Public Release: 

Nanotech materials, startups highlighted at ACS symposium Aug. 19 in Boston

American Chemical Society

BOSTON -- Your annual physical examination of the future may include a blood 'barcode' scan, which instantly provides the doctor with information to diagnose a wide-range of diseases. New generations of novel polymers will be available to replace damaged blood vessels. And in a security-minded world outside, tiny but ultra-sensitive sensors will monitor the environment for bioterrorism agents.

These and other potentially revolutionary research developments of the future will be on the agenda Aug. 19 when five renowned chemists and inventors gather to describe the challenges and opportunities for commercializing new technologies. The elite panel will be part of a special Presidential symposium, "Material Innovations: from Nanotech to Biotech and Beyond," scheduled for the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The speakers include Charles Lieber and George Whitesides, of Harvard University; Jeremy Berg, Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health; David Tirrell, of the California Institute of Technology; and Chad Mirkin, of Northwestern University.

"These distinguished researchers have pioneered the development of cutting-edge technologies that promise to improve human health and productivity in the future," says ACS President Catherine T. ('Katie') Hunt, who will preside at the symposium and moderate a panel discussion afterward. The symposium is part of the overall national meeting theme of Biotechnology for Health and Wellness.

"They will share their perspective of taking a fundamental concept in materials and biological science and bringing that concept forward through research, and ultimately achieving commercialization of a new product," says Hunt. Many of the speakers have started their own companies or are on the boards of multiple start-up companies, she notes.

The presentations in this symposium (PRES 1-5) will take place on Sunday, August 19, in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 205 A/B, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EMBARGOED FOR 1:00 p.m., Eastern Time. It will be followed immediately by a panel discussion featuring the speakers.

Several other noteworthy Presidential events will also take place at the same location (BCEC, Room 205 A/B) on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Highlighted events, which are embargoed as indicated, include:

  • A special symposium commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ACS Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of chemical information. CAS is recognized as a National Historic Chemical Landmark:
    http://acswebcontent.acs.org/landmarks/landmarks/cas/abstracts.html
    (PRES 6-10, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 8:30 a.m. to noon. EMBARGOED FOR 8:30 a.m.).

  • A symposium honoring the contributions of Roald Hoffmann, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Speakers include noted researcher and book author Oliver Sacks ('Uncle Tungsten' and 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat'). (PRES 11-17, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 1:30 p.m.-5:25 p.m. EMBARGOED FOR 1:30 p.m.).

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The American Chemical Society -- the world's largest scientific society -- is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Note for reporters' use only: For full information about the Boston meeting, including access to abstracts of more than 9,500 scientific papers and hundreds of non-technical summaries, visit http://www.acspresscenter.org. News release images are available at http://chemistry.org/bostonnews/images.html.

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