Dr. David Baker of the University of Washington, Department of Biochemistry, and Dr. Brian Kuhlman, of the University of North Carolina, Dept of Biochemistry and Biophysics, received the theory prize for their development of RosettaDesign, a program that has a high success rate in designing stable protein structures with a specified backbone folding structure. Their work includes the design of the first protein to be constructed with a backbone fold not observed in nature; in experimental testing, the novel backbone structure was found to be extremely stable and to match the predicted structure with atomic-level accuracy. Their work marks a milestone on a path to molecular machine systems. Professor Baker has made RosettaDesign freely available to the research community.
The Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for experimental work was awarded to Dr. Homme Hellinga, of Duke University's, Department of Biochemistry, for his achievement in the engineering of atomically precise devices capable of precise manipulation of other molecular structures. Building on a broad base of achievement in computationally directed protein engineering, he has extended this work to the construction of an enzyme. This achievement demonstrates an innovative blend of techniques, applying computational design to reengineer a structure found in nature into a novel one with a different function. This work breaks new ground in engineering devices that transform molecular structures.
See also Foresight's press release Foresight Institute Awards Feynman Prizes: Nanotechnology Researchers, Journalist and Student Honored at Advanced Nanotechnology Conference
The following four individuals were selected as Finalists for the 2004 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (Experimental):
The following four individuals or teams were selected as Finalists for the 2004 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (Theory):
Two prizes in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman's goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. This year again separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work. The prizes will be announced at a gala banquet at the 1st Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology: Research, Applications, and Policy, to be held October 21-24, 2004, at the Crystal City Marriott Hotel (Washington, DC Area).
This prize is given in honor of Richard P. Feynman who, in 1959, gave a visionary talk at Caltech in which he said "The problems of chemistry and biology can be greatly helped if our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on an atomic level, is ultimately developeda development which I think cannot be avoided."
Research areas considered relevant to MNT (e.g., molecular manufacturing and molecular machine systems) include but are not limited to:
Special consideration will be given to submissions clearly leading toward the construction of a general-purpose molecular assembler. Applicants wishing further information on the field of the prize are referred to the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (Wiley Interscience, 1992).
A committee chaired by Foresight VP Technology Assessment Ralph Merkle—1998 Feynman Prize (Theory) co-recipient—will be asked to select this year's honorees.
The Foresight Institute Feynman Prize 2004 will be the most recent in a series of annually awarded prizes for accomplishment in molecular nanotechnology. Both the annual Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology and the Feynman Grand Prize are sponsored by the Foresight Institute to encourage and accelerate the development of molecular nanotechnology. Both are named in honor of Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman. However, these prizes differ in focus, frequency of award, and scale.
Either submit your own work or nominate a colleague who deserves this prize.
Information should be submitted by email attachment, URL, or on CD—no paper, please. Files may be sent in these formats: txt, html, doc, or pdf. Graphics may be sent in any browser-readable format. Please put information in attachments rather than in the body of an email.
Nominations must state which Prize is being applied for (Experimental or Theoretical); have a summary with the nominee's address, telephone, and (if possible) fax and email address; and must include at least one (ideally, all) of the following:
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or CDs mailed to Foresight Institute at the postal address below, to arrive by June 30, 2004. Contact information should be included for nominator as well as nominee. Finalists may be contacted for additional information.
Individual submissions are preferred, but teams of up to three will be considered. Team members may not be changed after the submission deadline.
The prizewinner (minimum of one person per team) must accept in person at the Feynman Prize Banquet at the conference. The prizewinner (or one member of each winning team) will receive complimentary full registration including banquet, coach airfare and up to 3 nights hotel (arranged by Foresight Institute, Sat. night stay may be required), and the physical award.
For further information, contact the Foresight Institute at
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