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El-Sayed, “scientific grandson of G.N. Lewis,” gives 2012 G.N. Lewis lecture

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October 25, 2012

Professor Mostafa A. El-Sayed, the Julius Brown Chair and Regents Professor, Georgia Tech.
Mostafa A. El-Sayed, the Julius Brown Chair and Regents Professor, Georgia Tech.

Mostafa A. El-Sayed, the Julius Brown Chair and Regents Professor, Georgia Tech, gave the 2012 Gilbert Newton Lewis Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

El-Sayed, who is also the director of the Georgia Tech Laser Dynamics Laboratory, spoke on the topic of “The Big Potential of the Very Small — Plasmonic Nanoparticles Meet Biology in the Cancer Cell.”

El-Sayed was born in Egypt and received his first university degree at Ain Shams University in Cairo, before moving to the United States to earn a Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 1959 from Florida State University. He followed this with postdoctoral positions at Harvard University with Professor Michael Kasha (who was the last graduate student, in 1945, to complete a Ph.D. under Gilbert N. Lewis), and at Caltech with Professor G. Wilse Robinson.

El-Sayed joined the UCLA chemistry faculty in 1961. In 1994, he moved to Georgia Tech, where along with his colleagues, he has developed new techniques such as magnetophotoselection, picosecond Raman spectroscopy and phosphorescence microwave double resonance spectroscopy. Using these techniques, they have been able to answer fundamental questions regarding ultrafast dynamical processes involving molecules, solids and photobiological systems.

El-Sayed and his group have been active in the study of the physical, chemical and photo-thermal processes of metallic and semiconductor nanostructures of different shapes. They have published more than 600 scientific articles. In 2007, his nanoscience activities were recognized with the prestigious National Medal of Science.

El-Sayed has received many other significant honors. He is an elected member of numerous national and international scientific societies and holds honorary degrees from Hebrew University, the Medical Schools of Mansoura and Alexandria University and the American University of Beirut.