September 27, 2012
Neil Branda is Professor of Chemistry and a Canada Research Chair in Materials Science at Simon Fraser University, and an Affiliated Investigator in the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. He is also the Executive Director of 4D LABS, Simon Fraser University’s $41 million research facility for new materials and nanoscale devices, as well as Chief Technology Officer of SWITCH Materials, Inc., a company he founded to commercialize his technology.
Prof. Branda was recognized as a 2006 Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 recipient, a 2005 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Steacie Fellowship winner and a Tier I Canada Research Chair. His research program lies at the interface of organic chemistry and materials science with a focus on designing and synthesizing molecular ‘switches’ – molecules that change their structure and function when triggered with light, electricity, or chemical stimuli. Prof. Branda works closely with materials scientists and the medical research community to deliver unprecedented designer photoswitches to solve practical challenges in molecular photonics, electronics, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Prof. Branda received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at l’Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, then joined the faculty at the University of Alberta before moving to Simon Fraser University in 2001.