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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Syracuse University chemist part of team that wins the Inaugural Gordon Battelle Prize

Award recognizes Mathew Maye

Feb. 3, 2011, by Judy Holmes

Mathew Maye, assistant professor of chemistry in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, was a member of a team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory that won the Inaugural Gordon Battelle Prize for Scientific Discovery and Technology Impact. The research team won the prize for discovering a new way to use a synthetic form of DNA to control the assembly of nanoparticles. The prizes were announced Feb. 1.

Maye was a member of the research team from 2005 to 2008 when he was a Goldhaber Distinguished Fellow at Brookhaven, prior to his appointment at SU. The team was led by Brookhaven scientist Oleg Gang, and included Dmytro Nykypanchuk and former Brookhaven researcher Daniel van der Lelie.

The prize was awarded to the team for its work in creating three-dimensional and small-cluster structures from nanoparticles using synthetic DNA, according to a Brookhaven news release. These types of structures might be useful in solar cells, as biosensors, and as new materials for data storage. The research demonstrated for the first time the programmable self-assembly of dissimilar nanometer-scale building blocks into three-dimensional ordered structures, and provided insight into the requirements for DNA design. The work was featured on the cover of the journal Nature. Subsequent work was published in Nature Materials and Nature Nanotechnology.

Maye is a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the award supports Maye’s research in synthesizing nanomaterials in ways that mimic assembly processes found in nature.

Maye received a B.S. and Ph.D. from Binghamton University, State University of New York; and he is a recipient of a number of additional awards, including a Department of Defense graduate fellowship. He is also a member of SU’s Biomaterials Institute.

Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit independent research and development organization, along with Stony Brook University, comprise Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages Brookhaven for the DOE. Brookhaven received three of 10 prizes awarded by Battelle—two in the category of scientific discovery and one in the category of technology impact. Each of the award-winning teams will receive a $5,000 education grant provided to a school of their choice.