William E. Moerner was born in 1953 in Pleasanton, California. Moerner received a BS in Physics, a BS in Electrical Engineering and an AB in Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1975. He obtained an MS and a PhD from Cornell University in 1978 and 1982, respectively. From 1981–1995 Moerner worked at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California as a research staff member, a manger and ultimately as a project leader. He was also a visiting guest professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of technology in Zürich, Switzerland, from 1993–1994. Moerner then served as a Distinguished Chair in Physical Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego from 1995–1998, as well as a visiting professor in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University from 1997–1998. In 1998, Moerner became a professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, and has served there as the Chemistry Department chair since 2011. He is also a professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford. Throughout his career, Moerner’s work has included multidisciplinary education and research programs in single-molecule spectroscopy, photoactive polymer materials and single-molecule biophysics in cells, among others. He has received a litany of international research awards and lectureships, and currently holds numerous U.S. patents for his work.
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