November 2010

Stacey Barnaby

BarnabyUndergraduate Student
Fordham University

What is your research focus? 
The focus of our research group is bionanotechnology. In particular, we are investigating the supramolecular assembly of a wide range of biopolymers and functionalizing them for the development of nanomaterials for wound healing, drug delivery and tissue engineering. We also are examining the in vitro cell-adhesion ability of those materials and their antioxidant properties.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
No.

What are your career plans?  
My career plans are to pursue a doctoral degree in biochemistry/bionanotechnology. In the long term, I would like to work in academia or at a research center and continue my research in bionanotechnology.

Why do you think scientists should be involved in politics, and what do you think is the most important issue in science policy?
I believe that scientists should be involved in politics because it is scientists who are aware of the most pertinent research and educational issues in their fields, and they potentially could help in supporting the long-term goals of the nation. Scientists are the ones who spend many hours in the laboratory and come up with leading breakthroughs for curing diseases or for vaccines or to build new materials for solar cells. Therefore, scientists can keep politicians abreast of the emergent themes of the time. Scientists, particularly in academia, are dependent heavily on grants from the government in every aspect of research, whether it is for instrumentation and supplies or basic funding for students and postdoctoral fellows. Topics such as nanotechnology, renewable resources, solar cells, biofuels, HIV, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes should be on the forefront of funding from the government. Without financial support from the government, the majority of the research done in academia would not be possible.

I feel that the one of the most important issues in science policy is directing money toward research. Our nation is at a turning point, and for us to make the right turn at this juncture, we need to invest more money into both undergraduate and graduate research and encourage young students to enter into the sciences. It is during undergraduate research that students are exposed for the first time to the potential implications of scientific contributions they could make as scientists. By investing more money into research and education, the government also is investing in the future of our country.

 

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