CBIS News and Events

News & Events

Diet and Back Pain: What’s the Link?

Can a diet high in processed fat and sugar and Type 2 diabetes cause degeneration of intervertebral discs in the spine? 

Rensselaer Students Peek at the Possibilities of Biodesign

Last month, art and design students from across the country gathered in New York City to participate in the first-ever Biodesign Summit, the culmination of a semester-long challenge to conceptualize a biotech product for the future.

Historic Fossils Find New Life Telling the Story of Ancient Proteins

A few snippets of protein extracted from the fossil of an extinct species of giant beaver are opening a new door in paleoproteomics, the study of ancient proteins. 

Discovery of Rules for CRISPR Advance Metabolic Engineering

Discovery of rules that govern a variation of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing method makes it possible to use living cells to manufacture valuable metabolic compounds like pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. 

The Mechanics of Biofilms – Sacrifice of the Few for the Benefit of the Many

Suicide allows bacteria found in opportunistic infections to create an antibiotic tolerant biofilm, according to a team including researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Using Magnetic Forces To Control Neurons, and Alter Glucose Metabolism

A new method to control the activity of neurons in mice, devised by scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Rockefeller University, uses magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells. 

Rensselaer Professors To Be Inducted Into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Five members of the Rensselaer faculty have been selected for induction into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Bringing Rensselaer Expertise to Cancer Research

Through its new Cancer Research Group (CARGO), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is drawing on its trademark interdisciplinary approach to help battle a disease that kills nearly 600,000 Americans per year and affects countless more.

Steven Cramer Honored by American Chemical Society

Professor Steven Cramer received a 2016 American Chemical Society award. Cramer is recognized “for contributions to a molecular-level understanding, adsorption isotherm formalisms, and the development of chromatographic bioprocesses for the purification of biopharmaceuticals.”

Student-Led Company Receives Grant To “Amp It Up”

Doctoral candidate Matthew Dion ’12 and his partners in Amp It Up have been awarded a prestigious EXIST Business Start-up Grant to help fund their invention—an inexpensive device that could make prosthetic legs readily available to amputees in developing nations.

The Free Energy Landscape — Amino Acid Sequence in Protein Folding

Using pressure to perturb folded proteins, biotechnology researcher Catherine Royer will explore the path of a protein from its unfolded to folded state, advancing our ability to optimize proteins for industrial and pharmaceutical applications.

Federal Investments in Research Enabling Improvements in How We Age

Federal investments in research are paying off in scientific breakthroughs that are “unleashing the power and potential of proteins” in humans.

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In the News

  • The Hidden Dangers of Road Salt

    May 30, 2017 -

    “It has a really widespread number of effects on the whole food web or ecosystem,” says Rick Relyea, a professor of biological sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Relyea has studied how road salt runoff impacts lakes as part of the Jefferson Project at Lake George in New York state. Recently, he found that road salt can reduce the size of rainbow trout hatchlings by about 30 percent, influencing their ability to elude predators and decreasing the number of eggs they lay. One experiment he worked on found that higher levels of salt could change the male-female sex ration of wood frogs.

  • Experimental blood test could speed autism diagnosis-U.S. study

    March 16, 2017 -

    Developers of an experimental blood test for autism say it can detect the condition in more than 96 percent of cases and do so across a broad spectrum of patients, potentially allowing for earlier diagnosis, according to a study released on Thursday.

  • Insight into Pseudomonas aeruginosa survival mechanism

    November 11, 2016 -

    The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa can thrive in environments as different as the moist, warm tissue in human lungs, and the dry, nutrient-deprived surface of an office wall. Such adaptability makes it problematic in healthcare.

  • RPI researchers use nanoparticles to treat influenza in mice

    November 4, 2016 -

    Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrated in a paper published last month how they successfully treated immune-compromised mice exposed to the influenza virus with a new nanoparticle drug.

  • Heparin derived from cattle is equivalent to heparin from pigs, study finds

    October 6, 2016 -

    As demand for the widely used blood thinning drug heparin continues to grow, experts worry of possible shortages of the essential medication. Heparin is primarily derived from pigs, and to reduce the risk of shortages, cattle have been proposed as an additional source. A new study by a team of researchers, including corresponding author Robert J. Linhardt, and nine co-authors from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. has found that heparin derived from cattle (known as bovine heparin) has equivalent anti-clotting properties to heparin derived from pigs (porcine heparin).

  • Engineering A New Chemical Communication System Into Bacteria

    August 10, 2015 -

    Previously, synthetic biologists had only engineered synthetic quorum-sensing systems in gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli. But gram-positive bacteria are heavily used in the biotech industry to synthesize enzymes. So Cynthia H. Collins of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and colleagues wanted to build systems that would function within these commercially important bacteria.

  • Albany-area primary care doctors try medical scribes

    May 18, 2015 -

    When Leslie Palmer went to see her longtime primary care physician, Dr. Paul Barbarotto, earlier this month, there was an extra person in the room ...

  • Rensselaer Pairs Business Students with Researchers to Aid Commercialization

    March 25, 2015 -

    Graduate-level business students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are working with science and engineering faculty to assist researchers in the commercialization process.

    http://bit.ly/1N7N3vz

  • Region lands $500K for biomed effort

    December 19, 2014 -

    The NY Cap Research Alliance is one of 93 projects in the Albany region receiving a share of $60 million through a state funding competition. The alliance won $500,000 last week to create a capital investment program for biomedical researchers at area colleges and health care organizations.

  • Who Made That Flavor? Maybe A Genetically Altered Microbe

    December 11, 2014 -

    Take, for instance, chemical compounds called antioxidants. Health-conscious consumers are snapping them up because there's some evidence that these substances repair damaged cells in our body, reducing the risk of cancer and heart problems.

  • New AAAS Fellows Recognized for Their Contributions to Advancing Science

    December 11, 2014 -

    Francine Berman, a professor in the computer science department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was elected a AAAS Fellow "for distinguished contributions to the field of computer science and community leadership in data cyber-infrastructure, digital data preservation, and high performance computing." A former chair of the AAAS section representing Information, Computing, and Communication, Berman was delighted to learn that she has been elected a AAAS Fellow.

  • Bright idea aims to minimize hospital-acquired infections

    December 11, 2014 -

    “Individuals can go into a hospital and end up even more sick than when they enter,” said Colleen Costello, a young biomedical engineer, who realized the magnitude of this problem when her grandmother contracted MRSA during a hospital stay. Her company, Vital Vio, is trying to tackle the issue by creating bacteria-killing lights.

  • Artificial Pancreas Clinical Trial Enabled by NIH Grant

    November 4, 2014 -

    An artificial pancreas, the ultimate cure for type 1 diabetes, will be tested in clinical trials as a result of a $1 million National Institutes of Health Grant awarded to Dr. B. Wayne Bequette of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to fund research concerning his closed-loop artificial pancreas developed along with colleagues at Stanford University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Virginia. Frequent insulin injections and blood samples may be a thing of the past for recipients of the device.

  • RPI celebrates 100 years of chemical engineering

    October 12, 2014 -

    One century ago now, the students and faculty helped shape the young field of chemical engineering, using their talents to advance technologies and find new ways to use a range of chemicals ... “The story of chemical engineering at Rensselaer is the story of a major success,” RPI Dean of Engineering Shekhar Garde said. “When you think about chemical engineering, you think about traditional refining and chemical plants and so on, but over the past 100 years, it has evolved into modern discipline.”

  • Chemical engineering hits century mark at RPI

    October 12, 2014 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrated 100 years of teaching chemical engineering on Thursday with demonstrations by students and faculty on research and discoveries ... Shekhar Garde, dean of the school of engineering at RPI, said the public may perceive chemical engineering to involve mostly oil refineries and chemical plants, but in reality, it involves cutting-edge engineering at the molecular level, involving everything from computer chips to drug development. Chemical engineers are even looking at developing circuitry in cells that could target disease.

  • RPI biotechnology center celebrates first decade

    September 12, 2014 -

    TROY >> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s $100 million Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, now 10 years old, began as a vision shared by RPI President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson in her 1999 inaugural address.

  • Decade of growth in RPI biotech unit

    September 10, 2014 -

    It was 15 years ago that newly inauguratedRensselaer Polytechnic Institute PresidentShirley Ann Jackson called for the creation of a biotechnology institute that would draw on multiple disciplines to produce breakthroughs in health and medicine.

    Rensselaer's Center for Biotechnology andInterdisciplinary Studies, which opened its doors five years later, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Wednesday.

  • Scientists use 3D printed tissue to study cells

    July 24, 2014 -

    Scientist Guohao Dai, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the U.S, has won the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his research into making replicated human tissues using 3D printing.