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Weekly Space Hangout

May 28, 2021

This week we welcome Dr. Jay L. Nadeau to the Weekly Space Hangout. Jay is an Associate Professor in the Physics department at Portland State University and the founder of the Nadeau Lab ( where they research nanoparticles, fluorescence imaging, and develop instrumentation for the detection of life elsewhere in the solar system.

Prior to PSU, she was associate professor of biomedical engineering and physics at McGill University (2004–2015) and a Research Professor at Caltech (2015-2017). Before McGill, she was a member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Life Detection, and previous to that a Burroughs-Wellcome postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Henry A. Lester at Caltech. She received her PhD in physics from the University of Minnesota in 1996.

The Nadeau Lab receives funding from NASA, the NSF, private foundations, and industry. The group features chemists, microbiologists, roboticists, physicists, and physician-scientists, all learning from each other and hoping to speak each other’s language. A believer in bringing biology to physicists as well as physics to biologists, Jay teaches upper-division courses in Biophysics, Statistical Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics. She also teaches Radiation Physics in the OHSU Medical Physics program. She is the author of two textbooks, Introduction to Experimental Biophysics and Truly Tricky Graduate Physics Problems, and a popular science photo book, Going To MARS: Science in Canada’s High Arctic.

Jay is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in STEM, and seeks to broaden the pipeline into physics by creating new courses and programs that are friendly to people who are coming to physics after other careers or majors, to working professionals including teachers, and to underrepresented students. She is a member of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Physical Society, and the American Chemical Society.

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