Monthly Archives: September 2010

RTP Week Ahead, Sept. 27 – Oct. 2

25th International Festival of Raleigh starts Fri. October 1st

Monday, September 27

A New Era of Development Assistance: Problems and Opportunities

4:30 – 6:00pm

Sanford, Rm. 04, Duke Global Health Institute

Led by Charles MacCormack, CEO of Save the Children. This is part of the Rethinking Development Policy Lecture Series.

Tuesday, September 28

BioNetwork Course: Riboprinter Microbial Characterization

8:00am (Tues. 9/28) – 5:00pm (Thurs. 9/30)

BioNetwork Capstone Center, BTEC 250, 850 Oval Drive, Centennial Campus, Raleigh, 27695

Focuses on the operation of the Riboprinter, propriety instrumentation used to quickly and accurately charaterize and identify bacterial isolates in the pharmaceutical and other FDA-regulated industries. Lectures address the biology enabling operation of Riboprinter. Lab sections provide the students wiht hands-on experience. (2.4 CEUs)

NIEHS Seminar: Computational Genomics of Gene Regulation

11:00am – 12:00pm

NIEHS, Rall Bldg, Room D450

Speaker: Dr. Xiaole Shirley Liu – Harvard University. From Liu: High throughput genomics technologies brought a paradigm shift to gene regulation studies, but they also created challenges on data analysis. In this talk, I will highlight two studies conducted in my lab to show how computational and statistical algorithms could help remove the noise in the data, provide informative results, and help design efficient experiments.

Wednesday, September 29

CED 2010 Entrepreneurship Symposium

8:00am – 1:00pm

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Entrepreneurship is Everywhere! Every sized-company, every job function, every industry: Learn how to be an entrepreneur that drives innovation. Agenda as follows at link.

Thursday, September 30

2010 Molecular Biotechnology Research Symposium

8:00am – 5:00pm

McKimmon Center 1101 Gorman Street Raleigh, NC 27606

A symposium featuring presentations (poster and oral) by graduate students enrolled in the Molecular Biotechnology Training Program (MBTP) followed by an afternoon session at which distinguished speakers from NC State, the RTP area, and the nation discuss the latest developments in life sciences and biotechnology. Free!
NIEHS Seminar: Ronin and Caspases in Embryonic Stem Cells: A New Perspective on Regulation of the Pluripotent State
10:00 – 11:00am
NIEHS, Rall Bldg. Room D450
Series: LMC SEMINAR SERIES Speaker: Thomas P. Zwaka, M.D. – Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. (Open to the Public)

Friday, October 1

25th International Festival of Raleigh

4:30pm (Fri. 10/1) – 7:00pm (Sun. 10/3)

Raleigh Convention Center, 500 South Salisbury Street; Raleigh, NC 27601

The Festival is a key component of the Triangle’s cultural and artistic offerings with over fifty different ethnic groups participating. Attractions include great international food, cultural exhibits, ethnic crafts and lessons as well as bazaars with varieties of international items for sale. Two stages feature global dance performances and music, and the kid’s corner offers fun for young citizens of the world. Join us for an entertaining, informative and delicious event, and discover the world of Raleigh!

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To view a complete calendar of RTP community events, please visit the Science in the Triangle calendar.

MythBusters come to UNC!

It was no urban legend. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman–better known as the co-hosts of Discovery’s legacy stunt show “MythBusters”–took time out from a hectic shooting schedule to shoot the breeze at Dean Smith Center Sunday.

“An Afternoon with Adam and Jamie” was a headlining event of the 2010 NC Science Festival, an inaugural effort to connect scientific discovery and communities across the state. The festival runs through September 26th.

RTP's Bill Burton with MythBusters Adam Savage (left) and Jamie Hyneman

Savage and Hyneman took questions from press prior to taking the stage. Fans with premium tickets were even eligible to have their picture taken with the duo and enjoy some light snacks before the show. Then,  people flooded the Dean Dome to listen to UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp interview the ‘Busters and watch video clips from their upcoming season. The crowd trended young and familial: it was evident the show resonates with the whole family. Children had the mic stand lowered to their tiny stature during the Q&A session immediately afterwards. One 7-year-old even asked what Savage and Hyneman would do if they were kidnapped. Savage let out a hearty laugh and clapped. “YES!” he said. “Thank you for asking my new favorite question of all time!”

Savage said even though the show’s factual account is not exact and there aren’t enough iterations of experiments to call it research, they have support from the scientific community at large for demonstrating the creative aspects of the scientific method. They get students fired up about science and discovering what no one’s discovered before.

“Middle school science teachers always tell me Thursdays are the best days for discussion in class,” Savage said. “Because the kids come in with questions they saw on an episode the night before. They’re engaged. Getting students to talk to their science teachers about science is my proudest accomplishment of all.

Video from the press conference is now up on Science in the Triangle’s YouTube channel.  Coverage by SITT bloggers Bora Zivkovic and Tyler Dukes soon to come.

-Ross Maloney

RTP puts Robotics “FIRST”

Students, parents, and science enthusiasts alike packed the RTP Headquarters Friday for the NC FIRST Robotics Info and Demonstration Session.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) offers robotics programs throughout North Carolina for students between the ages of 6 and 18. Teams showcased their finished bots and wowed the crowd with special tricks. Some bots kicked soccer balls (see video), some sped up jump-ramps like Evel Knievel. One even hung vertically from stretch cables. Bots were constructed from FIRST-standardized parts kits, the general framework for all teams being equal. Spectators were impressed with the teamwork and creativity the students put into their finished product.

Regional director Marie Hopper and eight of the team participants gave a brief history of the FIRST program and painted a picture for where it’s headed next. FIRST helps foster an appreciation for science and math and helps prepare our engineers of tomorrow, Hopper said.

Students told their personal favorite parts of the Robotics challenge: working together, building community, learning about electronics, becoming leaders, and even cheering on their opponents.

Hopper announced a new engineering scholarship for FIRST students through N.C. State University — the pioneer of its class for the Triangle Region.

The goals of FIRST are to (1) inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting team-based, mentor-based programs that build science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)skills; (2) promote the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; (3) foster well-rounded life capabilities; (4) help today’s youth acquire the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the technologically-driven global economy; and (5) encourage students (ages 6-18) to pursue studies in engineering and technology at the college, graduate and post-graduate levels leading to careers in related technical fields.

For those interested in getting involved with FIRST, there’s a training event for students and coaches at Park Research Center on 10/16.

For more information, contact Marie Hopper at ncfirstrobots@gmail.com

RTP Week Ahead, Sept. 11-17

Festival runs Sat., Sept. 11 - Sun., Sept. 26

Saturday, September 11

BugFest!

9:00am – 7:00pm

Museum of Natural Sciences, Jones Street, The Plaza, Edenton Street

Learn about arthropods, which make up three-quarters of all animals on Earth, during fascinating presentations. Taste delectable dishes featuring creepy crawlers as a major ingredient at Café Insecta. Join the moths, fireflies and katydids for an exhilarating evening of nocturnal activities at the Evening Insectival.

Sunday, September 12

2010 NC Science Festival

Various events, ongoing through Sun. 9/26

Presented by UNC’s Morehead Planetarium.

Monday, September 13

BioNetwork Course:Operations in Biotechnology Processes

8:00am (Mon. 9/13) – 5:00pm (Fri. 9/17)

BioNetwork Capstone Center, BTEC 250 B, 850 Oval Drive, Centennial Campus, Raleigh, NC 27695

Take a hands-on approach to learning the details of the typical processing steps used to produce a biopharmaceutical in a simulated cGMP environment. An understanding of the science and equipment used in each processing step will be proviced, as well as hands-on laboratory experience in ferentation, product isolation, and purification of a protein.

SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Preparation Workshop: Clean Green Energy Edition

8:00am – 5:00pm

Durham Marriott Convention Center, 201 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27701

Come join other energy / clean / green technology-based entrepreneurs and small companies who are seeking funding for R&D and plan to submit a SBIR/STTR proposal within the next 12 months.

Tuesday, September 14

SJF Summit on the New Green Economy

All day (thru Wed. 9/15)

Durham Convention Center (Adjacent Marriott)

A dynamic gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, government and community leaders sharing inspiring successes & practical tools and exploring strategic partnerships to build the green economy with opportunities for all.   The event will feature keynotes from Bruce Usher, former CEO of carbon trading firm EcoSecurities, and David Orr, distinguished professor at Oberlin College describing the innovative Oberlin green economy initiative, as well as many more.

Periodic Tables: Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain: Dude, where’s my car?

7:00 – 9:00pm

Broad Street Cafe, Durham

Recent MRI studies have shown that adolescence is a period of intensive brain development, and this research has generated new public policy debates on topics ranging from criminal liability to the drinking age. Dr. Swartzwelder of Duke’s Institute for Brain Sciences will be joining us and will review his studies of the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain, and suggest a context for the ongoing public policy debates.

Wednesday, September 15

Medical Innovation and Strategies Conference 2010: Wireless and Consumer Health

7:00am – 5:00pm

Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business, Health Sector Management Program, 100 Fuqua Drive Durham, 27708

Program Focus: Future impact of wireless technology on healthcare industry, Understanding the future trends of consumer healthcare, Expert panel discussions on business models and innovation solutions.

Thursday, September 16

TiE: Working in the US: Trips and Traps

11:30am – 2:00pm

Brier Creek Country Club

TiE Carolinas lunch session. Jennifer Parser of Poyner Spruill discusses immigration and work issues for employees, including visa requirements.

Seminar: Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapy of Subsets of Tobacco-Related Head and Neck Cancers

2:00 – 3:00pm

NIEHS, Rall Bldg., Rodbell B

Open to the public. Speaker:  Carter Van Waes, M.D., Ph.D.

Friday, September 17

DGHI Global Health Exchange: Dr. Eva Harris

10:00 – 11:00am

Duke Global Health Institute, 124 Trent Hall

Please join us for this Global Health Exchange for MSc-GHs.  This exchange is being arranged by the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.

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To view a complete calendar of RTP community events, please visit the Science in the Triangle calendar.

RTP Announces a Master Plan Project

The Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, owner and developer of The Research Triangle Park (RTP), announced today that the organization will undertake a comprehensive Master Plan for RTP. The 12-month Master Plan project will consider changes needed within the Park’s boundaries to ensure RTP remains a pre-eminent and globally competitive location for research and development operations and a leading global center of innovation. Anticipated components of the RTP Master Plan project include land use, financial planning, transportation/transit, economic clusters, market demand, and other infrastructure and zoning recommendations. Equally important, the RTP Master Plan project will look for ways to transform the Park and ensure it continues to serve as a key driver for the region’s and State’s economy.

The RTP Master Plan effort will be led by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, an architecture and urban design firm based in New York City, New York. To undertake the RTP Master Plan, Cooper, Robertson & Partners has assembled an extraordinary team with expertise in the fundamental requirements of the project. Principle team members include, HR&A Advisors, CresaPartners, Faithful+Gould, Grimshaw, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Natural Systems Utilities, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Buro Happold, and HDR. Each brings a global perspective balanced with a deep understanding of the local context and opportunities. Each will provide analytical rigor, thoughtfulness, and creativity, ingredients that are essential to craft a visionary Master Plan of this magnitude.

“The Cooper, Robertson & Partners team brings together exceptional designers and planners who deeply understand the characteristics needed for RTP’s continued success,” said Rick Weddle, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation. “Cooper Robertson will bring inspiration, creative design, and an astute awareness of the changes needed within the Park boundaries, in addition to a sensitivity around the Park’s characteristics that should be nurtured and maintained.”

A Task Force, comprised of Foundation Board members and chaired by Richard Daugherty, oversaw the strategic direction of the Master Plan consultant search process and will continue to set the overall direction of the project. The Task Force charged staff with finding a world-class team to take on the RTP Master Plan task. The consultant search process began with the release of a Request for Information on April 2010 to 14 planning, architecture, and landscape design firms, recognized as being the top in their fields and with proven expertise in projects of this scope and magnitude. A full Request for Proposals was then released in May 2010 to a short-list of four lead teams/firms deemed to be the best qualified and most competitive.

“While RTP has successfully addressed its mission over the past 50 years to create high-quality jobs and opportunities in North Carolina, the original development plan for the Park has not been updated since the 1960s,” said Richard Daugherty, Task Force Chairman. “Considering how drastically the environment in which research parks and innovative economies operate has transformed over the past few years, the Foundation is taking this opportunity to re-envision the Master Plan for the Park to ensure we remain a place known globally as a hot spot for innovation and a key component of the region’s and State’s economic success and competitive position.”

Work on the Master Plan project will begin immediately and will engage a broad spectrum of RTP’s stakeholders, including the RTP Owners & Tenants Association, Durham and Wake Counties, the Triangle J CORE group and other surrounding municipalities, and the three research universities upon whose strength the Park was founded and among whom the Park continues to thrive. The project is expected to last 12 months.

Robotics in RTP

Access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is becoming increasingly important for success in the global work place. STEM education and development is a necessary element for knowledge-based environments like The Research Triangle Park (RTP).  As more and more jobs depend on employees with strong STEM skills, today’s students need a way to acquire those skills.  Inquiry-based, experiential programs such as robotics, provide engaging avenues into the STEM world.  NC FIRST Robotics is a leader in providing STEM opportunities for students across North Carolina.

Robotics Demonstration

NC Robotics Information Session

Individuals and their family members with an interest in robotics education, STEM education or participation in robotics programs are invited to attend a family-friendly robotics information and demonstration session on September 10th, 2010 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the RTP Headquarters. NC FIRST Robotics offers robotics programs throughout North Carolina for students between the ages of 6 and 18.  There will be a presentation about the robotics programs and student participants will showcase their robotics work.

Program:

Robotics Competition

* Representatives from NC FIRST Robotics will describe how their organization promotes STEM opportunities forstudents in North Carolina.

* Several student participants will demonstrate the robots they have built.

* “The Hitchhikers,” a high school robotics team based in RTP’s Park Research Center, will also present.

RSVP Online

Please join us for popsicles donated by Locopops, light snacks and informal demonstrations after the program.

About NC FIRST Robotics

We live in an ever increasing technology-driven, global society. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) engages, celebrates and inspires students as they discover that they can be successful in science and technology and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s technological enterprise.

Kids in Robotics Competition

NC FIRST Robotics is working to promote these endeavors here in North Carolina. We are dedicated to exposing the youth in North Carolina to the possibilities that exist in the worlds of Science and Engineering. NC FIRST Robotics engages students in the creative ‘hands-on, minds-on’ process of technological innovation. Our goal is to get youth excited about science and technology, have them attend one of our prestigious institutes of higher learning, and upon graduation, stay in North Carolina for their careers. By doing this, we are able to ‘put North Carolina first’ by allowing our best resource, our youth, contribute to the growth and sustainability of our innovative work force.

Reminder:   The Research Triangle Park is hosting a
family-friendly robotics information and demonstration session on September 10th, 2010 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.
Individuals and their family members with an interest in robotics education, STEM education or participation in robotics programs are encouraged to attend.  This is an all-ages event.
Locopops and light snacks will be provided.
Please submit an RSVP by September 3, 2010.
More details can be found below:
Access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is becoming increasingly important for success in the global work place. STEM education and development is a necessary element for knowledge-based environments like The Research Triangle Park (RTP).  As more and more jobs depend on employees with strong STEM skills, today’s students need a way to acquire those skills.  Inquiry-based, experiential programs such as robotics, provide engaging avenues into the STEM world.  NC FIRST Robotics is a leader in providing STEM opportunities for students across North Carolina.