Forward Fest public conversation series continues as part of A Year of Forward Thinking

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Princeton University
March 16, 2021

Princeton’s Forward Fest — a virtual public conversation series and a monthly highlight of the University’s yearlong A Year of Forward Thinking community engagement campaign — was held on Thursday, March 18, at 3:30 p.m., with a focus on Princeton’s growing interdisciplinary power in bioengineering.

Watch the conversation on the University's YouTube channel.

Bioengineers are at the forefront of many of the advances in research, education and innovation. Bioengineering spans all engineering disciplines as well as life sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Because of Princeton’s interdisciplinary strengths and vibrant partnerships across departments, as well as external partnerships with other universities, industry, and hospitals and medical research centers, bioengineering at the University is at an inflection point for growth and service to humanity.

“I believe that bioengineering is the most exciting frontier in engineering today, with unlimited potential for positive impact on health, medicine, and quality of life,” said Andrea Goldsmith, Princeton’s Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who joined the University last summer. “Helping drive advances, innovations and initiatives in bioengineering was one of the most compelling aspects of joining the University as its new engineering dean.”

Goldsmith continued: “I’m delighted that this month’s Forward Fest will introduce the broader Princeton community to some of the pioneers on the forefront of this interdisciplinary field and help unpack the many ways that advances at the intersection of the life sciences and engineering can be translated into action to improve health and wellbeing for humanity.”

Gathering a range of voices, Forward Fest aims to spark dialogue across the global Princeton community — students, faculty, staff, alumni and other interested thinkers — to engage with and explore big ideas and their infinite possibilities for shaping the future.

The program features one-on-one conversations with four Princeton faculty members across a range of bioengineering-focused academic disciplines and will conclude with a lively Q&A period. Attendees can engage in Q&A by emailing questions in advance to [email protected] or in real-time in the chat on YouTube.

Forward Fest events are free and open to the public. All programming will be livestreamed on the Forward Fest website and on the University's YouTube channel. Registration is not required, but attendees can RSVP to receive a resource guide and event updates. Captioning will be available for all sessions. After the event, all programming will be viewable on the University’s YouTube channel.

Previous Forward Fest events have focused on public health, justice and the 2020 election;  the promise and peril of data science and artificial intelligence; the arts and humanities; equity in education; and alumni “forward thinkers” on resilience and exploration. View all the sessions on Princeton’s YouTube channel.

March 18 programming highlights: Thinking Forward Bioengineering

Sofia Quinodoz, a 2013 graduate and a current postdoctoral researcher at Princeton in Clifford Brangwynne’s Soft Living Matter Lab who was recently named a Hanna Gray Fellow from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will introduce the session, which begins at 3:30 p.m.

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a 1987 graduate, Princeton University trustee, and vice dean for population health and health equity at the University of California-San Francisco’s School of Medicine, will serve as moderator of the 75-minute program.

Featured panelists are:

José Avalos, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Clifford Brangwynne, the June K. Wu '92 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and director of the Princeton Bioengineering Initiative Celeste Nelson, the Wilke Family Professor in Bioengineering and director of the Program in Engineering Biology Ben Raphael, professor of computer science

Additional multimedia programming will highlight the research of:

Sujit Data, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering Jean Schwarzbauer, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biology and Jeffrey Schwartz, Professor of Chemistry David MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry Esteban Engel, viral neuroengineering facility manager, Princeton Neuroscience Institute.

Forward Fest continues with “Thinking Forward the Environment” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 15.

Learn more about A Year of Forward Thinking and Forward Fest on the website. Watch a video about A Year of Forward Thinking. Engage on social media with the hashtags #PrincetonForward, #ForwardThinkers and #ForwardFest, and follow Princeton University and Princeton Alumni on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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