The goal of the Molecular Nanosciences Alliance for Interdisciplinary
Studies and Activities (MONALISA) at the University of Minnesota
is to stimulate interactions leading to interdisciplinary collaborations
in research and education in molecular nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Molecular nanoscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field that
combines the study of molecular/biomolecular systems with the science
and technology of nanoscale structures and systems.
The potential applications
for this research are very broad and include such possibilities
as 1) the use of biomolecules and cellular systems to self-assemble
nanoelectronic circuitry and other nanoscale structures and 2) the
use of lamellar host frameworks containing nano pores that can be
tailored to include guest molecules for separation of chemicals
for pharmaceutical and other applications. Minnesota has strong
expertise in many individual programs relevant to this diverse field.
The key to developing competitive research programs will be the
establishment of alliances between faculty and students from disciplines
that traditionally have had little overlap.
The formation of this center
in September 2000 occurred at a particularly opportune time when the
necessity of forming synergistic teams had become more appreciated locally
by individual researchers and nationally through such programs as the
National Nanotechnology Initiative. By serving as a forum for interdisciplinary
study and research activities among experts from three U of MN colleges
covering the departments of chemistry, electrical & computer
engineering, chemical engineering & material science, genetics,
cell biology & development, mechanical engineering and pharmaceutics,
this center provides an important step toward the convergence needed
for establishing pioneering research programs in this promising