The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Steffen B. Petersen

Plenty of room at the bottom, plenty of time for biology

Main content

Steffen B. Petersen
Biostructure and Protein Engineering Group, Institute of Physics and Nanotechnology, University of Aalborg, Denmark

Nanotechnology has become one of the hot topics in modern science. It is receiving considerable political attention as well. However, from many perspectives nanotechnology has been around for decades, physicist have been working on atoms, chemists on inorganic and organic molecules and biochemists and biotechnologists on biomolecules - and all of these molecules have sizes in the nano-meter range. The recent flurry of activities have their origin in several fairly new technological abilities, such as scanning probe techniques, single molecule spectroscopy and Piezo controlled stages which can be positioned with sub micrometer precision. At the same time laser technology has progressed to a level where very intense ultrashort laser pulses can be generated. Laser pulses as short as 20 fs are now offered commercially. Such short pulses allow for pulse shaping, which may enable the researcher to control or modulate chemical reactions. Commercial concepts are now emerging, many of them addressing micro-array applications.

The presentation will provide a perspective on current trends and developments in the area of NanoBiology, and will put special emphasis on the formation of a Nanotechnology Center at Aalborg University, to where 100 scientists and technologists from science and industry will relocate in the course of 2004 and 200 students will receive their training and education.

Steffen B. Petersen has been Professor of Biostructure and Protein Engineering at the University of Aalborg, Denmark, since 1997. Previously, he was Director of the Biostructure Department at Novo Nordisk AS in Denmark (until 1990) and Professor of Biostructure at NTNU (1990-1997) as well as Head of the MR Center at SINTEF Unimed (1990-1996) in Trondheim, Norway.

Steffen B. Petersen is presently Head of the Biostructure and Protein Engineering Group at the Institute of Physics and Nanotechnology at the University of Aalborg, where during recent years he has developed an active research activity in nanobiotechnology and biophysics, and, notably, in ultrasensitive nanoscale spectroscopy, at the interface of established fields of science. He has published more than 150 scientific articles and book chapters and has been member of many scientific evaluation and advisory committees.