Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Keynote and Plenary Speakers


Keynote Speakers

DARPA, Biological Technologies Office (BTO)

Dr. Paul Sheehan (DARPA)Dr. Paul Sheehan joined DARPA as a program manager in the Biological Technologies Office in July 2017. His portfolio covers multiple strategies on how to implement control systems for biology using bioelectronics, synthetic biology, and synthetic ecology. Sheehan will focus on new nanoscale methods for biological sensing that could be coupled with advanced engineering and electronics. His interests involve the bi-directional conversion between electronic and biochemical signals, the study of how nanostructures interact with cells and biomolecules, and new approaches for the rapid development and manufacture of bioassays.

 Prior to his arrival at DARPA, Sheehan directed the Surface Nanoscience and Sensor Technology Section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. His highly interdisciplinary team comprised biochemists, chemists, engineers, and physicists who studied nanometer scale phenomena at surfaces, as well as bioelectronics for sensing and biotic/abiotic interfaces. The team focused on discovering and developing new materials that could advance electronics and biosensing.

 Sheehan was a University Fellow at the University of North Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry-based Materials Science. After receiving his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Physics from Harvard University, he served as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory. He is a fellow of the AVS.


Dr. Jamal Lewis (UC Davis)– Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Principal Investigator of the Immuno-modulatory Biomaterials Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. Prior to his professorship, Dr. Lewis was Senior Scientist at OneVax, LLC and a Post Doctoral Associate in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida, where he also received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2012. Dr. Lewis completed his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Florida A&M University in 2004, and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 from North Carolina State University. His research, educational and entrepreneurial efforts have been supported by the NIH. His honors and awards include the prestigious NIH Early Stage Investigator MIRA, Regenerative Medicine Workshop Young Faculty Award and the CMBE Journal Young Innovator Award.

Immuno-modulatory Biomaterials Laboratory

Plenary Speakers


Dr. Swadeshmukul Santra (UCF) – Dr. Santra is a Professor at the NanoScience Technology Center, Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida. His research focuses on Quantum Dot Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, Agricultural Biocides, Environmental Nanotoxicology and Nanofiltration. Dr. Santra received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1998, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida in 2002. He was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Florida from 2002-2005, before joining the faculty at the University of Central Florida in 2005. He has written dozens of articles and book chapters on nanoscience and nanotechnology. Dr. Santra also holds eight US patents in nano-bio and biomedical fields.

Santa Research Group


Dr. Arvind Agarwal (FIU) – Dr. Agarwal is a Distinguished University Professor and Chair in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) at Florida International University. Dr. Agarwal is the chairman of FIU’s Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute (AMERI) and is the PI of the Plasma Forming Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1999 and B. Tech. and M. Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur in 1993 and 1995, respectively. His current research focuses on Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNT) coatings and the nanomechanics of tissues. His research has been funded in excess of $3.5M from NSF, ONR, AFOSR, ARO, NASA  and  private  industries.  He has published 320 technical articles, including 251 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 books, and 7 edited books. He has received many awards including NSF’s Career Award (2006) and the Nanomaterials and Energy Prize in 2017 and 2020 for best journal paper.

Plasma Forming Laboratory


Dr. Sesha Srinivasan (Florida Poly)– Dr. Srinivasan is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Physics at Florida Polytechnic University, Florida, USA. Dr. Srinivasan is the current Fulbright Specialist and American Physical Society’s Career Mentoring Fellow. He has a decade of teaching experience in the US Higher Education and has more than two decades of research experience in frontier research areas nanotechnologies, renewable energy, hydrogen technologies, wastewater remediation via solar photocatalysis, thermal and thermochemical energy storage, thermochromic materials for energy saving applications and multi-functional materials development and characterization. Dr. Srinivasan received his Ph.D. in Physics from Banaras Hindu University, India on the research area to develop hydrogen storage materials for fuel cell vehicular applications. Dr. Srinivasan then did a couple of Post-Doctoral Fellowships in the USA, at University of Hawaii and University of South Florida on funded projects with DOE, FESC, NASA and EPA. In his current and previous academic positions at Florida Polytechnic University and Tuskegee University, Dr. Srinivasan secured many research grants, worth of $2 Million from both federal, state, and private funding sources. He has awarded with two US patents on Hydrogen storage nanomaterials’ development and methodologies, one US patent on wastewater remediation via solar photocatalysis, and one international US patent was recently filed on microencapsulation of organic polymeric systems. He has published ten book chapters and review articles, more than 125 peer-reviewed journal publications, and many more conference proceedings. Dr. Srinivasan has served as a reviewer in the panel review committee of the National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, NDSEG, and panelist for Qatar National Research Fund and Irish Research Council. He is the faculty advisor and mentor for the students’ focused professional societies such as Society of Physics Students, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society-National Mentoring Community. Dr. Srinivasan serves as the President-Elect, Membership and Awards Committee Chair and Engineering Section Chair for the Florida Academy of Sciences.


Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf (NNCO)   – Dr. Friedersdorf is the Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, the office responsible for providing technical and administrative support to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative and facilitating collaboration among the more than 30 Federal agencies engaged in nanotechnology research and development. She has been involved in nanotechnology for nearly thirty years, with a particular interest in advancing technology commercialization through university-industry-government collaboration. She is a strong advocate for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and has over two decades of experience teaching at both the university and high school levels. Lisa earned her PhD and MSE in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf – NNI

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