NANOvember Highlights Intersection of Nanotechnology and Medicine

UAlbany's NanoJazz group performs indoors in 2019.
UAlbany's NanoJazz group will be part of the inaugural lecture in this year's NANOvember conversation series, held throughout the month of November at ETEC and Albany Nanotech.

By Michael Parker

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 24, 2023) — The University at Albany’s College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering (CNSE) welcomes the Capital Region community to campus for a series of conversations in celebration of NANOvember.

From the parallels found between developing new molecules and creating jazz to how nanotechnology holds the potential to dramatically advance tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, CNSE will host four engaging lectures at ETEC and UAlbany's Department of Nanoscale Science & Engineering (DNSE) at the Albany NanoTech Complex along with optional tours of the state-of-the-art facility.

Registration for the series is now open.

The Creative Parallels Between Chemistry and Jazz

On Thursday, Nov. 2, UAlbany’s NanoJazz group will perform as part of a multimedia presentation on how the processes involved in developing new molecules mirrors the creativity and inspiration found in jazz music. The performance will be at 6:30 p.m. in ETEC.

Professor of Nanoscale Science & Engineering Robert Brainard, a saxophonist and the first chemist in the world to design resists for use in Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV, 13.5 nm) Lithography, has led the NanoJazz music group since 2015.

“Despite vast differences in medium and timescale, many surprising parallels exist in the areas of structure, theme and variation, collaboration, mistakes and the spirit of experimentation found within jazz and chemistry,” he said.

Brainard specializes in the development of molecules and polymers that can be used by the microelectronics industry to create features in integrated circuits on the nanometer length scale. He began doing chemical research and leading jazz groups while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in 1978.

Brainard and co-presenter John Chmaj will will be joined by the students and faculty performers of NanoJazz.

Chmaj received his bachelor of music degree in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music, and his master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. He has lectured and performed in Europe and America, and has more 200 musical compositions to his credit. He plays piano, flute, saxophone, percussion and melodica.

Using Nanotechnology for Regenerative Medicine

On Thursday, Nov. 9, Professor of Nanoscale Science & Engineering Susan Sharfstein will deliver a lecture on how tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are keys to addressing the challenges of our aging population.

The lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. in ETEC.

Sharfstein’s research interests include mammalian and microbial cell bioprocessing, regenerative medicine, metabolic engineering and biosensing. She received her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering with honors from Caltech and her PhD from UC Berkeley. Sharfstein has authored 80 papers and was a 2017-18 recipient of a Fulbright Global Scholar award.

Developing High Technology: Lessons from History

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, NY CREATES Vice President for Research Satyavolu Papa Rao will present how technological changes have benefited society. Jis presentation will review a few examples from history to derive specific lessons applicable to today, such as Whitney’s interchangeable parts, Ford’s assembly line, Shewhart and Deming and the quality cycle. He will conclude with a discussion of how Albany Nanotech will foster advances in areas of quantum technologies and artificial intelligence (AI).

The lecture will be held at the Department of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the Albany NanoTech Complex 3:30 p.m. DNSE will also host tours of NanoBio Labs or Microelectronics-Physical Science labs at 2:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

Papa Rao has worked in technology development for memory and logic chips, solar cells and DNA-nucleotide recognition devices. Currently, he is focused on devices for emerging technologies for quantum computing/communications/sensing as well as high-speed, energy-efficient computing.

Nanotechnology: Changing the World

On Thursday, Nov. 30, Professor of Nanoscale Science & Engineering Kathleen Dunn will discuss the pervasiveness of nanotechnology in modern life, including our gadgets, in our vehicles and hospitals, as well as in our cosmetics. Dunn will discuss the field of nanotechnology and what makes it something other than “all the normal technology, just smaller.”

Her discussion will focus on the potential, the reality, and the future of nano, with examples from industry and academic leaders at the forefront of world-wide advances based in the heart of Tech Valley, New York’s Capital Region.

The discussion will be held at 6:15 p.m. at DNSE at the Albany NanoTech Complex. DNSE will also host tours of the NanoBio Labs or Microelectronics-Physical Science labs at 5:20 p.m. and 7:20 p.m.

Dunn’s research focuses on materials engineering at the nanoscale, manipulating defects to generate desirable properties. She has won an IBM Faculty Award, the UAlbany Bread and Roses Award for promoting gender equity on campus, and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Note: Non-U.S. citizens must register at least two weeks in advance for Albany NanoTech Complex events. All registrants will receive a follow up email a few days prior to the event date to confirm security clearance and approval to attend the event at the Albany NanoTech Complex. No photography is permitted inside the building.