BE Seminars & Events

Current Seminar Series: 2014-2015

Bioengineering Seminars are held on Thursdays from 12:00-1:00 pm unless otherwise noted. For all Penn Engineering events, visit the Penn Calendar.

Tuesday, September 9, 1:30 p.m.
BE/GABE seminar
Sheldon Weinbaum
CUNY Distinguished Professor of Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering, The City College of New York
"Changing the Odds for URM Students in STEM Disciplines Through a New Approach to Mentoring"   
Location: 337 Towne Building
Read the Abstract

34% of all 18 to 24 year olds in the U.S. are federally defined underrepresented minorities (URM). This group constitutes 12% of all BS degree recipients in engineering in the U.S. but only 8% of the B.S. degrees in BME and only 4% of the PhD's in BME. In 2002 when the BME Department was started at The City College of New York it was decided to create a department where the tenure track faculty would reflect the diversity of the undergraduate student body which was 50% URM and 50% female at the time. The fledgling department was also awarded one of two grants from NIH whose goal was to encourage URM undergraduates to purse graduate education in a life science and potentially a PhD. This grant which was renewed in 2007 and ended in the summer of 2013 has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the department. Of particular importance in the retention of students was a novel mentorship program in which every undergraduate NIH Minority Scholar was matched with a PhD student who met with them on a weekly basis for their entire stay at the college from freshman to graduation. Virtually every PhD student and faculty member in the department was involved in some way with an NIH Minority Scholar. This interaction had a remarkable effect on faculty recruitment whose diversity today is singular among all major STEM departments in the U.S. Currently 57% of the tenure track faculty in BME are female (43%) and or URM (36%), and 70% of the PhD students are female and/or URM. For the past nine years the department has also had highest teaching evaluation in the Grove School of Engineering. This talk will tell the story of how this happened.

September 11
Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen
Senior Scientist, Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, National Institutes of Health
"Nanoparticle Platforms for In Vitro diagnostics, In Vivo Imaging and Drug/Gene Delivery"
Location: 337 Towne Building
Read the Abstract

Nanoparticles with unique physical and chemical properties can be rendered water-soluble and biocompatible for use in cancer diagnosis, imaging and therapy. This talk will highlight some of the recent advances in the following four areas: 1) application of materials in improving the sensitivity of biomarker detection; 2) use of different nanomaterials (both rigid inorganic materials and biodegradable polymeric materials) for multimodality imaging (PET, optical, MRI, photoacoustic, etc); 3) drug and gene loaded nanomaterials for cancer therapy; and 4) theranostic nanoplatforms with both imaging and therapeutic components combined. The challenges and future perspectives of nanomedicine in cancer research will also be discussed.