Dr. Crystal Marconett is Assistant Professor of Research Surgery in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Crystal’s work centers around understanding the molecular origins of lung cancer. She is interested in how cancer arises in the lungs, what types of cells are involved, what genetic mutations may be happening, and the causes of these mutations. In addition, Crystal’s lab is working to develop new cures for lung cancer and determine which patients will respond best to these treatments. Beyond being a scientist, Crystal loves spending time with her two young children, crocheting, and skiing. Another one of her hobbies is painting houses. For Crystal, painting is a relaxing, rhythmic activity, and she really enjoys how you can step back and enjoy a finished product at the end of just one day. She received her B.S. degree in molecular, cell, and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Crystal next earned her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Predoctoral Award and the California Breast Cancer Research Program Dissertation Fellowship. Afterwards, Crystal was awarded an American Cancer Society and Canary Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research at the University of Southern California before joining the faculty there. In our interview, Crystal tells us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 541_Crystal_Marconett_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. David Weiner is Executive Vice President, Director of the Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, and the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Professor in Cancer Research at The Wistar Institute. He is also Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In the lab, David and his colleagues are creating drugs using the same DNA codes and signals that our bodies use naturally. The drugs they are creating are natural compounds that can be given to people to prevent them from getting sick or to help them be healthier. One area of David’s research focuses on developing DNA vaccines to prevent illness. These DNA vaccines are designed to create specific proteins that trigger the immune system to respond to fight particular pathogens. David and his wife enjoy reading and going on walks with their dog Ruby. Ruby is a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix that they rescued after a recent hurricane in Puerto Rico. David received his B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, his M.S. in biology from the University of Cincinnati, and his  Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Afterwards, David worked as a research fellow in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty there. He held a joint position as Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine from 1990-1993. David returned to The Wistar Institute in 2016 to accept his current positions. Among his many awards and honors, David has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Society for Vaccines. He has also received the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team, the prestigious Hilleman Lectureship from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a Stone Family Award from Abramson Cancer Center for his groundbreaking work on DNA vaccines for cancer immune therapy, and the Scientific Achievement Award from Life Sciences Pennsylvania. In addition, David was named a "Top 20 Translational Researchers" in 2016 by Nature Biotechnology.

Direct download: 540_David_Weiner_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Ana Spalding is Assistant Professor of Marine and Coastal Policy and Affiliate Faculty at the Pacific Marine Energy Center at Oregon State University. She is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama as well as at the Coiba Research Station in Panama. As a social scientist who works in marine and coastal policy, Ana’s research is focused on the intersections of people, the environment, and policies. She is interested in understanding people’s perceptions of the ocean and coast, policy and management frameworks surrounding resource use in these areas, and the major cares, concerns, and conflicts that people have related to coastal areas. Recently, Ana has been having an amazing time participating in the Corvallis Rowing Club. She used to row in college, and it has been fun to get back into the sport with people from a variety of ages and backgrounds. Ana received her B.A. in Economics and International Studies from the University of Richmond, her M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, and her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Afterwards, Ana conducted postdoctoral research at the STRI in Panama before joining the faculty at Oregon State University.

Direct download: 539_Ana_Spalding_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Simon Sponberg is Dunn Family Professor and Assistant Professor in the School of Physics and the School of Biological Sciences, as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Through his research, Simon is interested in understanding how the brain works with muscles to make bodies move. Animals move gracefully in nearly all environments on Earth, and many types of movement can be difficult to perform in robotics and other created systems. Simon uses animal models to study how the body and the muscles inform the brain in terms of the information we take in and how we react to the environment. He received his B.A. in physics and biology from Lewis & Clark College and his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Afterwards, Simon conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech. He has been the recipient of an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biological Informatics, the University of Washington Postdoctoral Mentoring Award, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Neuroethology, an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, a Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship in the Neurosciences, and a Hertz Fellowship. In our interview, Simon shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 538_PBTS_Simon_Sponberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EST

Dr. Kristen Lani Rasmussen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Research in Kristen’s lab focuses on studying extreme events, particularly weather events such as heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, hail storms, and other events that have a big impact on humans and society. She is interested in examining these extreme event systems in the context of our current climate and how they may change in the future. In addition to spending quality time with her fantastic family, Kristen enjoys playing jazz trumpet. She has played jazz and bluegrass music with various bands in Colorado. Kristen received her bachelor’s degree in meteorology and mathematics as well as music from the University of Miami. She then attended the University of Washington where she was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences. Afterwards, Kristen conducted postdoctoral research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research before joining the faculty at Colorado State University. She has received a number of awards and honors in her career, including the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Science from the Desert Research Institute, the College of the Environment Outstanding Community Impact Award from the University of Washington, and the Very Early Career Award from the American Meteorological Society’s Mesoscale Processes Conference. In addition, she was recently awarded the Graduate Mentoring and Advising Award from Colorado State University as well as the George T. Abell Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award from the College of Engineering at Colorado State University. In our interview Kristen tells us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 537_Kristen_Rasmussen_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Laurel Buxbaum is Associate Director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Director of the Cognition and Action Laboratory, and Research Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Laurel’s research examines how the brain controls perception and action. She studies people who have had strokes in particular parts of their brains to uncover where in the brain strokes may cause certain difficulties or impairments. She also uses a wide variety of techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye tracking, and electroencephalography to further understand how we perceive and interact with our environment. When she’s not at work, Laurel enjoys reading, taking walks around the beautiful arboretum near her house, attending dance fitness classes at a local studio, spending time with friends, and going out to listen to her husband’s funk band play live music. Laurel received her BA in Biological Bases of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in Clinical Psychology (with specialization in Neuropsychology) from Hahnemann University. Afterwards, she completed an NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of her career, Laurel has received numerous awards and honors, including the Kenneth M. Viste Award of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation, the Arthur S. Benton Mid-Career Award of the International Neuropsychological Society, the Widener University Graduate Award for Excellence in Professional Psychology, the Maimonides Society Manuscript Award, and the Cohen Award for Research Excellence from the Einstein Healthcare Network. In our interview Laurel shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 536_Laurel_Buxbaum_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Tim Long is Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech. Tim’s lab is working on a wide variety of research projects that are focused on novel macromolecular structures to tailor the properties and processing of polymers. His work has applications across many industries, including the development of chemotherapy treatments and electro-active devices important for prosthetics in medicine. In his job, Tim spends a lot of time in his office, in front of computers, in the lab, and inside at conferences, so he likes to spend his free time outside. There are beautiful mountains near his home in Virginia, and Tim has fun going hiking, riding mountain bikes, and enjoying nature with his family. He was awarded his B.S. in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Tim worked as an Advanced Research Scientist and subsequently a Senior Research Scientist at Eastman Kodak Company, an Advanced Technical Program Research supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a Principal Research Chemist with Eastman Chemical Company. Tim has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including the Virginia Outstanding Scientist of the Year Award, the Robert L. Patrick Fellowship Award, the ACS POLY Mark Scholar Award, the Carl Dahlquist Award from the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council, the American Chemical Society Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Cooperative Research Award, the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence, the Collano Innovation Award, the Interdisciplinary Research Team Fellowship Award, the Faculty Research Award from the Virginia Tech Department of Chemistry, the IBM Faculty Award, and the 3M Company Faculty Award. Tim has also been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society Polymer Division. In our interview, Tim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 535_Tim_Long_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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