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Home > Press > Scientists Set Five Grand Challenges for Nanotechnology Risk Research

Scientists Set Five Grand Challenges for Nanotechnology Risk Research

Washington, D.C. | Posted on November 9, 2006

Fourteen top international scientists in the field of nanotechnology have identified Five Grand Challenges for nanotechnology risk research that must be met if the technology is to reach its full potential. Their findings are the subject of a major paper published in the November 16th issue of the journal Nature.

The paper's lead author is Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Chief Science Advisor Andrew Maynard. Co-authors (list attached) are among the world's foremost nanotechnology risk and applications researchers from universities, government, and industry in the United States and Europe.

Three of the paper's authors-Dr. Maynard, Dr. Martin A. Philbert of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Dr. Sally Tinkle of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-will discuss their recommendations at a program and live webcast on Wednesday, November 16th at 10:00 a.m. on the 9th floor of the offices of the Pew Charitable Trusts at 1025 F Street, NW.

Dr. Maynard formerly served at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he was instrumental in developing NIOSH's nanotechnology research program. He also was a member of the U.S. government's Nanomaterial Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council, and co-chaired the Nanotechnology Health and Environmental Implications (NEHI) working group of NSET.

Dr. Philbert is professor of toxicology and senior associate dean for research, School of Public Health, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). His research includes the development of nanotechnology for intracellular measurement of biochemicals and ions, and for the early detection of brain tumors.

Dr. Tinkle is assistant to the deputy director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She developed the NIEHS extramural nanotoxicology portfolio, chairs the NIH Nano Task Force Health Implications working group, and participates in the NSET and NEHI.

***Webcast LIVE at***

What: Scientists Set Five Grand Challenges for Nanotechnology Risk Research


  • Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Dr. Martin A. Philbert, Professor of Toxicology and Senior Associate Dean for Research, University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • Dr. Sally S. Tinkle, Assistant to the Deputy Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health
  • David Rejeski, Director, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

When: Thursday, November 16th, 2006, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Where: Offices of the Pew Charitable Trusts, 9th floor of the Woodies Building, 1025 F Street, NW, Washington, DC

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies was launched in 2005 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts. It is dedicated to helping business, governments, and the public anticipate and manage the possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

Media planning to cover the event should contact Sharon McCarter at (202) 691-4016 or

List of Paper's Authors and Institutions*

Dr. Andrew D. Maynard
Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Washington, DC, USA

Dr. Robert J. Aitken FiON
Director of Strategic Consulting
Nanotechnology Programme Director
Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM)
Edinburgh, UK

Professor Dr. Tilman Butz
Nuclear Solid State Physics
University of Leipzig
Leipzig, GERMANY

Prof. Vicki Colvin
Executive Director, Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology
Rice University
Houston, TX, USA

Prof. Ken Donaldson
Professor of Respiratory Toxicology
MRC/University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research
ELEGI Colt Laboratory
Queen's Medical Research Institute Edinburgh, UK

Prof. Gunter Oberdorster
University of Rochester
Environmental Medicine
Rochester, NY, USA

Prof. Martin A. Philbert
Professor of Toxicology - Senior Associate Dean for Research
University of Michigan School of Public Health
Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Prof. John Ryan
Director, Bionanotechnology Interdisciplinary Research Centre
University of Oxford
Oxford, UK

Prof. Anthony Seaton CBE FMedSci
Emeritus Professor, Aberdeen University
Hon Senior Consultant, Institute of Occupational Medicine
Edinburgh, UK

Prof. Vicki Stone
Napier University
Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Sally S. Tinkle
Office of the Deputy Director
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Dr. Lang Tran
Senior Scientist
Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM)
Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Nigel J. Walker
Environmental Toxicology Program
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Dr. David B. Warheit
Research Fellow
DuPont Haskell Laboratory for Health and Environmental Sciences
Newark, DE, USA

*Opinions and views expressed in the article are of those of the authors. Institutions are listed for identification purposes only.


Sharon McCarter
Director of Outreach and Communications
(202) 691-4016

Copyright © Wilson Center

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