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April 16, 2013 // By Karen Kreeger // Comments

Penn to Celebrate Big Ideas in Science at the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Science Festival

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PSF logo 2013Penn’s signature event at the 3rd annual Philadelphia Science Festival next week is a sure sign of the times. “Big Ideas: Funding and Innovation” draws on current themes and reminders of where the bright ideas really come from. Fundamental research at such government agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation spur today’s most successful businesses and healthcare innovations. Federal funds from taxpayer dollars drive the development of nearly all of the top technologies that permeate our lives.


On Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 6:30pm at the historic Iron Gate Theater, 3700 Chestnut Street, NSF Director and 2013 Franklin Medal awardee Subra Suresh will open a discussion on the importance of federally funded research at laboratories in research universities.


Iron Gate TheatreIn TED-talk style, a group of Penn and Drexel innovators will share their real-life examples of how federal funds have contributed to their Big Ideas:

Garret FitzGerald, MD, FRS, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, and Director, Institute for Translational Medicine & Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine, studies how drugs work in the body. His lab leads the way, with many firsts, to help people lead healthier lives -- discovering how low-dose aspirin is important for heart health, showing which anti-inflammatory drugs might be harmful, and finding an internal body clock important to the circulatory system and when best to take medications.

Chris Hunter, PhD, Chair of the Penn Vet Department of Pathobiology, uncovers ways in which certain proteins cause or prevent inflammatory diseases to create more accurate models of immune-system function, to combat diseases from cancer and arthritis to HIV/AIDS.

Adam Fontecchio, PhD, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Engineering, co-directs Drexel’s Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center, a hub for enabling teams of faculty, students, and entrepreneurs to pursue multi-disciplinary collaborative projects. He investigates liquid crystal interactions to develop novel devices.

Jordan Miller, post-doctoral fellow in the Tissue Microfabrication Laboratory in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, combines chemistry and rapid prototyping to direct cultured human cells to form complex organizations of living vessels and tissues. He is one of the founding members of the 3D maker community, using 3D printing in his regenerative medicine research.

Tickets can be purchased here and the full calendar of PSF programs is available here.

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