SBMS Trainee: Richard (Rick) E. Darienzo
Graduate Advisor: Rina Tannenbaum
Clinical Advisor: Christine Rizk, MD, Asst. Prof. of Surgery
Graduate Program: Materials Science and Engineering
Rick brings a unique perspective to his research in nanoparticle driven novel imagining modalities in breast cancer. Trained and educated as a physicist at Stony Brook University, Rick started doing research at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where he designed and modeled novel, large-scale superconducting magnets for the interaction region of a proposed electron-ion collider experiment with Dr. Elke Aschenauer and Dr. Brett Parker. Next, he enrolled in the master's degree program in Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) at Stony Brook University, and after one year of course work decided to join Prof. Rina Tannenbaum's new research group and pursue his Ph.D. in MS&E. The focus of Rick's particular research project is a novel imaging technique for breast cancer, which will allow surgeons unprecedented accuracy in establishing healthy margins during breast tumor excision. The key to this imaging modality is the Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering technique, whereby the presence of noble metal nanoparticles enhance the Raman scattering of light from a sample, allowing detailed information about the chemical constituents of the sample to be discerned. This imaging technique could then be expanded for use in other cancers, thereby reducing and even eliminating the recurrence of tumors and improving patient survival and quality of life.