University of South Florida

Nanobiotechnology conference brings together multiple disciplines to impact future pandemics

Nanotechnology and biotechnology experts from around the globe gathered in-person and virtually at this year’s Global Nanobiotechnology Conference (GNC), hosted April 22 to 24 by USF’s NANO and Engineering Biology student organizations and the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy.

Nearly 170 attendees representing researchers from across the United States, as well as a global reach to India, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Colombia, registered for this conference’s second annual event, all benefiting from the opportunity to network and foster scientific and research collaborations. Poster presentations and oral presentations at the event highlighted current work being done in the fields of nano-technology and biotechnology.

USF President Rhea Law urged attendees to continue their life-saving work.

“I’m proud that the University of South Florida is hosting such a critically important event –given the global devastation and calamity that COVID-19 has caused in the last two years,” said USF President Rhea Law in her remarks to conference attendees. “But this has made the work you do all the more vital. There is a dire need to continue innovating nano-biotech-based approaches to manage the pandemic. A global crisis like this one requires intensive collaboration and interdisciplinary research, uniting the most creative minds in tackling it. And that is precisely what this conference helps to accomplish–bringing together scientists from medicine to physics, material science, molecular biology, and biomedical engineering to find new solutions to COVID and other threats to humankind.”

Charles Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, also share a message of support.

“The University of South Florida takes great pride in its status as a global research university and this conference offers a great opportunity to continue building a worldwide network of faculty, scientists and industry partners dedicated to innovating nano-biotech research,” Dr. Lockwood said. “This weekend you will hear from some of the world’s top experts discussing advancements in nanotechnology, and the implication for improving health care across the globe.”

This year’s conference was chaired by Shyam Mohapatra, PhD, MBA, professor and associate dean of the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy. The annual event is motivated by the need for developing nanobiotechnologies for current COVID-19 pandemic and such pandemics in the future.

The interdisciplinary nature of nanobiotechnology brings together scientists from medicine, physics, material science, molecular biology, and biomedical engineering, among other disciplines, to find solutions for challenging problems that humankind is facing with transdisciplinary approaches. The role of nanotechnology has been clearly illustrated in the novel methods of diagnosis, vaccines, and treatments, which have been developed against COVID-19.

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