Adam Stieg

NanoLab Director Emeritus

Adam Stieg serves as Director for the Sci|Art NanoLab Summer Institute. As a scientist and educator at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), his work focuses on developing integrated approaches to study material systems at the interface of traditional boundaries. Through the implementation of original experimental techniques, this research seeks to bridge the gap between our current understanding of nanomaterials and their fundamental properties with how these systems tend toward complexity at increased scales of space and time. Dr. Stieg's research activities are augmented by active collaboration with artists and designers on various projects, installations, and public exhibitions that directly inform the scientific process and provide motivation to develop new educational content that conveys the need for creativity in innovation.

Christina Agapakis

Christina Agapakis is a synthetic biologist interested in the structure, evolution and design of the microbial communities that help us to produce and digest our food. Her research is collaborative and multidisciplinary, working with engineers, artists, and designers and ranging from the ecology of soil to skin to cheese. Her blog, Oscillator (, is hosted by Scientific American.

James Gimzewski

Scientific Director

Jim Gimzewski is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles; Director of the Nano & Pico Characterization Core Facility of the California NanoSystems Institute; Scientific Director of the Art|Sci Center and Principal Investigator and Satellites Co-Director of the WPI Center for Materials NanoArchitectonics (MANA) in Japan. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty, he was a group leader at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, where he research in nanoscale science and technology for more than 18 years. Dr. Gimzewski pioneered research on mechanical and electrical contacts with single atoms and molecules using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and was one of the first persons to image molecules with STM. His accomplishments include the first STM-based fabrication of molecular suprastructures at room temperature using mechanical forces to push molecules across surfaces, the discovery of single molecule rotors and the development of new micromechanical sensors based on nanotechnology, which explore ultimate limits of sensitivity and measurement. This approach was recently used to convert biochemical recognition into Nanomechanics. His current interests are in the nanomechanics of cells and bacteria where he collaborates with the UCLA Medical and Dental Schools. He is involved in projects that range from the operation of X-rays, ions and nuclear fusion using pyroelectric crystals, direct deposition of carbon nanotubes and single molecule DNA profiling. Dr. Gimzewski is also involved in numerous art-science collaborative projects that have been exhibited in museums throughout the world.

Rita Blaik


Rita Blaik is a multidisciplinary scientist and artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her life's goal is to find new and innovative ways of communicating science to people through interactive discussions, art, and other media. Since 2009 she has been an instructor for the Sci|Art Nanolab and from 2011-2012, was the Art|Sci Center Networking Outreach Coordinator. She had her first solo exhibition at the Art|Sci Center, Altered States, in Fall 2012. Rita received her B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of California at Irvine, and is currently pursuing a PhD in the same at UCLA. She is a proud fellow of the NSF IGERT Clean Energy for Green Industry fellowship and works with Professor Bruce Dunn on biological fuel cell systems and architectures.

Romie Littrell

I research and create inspirational experiences from health and biotech concepts. I like to fuse digital media, tangible hardware, and storytelling into something that makes life richer as well as longer. I'm also experienced in guiding teams through user-centered design and rapid prototyping to turn things and ideas into actions.

Siddharth Ramakrishnan

I am interested in the cusp of disciplines and the dialog that arises at that juncture. Art and Science have long been thought to be completely divergent fields, but I believe that there is a lot to be discovered by blending the two, and by allowing scientists and artists to engage with one another.