A stream of photons can carry enormous amount of information through variations in the frequency of photons emitted over time by a particular source. In my lab, we produce spectral imaging from biological materials using X-rays and visible light.  I will discuss an emerging photon counting x-ray technique that uses energy-resolving detectors to count photons and quantify their energy to produce images in color.  A new era of medical imaging awaits with photon-counting x-ray/CT.  The power of light and hyperspectral imaging to acquire the spectrum for each pixel in a biological image will also be discussed as well as how combining nanomedicine with biosensing will transform biosensing applications. The discussion will cover a few seminal preclinical and clinical works from my lab covering a wide range of applications to human diseases. 

Presenter: Dipanjan Pan  |  Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering

Penn State's Sustainability Institute is in its 10th year with much accomplished during that time. I will give a quick update on past accomplishments for sustainability at Penn State in operations, education, outreach, and research. After 6 months of intensive engagement with numerous stakeholders within and beyond Penn State, I will share ideas about what might come next. Ideas and feedback are desired!

Presenter: Lara Fowler  |  Interim Chief Sustainability Officer & Director of the Sustainability Institute

The field of inorganic nanoparticle synthesis lacks what the synthetic organic community has spent decades developing – a set of guidelines to provide a reasonable synthetic route to a given product.  Current synthetic guidelines for multi-component inorganic nanostructures are underdeveloped in comparison to the scope of potential applications for these materials. I will discuss recent developments from my work which aims to assess design guidelines for heterostructured inorganic nanoparticles.

Presenter: Sarah O’Boyle  |  Schaak Group

Science is a restless search for truth where advances can materialize when newer paradigms replace older ones. The replacement of concepts occurs because one vision more productively probes, defines, and applies the nature of reality over its predecessor.  Indeed, new thought frameworks and data patterns often ask us to reflect on what it means to be human.  While there is no end to the search for the best representations of life, biology is at a crossroads today as the microbiome revolution asks life scientists to embrace a more holistic, interconnected, and encompassing reality where microbes - the base of the biosphere - reorient our perspectives and solutions for the new millennium.

Presenter: Seth Bordenstein  |  Director of the Microbiome Center  |  Biology and Entomology

While organic chemists are good at synthesizing a variety of small molecules, we fall short of replicating the synthetic precision and fidelity demonstrated by natural enzymes.  Nature is truly the best synthetic chemist out there and we draw upon this inspiration to design new catalysts.  I will discuss how our team has designed and investigated squishy (polymer-based) homogeneous catalysts that embrace some key design elements found in natural systems to accelerate photoredox reactions and achieve precise bond formation.

Mutations in ATP13A2 cause juvenile onset Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.  My lab leverages an electron cryo-microscopy technique called single-particle analysis (SPA) to study mechanisms of membrane transport.  I will present atomic structures of human ATP13A2 visualized by SPA that reveal physical principles underlying selective polyamine transport and its regulation by lipids. These findings bring us closer to realizing ATP13A2’s potential in neuroprotective therapy.

Presenter: Kenneth Lee  |  Cellular and Molecular Physiology