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2017 Speakers & Workshops

Developing Specific Electrochemical Sensing and Imaging Platforms Inspired by Biology

Biosensors promise to impact many fields ranging from basic research of biological systems to the development of biomedical devices poised to revolutionize modern healthcare. The number of methods for developing biosensors continues to grow at an impressive rate representing the cutting-edge interface of chemistry and many other fields. This talk takes a step back to understand the fundamentals of sensor performance of a class of bio-inspired electrochemical sensors using functional nucleic acids or membrane proteins. We utilize a combination of electrochemistry, biochemistry, and biomolecular design and engineering to build better biosensors and imaging platforms. By developing models for the electrochemical response and understanding the structure and function of nucleic acids (e.g., aptamers) and proteins (e.g., ion channels) we can tune the response of a sensor based on the bioanalytical application of the sensor. Coupling these sensors with micro- and nanoscale electrodes further enables us to tune sensor performance for applications ranging from molecular flux imaging, single-cell analysis to implantable devices for real-time therapeutic monitoring.

Ryan White is an associate professor and Ohio Eminent Scholar at the University of Cincinnati with joint appointments in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems. He and his research team have developed a research program that lies at the intersection of nanoscience, electrochemistry and the biological interface. Research interests in the group focus on the development of new (bio)analytical methods to probe chemical and biological systems with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions afforded by working at the nanoscale.

Dr. White’s Research Team from left to right: Oluwatomiwa Oladunni, Nicholas Vacaro, Inayah Entzminger, Ryan White, Justine Lottermoser, Mirelis Santos-Cancel, and Robert Lazenby


Ryan began his path as an undergraduate research assistant at the University of North Carolina working with Prof. Royce Murray on the synthesis and characterization of monolayer protected gold clusters. After receiving his BA in Chemistry (2003), Ryan earned his PhD in chemistry at the University of Utah in 2007 followed by an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California Santa Barbara. Ryan joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC in 2011 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2016. Ryan recently accepted a position as an Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nano Bio Devices at the University of Cincinnati where he and his team continue to grow an interdisciplinary research program developing electrochemical imaging and sensing platforms.


Master the Art of Making Connections

UC 310, University Center, 3rd Floor, Times:  10:30 am – 11:30 am and 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

 In the world of science, we communicate with others many times throughout our day. Effective communication in STEM is crucial and is more than just exchanging information. Effective communication combines a set of skills including nonverbal communication, attentive listening, and the ability to respond appropriately. How well you communicate will determine the impression you make and how others understand your work.  It may influence funding and many other opportunities.  This workshop is designed to help you learn effective communication skills, as well as how to talk about yourself and your accomplishments in a way that effectively showcases your strengths and passion for science – a skill that will positively impact your professional image as a scientist and ultimately your career.

Susan Hindle is the Assistant Director, Internships and Employment for the College of Natural and Mathematical Science at UMBC.

Susan has 20 years’ experience working with students and
alumni in all phases of the career development process.  Prior to coming to UMBC in January 2014, Susan worked as a Career Advisor for the both The Johns Hopkins University and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.  Susan has her undergraduate
degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland, College Park and her master’s degree in clinical counseling from The Johns Hopkins University.


A Very, Very Short Introduction to Ethics for Scientists

University Center, 1st FloorCASTLE, UC 115, Times:  10:30 am – 11:30 am and 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

This workshop will provide a basic overview of the two dominant approaches to thinking about ethical problems. You’ll then have a chance to apply these approaches to ethical dilemmas and problems, including some of the sort that might arise specifically for scientists.

James Thomas is an Adjunct Faculty Lecturer in the department of Philosophy at UMBC.

Jim received a B.A. with honors from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a major in philosophy.  He went on to get a Masters degree in philosophy at the University of Arkansas where he received the Philip S. Bashor Award for outstanding graduate student.  He earned a second M.A. in philosophy at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is currently a lecturer in the Philosophy Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he has been teaching for the last fifteen years.  He has also taught courses at the University of Arkansas and the University of Maryland, College Park . His research is focused on Metaphysics, Evolutionary Theory and Philosophy of Humor, and Philosophy of Perception.

Past Speakers & Workshops