NPC TEAM

Stieg   Sharma   Gimzewski 

ADAM Z. STIEG-- Director-- is a Research Scientist and Associate Director of CNSI. Dr. Stieg earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Drew University and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry from UCLA. He is a member of the CNSI Executive and Education Committees. As a scientist and educator, Dr. Stieg's work focuses on developing integrated approaches to study material systems at the interface of traditional boundaries. Through the implementation of original experimental techniques, this research seeks to bridge the gap between our fundamental understanding of nanomaterials with how these systems tend toward complexity at increased scales of space and time through the development of multi-environment, high-performance scanning probe microscopes. Numerous ongoing, collaborative efforts involve the study of molecular machines and devices, nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, inorganic carbon-based materials, and tailored functional surfaces for stem cell differentiation. Recently established research directions include the use of engineered, supramolecular protein assemblies toward the construction of functional meso-scale devices and the pursuit of physically derived intelligent systems through neuromorphic computation. His research activities are augmented by active collaboration with artists and designers on various projects, installations, and public exhibitions that directly inform the scientific process and provide motivation to develop new educational content that conveys the need for creativity in innovation.

SHIVANI SHARMA--Associate Director—is an Assistant Researcher at the California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA and serves as Associate Director at the Nano and Pico Characterization Laboratory that provides education, training and expertise in Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques for both academic and industry researchers. Her primary area of expertise is nanomedicine, structural biology and biomarker development. Sharma was a Senior Fellow at University of Washington, Seattle and Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, after obtaining her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. Her current research includes developing novel cell and tissue mechanics based biomarkers for cancer detection and chemosensitivity assays; high-resolution structural and mechanical mapping of exosomes, bio-molecules; and single molecule force spectroscopy for diagnostic and drug delivery applications. She is a founding member of the International Society for Extracellular vesicles (ISEV), has chaired sessions as well as delivered invited talks at several International/National conferences related to exosomes and cancer diagnostics. She currently serves on the Editorial boards for Journal of Extracellular Vesicles and Journal of Circulating Biomarkers. Dr Sharma's work has featured in Chemical & Engineering News, Global Medical Discovery.com, Asia Research News and won the Physical Sciences Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award. She also pursues active interest in enhancing academic-industry research collaborations for technology translation, besides being a proud twin mom.

JAMES K. GIMZEWSKI--Faculty Advisor--is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles;  Scientific Director of the Art|Sci Center and Principal Investigator and Satellites Co-Director of the WPI Center for Materials NanoArchitectonics (MANA) in Japan. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty, he was a group leader at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, where he research in nanoscale science and technology for more than 18 years. Dr. Gimzewski pioneered research on mechanical and electrical contacts with single atoms and molecules using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and was one of the first persons to image molecules with STM. His accomplishments include the first STM-based fabrication of molecular suprastructures at room temperature using mechanical forces to push molecules across surfaces, the discovery of single molecule rotors and the development of new micromechanical sensors based on nanotechnology, which explore ultimate limits of sensitivity and measurement. This approach was recently used to convert biochemical recognition into Nanomechanics. His current interests are in the nanomechanics of cells and bacteria where he collaborates with the UCLA Medical and Dental Schools. He is involved in projects that range from the operation of X-rays, ions and nuclear fusion using pyroelectric crystals, direct deposition of carbonn nanotubes and single molecule DNA profiling. Dr. Gimzewski is also involved in numerous art-science collaborative projects that have been exhibited in museums throughout the world.