John DabiriJohn O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has been named to Ebony magazine's 'Power 100' list of the most influential black Americans. The list, in its 47th year, celebrates black trailblazers in fields such as business, science, technology, education and politics.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are on the list. Other notable celebrities highlighted are Will Smith, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, and Spike Lee. Musicians Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean are not recognized for their music, but their activism efforts.

As was the case last year, these candidates were selected for one or all of the following reasons: They (1) consistently challenge the status quo; (2) are forging new paths to opportunity and success; (3) are impactful due to the sheer breadth of their sphere of influence; and (4) their efforts have positively benefited black people. 12.16.10

The Caltech Bioengineering Department is one of the top-ranked departments in the 2010 National Research Council rankings for Biomedical and Bioengineering. [Learn More] 12.10.10

Changhuei YangChanghuei Yang, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering, is a 2010 NIH Director's New Innovator Award recipient. The award helps new investigators take exceptional and innovative research ideas to the next level. Professor Yang and his research team will be using the grant associated with the award to investigate a new research direction in biophotonics—the study of the interaction of time-reversed light with biological structures. [Caltech Press Release] 10.06.10

John DabiriJohn O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has been named a MacArthur Fellow. This unrestricted fellowship —also known as the "genius" grant— is awarded each year to individuals who show "exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future." Congratulations Professor Dabiri! [Caltech Press Release] 9.28.10

Niles PierceNiles A. Pierce, Professor of Applied & Computational Mathematics and Bioengineering, and colleagues have engineered a fundamentally new approach to killing cancer cells. The process uses small RNA molecules that can be programmed to attack only specific cancer cells; then, by changing shape, those molecules cause the cancer cells to self-destruct. [Caltech Press Release] 9.10.10

Michael RoukesMichael L. Roukes, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering; and Co-Director, Kavli Nanoscience Institute, is a 2010 NIH Director's Pioneer Award recipient. This award of the National Institutes of Health supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering—and possibly transforming approaches—to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. To be considered pioneering, the proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those already being pursued in the investigator's laboratory or elsewhere. 7.22.10

The student winners of the 2010 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at a special luncheon with the Demetriades - Tsafka – Kokkalis family. Xiquan Cui received the prize in Biotechnology for his work on biophotonics with Professor Changhuei Yang; Matt Eichenfield received the prize in Nanotechnology for his work in nanomechanics with Professor Oskar Painter; Morgan Putnam received the prize in Entrepreneurship for work on silicon solar cells with Professor Harry Atwater; and Andrew May received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for his work on thermoelectric materials with Professor Sossina Haile and Dr. Jeff Snyder. 6.08.10

John DabiriJohn O. Dabiri, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has purchased two acres of land north of Los Angeles, where he is establishing the Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE). The goal is "to extract significantly more wind energy from a given parcel of land than is currently possible... [by taking] advantage of constructive aerodynamic interference between closely spaced vertical-axis wind turbines." says Dabiri whose inspiration for this project came from observation of schooling fish. [Caltech Press Release] 5.17.10

Erik WinfreeErik Winfree, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering, and colleagues from Columbia University, Arizona State University, and the University of Michigan have programmed an autonomous molecular "robot" made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA track. The development could ultimately lead to molecular systems that might one day be used for medical therapeutic devices and molecular-scale reconfigurable robots—robots made of many simple units that can reposition or even rebuild themselves to accomplish different tasks. [Caltech Press Release] 5.12.10

Michael DickinsonMichael Dickinson, the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, with postdoctoral scholars Gaby Maimon and Andrew Straw have obtained the first recordings of brain-cell activity in an actively flying fruit fly. The work suggests that at least part of the brain of the fruit fly "is in a different and more sensitive state during flight than when the fly is quiescent," Dickinson says. [Caltech Press Release] 2.14.10

MIchael ElowitzThe seminal research of Bioengineers Michael Elowitz, Associate Professor of Biology and Applied Physics; and Frances Arnold, Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, are featured in Nature's celebration of 10 years of 'Synthetic Systems Biology'. [Read More] [Nature article] 1.21.10