Catalyst

Explore how the passion of our faculty, paired with the generosity of our community, is having a profoundly positive impact on our College, particularly for our students. Thank you for being a part of the College of Science community.

Hazel Sive

Message from Dean Sive

Dear Northeastern University families, alumni and friends,

If you’re not sure what DNA is, it’s most easily understood as a code, the code of life. The code is made by arranging 4 units called A,G,C and T in various orders, to form long chains. It’s the order of the A,G,C and T that codes for life, in complex and not fully understood ways. If you want more, DNA is what your genes are made of.

I’ve been watching Cold Case Files (Netflix), where perpetrators of unsolved crimes are brought to justice, often through DNA forensics, that became available only decades after the crimes shown. DNA forensics uses DNA fingerprinting, based on unique DNA code in every person, that can be used to identify that person. It’s analogous to regular fingerprints that are based on unique skin patterns of your fingertips. Not only have myriad criminals been caught by DNA fingerprinting, or genetic genealogy, but hundreds of people wrongly convicted have been exonerated.

DNA forensics is one wonderful outcome of the Human Genome Project, a massive project that catalogued all the DNA code in a human, called the ‘genome’, some three billion A,G,C and T units! I remember attending a summer conference as a graduate student, when the idea of determining the entire DNA code of the human genome was being floated by leaders in the field. It was highly contentious, with heated arguments in lectures, over lunch, and late into the night. The issues were the enormous cost, the daunting logistics and uncertainty whether the information obtained would be useful. The Human Genome Project went ahead in 1990 and it took more than a decade to complete reliable human DNA sequence. It was rapidly clear that every penny was worth it, scientists were up to the challenge of assembling the three billion bits of code, and the knowledge acquired is an investment that keeps on giving. Hooray for Science!



It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Human Genome Project. From this, and massive amounts of subsequent research, the field of Genomics was born, that covers understanding everything about DNA code in people, and in every species of life. Genomics opened brand new questions, brand new opportunities for discovery and application that could not have been dreamed of prior.

From Genomics and important spin-off fields such as Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Bioengineering, Synthetic Biology, and Ecological Genomics, scientists learn how DNA code is used to govern the function of cells, how it is changed in disease states, how it can be used to devise new medicines and new materials, to correct faulty genes, to understand how species are affected by habitat destruction and climate change, on and on. In the Northeastern University College of Science, every one of our departments is making groundbreaking contributions across the fields of Genomics. Many undergraduate majors involve genomics, and our world-renowned MS Biotechnology and MS Bioinformatics programs are direct outcomes of the Genomics revolution. I am enormously proud of these educational directions and research areas, in which the Northeastern College of Science is a world leader!

For your support of education and research, and for your support in so many other areas, I want to thank you – our wonderful alumni, families, and friends. I am deeply grateful for your connection with the Northeastern University College of Science.

One fund I’m delighted to highlight in this issue of Catalyst is the Dean’s Fund, that has major impacts because of your generosity. This fund supports the Dean’s Emergency Program for undergraduate and graduate students; undergraduate research opportunities; and important opportunities for undergraduates to attend scientific conferences, and experience the extraordinary global scientific effort of which they are part.

Thank you very much for your support. Thank you for helping build the Good Power of Science.

Warm regards,

Hazel Sive PhD (she/hers)

Dean, College of Science

Biochemistry students present their research at national meeting

This spring, College of Science students and faculty traveled to San Antonio, TX to participate in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s annual conference. Through the support of the Biochemistry Program Fund, undergraduate students participated in the Undergraduate Poster Competition to showcase their cutting-edge research, and third-year biology majors Diana Turrieta and Guillermo Antunez Tierney achieved honorable mentions! Read more >>

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Science students recognized for entrepreneurial endeavors

The College of Science hosted its inaugural COS Entrepreneurship Recognition Dinner in March to honor four undergraduate science students who are actively advancing entrepreneurship within the College. Oran Muduroglu, a seasoned entrepreneur and innovator in healthcare technology, as well as a parent of a Northeastern student, delivered the keynote address. Read more >>

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From Nahant to the Galápagos: Alum Gregory Lewbart’s Journey of Discovery

“Northeastern was life-changing for me and probably the best decision I ever made.”

Northeastern alum Dr. Gregory Lewbart reflects on his time as a graduate student at the Marine Science Center that led to his career as a marine veterinarian. Read more >>

Support the Marine Science Center

Barnett Institute celebrates 50th anniversary by looking to the future

In May, we celebrated the golden anniversary of the Barnett Institute for Chemical and Biological Analysis and the 2024 Karger Medal recipient, Dr. Jenny Van Eyk, with honored speakers and guests including Barnett alumni, faculty, students, and friends.

“Barnett has been and continues to be a leader in mass spectrometry, now including methods that can analyze minuscule samples,” says Hazel Sive, dean of Northeastern’s College of Science. Read more >>

Support the Barnett Institute today

Spotlight: Equity Action Program Fund

The College of Science is committed to supporting programs that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within our community.

“Despite challenges such as sponsorship delays, the Equity Action Program Fund has been instrumental in amplifying the Indian Culture Association’s impact, enabling us to expand outreach and accelerate our mission to create a representative community that serves as a home away from home,” Naomi COS’25, President of ICA.

Explore a host of other funds and support a direct initiative in the College of Science.
Contact the Advancement team to discuss planned giving, gifts of stocks, and matching gifts.

Congratulations new Science Husky Alumni!

The 2024 Commencement brought excitement to our graduating students, their families and friends, and the COS faculty and staff across our Northeastern campuses. In Boston at Matthews Arena and Fenway Park, graduates received inspiring messages from President Aoun, Dean Sive, Northeastern Trustee Dr. Deborah Dunsire, and their fellow peers who represented the College of Science in both undergraduate and graduate studies. We are so proud of our Science Huskies!

Read the highlights
Meet the 2024 Student Commencement Speakers
Sacha Sergent, 2024 COS Undergraduate Celebration Speaker
Meet the 2024 Student Commencement Speakers
Bishwarup Sarkar, 2024 COS Graduate Celebration Speaker
Meet the 2024 Student Commencement Speakers
Rebecca Bamidele, 2024 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker
Meet the 2024 Student Commencement Speakers
Megan Carter, 2024 Graduate Commencement Speaker

Partner with us

The Northeastern College of Science is a hub of Research, Education, and Innovation. Our faculty are pushing research frontiers to solve our planet’s greatest challenges. Through innovative, research-linked, experiential learning, our students are empowered to be confident, entrepreneurial problem-solvers with flexible skills for a vast spectrum of careers. And we embrace a culture of respect, equity, and diversity—where each person feels valued for their contribution and is treated fairly.

EDUCATION
  • Scholarships: The College of Science recruits exceptional students who reflect the diversity of society. Scholarships help us attract top students, and expand access to a Northeastern College of Science education through full and partial awards.
  • Support Experiential Learning: The College of Science is broadening access to and scope of work experience-based education at all levels. Support a co-op in research, medicine, and across a broad landscape of opportunities, or subsidize international co-ops. Help make these learning experiences a reality for our students!
  • INVEST in Faculty: The College seeks funding to recruit promising PhD candidates directly into tenure track positions, with extensive mentoring and research support. Through this innovative plan, the College will recruit a talented and diverse pool of faculty.
RESEARCH
  • Graduate Fellowships: In the College’s new Connected Science PhD students understand how the PhD opens a vast array of top career options. Students carry out groundbreaking research, explore opportunities, for cross-disciplinary research, and connect with outside work experience that may set up their next steps. COS seeks fellowship funding to support the next generation of science trainees.
  • Undergraduate Research: COS is committed to providing all of its undergraduate students with a lab-based research opportunity during their time at Northeastern. Support for undergraduate research will promote the creation of additional opportunities for students to work alongside faculty and graduate student mentors, and gain valuable experience in traditional and emerging fields across the College.
  • Summer Research Program: The new College of Science Summer Research Program will bring outstanding undergraduate students to Northeastern, where they will benefit from our hallmark experiential education opportunities. Support will enable the College to place students in research positions and encourage their future training at Northeastern.
INNOVATION
  • Entrepreneurship: The College of Science encourages a culture of entrepreneurship and translational innovation across faculty and students. Support helps the College establish an ecosystem with features such as venture bootcamps, grand challenge-focused hack-a-thons, and funding that promotes a startup culture.
  • Space of the Future: The College of Science must be at the forefront of providing advanced research space that promotes collaboration and cross-disciplinary research, as well as support platforms and technologies that accelerate the rate of discovery.
Northeastern University president guest lectures a psychology course

Read past issues of Catalyst

Aerial of Fenway Park for Northeastern University's 2023 Commencement
Catalyst: Spring 2023 Issue
Check out the Spring 2023 edition of Catalyst.
Neon lights that spell out Experience
Catalyst: Fall 2022 Issue
Check out the Fall 2022 edition of our Catalyst Magazine.
Catalyst: Spring 2022 Issue
Check out the Spring 2022 edition of Catalyst.
Catalyst: Fall 2021 Issue
Check out the Fall 2021 edition of our Catalyst.
A collage of images of students studying science
Catalyst: Spring 2021 Issue
Check out the Spring 2021 edition of our Catalyst magazine.