August 17, 2014
By: Billy DeLap
Source: Spotlight News
ALBANY — Nearly 60 students worked one-on-one with SUNY College of
Nanoscale Science and Engineering professors over the past 10 weeks to
gain hands-on experience.
Poster board presentations at CNSE on
Friday, Aug. 8, showcased each student’s individual research, which
spanned a variety of fields within nanotechnology. The event marked the
program’s conclusion. Students were able to gain a broader understanding
of the concepts behind nanotechnology, along with its applications,
while at the $20 billion facilities.
More than 150 applications
were received for the internship, which requires students to have a GPA
of 3.7 or higher. Thirty-two of the 58 summer interns were
undergraduates at CNSE seeking additional skills to complement their
regular coursework and studies.
Brittany Rose Egnot, of
Loudonville, was one of the CNSE students completing the internship.
Egnot will be a sophomore at the college this fall.
“I had no
cell culture experience before I started the CNSE internship, and you
need some cell culture experience to really do any sort of research of
stem cells,” said Egnot. “It also helped me develop skills for reading
scientific papers, and it also cemented my interest in this.”
summer research involved differentiation of human embryonic stem cells
into cardiomyocytes, which are heart muscle cells responsible for making
the heart beat.
Human heart cells have little capacity to
regenerate, which means once blood flow to the heart is reduced, heart
cells will die and can’t really regrow, she said. After enough damage,
this could lead to a heart attack.
“We don’t really have a way to
regenerate cells in the heart … and heart transplants are very hard to
come by,” said Egnot. “There are approximately 400 people in the U.S.
that have been waiting over five years for a heart transplant, so
finding a method to regrow hearts or the entire heart is a really big
Her presentation dealt with proving the concept of
regenerating the cells, with her looking into pursuing the concept in
More than 300 students have participated in the program, which began in 2004. This year also had the largest class of interns.
Kaloyeros, chief executive officer and officer in charge of the newly
merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT Institution, said he was delighted to see
interest growing for the internship.
“This powerful CNSE
program offers students from across New York state and around the world a
summer-long engagement that provides exciting, nanotechnology-based
research projects, highlighting the state’s globally recognized status
as the epicenter for innovation-focused educational experiences,”
Kaloyeros said in a statement.
A majority of the interns are
enrolled at a SUNY campus including CNSE, Hudson Valley Community
College and the University at Albany. Other students in the program
attend institutions such as Cornell University, Harvard College,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology and
There were also two high school students awarded an internship, with Voorheesville High School student Benjamin Denn selected.
Paluh, associate professor of nanobioscience, said the internship gives
students “a lot of confidence” to tackle tough questions.
go from a point of maybe just thinking about learning as a way where
they see what other people have done and just learn that information …
to somebody who is actually making the discovery,” said Paluh. “A lot of
the research that you’ll see you’d probably think that the student had
been in the lab longer than maybe four or five weeks.”
Egnot said the attention CNSE pays towards undergraduate research is what attracted her to attend the school.
don’t really see any approach to undergraduate research at Ivy
colleges,” she said. “I like how they really fostered learning in
research at a very early age, which is what a lot of people at other
universities wait until their junior or senior year to start their