entangled vascular networks that mimic the body’s natural passageways for blood, air, lymph and other vital fluids. The team published its findings May 3 in the journal Science. Their research was also featured in Newsweek, Forbes, among other outlets.

  • MolES Faculty recognized for excellence in research and education

    Christine Luscombe, MolES Education Director and Campbell Career Development Endowed Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, received the 2019 College of Engineering Faculty Award in Research. MolES faculty members Arka Majumdar, Assistant Professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics, and Elizabeth Nance, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, received Junior Faculty Awards in recognition of their leadership in research and education.

  • MolES Director Pat Stayton developing targeted ‘radical cure’ for malaria

    A research team led by University of Washington (UW) Distinguished Career Professor of Bioengineering and Molecular Engineering & Sciences (MolES) Institute Director Patrick Stayton has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new therapeutic for the radical cure (prevention of relapse) of malaria.

  • Synthetic peptide can inhibit toxicity, aggregation of protein in Alzheimer’s disease, researchers show | UW News

    A team led by MolES faculty member and bioengineering Professor Valerie Daggett has developed synthetic peptides that target and inhibit the small, toxic protein aggregates that are thought to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. Dylan Shea, a molecular engineering PhD student in the Daggett lab, was the lead author on a new paper describing these findings, published April 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Sarah Keller receives 2019 Cottrell Scholars STAR Award | Chemistry

    MolES faculty member and UW Chemistry Professor Sarah Keller received a 2019 Cottrell Scholars STAR (Science Teaching and Research) Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The STAR Award “recognizes the outstanding research and educational accomplishments of Cottrell Scholars.” Congratulations!

  • Interested in all things molecular engineering? Introducing the new MolES Newsletter

    We’ve launched a new quarterly newsletter! Learn about the latest advances in molecular engineering research at UW, the students and faculty in the MolES community, new programs and events, as well as updates from the MAF. Subscribe to receive future editions.Read the full issue here: Spring 2019 MolES Newsletter

  • New method to assess platelet health could help ER doctors | UW News

    A research team at the University of Washington, including MolES faculty member Nathan Sniadecki, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has created a novel system that can measure platelet function within two minutes and can help doctors determine which trauma patients might need a blood transfusion upon being admitted to a hospital. The team published its results March 13 in Nature Communications.

  • Computer-designed vaccine elicits potent antibodies to RSV | UW Medicine

    A recent publication from the Institute for Protein Design, located in the MolES building, describes a nanoparticle platform developed for a respiratory syncytial virus study that will also be applied to vaccine research on flu, HIV, and more. Seattle startup Icosavax will advance related clinical trials.

  • It’s all in the twist: Physicists stack 2D materials at angles to trap particles on the nanoscale, creating a unique platform to study quantum optical physics | UW News

    Future technologies based on the principles of quantum mechanics could revolutionize information technology. But to realize the devices of tomorrow, today’s physicists must develop precise and reliable platforms to trap and manipulate quantum-mechanical particles. In a paper published Feb. 25 in the journal Nature, a team of physicists led by MolES faculty member Xiaodong Xu, a Boeing Distinguished Professor of both physics and materials science and engineering, reports the development of a new system to trap individual excitons.

  • Three awards from US Department of Energy to fuel UW solar cell research | UW News

    Three teams led by University of Washington researchers have received competitive awards totaling more than $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office for projects that will advance research and development in photovoltaic materials, which are an essential component of solar cells and impact the amount of sunlight that is converted into electricity. Two of the UW teams are led by MolES faculty members Scott Dunham, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Hugh Hillhouse, a professor of chemical engineering.

  • Surface analysis expert named Director of UW Molecular Analysis Facility

    MolES is thrilled to announce that Lara Gamble, associate research professor in bioengineering at the University of Washington (UW), has been appointed director of the UW Molecular Analysis Facility (MAF), a fully-staffed instrumentation facility with extensive microscopy, spectroscopy, and surface science capabilities. Gamble will take over for long-time director Dave Castner, professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering at UW, who is retiring. Gamble has served as MAF associate director since 2013. She is also co-Director of NESAC/BIO, a preeminent surface science research center at UW, and was elected to the 2016-18 Board of Directors of the American Vacuum Society, an international community of scientists dedicated to promoting research in surface, interface, vacuum and thin film science.

  • Scientists design protein filaments that snap themselves together like Lego blocks | Geekwire

    Hao Shen, a molecular engineering PhD candidate in the lab of biochemistry Professor David Baker, was a lead author of a study published in Science describing the creation of self-assembling protein filaments from scratch. The filaments were built from identical protein subunits that snap together spontaneously to form long, helical, thread-like structures which could be used to create new materials for a range of applications, from diagnostics to nano-electronics. Learn more in a related Geekwire story!

  • MolE PhD Student Ty Jorgenson on navigating interdisciplinary research

    At the intersection of genetic engineering and nanoscience, second-year MolE PhD candidate Tyler (Ty) Jorgenson is developing a set of design rules for devices that join biology with solid-state materials. His research focuses on the self-assembly of solid-binding peptides and their interfaces with single-layer atomic (2D) materials, which he says is particularly promising for bioelectronic devices.

  • Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus | UW News

    February 12, 2018Via UW NewsFor photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.But today’s glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require lenses made of a new… Read More…

  • UW team develops fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes for electric cars, high-powered lasers | UW News

    July 17, 2017Via UW NewsSupercapacitors are an aptly named type of device that can store and deliver energy faster than conventional batteries. They are in high demand for applications including electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers. But to realize these applications, supercapacitors need better electrodes, which connect the supercapacitor to the devices that depend on… Read More…

  • MolES Informer: A Season of Change

    In this edition —– MolES welcomes Mechanical Engineering Professor Corie Cobb, who came to the UW from Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Inc., to pursue novel manufacturing and design methods for energy devices and materials.-The Molecular Analysis Facility announces, in partnership with the UW School of Pharmacy, the integration of the Analytical Biopharmacy Core. The… Read More…

  • MolES Community Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

    MolES students, faculty, and staff gathered last Saturday to improve information on molecular engineering available on Wikipedia. The group contributed information on the history of the discipline, applications, instruments and methodology. Special thanks to Sawyer Morgan, graduate student in Chemical Engineering, for showing our brand-new editors the ropes! This was our first Edit-a-Thon but won’t be… Read More…

  • MolES Faculty Earn 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award

              Two MolES faculty members are being honored as 2016 Awards of Excellence winners, both for their achievements in teaching. Cole Deforest, assistant professor, chemical engineering and Wendy Thomas, associate professor, bioengineering will be honored June 9, 2016 at a ceremony on campus. The Distinguished Teaching Award is given annually to seven… Read More…

  • Nature Biotechnology’s ‘greatest hits’ includes MolES faculty

    Professor Shaoyi Jiang’s research focuses on helping the body accept medical devices and implants that it naturally wants to reject. His 2013 paper on using zwitterionic hydrogels to eliminate the foreign body response to implants was selected as one of eight major hits in 20 years of Nature Biotechnology biomedical research. The March 2016 issue… Read More…

  • Pat Stayton accepts appointment extension as MolES Director

    Colleagues, I’m pleased to announce that Pat Stayton, Director of the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute (MoIES) and Distinguished Career Professor of Bioengineering, has accepted our offer to extend his appointment as MolES Director for an additional five years.  MolES has grown significantly under Pat’s leadership and has had a great impact on the college… Read More…

  • UW-NIMS agreement launches new biomaterials collaboration

    December 4, 2015 – The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institutes celebrates signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS) and the University of Washington (UW) The MolES Institute welcomed MANA Researcher Dr. Mitsuhiro Ebara, a former UW postdoctoral fellow in Bioengineering, for a signing celebration on December 4, followed… Read More…

  • MolES Research: Light-based chemistry to manipulate stem cells

    Professor Cole DeForest is researching new ways to coerce stem cells into transforming into other cell types. Ultimately, his research could make huge impacts in medicine by engineering organs and tissues to combat heart disease.  DeForest is an assistant professor of chemical engineering and a member of the Molecular Engineering & Sciences institute faculty. Read more at… Read More…

  • UW Nanofab, molecular analysis labs win $4.5 million NSF grant

    The University of Washington and Oregon State University have won a $4.5 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to advance nanoscale science, engineering and technology research in the Pacific Northwest and support a new network of user sites across the country. The regional partnership was selected as one of 16 sites for a… Read More…

  • Washington Nanofabrication Facility to receive $37M to Expand

    The Washington Nanofabrication Facility is home to more than 140 scientists and engineers every month and is used by researchers and businesses. It is the closest and most affordable facility for startups in the region that need access to the expensive machines to build products

  • MolES Interdisciplinary Team Programs Yeast Cells to Say ‘Hello’ !

    A team of University of Washington researchers has engineered yeast cells that can “talk” to one another, using a versatile plant hormone called auxin.

  • Lara Gamble Named Fellow of AVS

    Professor Lara Gamble has been named a fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS).

  • Nanotech/Molecular Engineering Students Win Biz Plan Competition

    Congratulations to Charlie Corredor and Renuka Ramanathan for their success in the 2015 UW Business Plan Competition. Each was a member of a team that won a seed money for their start-up businesses. Both Charlie and Renuka are Ph.D. candidates in the dual title degree in Nanotechnology & Molecular Engineering offer through the MolES Institute.

  • VIDEO: MolES Featured at MRS Spring Meeting

    Faculty and student research at the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute was featured at a video broadcast on-site at the Material Research Society Spring Meeting and Exhibit April 6- 10. Learn about our interdisciplinary approach to research and education.

  • MolES Researchers Build Energy Efficient Nanolaser

    University of Washington scientists have built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient, easy to build and compatible with existing electronics. The ultra-thin semiconductor is about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

  • MolES Matching Funds for New Analytical Biopharmacy Users

    The University of Washington Molecular Engineering Sciences Institute (MolES) announces the availability of matching funds for new users of the Analytical Biopharmacy Core (ABC). In order to showcase ABC services to the local academic and biotech communities, the Institute is offering up to $5,000 in matching funds to new user groups and companies. The ABC provides analysis by… Read More…

  • Daniel Gamelin wins 2015 Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award

    The American Chemical Society  Division of Inorganic Chemistry has announced Professor Daniel Gamelin as the winner of the third Inorganic Chemistry Lectureship Award. Dr. Gamelin was nominated by his peers for his broad, unique, and outstanding sustained contribution to the development of inorganic nanoscience.  Learn more here.

  • Mary Gates Research Fellows Get Intro to Molecular Engineering

                          Early introduction to research can help students determine their passion and jump start careers. One of the benefits of the MolES Institute’s Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering (NME) degree program for undergraduates is the opportunity to integrate classroom training with laboratory research experience early in… Read More…

  • NIH Approves Additional Funding for NESAC/BIO

    The National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC/BIO) has received an additional five years of funding from the National Institutes of Health.

  • PolyDrop’s Sky-high Solution

    UW Chemical Engineering alum Volha Hrechka and her start up company is featured on the UW website home page the week of December 8, 2014. Hrechka’s start up company PolyDrop is the result of her chemical engineering capstone project under the guidence of MolES faculty member Lilio Pozzo.

  • David Castner Honored by UK Surface Analysis Forum

    MolES faculty member and NESAC/BIO Director David Castner was recently awarded the 2014 Rivière Prize from the UK Surface Analysis Forum. This award is presented to researchers whose work has had a major impact on other researchers in the field of surface analysis. In naming Castner the 2014 recipient, the UK Surface Analysis Forum cited… Read More…

  • Think Small for Big Impact: Molecular Engineering Ph.D.

    Ph.D. Program in Molecular Engineering Offers Collaborative Environment Designed For Impact The University of Washington introduced a new graduate program in an emerging field of molecular science.  Starting in fall of 2014, pioneering students began a path of study that nurtures and develops their professional identities as versatile thinkers in Molecular Engineering, while they earning… Read More…

  • MolES Faculty Honored with UW Innovation Awards

    Two faculty members of the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute have received Innovation Awards, recently announced by the Office of the President.  The awards honor  mid-career researchers who are engaged in the medical, natural, social and engineering sciences.  They also recognize faculty who foster new creative ways to foster student learning and active engagement. Among the… Read More…

  • MolES Researchers Craft Thinnest Possible Semiconductor

    Faculty and student researchers at the UW Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute are emerging as leaders in the fast-growing field of 2D materials. Physics professors David Cobden and Xiadong Xu study the characteristics of single sheets of atomically thin material. These single-layer materials, also known as monolayers, are flexible, and act as semiconductors with extraordinary electronic… Read More…

  • MolES Faculty among the World’s Most Influential Researchers

    Six faculty members of the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute are included on a list of the world’s most influential scientific researchers of the last decade. The 2014 list of Highly Cited Researchers, developed by Thompson Reuters, includes research scientists whose published papers rank in the top 1% of citations for their respective fields. In… Read More…

  • Undergrad Students Explore Nanotechnology Research

    Five students from different colleges throughout the U.S. are on the University of Washington campus this summer getting their first introduction to nanotech and molecular engineering research.As participants in the 2014 National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Research Experience for Undergraduates (NNIN REU) Program, each member of the group is working on a specific research project and… Read More…

  • MolES research lab collaboration leads to cancer fighting therapy

    Results of collaborative research from the Institute for Protein Design, Stayton Lab and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center published in CELL magazine. It’s been said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but recent research at the University of Washington Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute may prove that close proximity is the recipe for success…. Read More…

  • MolES Faculty Member Suzie Pun Earns Two Honors

    UW Bioengineering Robert F. Rushmer Associate Professor Dr. Suzie Pun has received two awards. She is the 2014 recipient of the Controlled Release Society (CRS) Young Investigator Award and Biomaterials Science Lectureship. She was also named the inaugural recipient of the Biomaterials Science Lectureship award.The CRS Young Investigator award recognizes a society member who has… Read More…

  • MolES Faculty Member Lara Gamble Receives 2014 Sherwood Award

    Dr. Lara Gamble, NESAC/BIO associate director and UW research associate professor will be the 2014 recipient of the Peter M. A. Sherwood Mid-Career Professional Award from the AVS Applied Surface Science Division (ASSD).  According to AVS, the award “recognizes achievements leading to exceptional progress in research and development made by professionals in their mid-career in… Read More…

  • MolES Announces Funding Opportunity: Faculty Partnership Grants

    The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute announces biotech faculty partnership grants for 2014-2015. This is an opportunity to receive seed funding for new collaborations for up to $50K for research projects for a period of 1 year.  ELIGIBILITY: – All investigators are required to be core faculty at the University of Washington, with at least… Read More…

  • Register now for the Molecular Engineering Showcase and Reception

    Monday, May 19, 2014 // 2:30 – 6:00 PM // Husky Union Building (HUB) // Session schedule and locations Learn about discoveries being made in one of the nation’s premier centers for the study of molecular engineering and nanotechnology. Meet leaders in molecular engineering and hear about impacts across industries from health care to energy… Read More…

  • Two MolES Faculty Recognized for Innovative Research and Teaching Approaches

    Congratulations to Molecular Engineering & Sciences members James Carothers and Eric Klavins who both received Innovation Awards from the University of Washington this week. James Carothers, assistant professor of chemical engineering, will create new approaches to produce renewable chemicals. He will address fundamental questions of cellular design, which will be used to redesign living systems… Read More…

  • UW Receives Major Foundation Grant to Support Research

    The Washington Research Foundation has committed approximately $30 million to four programs at UW to support research and innovation. Among the recipients are the Institute for Protein Design and the Clean Energy Institute, both MolES-related research groups. Read more from Benjamin Romano at Xconomy…

  • Matthew Bush Named Sloan Fellow

    Congratulations to MolES faculty member and Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Matthew Bush, who was just selected as a 2014 Sloan Fellow. From UW Today: February 18, 2014   Chemistry’s Matthew Bush named Sloan fellow Sandra Hines News and Information   Matthew Bush, University of Washington assistant professor of chemistry, has been selected as one of… Read More…

  • MolES Building featured in College Planning & Management

    Facility Focus: MolES The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building was recognized for its ability to accommodate research growth and evolving interdisciplinary programs, and to fit into its campus setting in a recent article in College Planning & Management. Read the full article ›

  • On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles [From UW Today]

    Michelle Ma Vaccines combat diseases and protect populations from outbreaks, but the life-saving technology leaves room for improvement. Vaccines usually are made en masse in centralized locations far removed from where they will be used. They are expensive to ship and keep refrigerated and they tend to have short shelf lives. University of Washington engineers… Read More…

  • François Baneyx Elected to the AAAS

    Félicitation à François Baneyx, who was just named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Baneyx, professor of chemical engineering and of bioengineering and MolES faculty member, is honored for his contributions in biotechnology and biological nanotechnology. Baneyx studies protein folding and manipulates cellular pathways to make protein production simple, efficient… Read More…

  • Environmental Innovation Challenge Cleantech Prototype Funding

    About the Environmental Innovation Challenge If you’ve got a passion for cleantech and the desire to make an impact, the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge is for you. In the EIC, interdisciplinary student teams define an environmental problem, design a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity and the potential… Read More…

  • 11/7: Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus to Present Inaugural Clean Energy Institute Lecture

    Please join the Clean Energy Institute as Professor Mildred Dresselhaus presents its inaugural interdisciplinary seminar: Perspectives on Our Energy Future Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. This talk will give my perspectives on this challenge in general terms and on how nanoscience and new nano-materials… Read More…

  • From UW Today: New UW-Pacific NW National Lab computing-research institute holds first public workshop

    Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing Day Wednesday, Oct. 30, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Husky Union Building, room 145 Free; registration required   New UW-Pacific NW National Lab computing-research institute holds first public workshop October 25, 2013Michelle Ma The University of Washington and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Oct. 30 will hold their first public workshop… Read More…

  • Clean Energy Institute announces new graduate fellowships for 2014

    The UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI) announces two new graduate fellowship opportunities. The mission of the CEI Fellowship program is to catalyze clean energy research that is related to solar energy conversion (Sun-to-Electricity and Sun-to-Chemicals), electrical energy storage (Electricity-to-Chemicals/Materials/Other), and electrical systems and the grid (Electricity Distribution). Some specific goals of the program are to:… Read More…

  • Seelig/Klavins team develops programming language to build synthetic DNA

      From UW Today: UW engineers invent programming language to build synthetic DNA Michelle Ma   Similar to using Python or Java to write code for a computer, chemists soon could be able to use a structured set of instructions to “program” how DNA molecules interact in a test tube or cell. A team led… Read More…

  • Klavins, Seelig Receive NSF Expeditions in Computing Award

    MolES faculty Georg Seelig (Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering) and Eric Klavins (Electrical Engineering) were awarded $2 million as part of a multi-investigator team investigating “Molecular Programming Architectures, Abstractions, Algorithms and Applications” as part of the National Science Foundation’s Expeditions in Computing program. The team, led by by Professor Erik Winfree of the California… Read More…

  • Six MolES Faculty Named to State Academy of Sciences

    Six distinguished faculty members from the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute, including its director, Patrick Stayton, were named to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. This group includes: Charles Campbell (Chemistry) David Castner (Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering) Samson Jenekhe (Chemical Engineering) Patrick Stayton (Bioengineering) Minoru Taya (Mechanical Engineering) Paul Yager (Bioengineering) Membership in the Washington State… Read More…

  • Posner, UW Engineers Receive US Department of Energy Grant to Design Clean, Fuel-Efficient Cookstoves

    From UW Today: September 11, 2013 UW engineers get grant to make cookstoves 10 times cleaner for developing world Michelle Ma Nearly 500 million households – roughly 3 billion people, or 42 percent of the world’s population – rely on burning materials such as wood, animal dung or coal in stoves for cooking and heating… Read More…

  • NME Undergraduate Track Program Grows to 120 Students in 2013

    It was a banner year for the Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering (NME) program. The undergraduate track program started by Molecular Engineering & Sciences Associate Director for Education René Overney now has more than 120 students from across the College of Engineering in its ranks. This June, 27 of those students, having completed the NME curricular… Read More…

  • From UW Today: David Ginger’s synthetic polymer for solar cell applications

    Regulating electron ‘spin’ may be key to making organic solar cells competitive Vince Stricherz Organic solar cells that convert light to electricity using carbon-based molecules have shown promise as a versatile energy source but have not been able to match the efficiency of their silicon-based counterparts. Now, researchers have discovered a synthetic, high-performance polymer that… Read More…

  • NME Students Showcase Findings at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium

    Each year, nearly 1,000 undergraduates pack Mary Gates Hall to present research talks and posters at the Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium. This year several rooms were dedicated to nanotechnology research, where 27 seniors in the Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering undergraduate option program showcased projects completed in UW research labs over the previous year. From… Read More…

  • Luscombe undergrad researcher David Coven receives Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, featured on King 5

    This month the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Program awarded scholarships to 800 freshman and sophomores who declared majors in science and engineering. Sponsored through a public-private partnership between Boeing, Microsoft, and the State of Washington, the scholarships are intended to encourage more students to enter the STEM fields and help fill the more than 25,000… Read More…

  • Engineered biomaterial could improve success of medical implants

    University of Washington engineers have created a synthetic substance that fully resists the body’s natural attack response to foreign objects. Medical devices such as artificial heart valves, prostheses and breast implants could be coated with this polymer to prevent the body from rejecting an implanted object.

  • Buddy Ratner Wins the 2012 George Winter Award from the European Society for Biomaterials

     Buddy Ratner recognized for contributions to field of biomaterialsThe European Society for Biomaterials has chosen Buddy Ratner, a UW professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering, for the 2012 George Winter Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of biomaterials. The committee cited Ratner’s excellence in research, his vision and his leading role in the promotion of biomaterials science worldwide…. Read More…

  • Bill Atkins Named Inaugural Sid Nelson Endowed Professor

     In a fitting tribute to our late colleague, mentor and friend, the School of Pharmacy is humbled to share that we have formally established the Sid Nelson Endowed Professorship in Drug Metabolism. The seeds for the professorship were sown in December 2011, after our much-loved professor of medicinal chemistry and dean emeritus passed away suddenly…. Read More…

  • Pozzo Receives DOE Early Career, Undergraduate Research Mentor Awards

    Congratulations to MolES faculty member and Chemical Engineering professor Lilo Pozzo, who recently received the following three awards for her accomplishments in the areas of research, mentoring, and commercialization: DOE Early Career Award, selected for the project “Neutron Scattering Investigation of the Relationship between Molecular Structure, Morphology and  Dynamics in Conjugated Polymers.”Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor… Read More…

  • Mary Lidstrom elected to the National Academy of Sciences

    The University of Washington’s Mary Lidstrom and David Kaplan are among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries just announced by National Academy of Sciences. Members are named for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, according to the academy. Lidstrom is vice provost for research and a professor of chemical engineering and… Read More…

  • Jim Pfaendtner Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

    The University of Washington has announced this year’s Awards of Excellence recipients, recognizing achievements in teaching, mentoring, public service and staff support.The winners will be honored 3:30-4:30 p.m., June 13, at a ceremony in Meany Hall for the campus and general public.Being awarded for the first time this year is the Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award in recognition… Read More…

  • Kannan M. Krishnan Named 2013 IEEE Fellow

     Kannan M. Krishnan has been named a 2013 fellow of IEEE for contributions to nano-magnetic technology in medicine. IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon… Read More…

  • From UW Today: High glucose levels could impair ferroelectricity in body’s connective tissues

    High sugar levels in the body come at a cost to health. New research suggests that more sugar in the body could damage the elastic proteins that help us breathe and pump blood. The findings could have health implications for diabetics, who have high blood-glucose levels. Researchers at the University of Washington and Boston University… Read More…

  • New device could cut costs on household products, pharmaceuticals

    New device could cut costs on household products, pharmaceuticals By Michelle Ma Sometimes cost saving comes in nanoscale packages. A new procedure that thickens and thins fluid at the micron level could save consumers and manufacturers money, particularly for soap products that depend on certain molecules to effectively deal with grease and dirt. Researchers at… Read More…

  • CleanTech undergrads win the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge

    Congratulations to MolES faculty Lilo Pozzo’s senior design team “Polydrop,” grand prize winners at the 2013 UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, an annual event sponsored by the UW’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Their prize-winning prototype is an additive that transforms regular coatings into conductive coatings to enable the use of carbon fiber composites in the transportation… Read More…

  • CleanTech and the Paradox of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle

    Guest post by MolES faculty member and Chemical Engineering chair Daniel Schwartz on the Foster Unplugged blogWhen I think Cleantech, my mind goes straight to the triangular logo on my waste container at work: “reduce, reuse, recycle.”  These three words are central to most enduring cleantech innovations, though sometimes in paradoxical ways.  “Reduce” is the… Read More…

  • Kim Woodrow named on Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s 125 Women of Impact List

    UW Bioengineering assistant professor Dr. Kim Woodrow’s was named on this list, compiled by Newsweek/The Daily Beast to accompany this week’s Women in the World Summit. Dr. Woodrow was cited for her work creating dissolvable female condoms that prevent pregnancy and protect against HIV, for which she received $1 million in funding from the Bill… Read More…

  • Tenfold boost in ability to pinpoint proteins in cancer cells

    By Michelle MaMarch 19, 2013Better diagnosis and treatment of cancer could hinge on the ability to better understand a single cell at its molecular level. New research offers a more comprehensive way of analyzing one cell’s unique behavior, using an array of colors to show patterns that could indicate why a cell will or won’t… Read More…

  • UW Freshmen to Present Research Findings in D.C.

    Presenting at a research conference in Washington D.C. is an unimaginable dream for most college freshmen. For six University of Washington College of Engineering students, this dream is a reality; they will present their research at the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Conference on March 9.Kasey Acob, Bailey Bonaci, David Coven, Daniel Corona, Mikael… Read More…

  • Carothers Named Sloan Research Fellow

    MolES Institute member and Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering James Carothers was named a 2013 Sloan Research Fellow in an announcement today by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Carothers’s research focuses on developing design platforms for engineering functionally-complex RNA-based control systems. These systems process cellular information and program the expression of very large numbers of… Read More…

  • Luce Foundation to support two professorships for women in engineering

    December 18, 2012The Henry Luce Foundation’s Clare Boothe Luce Program has awarded the University of Washington (UW) a roughly $500,000 grant to support the creation of two professorships for women in engineering. The grant, which will be distributed over the course of five years, will support the addition of two faculty members; one will be… Read More…

  • UW TV: How are engineers using small molecules to solve big problems

    The 2012 Engineering Lecture Series took a close look at how engineers are using small molecules to solve big problems. The emerging field of molecular engineering builds from the bottom up and aims high, promising new ways to diagnose disease earlier and treat it more precisely, and inexpensive and practical ways to harness clean sources… Read More…

  • Castner and Gao Inducted as AIMBE Fellows

    UW Bioengineering faculty Drs. David Castner and Xiaohu Gao wereinducted as AIMBE Fellows at the organization’s annual meeting February 17-19 in Washington, DC. AIMBE, or the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering,is a non-profitadvocacy organization dedicated toimproving lives through medical and biological engineering. Drs. Castner and Gao join a distinguished group of more tahn… Read More…

  • Organic ferroelectric molecule shows promise for memory chips, sensors

    A paper in Science describes an organic crystal that shows promise as a cheap, flexible, nontoxic material for the working parts of memory chips, sensors and energy-harvesting devices.

  • Georg Seelig wins DARPA Young Faculty Award to develop point of care diagnostic test for infectious diseases

    Georg Seelig, assistant professor of EE & CSE, has received the 2012 DARPA Young Faculty Award from the Department of Defense.The DARPA Young Faculty Award program identifies and engages rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and exposes them to Department of Defense needs as well as DARPA’s program development process…. Read More…

  • Energy Dept. funds UW project to turn wasted natural gas into diesel

    The U.S. Department of Energy this month awarded $4 million to a team, led by UW chemical engineers, that aims to develop bacteria to turn the methane in natural gas into diesel fuel for transportation.

  • David Castner Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

    Congratulations to MolES faculty David Castner (Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering) who has been selected as a member of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE),  a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to improving lives through medical and biological engineering. Castner joins a distinguished group of 1,000 other fellows from academia, industry and government who have… Read More…

  • Rules devised for building ideal protein molecules from scratch

    By Leila Gray, UW Health Sciences/UW MedicineNovember 29, 2012By following certain rules, scientists can prepare architectural plans for building ideal protein molecules not found in the real world. Based on these computer renditions, previously non-existent proteins can be produced from scratch in the lab. The principles to make this happen appear this month in Nature… Read More…

  • Electrically spun fabric offers dual defense against pregnancy, HIV

    Electrically spun cloth with nanometer-sized fibers show promise as a cheap, versatile platform to simultaneously offer contraception and prevent HIV. New funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help MolES faculty member Kim Woodrow further test the system’s versatility and feasibility.

  • David Ginger named AAAS fellow for photovoltaics research

    Congratulations to MolES faculty David Ginger, who was named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for 2012. Ginger was honored for advances in the physical chemistry of nanoscale materials relevant to optoelectronics, particularly photovoltaics, and innovation in surface microscopy techniques for probing such materials.

  • MolES researchers highlighted in UW 360 feature on targeted drug delivery

    Molecular Engineering & Sciences faculty Suzie Pun (Bioengineering) and David Baker (Biochemistry) were highlighted in the latest UW 360 feature on targeted drug delivery.Watch the UW360 feature on Targeted Drug Delivery

  • UW College of Engineering’s fall lecture series will focus on molecular engineering

    The series of evening lectures, which are open to the public, kicks off next Tuesday (Oct. 16) in 120 Kane Hall with Launching the Molecular Engineering Revolution. Matthew O’Donnell, dean of the UW’s College of Engineering, will describe how molecular engineering is poised to spark a new digital revolution, with implications for biotech, clean energy and other fields. O’Donnell will also discuss the role of the UW’s newly established Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute.

  • Sticky paper offers cheap, easy solution for paper-based diagnostics

    Global health researchers, including MolES faculty member Dan Ratner, are working on cheap systems like a home-based pregnancy test that might work for malaria, diabetes or other diseases. A new chemical technique makes medically interesting molecules stick to regular paper — a possible route to building such paper-based diagnostics from paper you could buy at an office-supply store.

  • New documentary details the rise of molecular engineering

    In this documentary, you’ll see how the new molecular engineering & sciences building at the University of Washington will bring together a collection of people — world class talent in energy delivery and medicine – to work together to address some of today’s biggest challenges.

  • MolES researchers dig for energy solutions through NSF SEP grant

    A diverse group of UW collaborators seeking to determine whether solar cells from earth-abundant elements can be a sustainable, environmentally low-impact, and profitable form of electricity production were awarded an Sustainable Energy Pathways grant from the National Science Foundation this fall. Led by Rehnberg Chair Professor Hugh Hillhouse the team, which includes Christine Luscombe (MolES/Materials Science & Engineering), Daniel Gamelin (MolES/Chemistry), Alison Cullen (Evans School of Public Affairs), and Xiaodong Xu (Materials Science & Engineering), will explore the use of nanocrystal and molecular inks to develop low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells with a benign environmental impact.

  • UW celebrates opening of new Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building

    After five years in the planning and construction, the University of Washington this fall opens its new Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building, one of the first facilities in the country dedicated to an emerging area of research.“We are thrilled to make the UW and Pacific Northwest region a leader in molecular engineering and science,” said… Read More…

  • UW science building uses new goo to help stay cool

    By Jon SilverSeptember 6, 2012The 90,000-square-foot space includes research labs, faculty offices and common areas.Filling your walls with goo may seem like a strange way to cut energy costs, but that’s exactly what the University of Washington did with its new Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building.The $77 million, five-story building opened over the summer on… Read More…

  • Seattle Times: UW’s brave (and bright!) new lab for molecular engineering

    UW’s brave (and bright!) new lab for molecular engineeringA new, $77 million molecular engineering building at the University of Washington is the centerpiece of a new institute that is working to find new ways to cure diseases and create renewable energy.By Katherine Long, Seattle Times higher education reporterAs a building, the University of Washington’s new… Read More…

  • A New Home For Collaboration: New Molecular Engineering Building prepares to open its doors

    Featuring four floors of lab and office space specifically tailored for research needs, the new Molecular Engineering and Sciences building ended up expanding considerably on the original plans for reconstruction.The building, home to the UW Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute (MolES), will open its doors June 25.The UW initially issued a bond to obtain a… Read More…

  • Phase change materials result in cost savings

    A building material that absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night promises to save building owners a bundle of cash when it’s time to pay the monthly electricity bill.They’re called phase-change materials, or PCMs, and scientists have been experimenting with them for decades. Although there have been some efforts to introduce them… Read More…

  • New Scientist: Buildings and clothes could melt to save energy

    Phase-change materials that freeze at around room temperature could revolutionize energy storage, cooling things that are too hot and warming them later on.

  • Molecular Engineering and Science Institute to address energy and medicine

    What if doctors had tools to pinpoint the location of disease inside the body’s cells? What if window panes captured solar energy that could be used to power homes? Molecular engineering, sometimes called molecular manufacturing or molecular systems, is very small-scale construction made possible by advances in chemical synthesis that allows for this new class… Read More…

  • Overney named associate director of education for new Institute of Molecular Engineering

    Professor of Chemical Engineering René Overney has been named the Associate Director for Molecular Engineering (MolE) Education for the new Molecular Engineering Institute. Integral in bringing MolE to the University, Overney took the lead in developing the Chemical Engineering Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option, a multidisciplinary undergraduate program with MolE-tailored lecture and laboratory courses.As the… Read More…

  • UW breaks ground on nation’s largest molecular engineering building

    ZGF Architects Architects’ rendition of the east face of the molecular engineering building. Meany Hall is visible on the right and Johnson Hall is reflected in the face of the new building. University of Washington leaders today officially broke ground on a molecular engineering building.“It’s incredibly exciting to see the building become a reality,” said… Read More…

  • Engineering Molecules: Tiny Solutions for Big Problems

    Molecular engineering is an emerging discipline that is generating excitement and questions. How will it shape UW Engineering? How will it help solve tough problems in energy, health care, and other fields?Imagine giving doctors the tools to pinpoint the exact location of disease molecules inside your cells. Imagine curing disease by sending safe biologic agents… Read More…