Data science, new drug development and barnacles: The Harrington STEM Series is back for spring 2020

SUNY New Paltz’s Harrington STEM Lecture Series is back this spring with three fascinating discussions delivered by three of the nation’s most respected scientists, researchers and industry leaders.

This semester’s slate delivers discussions of data science in public services, applied research in physics and biology, and the development of new pharmaceutical compounds into consumer medications.

All lectures are held on the New Paltz campus in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium beginning at 5 p.m. They are free and open to the public, and include a reception at 4:30 p.m. that offers students, faculty and community members a chance to speak with the visiting scholars.

The lectures are also broadcast live online for those who may be unable to attend in person. Visit for live links to the broadcasts.

This School of Science & Engineering colloquium series is named for founding Dean John Harrington, in honor of his years of dedication to science, education and collaboration across the STEM disciplines.

For more information, please email or call 845-257-3784.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 5 p.m.
“The Pathway to Drug Development and Importance of the FDA (Compared to the Good Old Days)”
Carol Duffy,
Executive Director, Head U.S. Clinical Trial Excellence, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp.

Abstract: Of every compound identified by the pharmaceutical industry as a possible medication, the disease target needs to be carefully defined, the development timeline is incredibly long, the cost is very high, and the success rate is very low. Over the past 170 years, the U.S. has established a multi-phase clinical trial and investigation process to prove safety and efficacy in these potential medications. This lecture will present the history and process of pharmaceutical drug development from onset to potential Food & Drug Administration approval for patients and consumers.

Tuesday, March 10, 5 p.m.
“Exploring Barnacle Exoskeleton Formation”
Rebecca Metzler,
Associate Professor of Physics, Colgate University

Abstract: Barnacles are ancient arthropods that, as adults, consist of a soft organism surrounded by a hard, mineralized, outer shell that the organism produces for protection. While research has been done into the glue-like cement that barnacles use to adhere to a variety of surfaces, less is known about the barnacle exoskeleton. Metzler will present preliminary data exploring the changes that occur as the barnacle cyprid undergoes metamorphosis to become a sessile barnacle with a mineralized exoskeleton.

Thursday, April 23, 5 p.m.
Building a Data-driven Government Focusing on Citizen Services
Robin Thottungal
’08, Chief Technology Officer/Chief Data Scientist, National Gallery of Art

Abstract: Data science is key to addressing national challenges with greater agility. Thottungal will discuss how this digital transformation has become the driver behind a better understanding of the complex interdependencies between our air, water, land and public health. By embracing emerging technology strategies such as microservices-based architecture and user-centered design, we can better capture the relationships and detect anomalies in the terabytes of data that we intake each year.

If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please contact the School of Science & Engineering at as soon as possible.

Visit the School of Science & Engineering online for more information.