Naomi J. Halas is the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, as well as a professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy. In addition to her extensive resume, Halas is also the director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice University and the Rice Quantum Institute. Within her many professions, Halas pursues the studies of coupled plasmonic systems as well as applications of plasmonics in biomedicine, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, and photocatalysis. Her research and vast knowledge has led her to write more than 300 publications within the science community. As a result of her continuous hard work and perseverance, Halas has received many notable awards such as the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize and the Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America.
Upon receiving an education from La Salle University and Bryn Mawr College in the late 1980s, Halas was eventually recruited by Rice University in 1990 after serving as a postdoctoral associate at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Her 21st-century research focuses on noble metal nanoshells and their potential in eradicating cancer. Halas and her colleagues continue to investigate the special properties of nanoshells including a potential treatment similar to chemotherapy but without the toxic side-effects, and a way to provide earlier detection. In 2003, Halas received the “Cancer Innovator” award from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program which included a three-million-dollar grant to further conduct research in the potential of cancer treatment.
Currently, Dr. Halas continues to pursue research in light-nanoparticle applications in biomedicine that will transcend traditional boundaries. Working alongside her colleagues at the Halas Nanophotonic Research Group at Rice University, Halas continues to show extreme dedication to developing new solutions for cancer. The notable research contributions Halas has made throughout her career will continue to impact the way we look at medicine.