Nanotechnology Forum: Biographies of Participants

Assistant Professor, Neurophsychiatric Institutes, School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Akhtari received his B.S. from the University of Utah, S.L.C. in 1987 in Physics, his M.S. from the University of California, Irvine in 1996, and his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2002. He also currently holds the position of Visiting Scientist, with Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles (2003-Present). Other positions include Senior Scientist, Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Pasadena (1998-2002), Staff Research Associate, Physics Division, Los Alamos National Lab (1996-1998) and Staff Research Associate, Brain Research Institute, University of California.
Los Angeles 1991-1998). His Honors have included 1987 Member, Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society and 1987 Honors, Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude.

Co-Founder and Managing Director
ARCH Venture Partners

Mr. Bybee is a co-founder and Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. Mr. Bybee concentrates primarily in advance materials, electronics, semiconductors, photonics, and infrastructure businesses. Mr. Bybee has helped organize and finance numerous companies including MicroOptical Devices (acquired by EMCORE-EMKR), Cambrios Technologies, Aveso, Innovalight, Intelligent Reasoning systems (acquired by Photon Dynamics-PHTN), Nanosys, Nitronex and Xtera Communications. He is currently a board member of Nanosys, Cambrios Technologies, AmberWave Systems, Nitronex and Aveso. Mr. Bybee is an organizing member of the Texas Venture Capital Association and currently serves as its first President. Previously, Mr. Bybee worked with ARCH Development Corporation. He also managed a venture investment fund for the State of Illinois and was a production engineer with Amoco Corporation. Mr. Bybee holds an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago and a B.S. in Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Chief Executive Officer
Nanosys, Inc.

Mr. Chow is chief executive officer of Nanosys. Prior to joining Nanosys, Mr. Chow, co-founded Caliper Technologies and served in various capacities, including as its chief operating officer. Mr. Chow was a co-founder of and last served as vice president of engineering and operations at Molecular Devices Corporation. Mr. Chow holds a B.S.E.E. from Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.


Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Kenneth Clark serves as general counsel to venture-backed companies and their boards of directors, primarily in the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries. Ken specializes in partnering and technology transactions, and has negotiated more than 75 major strategic alliance transactions, acquisitions, spin-outs, and related matters. Ken is a member of the firm’s Policy Committee and served on its Executive Management Committee from 2002 to 2006. A widely recognized expert in his field, Ken frequently is asked to comment on matters relating to intellectual property law by the press. (See “Want Money? Show Your Patents,” The Recorder, January 26, 2007; and “Partnerships Drive Biotech Boom,” The Recorder, April 12, 2006.) Ken was named a Northern California “super Lawyer” in 2005 and 2006 by Law & Politics magazine. He also was recognized by Chambers and Partners in its 2005 and 2006 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers as one of the country’s top biotechnology lawyers. Ken received his J.D. at the University of Texas School of Law, 1985, and his B.A. at Vanderbilt University, 1980. His Honors included being selected for inclusion in the 2006 and 2007 editions of The Best Lawyers in America


Professor, Department of Physics
University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Cleland received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley, specializing in superconducting devices. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre d'Etudes in Paris, France, studying single electron devices. He subsequently was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, where he worked on nanomechanical devices, following which he accepted an assistant professorship in physics at UC Santa Barbara. He was appointed professor of physics in 2005. His research accomplishments include the first demonstration of a radiofrequency nanomechanical resonator; the first demonstration of a nanomechanical electrometer with sub-single electron sensitivity; demonstration of unparalleled calorimetric sensitivity in a nanoscale mechanically suspended thermometric device; and demonstration of operation of a single electron transistor at frequencies above 1 GHz. He is author of over 50 refereed scientific publications, and is the author of a textbook on nanomechanics (Fundamentals of Nanomechanics, Springer, 2003).


Chief Technology Officer
NGEN Partners

Dr. Colbert is Chief Technology Officer and a Principal of NGEN. Prior to joining NGEN, Dr. Colbert co-founded Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. in 2000, the leading producer of single-wall carbon nanotubes, a remarkable material prominent in the burgeoning field of nanotechnology. CNI was founded as a combined effort with Nobel Laureate Professor Rick Smalley to commercialize technology developed together at Rice University over the preceding years. Dr. Colbert was also a member of the chemistry faculty at Rice University, where he earned an international reputation as a leader in the nanotechnology field for his pioneering work. He is a co-author of more than 50 research papers and an inventor with more than 50 patents. At CNI, Dr. Colbert was Vice President for Major Development Strategies, where he negotiated funding and joint development agreements and was responsible for all Asian business development. Dr. Colbert earned his B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His postdoctoral work focused on quantum reactive scattering theory at the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Colbert is a board member at Hycrete, Inc.

Professor, Department of Physiology and Bioengineering
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Tejal Desai is currently Professor of Physiology and Bioengineering at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a member of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research and the UCSF/UC Berkeley Graduate Group in Bioengineering. She received the Sc.B. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University (Providence, RI) in 1994 and the Ph.D. degree in bioengineering from the joint graduate program at University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco, in 1998. Dr. Tejal Desai directs the Laboratory of Therapeutic Micro and Nanotechnology. Her research used micro and nanofabrication strategies to create implantable biohybrid devices for cell encapsulation, targeted drug delivery, and templates for cell and tissue regeneration. In addition to authoring over 90 technical papers, she is presently an associate editor of Langmuir, Biomedical Microdevices, and Sensors Letters and is editor of an encyclopedia on Therapeutic Microtechnology. She has chaired and organized several conferences and symposia in the area of bioMEMS, micro and nanofabricated biomaterials, and micro/nanoscale drug delivery/tissue engineering.


Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Material Sciences University of California, San Diego
Sadik Esener, is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Sciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from UCSD (1987). He is also Director and PI of the UCSD Cancer Nanotechnology Center funded by the National Cancer Institute. Previously he served as the Director of the Center for Heterogeneously Integrated Photonics Systems (CHIPS), a multi-university DARPA funded opto-center for biophotonics and nanophotonics. From 1997 to 2001, he has served as the director of the Opto-Electronic Stacked Processors (OESP) industry/university consortium on Free Space Optical Interconnects and on the development and integration of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser arrays. From 1998 to 2002, he also served as the Director of the Fast Read-out Optical Data Storage consortium Industrial Consortium. Under his direction, his research group at UCSD has made many pioneering contributions to the fields of optical interconnects, spatial light modulation, optical data storage, bio-optoelectronics as applied to gene chips, cell sorting and manipulation and heterogeneous integration of photonics, electronics and biological components. He has published more than 350 journal and conferences articles, and more than 250 presentations in international scientific meetings, 75 of which were invited and he holds 15 issued patents, He has authored many book chapters, edited several proceedings, and chaired and organized over fifteen scientific international conferences. Esener is also a co-founder and served on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards of several companies including Nanogen Inc. that relates to his work on electrically addressed gene chips, Call/Recall Inc. that relates to his work on multilayer optical disk storage, Optical Micro Machines and Ziva Inc. that relate to his work on all optical switching and free space optics, and Genoptix that relates to his more recent work in biophotonics. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America.


Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Gimzewski previously worked for 20 years at the IBM Corporate Research Laboratories in Zurich, Switzerland. His achievements include: the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (1997), the Discover Award (1997), the ‘Wired 25’ Award (Wired magazine, 1998), and the Institute of Physics’ “Duddell” prize and medal (2001). He is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s smallest calculator. He is a Fellow to the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation. He was co-director of “NANO” an art and science exhibit of nanotechnology (LACMA 2003-2006). His work has received worldwide press coverage.


Professor, Department of Bioengineering
University of California, San Diego

Michael J. Heller received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University in 1973. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University from 1973 to 1976. Dr. Heller was supervisor of the DNA Technology Group at Amoco Corporation from 1976 to 1984. During that time he carried out bioengineering and recombinant DNA engineering work on plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria for energy and chemical production. He also oversaw >$10million sponsored research at Cetus Corporation on related recombinant DNA work for energy and chemical production. Dr Heller was Director of Molecular Biology at Molecular Biosystems, Inc., from 1984 to 1987. Dr. Heller was a co-founder of Integrated DNA Technologies, and served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1987 to 1989. He was a co-found of Nanotronics and Nanogen, and served as the Chief Technical Officer from 1993 to 2001. Nanogen carried out the successful development and commercialization of microelectronic DNA array technology for clinical genotyping applications. Dr. Heller is now a professor in the departments of Bioengineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University California San Diego. He still serves as a consultant to Nanogen. Dr. Heller has extensive industrial experience in biotechnology, biomedical devices and nanotechnology; with particular expertise in the areas of DNA probe diagnostics, DNA synthesis, fluorescent-based detection technologies and electric field assisted self-assembly of DNA nanocomponents. Dr. Heller has a respectable publication record, and has been an invited speaker to a large number of scientific conferences and meetings related to DNA microarrays, biosensors, lab-on-a-chip devices, bio-MEMS and nanotechnology. He has over 35 issued US patents related to microelectronic chips, microarrays and integrated devices for DNA hybridization, miniaturized sample to answer diagnostic devices, biosensors, genomics, proteomics, nanotechnology and nanofabrication, nano-based DNA optical storage and for fluorescent energy transfer in DNA nanostructures. Dr. Heller has been a panel member for the White House (OSTP) National Nanotechnology Initiative 1999/2000; the NAS (NAE) Review of National Nanotechnology Initiative 2001-2002; the NAS(NAE) – Engineer for the 2020 - 2001/2002; and has also been involved in a number of NSF Nanotechnology Workshops. He is now a panel member for the California Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology.


President & Chief Executive Officer
FEI Company

Don Kania joined FEI as president, chief executive officer and board member in August 2006. FEI is a leader in developing and marketing world-class tools for nanoscale exploration, discovery and production. Prior to joining FEI, Mr. Kania was president and chief operating officer of Veeco Instruments Inc., a company well-known as the world’s largest manufacturer of atomic force microscopes (AFM), another nanotechnology tool. Mr. Kania joined Veeco in 1998. Prior to his working for Veeco, he held technical and general management positions of increasing responsibility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics and engineering from the University of Michigan.

Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California, Irvine

Prior to joining the UC Irvine faculty in 2002, Dr. Lee was a Senior Technology Advisor in the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations (OTIR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, and a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While at DARPA, Dr. Lee managed the MicroFLUMES program and also initiated the Bio-Fluidic Chips (BioFlips) program and was a founding co-manager of the Fundamental Research at the Bio:Info:Micro Interface program. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) he was Group Leader for Microstructures with projects on the treatment of stroke and CBW defense. Dr. Lee received his M.S. and Ph.D. (1992) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Lee’s current research is focused on the development of integrated and “digital” micro/nano fluidics (droplets, pumps, valves, sensors) for the following applications: biosensors to detect environmental and terrorism threats, point-of-care diagnostics, “smart” nanomedicine for early detection and treatment, automated cell sorting based on electrical signatures, tissue engineering and stem cells, and the synthesis of ultra-pure materials. He currently serves as Editor for the Journal of Microelectromechnical Systems and International Advisory Editorial Board member of Lab on a Chip. Professor Lee has 32 issued US patents and has published over 60 peer reviewed papers in journals and conferences.


Executive Vice President and Managing Director
Harris & Harris Group

Prior to joining Harris & Harris Group, Mr. Leff was a Senior Associate with Sevin Rosen Funds in the firm's Dallas, Texas office where he focused on early stage investment opportunities in semiconductors, optical components, and various emerging technology areas that included nanotechnology, advanced materials, MEMs, renewable energy and those technologies at the interface of silicon and life sciences. He previously had worked for Redpoint Ventures. In addition, he previously held engineering, marketing and strategic investment positions with Intel Corporation. He was graduated from UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry, where his thesis advisor was Professor James R. Heath (recipient of the 2000 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology). He also graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. degree in Chemistry, and from The Anderson School at UCLA with an M.B.A degree, where he was an Anderson Venture Fellow. He has published several articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has been awarded two patents in the field of nanotechnology. Portfolio responsibilities include BridgeLux, Inc (formerly eLite), Cambrios, CSwitch, Innovalight, Molecular Imprints, Nanomix, NeoPhotonics and Zia Laser.


Associate Professor, School of Engineering
University of California, Merced

Valerie Leppert is an Associate Professor and Founding Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering at UC Merced. Her research interests are in both technological and environmental nanophases, particularly the dependency of their nanoscale chemical and physical properties on processing. She also directs UC Merced’s Engineering Service Learning program and Imaging and Microscopy Facility.

Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering
University of California, Berkeley

Professor Song Li got his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at UC San Diego in 1997. He joined the bioengineering faculty at UC Berkeley in 2001. The research in his laboratory focuses on nanomaterials, cell engineering and mechanobiology. His work has been supported by National Institute of Health, American Heart Association, Whitaker Foundation, Department of Energy, Hellman Fund, Berkeley funds and industry. The invention on nanomaterials in his laboratory has won two national invention competition awards.

Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California, Davis

Dr. Louie obtained bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering from UC Davis and UCLA, respectively. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine where she trained at the Beckman Laser Institute. Prior to her appointment as a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis, Dr. Louie held postdoc and senior research fellow positions at the California Institute of Technology. Her work focuses on the development of novel imaging probes for advanced moleuclar imaging.
The work in her lab is highly interdisciplinary spanning from the chemical synthesis of contrast agents to their application to problems in biology and medicine. Current work in the lab includes three major areas:
1. activatable MRI contrast agents that sense redox and membrane potential; 2. dual MRI/PET agents that are targeted to vulnerable plaques; and 3. dual MRI/optical quantum dots

Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering University of California, Irvine
Before joining UCI as the Chancellor’s Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MEA) , Dr. Madou was Vice President of Advanced Technology at Nanogen in San Diego, California. He specializes in the application of miniaturization technology to chemical and biological problems (BIO-MEMS). He is the author of several books in this burgeoning field he helped pioneer both in Academia and in Industry. He founded several micromachining companies and has been on the board of many more.
Many of his colleagues became well know in their own right in academia and through successful MEMS start-ups. Madou was the founder of the SRI International’s Microsensor Department, founder and President of Teknekron Sensor Development Corporation (TSDC), Visiting Miller Professor at UC Berkeley, and Endowed Chair at the Ohio State University (Professor in Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering). He is now working on the third edition of “Fundamentals of Microfabrication,” an introduction to MEMS which has become known as the “bible” of micromachining.
Some of Dr. Madou’s recent research work involves artificial muscle for responsive drug delivery, a compact disc-based fluidic platform, carbon-MEMS, DNA arrays and a solid state pH electrode based on IrOx.


Associate Professor, John McTague Chair of Physical Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physics

University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Thomas Mason is an Associate Professor at UCLA and holds the John McTague chair of Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He also has a joint appointment in the Department of Physics, and he is a member of the California NanoSystems Institute. Dr. Mason leads a research group that focuses on the fabrication, structure, and dynamics of soft materials. Among his notable achievements are: the invention of thermal diffusion microrheology, the development of novel methods for producing uniform microscale and nanoscale emulsions, and, most recently, the creation of dispersions of lithographically designed colloidal particles, or ‘LithoParticles’. Prior to his employment at UCLA, Dr. Mason has over six years of experience as a staff scientist leading research at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., and he has consulted for major companies both inside and outside the US.

Alloy Ventures
Daniel I. Rubin joined Alloy Ventures in 1999. He received a B.A. in Physics from Pomona College in 1982. In 1991 he was a co-founder of Artisan Components and the initial Vice President of Sales and Marketing. He was the Vice President of Business Development through their initial public offering in 1998. Prior to Artisan Components Mr. Rubin worked at Ultratech Stepper in many roles including director of Product Marketing and Managing Director of Asian Operations. Dan is a director of CiraNova, Ensenda, Molecular Imprints, Nexsil and Gradient, and a board observer at Ellie Mae and Integrated Materials, Inc.

Chairman and CEO
Abraxis Bioscience, Inc.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., FRCS(C), FACS, is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Abraxis BioScience, Inc., an integrated, global biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Soon-Shiong is a noted research scientist as well as a physician and surgeon and has devoted his career to developing next-generation technology to enhance the medical care of patients with life-threatening diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Soon-Shiong performed the world’s first encapsulated islet transplant in a diabetic patient and developed and has co-invented the nanoparticle delivery technology upon which the cremophor-free form of paclitaxel compound known as ABRAXANEÒ is based. ABRAXANE was approved in January 2005 by the FDA for treatment of advanced stage metastatic breast cancer and is being developed for adjuvant breast, lung, ovarian, prostate, melanoma and head and neck cancers. Dr. Soon-Shiong’s research has been recognized by noted organizations with numerous national and international awards such as the Association for Academic Surgery Award for Research, the American College of Surgeons Schering Scholar, the Royal College Physicians and Surgeons Research Award, the Peter Kiewit Distinguished Membership in Medicine Award, and the International J.W. Hyatt Award for Service to Mankind. Dr. Soon-Shiong received the 2006 Gilda Club Award for the advancement of cancer medicine. He is a co-inventor of over 50 issued U.S. patents and has published more than 100 scientific papers. Dr. Soon-Shiong currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Transplantation as well as the Technology Council for the new Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Northwestern University which is part of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) five-year initiative for nanotechnology in cancer research. He also serves on two advisory boards for the RAND Corporation, the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy and the RAND Health Board of Advisors. Dr. Soon-Shiong holds a degree in Medicine from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


Chief Technologist, Industrial Partnering and Commercialization
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. Werne has broad experience in the commercialization of technology developed within the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In the late eighties he started and led the Industrial Partnering program while he was Associate Director for Engineering. At that time, Engineering at LLNL was an organization of approximately 2,500 people that supported all Laboratory Programs including nuclear weapons, nonproliferation, advanced conventional defense, inertial confinement and magnetic fusion, energy research, and biotechnology. In 1995 he left LLNL and co-founded ITI Medical Technologies, a medical device company that developed unique surgical instruments for the field of Magnetic Resonance Image(MRI) guided surgery, a new minimally invasive surgical paradigm. The company patented, developed, and had FDA approval of a unique line of electrosurgical instruments which are currently on sale in the medical market place. In late 1999 he rejoined the Laboratory as Chief Engineer for the NAI/Homeland Security Directorate having the mission of countering the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction(WMD) against the United States. From 1999 to 2005 Dr. Werne was on the external Division Review Committee for the Engineering Sciences and Application Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Dr. Werne received his Ph.D. in Structures and Solid Mechanics from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Werne is also a pole vaulter in Masters Track & Field ranked in the top five in the U.S. in 2006 in his age group and a part time Assistant Track and Field Coach at a local high school.
Professor and University Scholar, Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Riverside
Professor Yan received his B.S. in Chemical Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1988, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1995 and 1997, respectively. He worked for AlliedSignal Inc. as a Senior Staff Engineer from 1996 to 1998. He came to the University of California, Riverside in 1998 as an Assistant Professor. He became an Associate Professor in 2002 and a Professor and University Scholar in 2005. His research has been widely cited in the scientific community and also widely covered by the news media including New Scientist, Business Week, and CNBC.  


Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Professor, Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Zettl received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983. He joined the Physics Department faculty at UC Berkeley in 1983. Awards and Honors include Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984-89), Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1984-86), IBM Faculty Development Award (1985-87), and Miller Professorship (1995), Lucent Technologies Faculty Award (1996), Fellow of the American Physical Society (1999), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Outstanding Performance Award (1995 and 2004), R&D 100 Award (2004), James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials (2006), Miller Professorship (2007).