Michael L. Simpson, a professor in materials science and engineering and leader of the Nanofabrication Research Laboratory in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is recognized as a Quest Scholar of the Week for his leadership in interdisciplinary research and a career filled with noteworthy awards and recognition. Simpson embodies the profile of a true interdisciplinary scientist. Having published over 115 peer-reviewed articles in fields ranging from nano-materials to nano-devices, nano-biotechnology, and systems biology, he is among a rare breed of researchers able to speak chemistry with physicists, mathematics with biologists, and biology with engineers. His successful integration of research in these fields has appeared in a host of high profile publications such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Nano Letters, Nanotechnology, PNAS, and the Journal of Theoretical Biology.
In addition to his extensive publication record, Simpson holds 24 U.S. patents. He was named a Battelle Memorial Institute Distinguished Inventor in 2007, an IEEE fellow in 2007, and an AIMBE fellow in 2009. He also earned ORNL’s 2009 Distinguished Scientist award for “Scientific leadership in the founding and evolution of the new field of Noise Biology.”
Simpson’s research highlights over the years include nanofabricated cell mimics for nano-enabled synthetic biology and cell-free gene expression, carbon nanofiber arrays to interface living cells, bioreporter integrated circuit devices for sensitive chemical detection, and the modeling and characterization of experimental noise data of the HIV-1 decision circuit in human T-cells.
M. J. Doktycz and M. L. Simpson, “Nano-enabled synthetic biology,” Molecular Systems Biology, vol. 3, July 10, 2007.
M. L. Simpson “Cell-free synthetic biology: a bottom-up approach to discovery by design,” Molecular Systems Biology, vol. 2, Dec. 12, 2006.
Austin, D. W., M. S. Allen, J. M. McCollum, R. D. Dar, J. R. Wilgus, G. S. Sayler, N. F. Samatova, C. D. Cox, & M. L. Simpson, “Gene network shaping of inherent noise spectra,” Nature, vol. 439: 608-611, Feb. 2, 2006.
Melechko, A.V., V.I. Merkulov, T.E. McKnight, M.A. Guillorn, K.L. Klein, D.H. Lowndes, and M.L. Simpson. “Vertically aligned carbon nanofibers and related structures: Controlled synthesis and directed assembly,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 97(4): 041301-39, Feb. 15, 2005.
Fletcher, B. L., E. D. Hullander, A. V. Melechko, T. E. McKnight, K. L. Klein, D. K. Hensley, J. L. Morrell, M. L. Simpson, M. J. Doktycz, “Microarrays of biomimetic cells formed by the controlled synthesis of carbon nanofiber membranes,” Nano Letters, vol. 4(10): 1809-1814, October 2004.
M. L. Simpson, C.D. Cox, and G.S. Sayler, “Frequency domain chemical Langevin analysis of stochasticity in gene transcriptional regulation,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 229(3): 383-394, August 2004.
McKnight, T. E., A. V. Melechko, G. D. Griffin, M. A. Guillorn, V. I. Merkulov, F. Serna, D. K. Hensley, M. J. Doktycz, D. H. Lowndes, and M. L. Simpson, “Intracellular integration of synthetic nanostructures with viable cells for controlled biochemical manipulation,” Nano Letters, vol. 4(7): 1213-1219, July 7, 2004.
M. L. Simpson, C. D. Cox, G. D. Peterson, and G. S. Sayler, “Engineering in the biological substrate: information processing in genetic circuits,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 92(5): 848-863, May 2004.
Visit the Quest Gallery at Trace, UT’s digital archive, to access publications of other Quest Scholars of the Week.