MIT Technology Review

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Professors Paul Weiss and Anne Andrews was recently profiled in the MIT Technology Review article, “Chemical Connector”.

Paul Weiss, a distinguished professor in chemistry & biochemistry Professor and director of the California Nanosystems Institute who holds the UCLA Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences was profiled by Katherine Bourzac in the September/October 2013 issue of the MIT Technlogy Review.

Bourzac discuses how Weiss “is bringing together nanoscientists and neuroscientists to develop new tools for understanding the brain”, his research collaboration with his wife, Professor Anne Andrews (UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry and UCLA Psychiatry), and their role in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

For the full article, please visit the MIT Technology Review.

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Paul Weiss & Anne Andrews

Biography of Paul Weiss

Paul S. Weiss received his S.B. and S.M. degrees in chemistry from MIT in 1980 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. He was a post-doctoral member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1986-1988 and a Visiting Scientist at IBM Almaden Research Center from 1988-1989. In 2009, he became Director of the California NanoSystems Institute, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA, and Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences. Before coming to UCLA, he was a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the Pennsylvania State University, where he began his academic career as an assistant professor in 1989. His interdisciplinary research group includes chemists, physicists, biologists, materials scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers, and computer scientists. Their work focuses on the atomic-scale chemical, physical, optical, mechanical and electronic properties of surfaces and supramolecular assemblies. He and his students have developed new techniques to expand the applicability and chemical specificity of scanning probe microscopies. They have applied these and other tools to the study of catalysis, self- and directed assembly, physical models of biological systems, and molecular and nano-scale electronics. They work to advance nanofabrication down to ever smaller scales and greater chemical specificity in order to connect, to operate, and to test molecular devices. He has published over 200 papers and patents, and has given over 400 invited and plenary lectures.

Biography of Anne Andrews

Dr. Andrews is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a member of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, the Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, and the California NanoSystems Institute. Dr. Andrews received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry as a U.S. Department of Education Fellow working at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she was later a postdoctoral fellow and senior staff fellow. At the NIMH, Andrews and her mentor, Dr. Dennis Murphy, discovered and characterized a novel serotonin neurotoxin, 2’-NH2-MPTP. Dr. Andrews was also instrumental in early studies on serotonin transporter-deficient mice. Andrews is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Chemical Society, and Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. She has been the recipient of an NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, an Eli Lilly Outstanding Young Analytical Chemist Award, an American Parkinson’s Disease Association Research Award, and a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) Independent Investigator Award. She is a fellow of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum and a Serotonin Club elected councilor. Recently, Dr. Andrews became Associate Editor for ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

At UCLA, Andrews leads efforts in basic and translational research on anxiety and depression, and at the nexus of nanoscience and neuroscience. Andrews’ interdisciplinary research team of neuroscientists, biologists, chemists, and engineers focuses on understanding how the serotonin system and particularly, the serotonin transporter, modulate neurotransmission to influence complex behaviors including anxiety, mood, stress responsiveness, and learning and memory. Genetic and pharmacologic mouse models and human genetic variants are studied to understand the molecular basis of serotonin system function associated with the etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Key proteins (e.g., brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and neuronal architectures regulated by serotonin are also investigated. Nanomaterials are designed for fundamental studies on neurotransmitter recognition by native and nonnative binding partners (aptamers) and for the development of in vivo nanobiosensors and functionally directed proteomics.

The White House announcement of the BRAIN Initiative from earlier this year:

Wh Brain Mapping Infographic 2013 0