Petit Institute Seminar

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Two Special Presentations by Sandia National Laboratories for Faculty and Trainees

“Creating New Tools for Fighting Disease with Sandia National Laboratories”

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Seminar for GT Faculty

Biologists! Virologists! Biomedical Engineers!  Uncle Sam needs you. Infectious diseases and bioterrorism might seem unrelated—but both have enormous potential to threaten human health and economic stability. A deep understanding of biological systems, along with the ability to predict and control their behaviors, is critical not only for strengthening our nation’s defense against biothreats, but for ensuring energy security and protecting our environment as well. To protect the nation and world from biological threats, Sandia researchers conduct basic and applied research to develop environmental threat detectors, medical diagnostics systems, therapeutics, engineered nanoparticles to deliver vaccines and antibiotics and more. Many of our patented (and patent-pending) innovations have been licensed to companies for development of commercial devices and vaccines. Sandia routinely partners with other organizations to help transition scientific discoveries and technologies to the marketplace. Sandia also forms collaborative research partnerships with industry, universities, and government agencies to collectively solve the nation’s toughest science and technology problems. This seminar will provide an overview of Sandia’s biological science and engineering research, and provide insight for possible academic alliance opportunities. Please join us! 

“World Changing Technologies... Life Changing Careers”

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch and Learn Seminar and Networking with Students and Postdocs

Come and learn about research and careers at Sandia National Laboratories. A diverse set of management and staff will be visiting Georgia Tech to share their work and why they enjoy working at Sandia through an interactive panel discussion. This will be a great opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the different career paths at Sandia.
As part of the visit, recruiting staff will be conducting one-on-one general career discussions with students interested in full-time and internship positions. Please send your resume to georgiatech@sandia.gov by 5:00 .p.m EST on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 to be considered.

Lunch to be served.

Cathy Branda, Ph.D. - Senior Manager, Applied Biosciences & Engineering and Acting Senior Manager for Sandia’s Biosciences Programs

Catherine Branda is Senior Manager of the Applied Biosciences & Engineering group and Acting Senior Manager of the Biosciences Programs at Sandia National Labs. This group is composed of three departments, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Systems Biology, and Advanced Systems Engineering & Deployment, with staff based in Livermore, CA and Emeryville, CA. Our work addresses a number of key problems impacting national security, including biodefense and emerging infectious disease. A growing program in our groups has addressed the need to monitor human performance and health in real-time. Catherine has been at Sandia for over twelve years; in addition to her management roles, she has held a variety of positions including Technical Staff, Reducing Global Biological and Chemical Mission Area team lead, and Chair of the Sandia Women's Connection. As a member of the Technical Staff at Sandia, she studied mechanisms of viral infection, and worked to develop new methodologies for detection of live virus. She has a B.S. degree in Cognitive Science from Vassar College, and an M. Phil and Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University School of Medicine. She also completed a Clinical Fellowship in Cytogenetics at Harvard Medical School prior to joining Sandia in 2005.

Steve Casalnuovo, Ph.D. - Senior Manager, Biological Sciences and Technologies and Deputy Program Manager for Sandia’s Chemical and Biological National Security Program

Stephen A. Casalnuovo received his B.S. degree in Physics from Santa Clara University in 1976.  He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics in 1978 and 1982, respectively, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where his dissertation research explored the dynamics of phase transitions in micron-thick liquid films.  He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Polymers and Organic Solids at the University of California at Santa Barbara, from 1982 to 1984 where he studied optical and structural properties of polymers.  In 1984, he joined the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was responsible for photolithographic process development for CMOS integrated circuits.  The scope of his work expanded to include optoelectronic device design and compound semiconductor microfabrication process development.  From 1992 through 1995, he served as Dean of Engineering at Universidad del Turabo in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.  Since returning to Sandia in 1996, he has worked on chemical and biological microsensor design and fabrication.  Steve was the manager of the Biological, Chemical, and Physical Microsensors Department for 15 years, directing the efforts of 20 technical staff, technologists, and students.  Work in his department has been recognized with three R&D 100 Awards for medical diagnostic microsensors.  Currently, he is the senior manager of the Biological Sciences and Technologies Group, within Sandia’s Biological and Material Sciences Center.  He is also Deputy Program Manager for Sandia’s Chemical and Biological National Security Program.  Steve served as guest editor for a special issue on chemical and biological microsensors in the Proceedings of the IEEE (June 2003) and has served on the Technical Program Committee of the biannual Hilton Head Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems Workshop in 2006, 2008, and 2010.  

Constantine Stewart, Ph.D. - Manager, International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction

Constantine (Connie) Stewart Manages the International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction’s Human Capacity Development Program at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, USA.  Connie and the IBCTR team work internationally to manage the safety and security risks associated with chemical and biological agents.  The mission of the program enhances United States and international security by reducing biological and chemical threats worldwide. Before managing the Human Capacity Development group at Sandia, Connie was a member of the technical staff working on catalyst development, nanomaterials, methods for self-assembling particles, and CO2 chemistry.  Prior to Sandia, Dr. Stewart worked for an international company as a Senior Scientist-Manager in catalysis and polymerization for 15 years.  His laboratory experiences include large industrial labs - the DuPont Chemical Company, subsidiaries with Hercules, Inc./Montedison S.p.A./Royal Dutch Shell/BASF, and small start-up companies.  He has also been involved in joint technical programs and ventures with Mitsui Petrochemicals, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Hüls America, DuPont Chemical Co. and Dow Corning.  Dr. Stewart earned his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.  He was a member of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry and was on the Commission for the Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry (IUPAC-CNIC) and Secretary of the Commission (1998 – 2000).  During that time, he was a member of the Transfermium Working Group tasked with making recommendations to the Council of the IUPAC for the naming of elements 101-109.

Patricia Pacheco-Hernandez, Ph.D. - Technical Staff, Systems Research and Analysis

Patricia Hernandez is an engineer and analyst within the Homeland Security and Defense Systems Center and a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. As a member of the Systems Research and Analysis group, she has worked on a broad range of national security issues, including emergency response and chemical and biological security, using risk and prioritization methodologies. She also briefly served as the lab coordinator for the Ratoma Ebola Diagnostic Center in Conakry, Guinea. Patricia was selected as a 2017 fellow for the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity program through the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. She has a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her graduate work focused on biomaterials and modulating the humoral immune response, specifically in response to the tuberculosis vaccine. She is interested in the effects of advancing biotechnology, and the resulting ease of use and access, on biosecurity.

Rebecca D. Horton Senior Manager, Advanced Science & Technology Program Management

Rebecca D. Horton is a Senior Manager in the Advanced Science & Technology Program Management Center at Sandia National Laboratories. She currently works at Georgia Institute of Technology as the on-campus partnerships manager to develop strategic research collaborations, enhance the talent pipeline for work in national security missions and to accelerate technology transfer. She joined Sandia in 1984 and has worked in multiple safeguards and security programs for both domestic and international applications.  Her areas of research and program management have included information systems analysis and information security technology R&D; security risk and vulnerability assessments methodologies; physical security technologies RDT&E including contraband detection and entry control; and containment and surveillance R&D for international nuclear materials protection important to Non-Proliferation and Arms Control and International Safeguards. Rebecca earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Colly Mitchell
  • Created: 11/16/2017
  • Modified By: Colly Mitchell
  • Modified: 11/17/2017