User:Nicholas M. Fahrenkopf

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Nicholas M. Fahrenkopf

Tumor Cells
Tumor Cells

Hi, my name is Nicholas Fahrenkopf, and I'm currently a senior at the University at Albany, State University of New York. My academic program is Physics under the College of Arts and Sciences, but my research activites and interests lie with the Nanobioscience Constellation at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. For over a year now I've been working in the Cady Lab which was the first real biology lab at the first College in the world devoted to nanoscale science and engineering.

I learned about OpenWetWare when I came across the homepage that featured this site. I've joined because I'm originally trained in physics, but am doing more and more cell biology research.

I've outlined my research interests below, but I want to comment on the cause for my research interests. I firmly believe in helping others- in helping those who can't help themselves. I have a passion for serving and I hope that my research (detailed below) will be able to help others.



My research interests lie primarly with Bio-MEMS (Micro electro mechanical systems) such as environmental sensors, diagnostic/non-invasive sensors, or novel drug delivery systems. I'm also interested in using nano/micro fabrication to probe and learn more about biological systems. Recently, from my physics education, I've become more and more interested in Bayesian Data Analysis and hope to apply these techniques as my research becomes quantitative.

My first research project was rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices. While it is already widely published how to create PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) flow cells, our group wanted to optimize using low cost transparency masks. The protocols for this will be posted soon. I then moved on to an application of these devices with a collaboration with the Gen*NY*sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics- part of the School of Public Health, Department of Biomedical Sciences at UAlbany. I was to design and fabricate devices to elucidate tumor cell dynamics during dissemination. Once complete, I spent a lot of time learning how to handle and work with the tumor cells. I can also post those protocols if they are missing from OWW.

Educational Outreach

In addition to research, I volunteer with multiple outreach activities. During the Spring of 2007, I helped lead an “Engineering Explorations” workshop for students from Albany High School. During these workships I worked with the high school students in hands-on activities, teaching them many of the techniques that I learned through my research. I've also participated in CNSE's “Nano Career Days”, which bring local middle and high school students to CNSE to teach them about nanotechnology. At these "Nano Career Days" I help faculty with their hands on demonstrations about different nanotechnology topics such as photolithography, polymers, or nanoparticles. I feel these events are very important- which is why the College spends time, energy and money to organize them. I've seen first hand that high school, and even middle school students can grasp scientific concepts if they are presented the material in a way that piques their interest. We, in the United States, need to cultivate our youth and increase their interest in the math and sciences.


My B.S. in Physics, with a minor in Mathematics, is expected May 2008. My physics degree also contains a decent amount of training in biochemistry and cell biology both formally in the classroom, and informally in the lab. I'm currently in the process of applying to Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Engineering/Biological Engineering/Bioengineering.

Extra Cirricular Interests


To fund my education beyond my scholarships, I work part time in the Office of the Vice President for Student Success. In that capacity I plan, promote and launch campus initatives for student spirit, safety and well-being. I also provide technology support, website maintenance, print publication design, and special project assistance for the Office of the Vice President, and the Departments within the Division.

Presidential Honors Society

PHS is the campus' most well known honor society and community service organization. Its members collectively contribute over 8,000 hours of community service in an academic year. In my first semester as a member I became a Project Coordinator from Spring 2005 - Spring 2006. I was subsequently elected President for a year, and now serve as VP.

University Service

In the fall of 2006 I was elected to the Student Association Senate as a living area representative. I was then appointed Vice-Chair of the University and Governmental Affairs Committee. This appointment also made me a student member of the faculty governing body: University Senate. On University Senate I served on the University Life Council, and the University Policy and Planning Council. I also served on the Student Association Senate's Appropriations Committee that year. The following year I was elected as to an At-Large seat that I currently hold and appointed Chair of the University Outreach Committee. I also sit on the Rules and Operations Committee. Outside of governance I've served on a variety of committees including the Albany Student Dining Advisory Committee, University Retention Committee, University Spirit Committee, Search Committee for the Director of the new Student Services Center, Entry Plaza Re-Design Committee, and many others.


Society of Physics Students American Association of Physicists in Medicine Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society Goldent Key International Honour Society National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Contact Info

You can email me at: nfahrenkopf at uamail dot albany dot edu

Or visit [1] or [2]

Or you can email me through OpenWetWare.

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