2011 Environmental Nanotechnology Gordon Research Conference

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The rapid development of nanotechnology and the increasing production of nanomaterials-based products and processes present great opportunities and challenges. Nanotechnology allows scientists to create novel nanoscale materials with enhanced properties for applications in biomedicine, early cancer detection, and for improving the detection, prevention, and remediation of environmentally related illnesses. Some of the unique properties that make nanomaterials so useful may also cause them to be hazardous to humans and the environment. To date, the potential impacts of nanomaterials on human health and the environment have been limited due to insufficient understanding of the risks associated with its development, manipulation and wide-ranging applications. A five day Gordon Research Conference focused on environmental nanotechnology will be held in 2011 and subsequently every other year. The specific aim of this conference is to bring together academic, industrial, and government scientists from around the world to present and discuss current research findings on the fate, transport and impact of nanotechnology and engineered nanomaterials on human health, the environment, and society. The planned GRC program includes the wide range of research areas that impact this field, from the synthesis, characterization, and exposure, through toxicology, metrology, and risk assessment, to the transport, transformation and ultimate fate of these materials in biological and environmental matrices. It is anticipated that 180 physical and social scientists, engineers, and toxicologists, will participate in the presentations and discussions surrounding recent research results. The relatively small group of participants will be ideal to promote vigorous discussion and close interchange of ideas that are the hallmark of the Gordon Research Conferences. The conference will attract between 25-35 participants who are junior scholars (doctoral and postdoctoral students). In addition, several scientists from underrepresented groups in science will play key roles in the conference. Participants of the Environmental Nanotechnology Research Conference will come from not only the US but around the globe, ensuring a diverse and expert group to facilitate stimulating discussions. The long-term goal of this conference is to provide a better understanding of the challenges associated with the environmental and biological fate, transport, persistence, transformation, exposure assessment, recyclability, and the overall sustainability of engineered nanomaterials. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This conference brings together leading researchers, users and regulators of engineered nanomaterials with specific interests in nanotechnology and the environment. The immediate is to identify the research needs in the fields of environmental nanotechnology, nanomedicine and nanotoxicology. NIH is particularly interested in the possibilities that nanotechnology presents to the fields of biomedicine and prevention of environmentally-related illnesses. The institute also recognizes the importance of advancing knowledge and understanding of the technology, while also ensuring that the technology is safe and effective. NIH has thus supported the application of nanotechnology to human health through a variety of programs and interactions with the scientific community. For example, NIEHS is exploring the possibilities of nanotechnology for improving the detection, prevention, and remediation of environmentally related illnesses. The NCI is systematically addressing the issues relating to safe application of nanotechnology within the purview of its biomedical expertise and its collaborations, primarily through its Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory.
Effective start/end date5/1/114/30/12


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: $4,000.00


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