Biotechnology Public Forums PDF Print

The leadership of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute invites you to join them for a forum as part of the new Biotechnology Public Interest Forum series. The series will introduce the public, surrounding business community and Rensselaer community to the life-saving and high-tech research ongoing at CBIS. The forums are an opportunity to open the doors of this top research facility to the public.

The first forum, entitled “Making Medications Safer” was held on March 10, 2011 at the CBIS Auditorium on the Troy campus.  The forum began at 8:30 a.m. with an introduction by Rensselaer President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. The forum included an introduction and open discussion with top Rensselaer researchers. Each of these researchers discussed their work in the lab to make medications around the world safer for patients. The researchers included top Rensselaer researchers Jonathan Dordick, CBIS Director and the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Angel Garcia, Senior Constellation Professor for Biocomputation and Bioinformatic; and Robert Linhardt, the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. ’59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering

The second forum, entitled “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease” was held on November 3, 2011 in the CBIS Auditorium. The forum included a discussion with top Rensselaer researchers Peter Tessier, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering; Chunyu Wang, associate professor of biology; and Wilfredo Colón, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology. Each of these researchers discussed their work in the lab to understand Alzheimer’s disease and efforts to develop new treatment methods for the complex brain illness.

The third forum, titled “Battling Superbugs” was held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 in the CBIS Auditorium.  The forum included a discussion with top Rensselaer researchers Ravi Kane, the P.K. Lashmet Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Blanca Barquera, associate professor of biology; and Cynthia Collins, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering. Each of these researchers discussed their work in the lab to understand complex and potentially lethal bacteria and the hunt for new ways to stop their spread. Together, their work extends from understanding bacterial growth in space to the development of new antibiotics and antibacterial surfaces inspired by nature.

The fourth forum, titled "The Promise of Stem Cell Research" was held on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 12noon in the CBIS Auditorium.  Opening remarks were given by the Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, President, RPI; Honorable Nirav Shah, Commissioner, New York State DOH and CBIS Director, Jonathan Dordick, Howard P. Isermann '42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.  Panel discussions by Rensselaer researchers included "The Challenges and Promise of Stem Cell Research"  by Glenn Monastersky, CBIS Director of Operations and Professor of Practice, Biomedical Engineering, Director, Rensselaer Center for Stem Cell Research; "Neural Progenitor Cell Response to Hemodynamically-Stimulated Endothelial Derived Extracellular Matrix and Soluble Factors" by Deanna Thompson, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; and "Biomaterial Design for Spinal Cord and Stem Cell Therapies" by Ryan Gilbert, Assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering. 

The fifth forum, titled “Rebuilding and Healing the Human Body”  was held on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 at 12noon in the Auditorium of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). The forum featured presentations by Rensselaer researchers Mariah Hahn, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Guohao Dai, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; and Pankaj Karande, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering. Jonathan S. Dordick, CBIS Director and the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, provided an introduction to the topic. Glenn Monastersky, Director of Operations and Associate Director of CBIS, and Biomedical Engineering Professor of Practice, moderated a panel discussion following the presentations.

The center’s sixth Public Forum focused on “Women’s Health” and took place on Thursday, March 27, from noon to 2 p.m. in the CBIS Auditorium.  The “Women’s Health” program included presentations of current research on osteoporosis, breast cancer, and cardiovascular health. Moderator and CBIS Associate Director Glenn Monastersky made opening comments.  Deepak Vashishth, CBIS director and professor of biomedical engineering, addressed the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, as well as the center’s work on bone tissue engineering. Lee Ligon, associate professor of biology, discussed breast cancer research, and Rebecca Keller, associate professor of cardiovascular science at Albany Medical College, spoke about cardiovascular and heart issues, especially as they relate to women’s health.  The speaker comments were followed by a moderated  panel discussion, with questions from the audience.

Opened in 2004, the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies is among the world’s most advanced biotechnology research facilities. CBIS provides a state-of-the-art platform for collaborative research. At CBIS, faculty and students in diverse academic and research disciplines are crossing the divide between the life sciences and engineering to encourage discovery and innovation. Four biotechnology research constellations - biocatalysis and metabolic engineering, functional tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, biocomputation and bioinformatics, and integrative systems biology - engage a multidisciplinary mix of faculty and students to help create new technologies that will save and improve the lives of people around the world.

 

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