Nanobioscience (PhD)

micro view of cell

Our Ph.D. in Nanobioscience serves as a global resource for training in nanobioscience and produces a new hybrid generation of scientists capable of driving nanotechnology applications in medicine and life science.

The Ph.D. in Nanobioscience program trains students in the principles, practices, and research paradigms of nanobioscience to prepare them for interdisciplinary careers in research, development, deployment and education at the convergence of medicine and life science with nanoscale science and engineering.

By merging core biological science and applied science principles with the foundational tenets and skill sets of nanoscale science and nanoscale engineering, graduates have the intellectual fluency and technical ability to analyze and investigate the fundamental properties of a given nanoscale biological process or phenomenon. Graduates are able to  apply this learning to hypothesis formulation for the conception or construction of a functional nanobiological system or architecture.

Approaching nanotechnology from the biological world

Nanoscale innovations and technologies from the biological world are harnessed to manipulate and control materials at the nanoscale. Drawing knowledge from biological systems enables unique approaches to nanotechnological design, engineering, processing, and manufacturing. 

Approaching biology from the nanoscale

Nanoscale phenomena, technologies or processes are used to study biology at its fundamental level – the nanoscale.  Similarly, nanoscale devices, materials, or phenomena can be harnessed for therapeutics, diagnostics, medicine, pharmaceuticals, and many other biological applications.

For degree information, visit the SUNY Poly Graduate Catalog.

Nanobioscience

Offered on Albany College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering Campus Only

Overview

SUNY Poly College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) cross-disciplinary Ph.D. and M.S. curricula integrate the fundamental principles of physics, chemistry, computer science, biology, mathematics, and engineering with the cross-cutting fields of nanosciences, nanoengineering and nanotechnology.  A comprehensive portfolio of courses provides fundamental knowledge in the design, manipulation of nanomaterials and nanofabricated systems towards biological applications, including metals, semiconductors, polymers, chemical, and biological materials. This includes the integration, processing, testing and qualification of these materials in integrated micro- and nanosystems, sensors, and integrated optics.
SUNY Poly CNSE offers the following graduate programs leading to Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees:

  •  M.S. in Nanoscale Science
  • Ph.D. in Nanoscale Science
  • M.S. in Nanoscale Engineering*
  • Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering*
  • M.S. in Nanobioscience
  • Ph.D. in Nanobioscience

*The M.S. and Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering do not lead to New York State licensure for practicing engineers in civil construction, surveying or the trades.
SUNY Poly CNSE also offers the following graduate program leading to Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Medical Doctor (M.D.) (SUNY Downstate Medical Center) degree:

  •  M.D./Ph.D. in Medicine and Nanoscale Science or Nanoscale Engineering

The Nanobioscience Program Leading to a Master of Science Degree

The M.S. degree programs trains students in the principles, practices and research paradigms of nanobioscience to prepare them for interdisciplinary careers in research, development, deployment and education at the convergence of medicine and life science with nanoscale science and engineering. Students accepted into the CNSE M.S. degree programs are strongly recommended to construct a preliminary program of graduate study with the assistance of their academic and research advisor at the completion of the first year of study.

Degree Requirements of the M.S. in Nanobioscience (30 credits)

  1. Completion of courses from the “Foundations of Nanotechnology” course sequence (9 credits)
  2. NNSE coursework (18 credits): Six credits as advised relevant to a SUNY Poly Nanobioscience Degree and twelve credits of Master’s level research (NNSE 698 or NNSE 699)
  3. Completion of an original research project that represents a significant scientific contribution to CNSE Nanobioscience, and leads to the submission of an acceptable Master’s thesis.
  4. A Master’s research project report can be substituted for the formal thesis if the student successfully completes an appropriate portion of the Ph.D. preliminary written examination.
  5. Seminar/External Courses as advised (3 credits)

Foundations of Nanotechnology Course Sequence

Nanotechnology is highly interdisciplinary, building upon core competencies from many traditional disciplines, including materials science, chemistry, physics, biology and electrical engineering. As a consequence, and because the undergraduate backgrounds of CNSE students are equally diverse, a “one size fits all” approach to course content and design is neither practical nor desirable.

To address these issues, a sequence of modular core courses, “Foundations of Nanotechnology,” has been designed to provide students with unified core competencies, as well as to prepare them for their more specialized advanced coursework and individual research in the various CNSE Nanoscale Science, Nanoscale Engineering and Nanobioscience tracks.

“Foundations” represents a modular four-course sequence that has been specifically designed to provide the base scientific skill set required by the varied undergraduate backgrounds of students entering CNSE. The parallel and complementary modular platform of the “Foundations” sequence responds to the need for simultaneous CNSE course content delivery to students possessing undergraduate degrees in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

The “Foundations” sequence serves an analogous role for practicing professionals in the fields of nanoscale science, engineering, and nanotechnology that have or plan to enroll in CNSE degree programs.
The “Foundations of Nanotechnology” sequence consists of four courses in the Foundations of Nanotechnology I – IV (NNSE 506, 507, 508 and 509), with two offered in the fall semester and two in the spring semester. Each course consists of coordinated modules specifically designed and sequenced by CNSE faculty to provide the fundamental academic acumen and core competencies necessary for students entering the fields of Nanoscale Science, Nanoscale Engineering, and Nanobioscience.

First-Year Course Map (pdf)

The Nanobioscience Program Leading to a Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The purpose of CNSE’s Ph.D. programs is to prepare the student for a career as a skilled, productive research scholar in nanobioscience. The programs are intended for students with career interests in industrial research and development, academic scholarship and research, or government research agencies.
The Ph.D. program  merges core biological science and applied science principles with the foundational tenets and skillsets of nanoscale science and nanoscale engineering, graduates of these programs will have the intellectual fluency and technical ability to analyze and investigate the fundamental properties of a given nanoscale biological process or phenomenon and apply that learning to hypothesis formulation for the conception or construction of a functional nanobiological system or architecture. This program is designed to develop the student’s ability to discover fundamental knowledge pertaining to:

  • The integration of nanoscale science and engineering with fundamental biological disciplines including microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology, and medicine.
  • Drawing knowledge from biological systems to enable unique approaches to nanotechnological design, engineering, processing and manufacturing.

Students accepted into the CNSE Ph.D. programs are strongly recommended to construct a preliminary program of graduate study with the assistance of their academic and research advisor at the completion of the first year of study. This preliminary program will consist of the student’s choice of concentration (specialization) and a preliminary concentration course curriculum.

Degree Requirements of the Ph.D. in Nanobioscience (60 credits)

1. Students admitted with an appropriate Bachelor’s degree shall complete 60 credit hours of academic coursework in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree requirements:

  • Thirty-six (36) credit hours SUNY Poly coursework at the 500 level or higher with the following provisions:
    • Completion of the 12 credit-hour  “Foundations of Nanotechnology” sequence.
    • Completion of at least 9 credit hours of 600 or higher level coursework as advised relevant to a  SUNY Poly Nanobioscience degree.
  • Nine (9) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
  • Fifteen (15) credit hours of Ph.D. dissertation research (NNSE 8XX, 6XX)

2. Students admitted with an appropriate Masters degree shall complete 36 credit hours of academic coursework in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree requirements.

  • Fifteen (15) credit hours SUNY Poly coursework at the 500 level or higher with the following provisions:
    • Completion of “Foundations of Nanotechnology” course sequence for which the student did not receive course equivalency upon matriculation into the Nanobioscience Ph.D. program.
    • Completion of at least 6 credit hours of 600 or higher level coursework as advised relevant to a SUNY Poly Nanobioscience degree.
  • Six (6) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
  • Fifteen (15) credit hours of Ph.D. dissertation research.

3. Preliminary Written Examination for formal admission to the Nanobioscience Ph.D. program:

  • Admission to the Nanobioscience Ph.D. program requires requires successful completion of a preliminary examination testing the ability of the candidate to conceive and present a research project in Nanobioscience.  The exam will be offered yearly and must be passed within two attempts to maintain academic standing in the Nanobioscience Ph.D. program.

4. Preliminary Oral Examination for completion of the Nanobioscience Ph.D. degree:

  • Normally, within 2 semesters of passing the preliminary written examination, students in the Nanobioscience Ph.D. program must submit a written research proposal describing the student’s intended dissertation research and followed by a formal preliminary oral examination relevant to the proposed work and the Nanobioscience degree. An oral examination committee determines successful completion of the preliminary oral examination. This committee consists of at least four members of the SUNY Poly faculty (including the student’s advisor who serves as chair) and at least one outside member (faculty outside SUNY Poly, or SUNY Poly research partner). Upon passing this examination the student advances to candidacy for the Nanobioscience Ph.D.
  • Within one semester of passing the preliminary oral examination, the candidate must submit to his or her Ph.D. dissertation committee a proposal outlining an original Nanobioscience research project constituting a Ph.D. dissertation. The candidate must describe the motivation and background for the dissertation; the critical milestones for completing relevant research tasks; and a statement of work outlining a specific research plan. The four-person Ph.D. dissertation committee consists of at least three members of the SUNY Poly faculty (including the candidate’s advisor) and at least one outside member (faculty outside the SUNY Poly, or a SUNY Poly research partner).

5. Submission and successful defense of a formal Ph.D. Dissertation:

  • Upon timely completion of the Ph.D. dissertation research project, the candidate prepares a dissertation and submits the final draft to the dissertation committee. The committee ascertains the suitability of the draft and recommends amendments which the candidate must complete before the final defense is scheduled. Once approved by the committee, permission is granted for the candidate to present and defend the dissertation in a public seminar.

6. Ph.D. Publication Requirement:

  • For successful completion of the Ph.D. degree requirements, students are also required to be the first author on a minimum of two scientific publications that have already been accepted for publication in recognized peer-reviewed technical journals that are related to their concentration area.

Combined M.D./Ph.D. Program in Medicine and Nanoscale Sciences or Combined M.D./Ph.D. Program in Medicine and Nanoscale Engineering

Offered by the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute (CNSE) and SUNY Downstate College of Medicine (Downstate), this first-of-its-kind combined degree program provides pioneering education and training in both medicine and nanoscale science and engineering research, preparing a new generation of students for exciting 21st century careers as world-class research physicians in the emerging science and practice of nanomedicine.

CNSE is the first college in the world dedicated to research, development, education, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering and nanobioscience.  Downstate is one of SUNY’s four academic health science centers and has unique research strengths in neuroscience, cardiovascular medicine, and live tissue imaging that are ideal platforms for developing medically relevant nanotechnology in the areas of biosensors, drug delivery, and diagnostics.  Together CNSE’s world renowned research and education in nanotechnology and SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s outstanding medical training enable students to gain experience in developing and applying cutting-edge technologies to the health care challenges of today and tomorrow.  This combined clinical scientist educational program provides premier hands-on training in the emerging field of nanomedicine.

Students complete an integrated course of study alternating between the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the SUNY Downstate Medical Center.  This course of study is designed for completion within seven years and will result in the award of an MD degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and a Ph.D in either Nanoscale Science or Nanoscale Engineering from the SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Career Paths

Students who earn an M.S. or Ph.D. in nanoscale science or nanoscale engineering generally enter the workforce in high technology industries focusing on semiconductor manufacturing processes and fabrication, and also work in related growing nanotechnology fields. Recent graduates have been hired by ASML, Atotech, IBM, Global Foundries, Intel, Glauconix, AMRI, Regeneron, Miltenyi Biotec, Boston Scientific, Tokyo Electron (TEL), Novellus Systems, Northrup Grumman, Superpower, and Entegris among others. Our graduates have also obtained post-doctoral fellowships at SUNY Poly, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Harvard University Medical College, University of Texas, Austin, etc.

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