Chemist Working With Abalone Shells Wins MIT Prize

By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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BOSTON (CBS) – A materials chemist who is discovering the wonders of abalone shells wins Lemelson MIT prize.

Dr. Angela Belcher says she’s merging organic and inorganic materials in new ways.

“If an abalone can make a shell, why don’t we find a similar kind of protein structure that can make a magnetic material, or another kind of material?” she says.

Belcher has founded two companies that are working on ways to produce cutting edge products that combine organic and inorganic materials.

“I’ve been inspired by understanding how nature makes materials, and has such a high level of control of placement of the atoms and the arrangements of them to make really great structures. I’ve worked on borrowing ideas from nature like the abalone shell to make other types of materials, like batteries and solar cells and materials that can be used for cancer diagnostics.”

The Lemelson-MIT Prize is $500,000.

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