An area where nanoscience and nanotechnology will have significant impact is in medical diagnostics and disease treatment.
For diseases such as Alzheimers, proteins misfold to produce highly stable nanostructures of protein aggregates. By applying a range of nanoscience techniques, it is possible to provide a basis for the elucidation of the underlying physical principles that characterize the progression of and challenges in treatment of Alzheimer's and related diseases. In particular the mechanical properties of the aggregates can be quantified so as to explain their long-term stability in the body and the challenges associated with treatment.
In a very different approach the targeting of nanoparticles to treat cancer cells in vitro demonstrates that careful design and fabrication of nanoparticles holds promise for a new approach to treatment. The nanoparticles are designed so as to specifically attach to target cancer cells and then to enter the cell where they are programmed to deliver a range of effects that cause cell death.
In the last few years, Professor Welland’s work in the area of human disease has demonstrated the efficacy of nanoscience tools both in understanding the physical origins of human disease and in developing strategies for treatment.
In this colloquium lecture, Professor Sir Mark Welland, will be speaking about what technology has done to advance the medical sector and its future potential, with a specific focus on nanotechnology.
Professor Sir Mark Welland started his career in nanoscience and nanotechnology at IBM Research Laboratories, Yorktown Heights, USA, where he was part of the team that developed one of the first scanning tunnelling microscopes. In 1985, appointed to a Lectureship in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, he set up the first tunnelling microscopy group in the UK and in 1991 he began the nanoscience research group. Sir Mark is currently Professor of Nanotechnology researching into a broad range of both fundamental and applied problems.
From April 2008 until May 2012, Sir Mark was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government Ministry of Defence. In April 2011, in recognition of Sir Mark's contributions he was presented with the US Secretary of Defense's Award for Exceptional Public Service. Also in April 2011, in recognition of his outstanding leadership, wise counsel and his significant contribution to the interests of the United Kingdom and the United States, he received the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Gold Medal for Distinguished Service. The NNSA Gold Medal is the highest medal awarded by the NNSA.
Sir Mark was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2002, a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences India in 2008 and a Foreign Fellow of the Danish Academy of Sciences in 2010. Sir Mark was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2011.