Dr. Eurie Hong is the Senior Director of Genomics at AncestryDNA. In her position, Eurie works on the algorithms that interpret the DNA provided in customer samples to tell people the regions of the world their ancestors may come from. She develops methods to analyze a person’s DNA and compare it to reference panels of DNA from other individuals. When she’s not at work, Eurie spends her time with her husband and six year old daughter. It’s exciting for Eurie to see her daughter trying new activities, and they recently went skiing together for the first time. In addition, Eurie enjoys cooking, eating, exploring different cuisine, and experimenting with her instant pot. She was awarded her B.S. Degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Chicago. Afterwards, she worked as a Biocuration Scientist and subsequently the Head of Scientific Curation for the Saccharomyces Genome Database at Stanford University School of Medicine. Eurie has also held positions as Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University School of Medicine and Project Manager of the ENCODE Data Coordination Center at Stanford University School of Medicine before joining the team at AncestryDNA in 2015. Eurie joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 447_Eurie_Hong_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Brian Keating is a Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. Additionally, he is the Co-Director of the Ax Center for Experimental Cosmology and Director of the Simons Observatory. Brian is also author of the book Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor. As a cosmologist, Brian studies the universe using a variety of different tools. In his research, he examines the stars, how the universe originated, and what (if anything) was present before our universe existed. Brian and his colleagues build instruments to detect the very first light in the universe by investigating an ancient heat called the cosmic microwave background radiation. This is a three degree Kelvin signal that resulted from the birth of the universe. Outside of science, Brian’s hobbies include flying airplanes and performing stand-up comedy. His interest in flight began when he was a young kid determined to become an astronaut, and he made his piloting dream come true when he earned his private pilot license in graduate school. Brian’s forrays in stand-up comedy began with an open mic session at a famous comedy club in La Jolla. He originally signed up to prepare for his TED Talk a few years ago, and since then, Brian has continued to work on his repertoire. He received his B.S. in physics from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University. Brian conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University and at the California Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at UC, San Diego. Brian and his work have earned many awards and accolades over the years. He has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a UC, San Diego Hellman Faculty Fellow. In addition, Brian is the recipient of the White House Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for Faculty Early Career Development, the Second Place Prize for the 2014 Buckhalter Cosmology Prize, and a UC, San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award. In our interview Brian shared his stories and experiences from his life and science.

Direct download: 446_Brian_Keating_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Thijs Heus is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Cleveland State University. Thijs’s research focuses on clouds and the impact they have on weather and climate. Some of the effects clouds can have include reflecting sunlight (which lowers temperatures) and transporting heat and moisture through the atmosphere. However, clouds remain one of the major sources of uncertainty in climate and weather predictions, partly due to their relatively small size and varying shapes. Thijs uses computer models and simulations to determine, for instance, what happens to clouds when temperatures change, and how the size of clouds impacts weather and climate. When the weather is nice, you can often find Thijs outdoors running. He also enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and indulging in the many museums, music venues, sporting events, and restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio. He received Masters degrees in Physics as well as Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Afterwards, he attended Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands where he was awarded a PhD in Applied Physics. Next, Thijs conducted postdoctoral research with the Department of Climate Services of The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and then at the Hans Ertel Center of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Thijs also worked as Researcher at the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology at the University of Cologne before accepting his current position at Cleveland State. He has been awarded the Faculty Merit Recognition Award from Cleveland State University, as well as Undergraduate Research Awards for the work of his students. In this interview, Thijs shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 445_Thijs_Heus_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Jennifer Ramp Neale is Director of Research and Conservation at the Denver Botanic Gardens. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Colorado Denver. The Denver Botanic Gardens is an accredited museum, a public nonprofit organization, and a research institution, so Jenny has a variety of different roles. She oversees the research conducted there, communicates their findings and the importance of science to different audiences, and works closely with land managers/owners to provide information on the local plants to help guide land management decisions. Jenny’s research focuses on applied conservation of plants, particularly rare and endangered species in Colorado. Jenny is a wife, mother, and outdoors enthusiast outside of work. She enjoys being active outdoors with her family playing soccer, skiing, camping, hiking, and generally having fun outside. Jenny’s passion for identifying plants and mushrooms is contagious, and as a result, her family has also become quite knowledgeable about the plants of Colorado. She received her B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado. Afterwards, Jenny conducted postdoctoral research in community genetics at the University of Colorado. Jenny’s previous positions include Manager of Research Programs and Associate Director of Research at the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as Conservation Genetic Consultant with LSA Associates and Solano County Water Agency through the University of Colorado Museum. Jenny is the recipient of the 2012 Partners in Mission Recovery Champion Award as part of the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 444_Jennifer_Ramp_Neale_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Chris Barrett is Executive Director and Professor at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, as well as a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. Chris lives on a small farm in the Blue Ridge area of Virginia, and the they daily chores keep him quite busy. He also enjoys playing guitar and riding his motorcycle in his free time. At the Biocomplexity Institute, Chris and his colleagues are using computational methods to better understand our very complicated, interdependent, and multiscale world. They are studying how information is created, transmitted, and manipulated in living systems. Their goal is to take these large, multiscale, massively-interacting systems that have billions of interacting pieces and bring it into a state where people can begin to understand and make sense of them. Chris received a M.S. in Engineering Science and a Ph.D. in Bioinformation Systems from the California Institute of Technology. He also earned a U.S. Navy Aerospace Experimental Psychology Post PhD certification. Before coming to Virginia Tech, Chris led a research group at the Naval Air Development Center, and he later led the Basic and Applied Simulation Science Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Chris has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Navy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Alliance for Transportation Research, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He was also named a Jubilee Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. In our interview Chris tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 433_Chris_Barrett_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT



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