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History of MNIMBS

 In 1998, we formed the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan.  At its core, the Center was formed to take advantage of the advances in the basic sciences and engineering and apply them to biological systems for medical applications.  Participants came with an extremely wide range of expertise: optics, chemistry, biology, applied physics, and computation.  The Center has successfully competed for nanomedicine research funding from a variety of sources, including the NIH Unconventional Innovations Program and NASA.

Over this period, the interdisciplinary collaboration has proven very successful.  A tremendous amount of knowledge has been generated and, equally important, a large range of technology has been developed.  Examples of nanomedicine applications include examination of nanoparticle interactions with membranes, synthesis and characterization of novel nanoparticles for targeted cancer treatment and MRI contrast enhancement, and development of minimally invasive two-photon fiber optic probes for detection and diagnosis of cancer.  In each of these cases, the success of our investigation required the interdisciplinary skills provided by a team of researchers drawn from across campus.

A rate-limiting step was to facilitate productive interaction on nanobiology of these diverse scientific disciplines.  To both recognize the success of the Center and improve the interaction of our multidisciplinary team of chemists, physicists, engineers and biologists collaborating on nanoscience in biology and medicine, the university expanded the Center into the "Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences" (MNIMBS) on April 21, 2005. James R. Baker Jr., M.D., the Ruth Dow Doan Professor of Biologic Nanotechnology and Chief of the Division of Allergy, serves as the Institute's first director.  This Regentially chartered research institute brings together a larger group of interdisciplinary researchers to apply the techniques and knowledge from the physical sciences to biological and medical research. MNIMBS has centralized facilities and core resources that enable interdisciplinary teams of faculty to collaborate in nanomedicine and create a nanobiology graduate program.  The interaction of nanoscale analytical science, synthetic materials science, and engineering with biological systems provides great opportunities for the biomedical sciences.

Accordingly, MNIMBS has direct Faculty and Staff employees as well as Faculty collaborators on grants and faculty members with varying levels of activity within MNIMBS, mentors and/or co-mentors, temporary staff, volunteers, Fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, including UROP students.

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