Reorganization and consolidation of the Biodesign Institute resulted in the creation of the Nanobiology Institute. Under the direction of Jim Rothman, the Nanobiology Institute will focus on the discovery of principles that unite living and synthetic materials at the nanoscale. Researchers in this institute will explore synthetic cellular nano-machines as a means to mimic complex biological assemblies. Initial work will focus on membranes and their properties. This institute will catalyze the development of biosensors, genetic switches and biocompatible materials.