Lab on a Chip

Harvard Professor George Whitesides to discuss his groundbreaking work during lecture

Harvard professor to give Priestley Lecture.

George Whitesides holds more than 100 patents and has authored more than 1,100 scientific articles. He is the 2011 recipient of Dickinson's Joseph Priestley Award.

Harvard University Professor and pioneering chemist George Whitesides will present Dickinson College’s annual Joseph Priestley Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium, Louther Street between Cherry and College streets in Carlisle. His lecture is titled, “Low Cost Diagnostics.”


Whitesides, who holds more than 100 patents and has authored more than 1,100 scientific articles, will discuss his groundbreaking work in the area of miniaturized diagnostic medical testing devices using patterned paper, commonly referred to as “lab on a chip” technology.

Dickinson chemistry professor Sarah St. Angelo, who closely studies Whitesides’ work, said the technology will impact the medical community on a global level by increasing access to medical diagnostics and reducing costs associated with common to complex medical testing. St. Angelo said Whitesides’ microfluidic paper technology can also lead to reductions in medical waste, such as fluids and sharps.

In 2007, Whitesides propagated a global health initiative by founding Diagnostics for All, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing low-cost medical diagnostics to the developing world.

“So much of what he does is broad-minded and curiosity-driven,” said St. Angelo.

Whitesides has served on advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense. He received the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1988 and the King Feisal Prize in 2011.

He is the 2011 recipient of the Joseph Priestley Award, which is presented by Dickinson to a distinguished scientist whose work has contributed to the welfare of humanity. Named for Joseph Priestley, a Pennsylvania scientist and scholar who discovered oxygen, the award recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution to our understanding of science and the world.

Whitesides will sign copies of his book, No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale on Monday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Biblio Cafe, first floor of the Waidner-Spahr Library, West High Street between College and Cherry streets.

Published November 3, 2011