Dr. Audrey Dussutour is a National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) Scientist at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. When she’s not in front of her computer screen for work, Audrey loves going out to the movies and watching DVDs from her extensive collection. Some of her favorite directors are John Cassavetes and David Lynch, and she gets into sci-fi films as well. Audrey studies animal behavior and collective intelligence in ant colonies and slime molds. In ant colonies, she examines how the ants regulate traffic to avoid traffic jams. By observing how they behave, she can create algorithms that may help alleviate our own traffic jams. In slime molds, Audrey investigates the different cognitive abilities they are able to display even though they don’t have brains. Audrey received a Masters Degrees in Ecology from Paul Sabatier University, a Masters Degree in Neurosciences and Ethology from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, and a PhD in Animal Behavior working in laboratories from both of these universities. She next conducted postdoctoral research at Concordia University in Canada and at the University of Sydney in Australia. Audrey has received numerous awards and honors for her exceptional work, including the Adolphe Wetrems Award of the Belgian Royal Academy, the Young Investigator Award of the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior, the Outstanding Paper Prize from the Journal of Experimental Biology, Laureate du Prix Le Monde de la Recherche, and the Young Researcher Prize from the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior. Audrey joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 429_Audrey_Dussutour_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Kevin France is an Assistant Professor in the Department for Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences as well as an investigator within the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Kevin spends his free time enjoying an outdoor lifestyle living in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. His hobbies include hiking, skiing, biking, trail running, and spending time with his wife and 9-month old baby. Kevin’s research focuses on improving our understanding of planetary systems outside of our own solar system. His research helps determine how the earth was formed, how it came to look the way it does, and how it fits into the broader perspective of planetary systems throughout the galaxy. Kevin also does laboratory and space mission work to develop the technology that will allow them to answer these questions. He received his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Astronomy from Boston University, and he was awarded his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, Kevin conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. He next worked as a Research Associate and Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and during this time, Kevin was awarded the NASA Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship. Kevin joined us to chat about his work as well as his life outside the lab.

Direct download: 428_Kevin_France_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Chris Moulin is a Professor in the Laboratory of Psychology and Neurocognition at University of Grenoble as well as a Senior Member of the University Institute of France. When Chris isn’t working, he loves spending time with his family, including his two young sons. They have been restoring their 19th century house in France and exploring the history of the home. Chris is also an avid collector of old postcards. Scientifically speaking, Chris is a memory researcher. He examines memory disorders to determine how areas in a healthy brain operate and are used in memory. Chris also works with patients to better understand memory disorders and help people with memory problems. He is particularly interested in subjective states and experiences related to memory such as déjà vu. Chris completed his PhD in Neuropsychology at Bristol University. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Bristol, the University of Reading, and at a Clinical Research Institute in Bath. Chris worked as a faculty member in the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds before joining the faculty at the University of Grenoble. He joins us for an interview to chat about his experiences in his life and science.

Direct download: 427_Chris_Moulin_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Randy Blakely is a Professor of Biomedical Science at Florida Atlantic University and Executive Director of the Florida Atlantic University Brain Institute. Randy lives in beautiful South Florida near the Everglades, so getting outside to enjoy nature and observe the local wildlife is a lot of fun there. He also spends his time reading, listening to audiobooks during his commutes, and listening to Americana and folk music. In the lab, Randy studies how chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters work. He is examining how neurons control neurotransmitter signaling, as well as how medicinal drugs and drugs of abuse impact neurotransmitters and ultimately behavior. Randy received his B.A. in Philosophy from Emory University and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He next conducted postdoctoral research at the Yale/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Center for Molecular Neuroscience. Randy was an investigator and faculty member at Emory University and Vanderbilt university before accepting his current position at Florida Atlantic University. Randy is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his research and mentorship. He was awarded the Daniel Efron Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, two Distinguished Investigator Awards from the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation, a MERIT Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, a Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Delores C. Shockley Partnership Award in recognition of minority trainee mentorship, as well as the Astellas Award in Translational Pharmacology and the Julius Axelrod Award both from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Randy joins us in this episode to talk more about his life and science.

Direct download: 426_Randy_Blakely_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Kristen Lynch is a Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not at work, Kristen loves being outdoors. She spends her free time kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, hiking, and doing yoga. Kristen’s research focuses on alternative splicing of genes. She is investigating how cells decide when to use an entire portion of the DNA instruction manual versus when to exclude parts of the instructions that are not useful or would be harmful. In particular, Kristen is interested in alternative splicing in the immune system and what happens when cells are faced with an immune challenge. She received her B.A. in biochemistry and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University. Afterwards, Kristen pursued postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco. She served on the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Kristen is the recipient of many awards and honors for her work, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 425_Kristen_Lynch_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Alan Goldberg is a Professor in Environmental Health Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health as well as Founding Director (Emeritus) of The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing. In addition, he is Principal of Global Food Ethics at Johns Hopkins University. In his free time, Alan enjoys traveling, going for walks, being out in nature, and visiting farms. Alan is developing a program that will allow foods that have been produced ethically to be certified. They are also creating an associated information program that will act as a template for industry to enhance their efforts related to food ethics, as well as serve as a consumer information database that will help informed consumers find out more about the ethical issues they are interested in related to different food products. These ethical issues include environmental and resource conservation, labor and small holder farms, animal welfare, and public health and well-being. They will be able to certify foods based on these categories and help people in industry understand how to meet these standards. Alan received his B.A. in pharmacy from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. He spent a year at the University of Wisconsin working as a predoctoral trainee in Pharmacology before beginning his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Alan conducted postdoctoral research and then served on the faculty at Indiana University before joining the faculty at The Johns Hopkins University in 1969. He has received numerous awards and honors for his accomplishments including being named a Member of the ALEXANDRA Project, Monaco, as well as receipt of the Lifetime Dedication Award, Korean National Center: Patron of the 3Rs from the Alternatives Trust at the 7th World Congress , The State of Maryland Governor’s Citation, the Doerenkamp Zbinden Foundation Award, Society of Toxicology Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award, Ambassador of Toxicology Award from the Mid-Atlantic Society of Toxicology, an honorary doctorate degree from Long Island University, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Long Island University, and he was the first recipient of the Humane Society of the United States’ Russell and Burch Award. In this interview Alan shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 424_Alan_Goldberg_Final.mp3
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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 EDT

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 EDT

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
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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
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