‘Inventing Tomorrow’ features Professor Christy Haynes

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/24/2022)—A feature article, "The Science of Small," published in the Fall 2021 edition of the College of Science and Engineering’s Inventing Tomorrow magazine, showcases the work of Professor Christy Haynes and her research group.

The article highlights Haynes’ path to becoming a nanoparticle researcher, her collaborations with industry partners such as Ecolab and 3M, and her advocacy for diversity in higher education. Haynes is driven to answer questions about the effects of nanoparticles on both humans and the environment.

“There are cases where nanoparticles can do bad things but, for the most part, nobody’s discovered new modes of human toxicology,” she noted. “But the truth is things build up in the environment—concentrations can get high in very specific pockets of the ecosystem—and the question is, ‘Okay, what happens then?” The good news is that it seems we could actually regulate nanoparticles that we’re putting into a person the same way we could regulate anything else for human use.”

Haynes and her research group are strong advocates for diversity in higher education. In addition to their outreach activities in local community centers in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods, Haynes is a lead presenter for the Energy and U show, which draws more than 10,000 third- to sixth-graders to the Twin Cities campus. Last fall, her research group paired Twin Cities undergraduate students from marginalized groups with mentors and hosted an undergraduate research symposium, complete with poster awards, resume reviews, and networking opportunities. The second annual Underrepresented Students in STEM Symposium will be this fall, on September 24, 2022. Haynes is associate head of the Department of Chemistry, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, and associate director of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology.

Read the full story on the College of Science & Engineering website.