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Who knew that Rice's cancer-zapping nanotechnology has raised the bar in Texas?

Halas and West Rice professors Naomi Halas and Jennifer West have raised the bar again with their cancer-fighting metallic nanoshell invention. These microscopic gold spheres, which are currently being used in human trials to treat cancer patients, have come full circle again - earning Halas and West the Inventors of the Year Award from the State Bar of Texas. Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and West, the Isabel C. Cameron Professor, are the first women to win the award. Their invention also is the first nanotechnology-based creation to be selected. The award, which has been presented since 1983, is typically given in the electronic and petrochemical fields.

This unconventional approach has not only provided a less invasive treatment for cancer, it also has rolled Halas and West to the forefront of nanotechnology - a golden place to be.