Lunch with a Scientist

Lunch with a Scientist

This event is full.

Join a small group for lunch and lively conversation with a scientist, organized by our Penn State hosts. During registration, select from this menu:


Pick up your lunch in the Atrium

  • Heather McCune Bruhn, the connection between geosciences and art history; lunch will be held at the rear of the dining room. 
  • Jeffery Catchmark, biomaterials; lunch will be held in the Penn State Room
  • Gregory Friberg, M.D., therapeutic area head hematology/oncology and bone; lunch will be held in the Alumni Lounge
  • Vasant Honavar, artificial intelligence; lunch will be held in Boardroom Rotunda
  • Tracy Langkilde, understanding evolutionary responses to stressors in animals; lunch will be held in the Assembly Room 
  • Tak-Sing Wong, engineering inspired by nature; lunch will be held in the Assembly Room
  • José Pinto Duarte, 3D printing on Mars; lunch will be held in the Assembly Room
  • Steven Schiff, predictive personalized modeling of infectious disease; lunch will be held in the Ballroom
  • Erica Smithwick, visualizing forest futures; lunch will be held in the Mt. Nittany Room 
  • Live Symbiotic podcast: a trans-disciplinary Q&A; the podcast will be held in the Faculty Staff Club
    • Join a panel of ground-breaking Penn State researchers sharing their trials, tribulations and hard-won best practices for trans-disciplinary life sciences research. This Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences-sponsored lunch will be recorded live for a Symbiotic podcast, and will include an open Q&A session with the faculty. The Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences were established in 1996 to enhance and facilitate interdisciplinary research and training in the life sciences across Penn State. The Huck’s research is focused in several areas including infectious disease, genome sciences, plant sciences, and the neurosciences. Check out an episode here
    • Podcast Panelists include: 
      • Jennifer Macalady– Combining geosciences and microbiology, Macalady explores life in deep caves, investigating the ecological rules that govern microbial behavior and evolution, and asking how can modern Earth microorganisms teach us about the biogeochemistry of the early Earth and signatures of life on other planets. 
      • Melik Demirel – Working at the convergence of materials and life sciences, Demirel focuses on self-healing, biodegradable synthetic alternatives to plastics. His research involves emerging manufacturing processes for materials, tissues, and devices; multiscale and multi-physics modeling, computational analysis; bio-nanoscience, and engineering. 
      • Sally Mackenzie  – Through ground-breaking discoveries in epigenetics and plant plasticity, Makenzie’s work promises to enhance crop resiliency over the coming decades, in the face of global climate change. Her research integrates molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, epigenomics, computational biology and phylogenetic approachesj.
      • Matthew Thomas – Engaging a wide range of scientific disciplines, Thomas is exploring the viability of an innovative new malaria-prevention technology for potential deployment across the developing world. His research combines entomology, evolutionary ecology, vector biology, biotechnology, agricultural sciences, mathematics, economics, and social sciences.


  • The Dragonfly team, Dragonfly; this lunch will held in the Penn State Room
    • Penn State faculty are a key partner in the Dragonfly mission to send a drone-style quadcopter to explore the geology of Saturn’s moon Titan and answer questions about the origins of life. Our faculty are solving engineering problems such as designing helicopter blades that can fly in extreme cold and capable of movement after the long 8-year journey to Titan after launch. The Dragonfly project is led by researchers at Johns Hopkins University but called upon Penn State due to our helicopter expertise in the form of the Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence – one of three Vertical Lift Research Centers of Excellence in the United States. Our faculty are leading the following elements of the mission:  
      • rotor design and analysis, 
      • rotorcraft flight-control-law development, 
      • scaled rotorcraft testbed development, and 
      • ground testing support and flight performance assessment  
Sunday, October 27th, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
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Nittany Lion Inn
Heather Mccune Bruhn
  Penn State
Jeffery Catchmark
  Penn State
Gregory Friberg
Vasant Honavar
  Penn State
Tracy Langkilde
  Penn State
José Pinto Duarte
  Penn State
Steven Schiff
  Penn State
Erica Smithwick
  Penn State
Tak-Sing Wong
  Penn State