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Scott A. Banta:

Scott Banta received his PhD from Rutgers University in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and he went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is currently an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University and his research is focused on applied protein and metabolic engineering. His group works on different projects in gene and drug delivery, protein and peptide conformational behavior, biomolecular recognition, biosensors, biocatalysis, bioelectrocatalysis, and bioenergy applications. In his scant spare time he enjoys dominating his fantasy football leagues.

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David Orbach:

David Orbach joined Cooper Union in the summer of 2008 with a BS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University and a MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester. Before joining Cooper he also earned an MD, did an intern year, and developed an interest in improving efficiency and patient throughput in the Emergency Room setting. He teaches several biology and biomedical engineering courses, including cell and molecular biology, physiology, and microbiology; helps direct the Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering; and serves as the college’s pre-medical advisor. Outside of Cooper, David also helps create iPhone apps and workbooks for children. See

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Dionne Lutz, Laboratory Technician:

Dionne loves working as the technician for the Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering at Cooper Union. She enjoys having a biology-centric prospective in an engineering environment. An avid knitter, she also spends her time making cookies and playing Minecraft.

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Sudipta Majumdar, Ph.D. Student:

Sudipta Majumdar is a research scientist at the Columbia University Chemical Engineering Department pursuing his interest of the application of biochemistry for the development of next generation biofuels. Before coming to Columbia he went to Wesleyan University and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and received his PhD in Chemistry.

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Kevin Dooley, Ph.D. Student:

Kevin is a Ph.D candidate in chemical engineering at Columbia University.


Tushar Patel, Ph.D. Student:

Tushar Patel is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University under Dr. Scott Banta. His work focuses around the development of heterogeneous biocatalysts for applications such as carbon capture, biofuel production, and biosensing. His previous research experience has involved studying novel drug delivery modalities, antibacterial coatings for medical devices, glucose sensing nano-optodes, and human biochemical markers. On the rare occasion that he finds free time, Tushar enjoys watching Boston sports, playing Ultimate, and playing video games.

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Jason Candreva, Research Associate:

Jason Candreva received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in December of 2011. He completed research towards his Master’s degree in Dr. Scott Banta’s lab, focusing on the characterization of hydrogel protein erosion for biomedical applications. Upon completion of his degree, he was hired to work on a biofuel project in Dr. Scott Banta’s lab at Columbia, helping to genetically modify Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans to produce isobutanol in a bioreactor. On the weekends, Jason manages a slow pitch softball team that has yet to win any championships, despite making the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. He also enjoys playing golf, snowboarding, and watching baseball, football, and basketball.