BUFFALO, N.Y. – “Innovation” is the focus of
the ninth edition of the UBThisSummer Lecture Series, the annual
summer series of talks by prominent University at Buffalo faculty
The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will begin
at 4 p.m. most Wednesdays, beginning June 4 and running through
Aug. 6. Locations include Davis Hall and Baird Recital Hall on the
North Campus and Kapoor Hall on the South Campus.
There will be no lecture on July 2.
The lectures will showcase innovative UB research on topics
ranging from the genome and personalized medicine to repairing a
broken heart and the modern piano.
- June 4, 101 Davis Hall: “Flexing and Absorbing to Protect
against Earthquakes,” Michael Constantinou, professor,
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.
Earthquake engineers are introducing flexibility and/or energy
absorption into construction practices in an effort to mitigate the
effects of earthquakes. Constantinou will discuss new and retrofit
applications of these technologies, called seismic protective
systems, in bridges, buildings, liquid storage tanks, and offshore
oil and gas platforms.
- June 11, 101 Davis Hall: “The Future is Upon Us: Your
Genome and your Health,” Norma Nowak, professor, Department
of Biochemistry. Nowak will talk about genomic medicine —
understanding and treating disease based on our individual genome
by taking the right drug at the right dose to minimize adverse
effects. It also can provide a strategy for healthy living.
- June 18, 101 Davis Hall: “Epigenomics and Personalized
Medicine,” Michael Buck, assistant professor, Department of
Biochemistry. Emerging biomedical research is identifying links
between our environment and our genome through a process known as
epigenetic modifications. These interactions have been linked to
obesity, diabetes, post-traumatic stress and cancer. Buck will
discuss innovative techniques UB scientists are using to understand
the role of epigenetic changes in disease and health.
- June 25, 101 Davis Hall: “Using Nature’s Colors to
Deliver Drugs,” Jon Lovell, assistant professor, Department
of Biomedical Engineering. Molecules called porphyrins, which make
blood red and plants green, are now being adapted for use in
biomedical research. Lovell will talk about forming these molecules
into nanoparticles that could improve drug delivery to tumors, as
well as better image diseases.
- July 9, 125 Kapoor Hall: “How to Repair a Broken
Heart,” John Canty, Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Professor and
chief of cardiovascular medicine, Department of Medicine.
Congestive heart failure continues to be a common cause of
hospitalization and a leading cause of death in the U.S. Recent
studies have shown ways to stimulate proliferation of cardiac
muscle cells. Canty will review recent research advances in using
regenerative, cell-based therapies to repair a “broken
- July 16, 250 Baird Hall: “The Modern Piano:
Experimentation and Reinvention,” Eric Huebner, assistant
professor, Department of Music. Huebner will demonstrate innovative
performance techniques, such as playing inside the instrument and
inserting small objects between the piano’s strings to alter
- July 23, 125 Kapoor Hall: “Accelerating Scientific
Progress in the Era of Information Overload,” Venu
Govindaraju, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer
Science and Engineering. Keeping up to date on the scientific
literature in one’s field has become challenging for most
researchers. Govindaraju will discuss intelligent knowledge
analytics that can advance scientific discovery by summarizing and
highlighting otherwise unapparent linkages across fields.
- July 30, 125 Kapoor Hall: “Groundwater Detox,” Alan
Rabideau, professor, Department of Civil, Structural and
Environmental Engineering. Beginning with Love Canal, public and
private entities have spent billions on largely unsuccessful
efforts to restore contaminated soil and groundwater to
health-based standards. Rabideau will talk about the technical and
socioeconomic factors impeding that progress and discuss his
research using natural materials — volcanic rock and poplar
trees — to detoxify groundwater.
- Aug. 6, 125 Kapoor Hall: “Shamanic Rebirth through
Mapuche Indigenous ‘Bibles,’” Ana Mariella
Bacigalupo, associate professor, Department of Anthropology.
Bacigalupo will talk about her project writing a
“bible” about the life of a Mapuche thunder shaman in
southern Chile and the shaman’s work to store and materialize
her power and bring about the rebirth of her spirit after her
For more information on the UBThisSummer Lecture Series, visit