Our History, Mission, and Vision

Who We Are

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is an academic collaboration between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNC Greensboro). Located on the South Campus of Gateway University Research Park, JSNN builds on the strengths of our universities to offer innovative, cross-disciplinary graduate programs in the emerging areas of nanoscience and nanoengineering.

What We Offer

JSNN offers four degree programs: a Master of Science (M.S.) in Nanoscience, a Ph.D. in Nanoscience, an M.S. in Nanoengineering, and a Ph.D. in Nanoengineering. We’re also offering nine Graduate Certificates Programs.

Our four research focus areas:

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology is the synthesis of complex, biologically-based or biologically-inspired systems which display functions that do not exist in nature or the re-design of existing natural biological systems for useful purposes and biotechnologies. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines principles of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nanoscience.

Nanomaterials: Molecular Structures and Devices

Research focused on the synthesis, processing, manufacturing, and characterization of nanostructured materials that can be applicable in emerging technologies, medical diagnostics, composite materials, signaling, and optoelectronics. 

Computational Nanotechnology

Computational Nanotechnology modeling and simulation of devices, structures, and systems, including composite materials, computational biology, and materials modeling.

Environmental Science and Sustainability

Explore the environmental impact of nano materials and the knowledge gaps associated with energy harvesting, scavenging, and storage.

These technical areas afford numerous opportunities for collaboration with industrial partners.

JSNN is a $56.3 million, 105,000 square foot state-of-the-art science and engineering research facility, with nanoelectronics and nanobio clean rooms, nanoengineering and nanoscience laboratories, and extensive materials analysis facilities. JSNN’s characterization capability includes a suite of microscopes from Carl Zeiss SMT®, including the only Orion Helium Ion microscope in the Southeast. Our visualization center allows three-dimensional imaging for modeling of nanotechnology problems.  JSNN collaborates with Guilford Technical Community College and Forsyth Technical Community College on an internship program that exposes students to the advanced technology at its facility. JSNN also is actively engaged with K-12 outreach with Guilford County Schools.


The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is an academic collaboration of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNC Greensboro). Both of these institutions are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Accreditation Status for North Carolina A&T State University
Accreditation Status for The University of North Carolina Greensboro

Our Mission

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) mission is to be a catalyst for breakthrough innovations that provides high-impact academic, industry and government research outcomes.

Our Vision

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is a collaboration between two high research universities: North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T SU) and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Collaboration will always be a core part of JSNN’s DNA. JSNN will constantly seek out strategic collaborations with other academic institutions, industry and government organizations as a catalyst for continuing to produce research breakthroughs.

To achieve our mission, JSNN recruits the best and brightest students from a variety of disciplines to conduct advanced research in Nanoengineering and Nanoscience. Students are challenged to choose a research area that is expected to provide significant benefit to mankind. Beyond becoming exceptional researchers, students will develop leadership and communication skills that will make them an exceptional asset in any academic, industry or government organization.

JSNN is also a catalyst for economic development. The Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC) was created as a partnership between Georgia Tech and JSNN, a collaboration of NC A&T and UNCG. SENIC combines the infrastructure strengths of both Georgia Tech and the JSNN to provide academic, industry and government users with affordable access to one of the largest and most modern Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterization tool sets in the country.

JSNN formed in 2009 and actively recruits organizations from academia, industry and government to join. For a nominal annual membership fee that is applied to tool and facility rental, JSNN provides NIC members with training and 24/7 access to JSNN’s facilities, state-of-the-art tools and labs. The research and collaborations formed through membership are leading to breakthroughs in materials, products and processes that stimulate the economy and improve the world around us.

JSNN is located on the south campus of Gateway Research Park, another collaboration between NC A&T and UNCG. Our location at Gateway Research Park provides the opportunity for our members to locate or co-locate facilities adjacent to JSNN’s facilities for 24/7 access to tools and labs. This is resulting in economic development and job creation for the Greensboro region.

Our Strategic Plan

View our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

Message from the Dean

Sherine Obare
Dean Sherine Obare

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) combines the genuine excellence of two great universities, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to bring interdisciplinary research and education in nanotechnology, in an innovative strategy that is unmatched anywhere. The unique strength of JSNN is a result of the strengths of the two institutions, our industrial partners, and the exceptional talent of our faculty, the interdisciplinary research of their programs, their lived experiences, interests, approaches, methodologies, and perspectives. JSNN brings together a community of scholars, students, professional staff and industrial partners who share a commitment to excellence and a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.

The educational strategy of our graduate program is path-breaking, whereby students build a multidisciplinary foundation based on knowledge from the sciences, mathematics and engineering, to acquire specialized advanced skills and then apply their skills to interdisciplinary research that generates new knowledge and transforms the nanotechnology discipline. Our faculty prepare graduate students for leadership roles in research and innovation, business, and higher education, in the midst of one of the most exciting and promising technological disciplines.

We create and curate a collaborative culture where faculty, staff, and students can push their limits, explore new possibilities and elevate their knowledge and skills to new levels. Our faculty, staff and students are dedicated to serving the local and national communities through volunteering to perform science experiments in schools and supporting teachers in strengthening their ability to teach science at the K-12 level.

It is my pleasure to welcome you to JSNN. Whether you are coming to us as a student, faculty member, staff member, researcher, industrial partner, or university administrator, here you will become part of an interdisciplinary community of scholars who aspire to change lives through education, research, innovation and service.

Sherine Obare, PhD
Dean, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Chancellors’ Thoughts

Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Chancellor of NC A&T SU

chancellor harold martin

Academic pursuits within the realm of nanotechnology will enhance the quality of substantive research conducted here in the Triad, enhance the outgrowth of patent disclosure, increase opportunities for technology transfer, and increase the number of new technology spin-off businesses that raise employment levels and trigger job growth in this region.

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering will permit North Carolina A&T and UNCG to recruit exceptional faculty, build high-quality nanotechnology programs, work collaboratively with other faculty members and world-class researchers, create companies, create jobs, and ultimately, stimulate our local economy.

Our ability to be transformative leaders in technology will establish this region on the global forefront to attract multinational operations, and work collaboratively with other world-class researchers to foster the development of emerging industries, launch new companies, and create jobs.

Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Chancellor of UNCG

chancellor franklin gilliam

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering is a powerful example of the impact that bringing together two great universities, several academic disciplines, and a cadre of talented faculty can have on moving science and our community forward.

With the support of our campuses and community leaders, JSNN has become a strong anchor point for Gateway University Research Park and an important resource for numerous business and industry partners.

These public-private partnerships not only drive economic development but also provide critical learning opportunities for our students and unique research opportunities for our faculty. Together the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University are harnessing our strengths to work toward the common good.