Science Cafés in the Fall Semester 2015

September 08, 2015

The FDA and Drug Regulation in America

Don Miller
College of Health Professions, NDSU

Abstract: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a critical role in protecting public health by assuring safe and effective drugs, but how well is it meeting its mission? Is the FDA a pawn in the hands of industry or does it unnecessarily stand in the way of innovation? Donald Miller, PharmD., Professor of Pharmacy Practice at NDSU, and a member of the FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee, will give his perspective on how the FDA works, and describe how new legal rulings and pending Congressional legislation may change the ability of FDA to provide balanced regulation.

October 13, 2015

Nanomaterials: friend or foe? Computing the good and bad properties.

Bakhtiyor Rasulev
Research Associate, Center for Computationally
Assisted Science and Technology, NDSU

Abstract: For the last two decades, breakthrough research has been going on in all aspects of materials science, including nanotechnology at an accelerated pace. New materials of unprecedented functionality and performance are being developed and characterized. New materials are in high demand in the marketplace. Moreover, this need increases in an exponential way for the new materials of desired functionality and performance. For example, nanomaterials to cure various diseases or for targeted destruction of cancer cells, and etc. Here we show examples of good and bad properties of nanomaterials, and also how the combination of computational chemistry, data mining and cheminformatics approaches can help in predicting the properties of nanomaterials, including physico-chemical, pharmacological properties and toxicity.

November 10, 2015

Norman Borlaug: The Man Who Fed the World.

David S. Buchanan
Professor of Animal Science, Associate
Dean for Academic Programs,
College of Agriculture,
Food Systems and Natural Resources, NDSU

Abstract: The title of this presentation comes from the title of his biography written by Leon Hesser. Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 but remains largely unknown to the American public. He was born in Iowa, educated at the University of Minnesota and went to Mexico to start working with improvement of wheat. His efforts changed Mexico from being grain-deficient in the mid-1940s to being an exporter of wheat by 1963. After that, his procedures were applied to India and Pakistan where many had predicted mass starvation during the 1960s. By 1974, both countries had become self-sufficient in the production and use of small grains. Many people have since declared that he saved a billion lives. President Carter has said "Norman Borlaug's moral fortitude, his strength, his dedication to the world's poorest people, and his scientific brilliance were just a few of the reasons why he has been a hero of mine."