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Iowa State awards grants to develop health, energy and research technologies
Date:8/20/2010

AMES, Iowa Iowa State University researchers will use grants of state money to develop an instrument that reveals single molecules, test technology that can detect food contamination, design taller wind turbine towers and advance seven other projects with potential to grow the state's economy.

The state Board of Regents recently approved Iowa State's proposal to award 10 competitive grants totaling $942,389 from Iowa State's $1.459 million share of this year's Grow Iowa Values Fund. Iowa State has awarded the grants since 2006 to research projects with potential for commercial development.

"These grants are part of Iowa State's System for Innovation program that's focused on transferring university technologies to startup or existing companies," said Sharron Quisenberry, Iowa State's vice president for research and economic development. "This system recognizes that the fuel for transferring university technology to the Iowa economy is faculty and staff research."

The largest grant in this year's competition, $120,075, was awarded to Sanjeevi Sivasankar, an Iowa State assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. He'll work with Novascan Technologies Inc. of Ames to commercialize a new instrument that improves the study of single biological molecules.

As a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, Sivasankar worked with Steven Chu, the current U.S. Secretary of Energy and co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, to develop and build a single-molecule microscope. Supported by startup research funds from Iowa State, Sivasankar's laboratory has significantly refined the instrument by increasing its measurement capabilities, efficiency and ease of use. The instrument integrates two single-molecule technologies that have been used separately: atomic force microscope technology that manipulates molecules
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Contact: Sharron Quisenberry
sharronq@iastate.edu
515-294-1785
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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