Madhavi Krishnan awarded the RSC Corday-Morgan Prize

20.8.2020 | The physical chemist received the prize for her invention of the “field free” trap of a single colloidal particle.
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(© unsplash / Jaron Nix)

Professor Krishnan has been named one of three 2020 winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Corday-Morgan Prize. The prize comes with a medal and £5000.

The Corday-Morgan Prize is awarded for the most meritorious contributions to chemistry, and Prof. Krishnan has been chosen for her work on the confinement and manipulation of single colloidal particles or molecules for which she has developed an electrostatic trap. What is special about Prof. Krishnan’s trap, compared to for example optical tweezers, is that the molecule does not experience an external field while being in the trap—it is “field free”. That means that new experiments of nanoscale matter in solution can be realised in a non-destructive manner. Prof. Krishnan’s group are focusing on biological molecules, such as proteins and DNA, and aim to make a real impact in disease detection and early diagnosis.

Of receiving the award, Prof. Krishnan said: “I feel extremely honoured at the decision of the Royal Society of Chemistry to recognise our work in the field of single molecule nanoscience, and am deeply grateful for the distinction.”

Prof. Krishnan started her academic career at Anna University in Chennai, India, before moving to the US for her PhD at the University of Michigan. She then spent time as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow at TU Dresden before joining ETH Zurich as a Marie Curie Fellow. She is currently Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry at Merton College at the University of Oxford.

Up to three recipients for the Corday-Morgan Prize are chosen each year, and Prof. Krishnan was honoured next to Professor Rachel O’Reilly and Professor Edward Tate. The prize, which is given by the Royal Society of Chemistry, was established by Sir Gilbert Thomas Morgan, the first Director of the Government Chemical Research Laboratory. He provided a bequest to finance the prize in memory of his parents, Thomas Morgan and Mary-Louise Corday, on the condition that their graves are kept in good repair. To this day, flowers are placed on the graves on June 4th every year.

  (© AcademiaNet)

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