Harvard’s Kavli Institute for Bionano Science & Technology continues to serve as a meeting place for theorists and experimentalists, enabling a wide range of scientists and engineers to address fundamental questions about the correlation between the nanoscale structure and functioning of biological systems. Their collaborations have fostered applications and new technologies while encouraging scientific partnership at the innovation stage of tool development.

The Institute is led by Prof. Joanna Aizenberg and Prof. George Whitesides, who strive to use KIBST to leverage the expertise of the research community in developing a rational theoretical framework to understand and explore the behavior of biomaterials at the nanoscale level.

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Radhika Nagpal was named Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science in July, 2012. Radhika Nagpal’s work lies on the boundary of artficial intelligence, robotics, and biology. She studies bio-inspired programming paradigms for designing collective intelligence in robotics and sensor-actuator networks, drawing inspiration mainly from multicellular biology and social insects.

Four KIBST-affiliated faculty that intensely participate in the discussions and collaborations established by the Kavli Coffee Hours received research support in 2012: Michael Brenner, Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics; L. Mahadevan, Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Zhigang Suo, Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials, and Katia Bertoldi, Assistant Professor of Applied Mechanics.

Scholar Groups

Aizenberg Group

Aizenberg GroupPursues a broad range of research interests that include biomineralization, biomimetics, self-assembly... Read more

Amir group

beetles Research centers on the theory of complex systems and biophysics, applied to a broad spectrum of problems... Read more

Bertoldi Group

Bertoldi GroupResearch involves the use of continuum mechanics and applied mathematics to model the mechanical behavior of novel materials at the small scale... Read more

Brenner Group

Research uses methods and ideas of applied mathematics to address problems in science and engineering... Read more

Girguis Group

Girguis labWe study the physiology and biochemistry of deep sea microorganisms, with an emphasis on carbon and nitrogen metabolism, to better understand their role in mediating local and global biogeochemical cycles.  ... Read more

Mahadevan Group

Mahadeven GroupWork is in the area of Bionano Science and Technology has focused on a number of problems that span a range of scales from the molecular to the macroscopic.... Read more

Nagpal Group

Nagpal GroupWork lies on the boundary of artficial intelligence, robotics, and biology. ... Read more

Needleman Group

Current work in the lab focuses on studying spindle assembly, spindle positioning, chromosome segregation, the evolution of the spindle, and the possible connection between errors in mitochondrial function and errors in spindle function.... Read more


Suo Group

Suo GroupDevices in modern technologies (e.g., microelectronics, MEMS, photonics, and biosensors) are integrated structures of diverse materials... Read more

Whitesides group

 whitesides-groupMost “impossible” materials that one can imagine seem impossible because they have not yet been made, not because there is a sound theoretical reason that they cannot be made.... Read more