UBThisSummer Lecture Series to focus on ‘Innovation’

University at Buffalo Flint entrance sign on Maple Road.

UB will be a busy place this summer with UBThisSummer offering something for everyone.

Release Date: May 20, 2014 This content is archived.


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 members.

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.

The schedule:

  • 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 heart.”
  • 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 its sound.
  • 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 death.

For more information on the UBThisSummer Lecture Series, visit http://ubthissummer.buffalo.edu/lectures/index.html.

Editor’s note

In 2019, the SUNY Board of Trustees revoked the naming of John and Editha Kapoor Hall as well as John Kapoor's honorary degree. More information is available in the university’s News Center.

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