Nanomechanics scientist wins Paterson medal and prize

Published: 22-Jan-2010

Dr Rachel McKendry of University College London has been awarded the Paterson medal and prize by the UK's Institute of Physics.

The award acknowledges her work developing label-free nanomechanical cantilever sensors for rapid disease diagnostics and antibiotic drug screening applications.

The cantilever system works by detecting interactions between ligands attached to one side of the cantilever and receptor molecules via changes in surface stress, which cause the cantilever to bend. The cantilever has remarkable sensitivity, enabling it to detect very tiny changes in forces on its surface (see Manufacturing Chemist, Sep 2009 p57).

Dr McKendry's expertise in this field has enabled Bio Nano Consulting (BNC), a joint venture of Imperial College London and University College London, to develop drug-screening technologies to speed up the discovery of new antibiotics.

"I am thrilled to have received this award," said Dr McKendry.

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