Mercer Symposium Explores the Use of Nanotechnology in Fighting Infectious Diseases

March 1, 2011

Media Contact: David N. Hefner, h efner_dn@mercer.edu  or (678) 547-6244

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is hosting the Third Annual Georgia Symposium on Nanotechnology and Infectious Disease on April 1 on the University’s Atlanta campus. The symposium, which features a keynote address from Dr. Charles Lieber of Harvard University, explores new scientific innovations that integrate nanotechnology in the delivery of medications to fight infectious diseases.

Designed to promote interaction and collaboration among scientists, the symposium brings together scholars from across the state and nation in the fields of nanotechnology and infectious diseases. It is sponsored in partnership with Emory University, Georgia Tech, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the University of Georgia. The day-long symposium is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center Building on the University’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus. It is free and open to the public.

“It is our expectation that the interactions that take place as a result of this symposium will lead to new and expanded cross-disciplinary collaborations among researchers to apply nanotechnology-based approaches for imaging, biosensing, and drug/vaccine delivery,” said Dr. Martin D’Souza, professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Mercer University. D’Souza is co-director of the College’s Center for Drug Delivery Research.

Lieber’s keynote address is titled “Nanoelectronics Meets Biology.” Lieber is a national leader in bridging nanotechnology and biomedicine. He attended Franklin and Marshall College for his undergraduate education and graduated with honors in chemistry. After doctoral studies at Stanford University and postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology, he moved to the East Coast in 1987 to assume a position of assistant professor at Columbia University. At Columbia, Lieber embarked upon a new research program addressing the synthesis and properties of low-dimensional materials.

In 1991, Lieber joined the faculty at Harvard University and now holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, as the Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At Harvard, Lieber has pioneered the synthesis of a broad range of nanoscale materials, the characterization of the unique physical properties of these materials, and the development of methods of hierarchical assembly of nanoscale wires, together with the demonstration of applications of these materials in nanoelectronics, nanocomputing, biological and chemical sensing, neurobiology and nanophotonics. Lieber has also developed and applied a new chemically sensitive microscopy for probing organic and biological materials at nanometer to molecular scales.

About the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has the No. 3 ranked pharmacy program among private universities in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.), pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.), and physical therapy (DPT), and the master’s degree (M.M.Sc.) for physician assistants. Founded in 1903 as the independent Southern School of Pharmacy, the school merged with Mercer University in 1959 and in 1981 became the first school in the Southeast to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree. The College officially became a comprehensive College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2006, adding the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in 2006 and the Department of Physical Therapy in 2010. With an enrollment of more than 750 students and a distinguished faculty of basic scientists and clinicians, the College houses five centers focusing on research, teaching and learning. The College’s motto, “A Tradition of Excellence – A Legacy of Caring,” frames its philosophy of providing excellent academic programs in an environment where every student matters and every person counts. For more information about the College, please call 678.547.6244 or visit www.cophs.mercer.edu.
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