Rensselaer Partners

CBIS serves as the hub of biotechnology-based research at Rensselaer. Our investigators collaborate across disciplines with the following:

NYS Capital Region Innovation Corp (I-Corps) Site Program

The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight into entrepreneurship, starting a business or industry requirements and challenges. The New York's Capital Region I-Corps Site program is for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff from capital region colleges and universities.  Teams start with research-based concepts and use interviews with potential customers and the business model canvas to understand the potential of launching a startup.  Site team ideas or projects can originate from student work, research (funded or unfunded), institutional, or industrial projects. The topical focus of a project can be (but not limited to) medical devices, mobile applications, software, physical products, internet of things, social startups, hardware, wearables, etc.


Science and art find a way to collaborate to bring people into both these discourses to explore, experiment and intervene.

For several years, artistic collaborations have been underway among faculty and students in the Schools of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HAAS), Engineering, and Architecture to innovate new frontiers in the interaction of art and science. Explained Associate Professor Kathy High, "We are continually looking for new ways to encourage students to be creative problem solvers. Towards that goal, we began several years ago to look for ways to relate humanities courses with science and engineering fields. I have been trying since my arrival at RPI to make an interdisciplinary area for students to work between art and science, specifically biology.

Explorations of how art and science interact have been growing around the world since the early experiments at RPI. And new efforts are gaining ground in our community as well:

  • Professor High continues to focus on this area in her own research and artistic work, and teaches a popular HAAS class entitled “Eco Chic: Living Art,” which is very successful with science students and makes that cross over.
  • Professor High and arts department colleague Michael Century have worked with the Professor Kim Fortun's Sustainability Studies Program in the HASS Science Technology Studies department to develop programming for the Earthweek Festival that has occurred the past two years at CBIS.
  • Professor High and other RPI faculty and students have created a series of local workshops in the Troy community through an NEA grant.
  • Renowned artist and HAAS Ph.D. candidate Heather Dewey-Hagborg has brought her DNA work into her art in innovative ways. She explains, "Since 2001, I’ve been working at the intersection of art and science, with an emphasis on conceptions of the natural and the artificial. Drawing from diverse practices including sound, sculpture, biology and computation, I engage in art as transdisciplinary research; a means of exploration to probe the deep and often hidden structures of media/technology/science that dominate the contemporary moment and frame our cultural imagination."
  • CBIS and HAAS are again looking at how to encourage scientific faculty and students to work with artists for open-ended research that will create new modes of problem solving for the 21st century. The challenge is to find new ways to create cross-disciplinary scientific, artistic and technical training.

Explained Professor High, "The goal of integrating artistic and scientific inquiry is to better understand and articulate cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation.”

Back to top