June 6, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 17

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    Chemistry Professor Mrksich, Argonne scientist Tuecke make top innovators list

    By Steve Koppes
    News Office

    Milan Mrksich, Associate Professor in Chemistry, and Steve Tuecke, a software architect in the Distributed Systems Laboratory of Argonne National Laboratory’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division, have been chosen as two of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “magazine of innovation.”

    The TR100 list comprises 100 individuals under the age of 35 whose innovative work in business and technology has a profound impact on today’s world. Nominees are recognized for their contribution in transforming the nature of technology in industries such as biotechnology, computing, energy, medicine, manufacturing, nanotechnology, telecommunications and transportation.

    Mrksich’s work combines synthetic chemistry with materials science to study important problems in cell biology. He develops biochips for a host of biological and biotechnological applications, including drug discovery or as a diagnostic for biological warfare agents.

    Mrksich has patented several chip-based chemical technologies for rapidly screening biological molecules for active compounds. His technologies have been licensed for commercial development by Surface Logix of Brighton, Mass.

    Mrksich, who joined the Chicago faculty in 1996, also received that year a Searle Scholar Award and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award. He also has received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, both awarded in 2000.

    Tuecke’s work centers on the development of grid technologies. A grid is a persistent, distributed computing collaboration and data-handling infrastructure that connects geographically and organizationally dispersed resources, including large-scale computers, archival storage systems, scientific and engineering instruments, and human collaborators.

    Tuecke leads the specification and design of technologies to satisfy the needs of this grid agenda and evaluates commercial and research software and hardware for applicability to digital subscriber lines and the Globus Project. The project, a collaborative effort between the University, Argonne and the University of Southern California, focuses on applying grid concepts to scientific and engineering computing.

    Tuecke also leads standardization efforts of the Globus Project technologies and fosters collaborations with strategic partners in research and industry, such as with IBM on the Open Grid Services Architecture.

    Mrksich and Tuecke were honored Thursday, May 23, during a conference and awards ceremony at MIT. The event, themed “The Innovation Economy: How Technology is Transforming Existing Businesses and Creating New Ones,” included a full day of conference sessions and panel discussions, followed by an evening awards ceremony.

    TR100’s panel of judges includes David Baltimore, President, California Institute of Technology; Richard Demillo, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Hewlett-Packard; and Cherry Murray, Senior Vice President of Physical Science Research, Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies.

    Technology Review is the world’s oldest technology magazine. It covers emerging technologies on the verge of commercialization and has a paid circulation of 310,000.