Dr. Alex Spyropoulos (“Dr. Spy”) is a Professor of Medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine as well as System Director of Anticoagulation and Clinical Thrombosis Services for the multi-hospital Northwell Health System. In addition, Dr. Spy is a Professor of the Merinoff Center for Patient-Oriented Research as part of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Spy loves spending time with his wife and his young kids. Lately, they’ve been enjoying apple picking, hay rides, pumpkin carving, and apple carving. His other hobbies include sailing, snowboarding and mountain biking. As a thrombologist, Dr. Spy studies blood clots. Many people worldwide are either at risk for blood clots or have existing clots. He focuses on venous thromboembolism primarily in the lungs and legs. These blood clots could cause morbidity or mortality, and many people are not familiar with the risks, common symptoms, or the situations in which clots may occur. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Dr. Spy is a recipient of the Lovelace Clinic Foundation Excellence in Education Award, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians, the International Academy of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Haemostasis, and the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. In this interview, he speaks with us about his life and science.

Direct download: 423_Alex_Spyropoulos_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Ellen Arruda is the Maria Comninou Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering with joint appointments as Professor of Biomedical Engineering, as well as Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen’s hobbies include running, cooking, and knitting. Running is one of her favorite ways to get exercise and generate great ideas for her work. She is a skilled sweater knitter who learned how to crochet from her mother and picked up knitting from her mother-in-law. Ellen studies the mechanical behavior of soft materials, including polymers, plastics, and soft tissues of the body. Her research group focuses on understanding how to design with soft materials so the materials don’t break in different applications, as well as how to design replacements for soft tissues in our bodies when they are damaged. She received her B.S. with Honors in Engineering Science and her M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. Ellen was awarded her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan afterwards in 1992. Ellen has received numerous awards and honors for her outstanding research, teaching, and service, including the Ann Arbor Spark Best of Boot Camp award, the Excellence in Research Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, the Cadell Memorial Award, the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University, the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, and the Trudy Huebner Service Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Mechanics, and the Society of Engineering Science. She was also named a Centennial Fellow of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University. She was also recently named a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Ellen joined us for an interview to discuss her experiences in her career, her life, and her engineering research.

Direct download: 422_Ellen_Arruda_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. John Kress is a Distinguished Scientist and Curator of Botany at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Not only does John enjoy investigating the natural world at work, he also enjoys spending his free time outside exploring nature. John often goes on walks or hikes with his wife and dog to see nature in action. In addition, John is an avid gardener. Among the plants he cultivates in his own yard are some of the ginger and banana plants that he studies. John’s research involves exploring the natural world and all the organisms that make up the natural world. Since graduate school, he has been exploring different areas, particularly tropical areas, to determine what grows there now, what grew there in the past, and how the plants and animals there interact. John received his B.A. in biology from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in botany from Duke University. John formerly served as the Interim Undersecretary for Science for the Smithsonian Institution, Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and Director of the Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, which is one of the four grand challenges of the Smithsonian Institution’s strategic plan. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and an Affiliate Faculty member at George Mason University. He has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Among John’s awards and honors are receipt of the Parker-Gentry Award for Biodiversity and Conservation from the Field Museum of Natural History, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Heliconia Society International, and the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for Co-Development of Leafsnap - the First Mobile App for Plant Identification. John is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary Fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. He joined us in this interview to discuss his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 421_John_Kress_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Mark Saffman is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For Mark, physics is a hobby as well as his job. When he’s not thinking about physics, Mark likes spending time with his family, including his young kids. Getting outside and spending time in nature is a great way for Mark to relax and unwind. Mark’s research focuses on quantum computing. He and his colleagues are trying to build a new kind of computer called a quantum computer that can solve some kinds of problems that are unreachable for current supercomputers. A quantum computer uses individual atoms and has power that exceeds what you can do with known classical computing approaches. Mark received is B.Sc. with honors in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology. Mark worked as a Technical Staff Member at TRW Defense and Space systems and subsequently an Optical Engineer at Dantec Electronics Inc. in Denmark before going back to graduate school to earn his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Next, Mark worked as a Senior Scientist at Riso National Laboratory in Denmark before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mark has received many honors and awards during his career including the Vilas Associate Award from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, as well as the Research and Creative Work and the William Walter Jr. Awards from the University of Colorado. In addition, he has been named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Mark has joined us in this interview to talk about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 420_Mark_Saffman_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Erica Golemis is a Professor, Deputy Chief Science Officer, Co-Leader of the Molecular Therapeutics Program, and Director of the High Throughput Facility at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. In addition, Erica is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University School of Medicine, and the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine. When Erica finds free time, one thing she loves to do is read. She reads broadly and has been an avid reader since her early childhood. Erica also has fun attending theatre performances. There are multiple excellent theaters in her home city of Philadelphia, and she especially enjoys shows by British playwright Tom Stoppard. For most of her scientific career, Erica has been conducting cancer research. Her recent work investigates why some cancers are particularly malignant. She completed her undergraduate studies in biology and English at Bryn Mawr College and was awarded her PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Erica conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Molecular Biology and Harvard Medical School department of Genetics before joining the Fox Chase Cancer Center. In this interview, Erica speaks about her experiences in both life and science.

Direct download: 419_Erica_Golemis_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Gary May is the Chancellor of the University of California, Davis. When he’s not focusing on his own research, Gary helps facilitate and support the work of others at the University of California, Davis through his role as Chancellor. In his personal life, Gary enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids. As a researcher, Gary is an electrical engineer, and his work focuses on semiconductor manufacturing. Integrated circuits or computer chips are in a lot of the technology we interact with on a daily basis including our phones, cars, and TVs. He is working to make the manufacturing of these integrated circuits more reliable, repeatable, affordable, and efficient. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and was awarded his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley. Gary was a National Science Foundation and an AT&T Bell Laboratories graduate fellow, and he worked as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. He subsequently served as a faculty member in Electrical and computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, Executive Assistant to Georgia Tech President, and later the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Before coming to the University of California, Davis, Gary held the position of Dean of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring, Outstanding Alumni Award in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentor Award, the National Society of Black Engineers Golden Torch Award: Janice A. Lumpkin Educator of the Year, the Motorola Foundation Professorship at Georgia Tech, an honorary doctorate degree from the Latin University of Panama, and many others. Gary has also been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an IEEE Fellow. Gary has joined us today to talk about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 218_Gary_May_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Sarah Bergbreiter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. Spending time with her family is a big part of Sarah’s life outside of work. She has two kids who are two and four years old, and they enjoy swimming, playing with legos, and building things. Sarah also spends her free time swimming and playing water polo. Sarah’s research involves building and conducting experiments with tiny mobile robots that are about the size of ants. They also use the same technologies in their tiny robots to build better sensors and actuators for bigger robots to help improve performance of these robots. She received her B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley where she focused on microrobotics. Sarah has been the recipient of multiple awards for her outstanding work including the DARPA Young Faculty Award, an NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and Sarah gave a TED Talk in 2015. Sarah joins us for an interview to discuss her life and work.

Direct download: 417_Sarah_Bergbreiter_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Steve Ramirez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University. Steve was born and raised in the Boston area, so accepting a faculty position at Boston University meant reuniting with his family, friends, and beloved New England Patriots. He spends his down time watching Netflix with friends and hanging out with his family. Steve appreciates all that his parents have endured and the positive influence they have had on his life, and he has brunch with them every Sunday and chats with them twice each day on the phone. In his research, Steve is studying learning and memory, and he is interested in discovering whether it is possible to artificially turn memories on and off. His research focuses on understanding the brain and what we can do when processes in the brain break down. They are working on turning on positive or negative memories in animal models to gain a better understanding of how the brain and memory work. In addition, they use animal models of conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD to study whether artificially manipulating memories may alleviate some of the symptoms of these conditions. He attended Boston University for his undergraduate studies in neuroscience, was awarded his PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served as a Visiting Lecturer of Neuroscience at Tufts University while a graduate student, and spent two years at the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows before returning to Boston University as a faculty member. Steve has received many awards and honors thus far in his career, including an NIH Early Independence Award, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, the Gordon Research Conference Travel Award, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award, Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award in the Natural Sciences, the Walle Nauta Award for Continuing Dedication to Teaching at MIT, and the Angus MacDonald Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at MIT. Steve has also been named among Forbes Magazine’s 30 Innovators Under the Age of 30 in the area of Science and Technology, a National Geographic Breakthrough Explorer, one of Science News’s Top 10 Bright Young Minds, Pacific Standard Magazine’s Top 30 Thinkers Under the Age of 30, and the MIT Technology Review World’s Top 35 Innovators Under the Age of 35 Award. He has also given two TED talks. Steve has joined us today to talk about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 416_Steve_Ramirez_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Sudha Seshadri is a Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and a Senior Investigator at the Framingham Heart Study. She also serves as Co-Director of Medical Education for the Neurology Residency and Clerkship programs. Sudha’s work is a big part of who she is and her purpose in life, but when she’s not at work, she loves to read. She has been an eclectic reader, devouring everything from poetry, novels, and nonfiction, since she was a kid. Reading has been an escape, as well as a source of information and inspiration. Sudha occasionally writes her own poetry as well. In addition, she likes to spend her free time walking, trekking, going for short runs, and being a parent to her daughter. She divides her time at work between being a clinical neurologist who sees patients with memory problems and being a researcher. In her research, Sudha is trying to determine why the brain and cognitive function decline with age and what are the modifiable factors that determine this decline with the hope of better predicting and preventing it. Sudha attended medical school at the Christian Medical College of Madras University in India. Afterwards, Sudha completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Neurology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. Fellowship in the Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer Disease at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Sudha previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. She also completed a residency in Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and she joined the faculty at Boston University in 2001. Sudha is the recipient of the E. Merck Gold Medal in Neurology and Allied Sciences, the Jack Spivack Excellence in Neurosciences Research Award from Boston University, and she is also a Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. Sudha joined us for an interview to discuss life, science, and medicine.

Direct download: 415_Sudha_Seshadri_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Edwin "Ted" Bergin is Professor and Chair of Astronomy at the University of Michigan. When he’s not pondering the origins of life, Ted loves to spend time with his family. Recently, he began a quest to fulfill his lifelong dream of learning to play the guitar. Ted enjoys old school 1970s rock and roll music, and he is slowly working his way up to playing pieces like George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun”. Ted is an astrochemist who is interested in understanding how and why stars, planets, and living organisms came to be. He is examining the formation of stars and planets to gain a better understanding of the origins of Earth and life on Earth. Since the newly forming stars and planets he studies are so far away, Ted uses astronomical techniques to determine the presence and abundance of the molecules needed to form living things. He completed his undergraduate training in Astronomy at Villanova University. He was awarded his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Massachusetts. Before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, Ted worked as an astronomer/astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Ted has been awarded the University of Michigan Henry Russel Award for his exceptional scholarship and teaching. This is the highest award given to Assistant Professors. Ted joins us to talk about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 414_Ted_Bergin_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST





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