NYU Professor Wins Prestigious Science Award

Thursday, Jun 3, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM EDT
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NYU Professor Wins Prestigious Science Award

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg (L) and founder of the Kavli Prize, Fred Kavli attend the World Science Summit at Columbia University on May 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for World Science Festival)

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A New York University professor on Thursday won the prestigious Kavli Prize for his study of molecule-sized structures.

 

Nadrian Seeman was one of eight scientists honored for research in the areas of astrophysics, neuroscience and nanotechnology.

The prizes were announced at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, and simultaneously broadcast at the World Science Festival at NYU.

"Feels great. What can I say?'' Seeman, 64, said in a phone interview from the festival.

"It means recognition for a field in which there are a lot of people, most of them a lot younger than me, participating,'' he said. "The importance of the field is not just what we're doing in our laboratory but what's being done in all the laboratories that partake in this enterprise.''

Seeman discovered that DNA --the genetic material of living creatures--could be used to construct an assortment of molecule-sized devices and machines. In a recent study published in the science journal "Nature,'' Seeman and others showed how they built from DNA a functioning assembly line of molecular robots.

Seeman will share the $1 million nanotechnology award with Donald Eigler of IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif.

Eigler was the first person to succeed at moving precisely an individual atom from one place to another in 1989. The prize cited

him for "a series of breakthroughs that have helped us to understand some of the most basic units of matter.''

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