Soft Matter Seminar: Dianne L. Poster, Ph.D. (NIST) and John J. Kasianowicz, Ph.D. (NIST)

Standards, Metrology and Technology to Advance Healthcare in the U.S

Dianne L. Poster, Ph.D.

NIST Material Measurement Laboratory HQ, Gaithersburg, Maryland 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is one of the nation's oldest physical science laboratories. From the smart electric power grid and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advanced nanomaterials, and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by NIST.  Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies to the largest and most complex of human-made creations—from nanoscale devices to skyscrapers and global communication networks. NIST’s research plays an essential role in health and bioscience innovations, including in precision medicine, engineering biology, medical imaging, regenerative medicine and our understanding of the microbiome and how it affects health. New and improved measurement capabilities advance our understanding of biology and provide the basis for industries to harness this information for future medical technologies, such as proteinaceous nanometer-scale pores, dielectric spectroscopy, soft nanomaterials, and microscopy. Each of these will be discussed on their use for detection, characterization, identification, and quantitation of single molecules in the context of navigating the path to achieving key measurement capabilities for the next generation of materials. 


Novel Single Molecule Approaches to Achieving Personalized Medicine:

Identifying Molecules One at a Time

John J. Kasianowicz, Ph.D.

NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory, Microsystems and Nanotechnology Division, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Columbia University, Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, New York, New York 

Proteinaceous nanometer-scale pores are the molecular basis of action for nerve, muscle and many other tissues in our bodies.  We pioneered their use for the detection, characterization, identification, and quantitation of single molecules.  These are the key measurement capabilities for the next generation of medical applications, which include DNA sequencing, single molecule “mass spectrometry”, single molecule force spectroscopy, and protein identification for personalized medicine.  These methods are also crucial for understanding the mechanisms by which anthrax toxins enter our cells, which ultimately leads to death.  This cutting-edge technology could prove useful for understanding how cells “think” and ultimately transform therapeutic agent development for each of us.

Friday, November 22, 2019 at 1:30pm

Regents Hall, 109
3700 O St. NW

Event Type

Academic Events


Students, Faculty/Staff


Georgetown College, Institute for Soft Matter




Dianne L. Poster, Ph.D. (NIST Material Measurement Laboratory HQ) and John J. Kasianowicz, Ph.D. (NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory, Microsystems and Nanotechnology Division)

Event Contact Name

Prof. Richard Weiss

Event Contact Email

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