Dr. Sunny Wong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology and the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Sunny’s lab studies skin biology. Skin is a complex organ that covers our entire body and is composed of different cells and systems. He is interested in understanding how skin develops and what can go wrong in skin, particularly in skin cancer. His lab is working on projects examining how basal cell carcinoma tumors form, the genetics of these tumors, and how these tumors respond to drug therapies. In addition to his passion for science, Sunny loves creative writing and reading literature. Lately, he’s also enjoyed learning more about modern art, art history, and various artists. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in Biology and his PhD in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sunny was awarded American Cancer Society and A.P. Giannini Postdoctoral fellowships to conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. Sunny is a Member of the Organogenesis Scholars and the Biological Sciences Scholars Programs at the University of Michigan as well. In our interview Sunny told us about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 451_Sunny_Wong_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Francisca Ikuenobe is a Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. In her research, Franca studies rocks to understand the clues they can reveal about the living things, environments, and climates of the past. Franca is particularly interested in the microfossils of pollen, spores, and phytoplankton that are preserved in rock. She uses these to help determine the age of rocks and what they can tell us about the history of an area. Outside of science, Franca loves reading entertainment magazines like Vogue Magazine and watching entertainment news on TV. When Entertainment Tonight is about to start, she drops everything she’s doing to watch it. She received her B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Ife in Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University). Afterwards, Francisca worked as a production geologist and subsequently a palynologist for Shell Petroleum Development Company for a year before enrolling in graduate school. She received her M.Sc. in applied geology also from the University of Ife where she next worked as an assistant lecturer. Francisca was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Award for her Ph.D. work in Geology at Cambridge University. Following the completion of her Ph.D., Francisca joined the faculty at Missouri S&T where she is today. Francisca has received various awards and honors for her work, including being named an Honorary Global Counselor by Missouri S&T’s Office of International and Cultural Affairs, an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an African Scientific Institute Fellow, an elected fellow of the Geological Society of America, as well as receipt of the Distinguished Service Award from Goretti Old Girls International, Inc. and receipt of the Science and Technology Award from the Nigerian People’s Forum. In addition, Francisca has been awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award, Outstanding Students Leaders’ Outstanding Student Advocate Award, the Faculty Excellence Award, Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Woman of the Year Award all from Missouri S&T. Francisca joined us for an interview to talk about some of her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 450_Francisca_Ikuenobe_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. John Aitchison is President and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the largest independent, non-profit organization in the U.S. that is focused solely on infectious disease research. In addition, John serves as an affiliate or adjunct Professor at the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, and the Institute for Systems Biology. John’s research investigates the systems biology related to infectious disease by using technology, computation, and high throughput biology (“-omics”) to examine molecules in complex biological systems to better understand how the system will react to a new stimulus or perturbation. Their ultimate goal is to predict how effective a drug or vaccine will be against a particular disease and to implement it with high efficiency. When he’s not in the office or the lab, John loves to be out on the water sailing and racing sailboats. He’s also a fan of playing squash, skiing, spending time with his family, and being outdoors. John received his B.Sc. degree with Honors in Biochemistry from McMaster University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McMaster University as well. He then conducted postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Cell Biology at The Rockefeller University. Next, John served on the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. Afterwards, he became a founding member at the Institute for Systems Biology where he later served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Integrative Biology. While working at the Institute for Systems Biology, John also began conducting research at the Center for Infectious Disease Research where he still works today. In our interview John shares his experiences in life, leadership, and science.

Direct download: 449_John_Aitchison_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Madhav Marathe is a Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory within the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Chalmers University, the Indian Institute of Public Health, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. Madhav's research focuses on understanding the general principles that govern large networks, particularly networks that have social and technical components. Madhav and his team are working to understand how networks are formed, how they grow, how they change, how they can be used to solve problems, and how to make them more resilient. They use technology, including computer science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other tools to address critical problems in the study of complex networks. Outside of work, Madhav treasures his time spent with family and close friends. In particular, he and his family have fun engaging in deep discussions about world events and important societal questions. Madhav also enjoys listening to or watching a great game of cricket or badminton. Madhav received his Bachelor of Technology Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, and he was awarded his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Albany. Afterwards, Madhav conducted postdoctoral research working in the Computing Division group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory before coming to Virginia Tech. Over the course of his career, Madhav has received numerous awards and honors including being named the Inaugural George Michael Distinguished Scholar at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, an Association of Computing Machinery Fellow, an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, he was awarded the Distinguished Copyright achievement award from Los Alamos National Laboratory for TRANSIMS software, the University of Albany Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Award for Research Excellence at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. In our interview Madhav shared more about his life and science.

Direct download: 448_Madhav_Marathe_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT



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