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School of Science and Engineering

The Harrington STEM Lectures

Location:  Coykendall Science Building (CSB)
Reception: 4:30 p.m. CSB Lobby (campus map
Lecture: 5:00 p.m. CSB Auditorium

The School of Science and Engineering hosts this series of lectures on major topics of current scientific interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). These lectures, each designed for a general scientific audience, are given by recognized scholars from around the country who will also be available to meet faculty and students on the days of their visits. The public is cordially invited to these lectures at no charge.  

John Harrington was the founding dean of the SUNY New Paltz School of Science & Engineering. This lecture series honors his years of dedication to science, education and collaboration across the STEM disciplines.

For further information, including sponsorship opportunities, please email lavaller@newpaltz.edu or call 845-257-3784.

2020 Harrington STEM Lectures:

February 18
The Pathway to Drug Development and Importance of the FDA (Compared to the Good Old Days)
Carol Duffy, DO, FACC, FACOI

Executive Director, Head U.S. Clinical Trial Excellence, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp.

Of every compound identified by the pharmaceutical industry as a possible medication, the disease target needs to be carefully defined, the development timeline is incredibly long, the cost is very high, and the success rate is very low. Precipitating situations/crises involving patient safety and efficacy over the past 170 years has led to the current process and phases of clinical trial investigations required to prove safety and efficacy in these potential medications. This lecture will present the history and the research/stages/timing involved in pharmaceutical drug development from onset to potential FDA approval for patients and consumers.

March 10 
Exploring Barnacle Exoskeleton Formation
Rebecca Metzler
Associate Professor of Physics, Colgate University

Barnacles are ancient arthropods that, as adults, consist of a soft organism surrounded by a hard, mineralized, outer shell that the organism produces for protection. While research has been done into the glue-like cement that barnacles use to adhere to a variety of surfaces, less is known about the barnacle exoskeleton. Professor Metzler will present preliminary data exploring the changes that occur as the barnacle cyprid undergoes metamorphosis to become a sessile barnacle with a mineralized exoskeleton. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) data, in conjunction with confocal microscopy data, show the morphological and chemical changes the barnacle undergoes within the first 48 hours following metamorphosis and how climate change can impact these properties.

April 23
Building a Data-driven Government Focusing on Citizen Services

Robin Thottungal
Chief Technology Officer/Chief Data Scientist, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Data science is key to addressing national challenges with greater agility.  Thottungal will discuss how this digital transformation has become the driver behind a better understanding of the complex interdependencies between our air, water, land and public health. By embracing emerging technology strategies such as microservices-based architecture and user-centered design, we can better capture the relationships and detect anomalies in the terabytes of data that we intake each year.

Click here to view past Harrington STEM Lectures.