Wilkes University


Four Wilkes University Professors to Present Research at NEPA Innovation Conference Aug. 10 and 11

Four Wilkes University professors will present their research at the second annual Northeast Pennsylvania Innovation Conference on Aug. 10-11 at the Hilton Conference Center in Scranton, Pa. Co-presented by tecBRIDGE and the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University, the event centers on bioscience and technology.  The two-day conference fee is $150 per participant. For more information and to register visit tecbridgepa.org/ic2017.

The Innovation Conference focuses on significant bioscience research, commercialization efforts and community initiatives occurring in the region along with existing resources for professionals. The Wilkes professors are involved in significant research in bioscience and are among more than 30 keynote speakers, invited presenters and panelists presenting their research.

 Abas Sabouni, assistant professor of electrical engineering and Gregory Harms, associate professor and chair of physics, will be presenting in the medical device track.

  • Sabouni’s presentation, “Future Technology for Breast Cancer Imaging, Detection, and Monitoring Treatment” will focus on his research in the area of low-power microwave tissue monitoring for breast cancer detection, which relies on the contrast between the electrical properties of tumors and normal breast tissue. The technique has many benefits, including the fact that it is non-ionizing, requires low-power levels of illumination, is low cost and may not require the breast compression that is used in mammography. He will also offer about the development of a wireless sensor to monitor the regrowth of cancer in order to increase the quality of the life for breast cancer survivors.
  • Harms will discuss “Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease in Model Mice: Imaging, Behavior, and Blood Biomarker Analysis.” His research focuses on retrieval of information to detect the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. Techniques includes whole-brain imaging with retrograde labeling, behavioral and clinical analysis and screening of blood-born biomarkers of RNA, lipids and metabolites to link neural dysfunction to new biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease.

William Terzaghi, professor of biology and Del Lucent, assistant professor of physics will be presenting as part of the bioinformatics track. Bioinformatics combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data.

  • Terzaghi is presenting “Using Bioinformatics and Synthetic Biology for Bioremediation of Atrazine and to Develop Novel Treatments for Kidney Stones.” His research applies bioinformatics to identify genes which can be used to develop plants that can detoxify atrazine, the second most widely used herbicide in the U.S. He also will discuss three techniques utilizing bioinformatics to alleviate kidney stones. .Most kidney stones are caused by excess calcium oxalate. His research includes redesigning the DNA of enzymes that destroy oxalate and modifying probiotic E. coli to express the enzymes to destroy oxalate in the digestive system.
  • Lucent will present “Protein Folding and Design: Interdisciplinary Science in a Digital Laboratory.” Proteins – the molecules that sustain all life -- must somehow know how to fold into the correct shape needed to sustain all of the processes of life. Using state-of-the-art data science techniques combined with cloud computing, Lucent collects data that could enable treatment for numerous diseases that occur when proteins mis-fold in the human body. It has implications for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis, Type Two diabetes and some forms of cancer. Lucent will explain how the protein-folding knowledge can be applied to he field of bioengineering, allowing us to design proteins with great potential to rectify national and global problems.