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Jan. 22, 2015 Volume 36, No. 16

MU scientist honored with prestigious international award

Kattesh Katti wins 2015 Hevesy Medal Award


A University of Missouri researcher has won the 2015 Hevesy Medal Award, a prestigious international honor given each year to a scientist for career achievements in nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry.

Kattesh Katti, Curators Professor of Radiology and Physics, will formally receive the award in August at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The award represents Katti’s decades of accomplishments in areas of nuclear sciences and medicine, including radiopharmaceutical sciences and nanomedicine using radioactive gold nanoparticles.

Gold nanoparticles — so small that hundreds span the width of a strand of hair — have been useful in many medical applications to treat cancer, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, eye degeneration and other conditions.

However, the process of manufacturing nanoparticles sometimes releases toxic chemicals.

Katti has helped develop ways to produce nanoparticles using “green” technologies, which use nontoxic methods. Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug cited Katti as the “Father of Green Nanotechnology” in recognition of his groundbreaking invention of producing gold nanoparticles by mixing soybeans and gold salt.

“This successful journey to join the illustrious list of former awardees wouldn’t have been a reality without the painstaking efforts of my former and current students, postdoctoral fellows, and scores of faculty and scientist collaborators,” Katti said in a statement.

Katti, a senior research scientist at the MU Research Reactor, is a member of the National Academy of Inventors and a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the St. Louis Academy of Science.

The Hevesy Medal Award is named in honor of George de Hevesy (1885–1966), who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1943.