Dr. Al Robichaud is Chief Scientific Officer at Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system disorders. The team at Sage Therapeutics is focused on delivering new medicines for people with central nervous system disorders, such as depression. The compounds they have developed modulate the activity of receptors in the brain that respond to specific neurotransmitters. Outside of science, Al has been an avid scuba diver for most of his life. He particularly enjoys exploring the ocean in the Caribbean with his family. Al received his B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He worked as a staff chemist at FMC Corporation for about two years before returning to school to earn his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Al next conducted research as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in organic chemistry at Colorado State University. Before joining the team at Sage Therapeutics, Al held positions at Merck Pharma, DuPont Merck Pharma, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck Research. In our interview, Al tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 510_Al_Robichaud_Final.mp3
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Dr. Christine Drea is the Earl D. McLean Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, as well as Professor in the Department of Biology, the University Program in Ecology, and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University. Research in Christine’s lab examines animal behavior from an integrative perspective. She and her colleagues are investigating the genetic, behavioral, cognitive, sensory, and endocrine mechanisms involved in social interactions and communication in socially complex animals. Christine focuses primarily on female-dominant species such as hyenas, lemurs, and meerkats. Christine’s hobbies outside of science include gardening, playing and walking with her two dogs, and traveling. Christine completed her undergraduate training in zoology at the University of Maryland College Park. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in psychobiology from Emory University. Afterwards, Christine conducted postdoctoral research in physiology at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and subsequently she was awarded a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship in psychology to conduct research at the University of California, Berkeley. Next, Christine served as a lecturer at UC, Berkeley before joining the faculty at Duke University. At Duke, she has been awarded the Thomas Langford Lectureship Award for the appeal of her research to an interdisciplinary audience and her embodiment of Langford’s dedication to teaching, research, and service. In our interview Christine will share more about her life and science.

Direct download: 509_Christine_Drea_Final.mp3
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Dr. Paul Cannon is the Parkinson’s Disease Program Manager at 23andMe. Paul and the team at 23andMe are working with patients, genetic data, and other self-report data to understand genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease, disease risk factors, and other comorbidities experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease. Outside of work, Paul enjoys traveling to visit new places in countries or parts of countries that are not necessarily considered typical tourist destinations. He also likes to hike, watch cricket matches, and watch Premier League Soccer games. Paul received his Master’s degree in Natural Sciences from Christ’s College in Cambridge and his PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Calgary. Afterwards, he worked as a Research Scientist at Syntex. Next, Paul spent nearly 15 years in various roles at Roche Pharmaceuticals and Genentech. He worked as a Senior Consultant for Tynan Consulting for about four years before joining the team at 23andMe. In our interview, Paul tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 508_Paul_Cannon_Final.mp3
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Dr. Cori Richards-Zawacki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of the Pymatuning Lab of Ecology at the University of Pittsburgh. Cori studies topics in ecology, evolutionary biology, behavior, and conservation in frogs. In particular, she is working to understand how frogs use different body forms, colors, and other features to survive partially on land and partially in water. When she’s not working and doing research, Cori enjoys spending time outside with her husband and two young daughters. She likes to play soccer, hike, go mountain biking, and do other outdoor activities. Cori received her Bachelor’s degree in engineering and biology as well as her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology both from the University of Michigan. She conducted postdoctoral research at the Smithsonian Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. Cori next served on the faculty at Tulane University prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. In our interview, Cori shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 507_Cori_Richards_Zawacki_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jim Doherty is Chief Research Officer at Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system disorders. Jim and his colleagues are focused on developing new treatments for different brain disorders including psychiatric, neurodegenerative, and movement disorders. Outside of science, Jim enjoys traveling, seeing cool new sites, and exploring the history of different places with his wife and two kids. He also enjoys participating in a variety of team sports like golf, softball, and ultimate frisbee leagues. Jim received his B.A. in biology from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown University. Next, he conducted postdoctoral research at Emory University Medical School and subsequently served on the faculty at Emory for about two years. Prior to joining the team at Sage in 2014, Jim worked for about eleven years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. In our interview Jim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 506_Jim_Doherty_Final.mp3
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Dr. Neil Solomons is Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies in disease areas of high unmet medical need. Neil is working to develop a drug to treat a rare autoimmune disease called lupus nephritis. In lupus nephritis, there is inflammation of the kidneys that can result in kidney failure, need for dialysis, or kidney transplant. Currently, there are no FDA-approved therapies for this disease, and the team at Aurinia is excited to be in the final stages of developing a drug called Voclosporin to treat lupus nephritis. Outside of research, Neil is an obsessive soccer fan, and he has been avidly watching English Premier League games since he was a child. He also enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family. Neil was awarded his Medical Degree from the University of London’s Guys Hospital Medical School. Afterwards, he worked as a physician in London and completed specialist training in anesthesia and intensive care. Neil held positions at Roche Pharmaceuticals, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, and Vifor Pharma before co-founding Aurinia. In our interview Neil will tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 505_Neil_Solomons_Final.mp3
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Dr. Anne Fung is the Global Development Lead for the Port Delivery System with Ranibizumab and Lucentis at Genentech. She is also a practicing retina specialist and researcher at Pacific Eye Associates and California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Macular degeneration is a degenerative condition of a portion of the retina in the eye. This disease generally affects older adults. While there are some amazing medicines that can help people with macular degeneration, these medicines must be injected into the eye every 4-6 weeks. Anne is working on a tiny implant that serves as a reservoir for medicine so it can be slowly released over 6 months or more. They are currently investigating how long this implant can effectively treat the disease. Outside of science, Anne loves practicing yoga, as well as reading, listening to podcasts, and listening to audiobooks on a variety of topics including business, organizations, and psychology. Anne received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her Medical Degree from Cornell University. She completed her residency in ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine and then pursued a Medical Retina Fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Anne worked in clinical practice for ten years before joining the team at Genentech in 2014. Anne is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In our interview she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 504_Anne_Fung_Final.mp3
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Dr. Karl Heilbron is a Scientist I in Statistical Genetics at 23andMe. He focuses on identifying genetic variants that are associated with diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Once variants are identified, he conducts more targeted analyses to better understand the genetic basis of disease. When he’s not working, Karl enjoys staying active by playing soccer and other sports. In addition, he has been having fun staying in touch with old friends by playing Dungeons and Dragons together online. Karl received his Bachelor's degree in Evolutionary Science from Western University where he was awarded the Western Gold medal for highest course average. He next attended The University of Oxford where he earned his Ph.D. degree in evolutionary genomics. Karl was awarded a Julie Payette Research Scholarship from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for his graduate work. Afterwards, Karl conducted postdoctoral research in computational biology at 23andMe before accepting his current position there. In our interview Karl will tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 503_Karl_Heilbron_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jennifer Wargo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a Stand Up To Cancer researcher. Jennifer is a physician scientist, and this means she splits her time between providing care to patients and doing research to find better ways of treating disease. Specifically, Jennifer performs surgeries and treats patients one day each week. She spends the rest of her week studying how to treat patients with cancer and how cancer may ultimately be prevented. When she’s not doing research or treating patients, Jennifer enjoys spending quality time with her family. Some of their favorite activities include going for walks, biking, hiking, and visiting the beach. Jennifer also likes to explore her creative side through art and photography, as well as to be active through running, biking, yoga, and surfing. She received her A.S. degree in nursing and B.S. degree in biology from Gwynedd-Mercy College. Afterwards, Jennifer attended the Medical College of Pennsylvania where she earned her M.D. Jennifer completed her Clinical Internship and Residency in General Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Next, Jennifer was a Research Fellow in Surgical Oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She then accepted a Clinical Residency in General Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. From 2006-2008, Jennifer was a Clinical Fellow in Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. She then served on the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. In 2012, Jennifer received her MMSc. degree in Medical Science from Harvard University. Jennifer joined the faculty at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2013. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery, and she has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career. These have included the R. Lee Clark Prize and Best Boss Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Rising STARS and The Regents’ Health Research Scholars Awards from the University of Texas System, the Outstanding Young Investigator and Outstanding Investigator Awards from the Society for Melanoma Research, as well as a Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grant for her microbiome work. She has also received other awards for excellence in teaching, research, and patient care. In our interview, Jennifer will tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 502_Jennifer_Wargo_Final.mp3
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Dr. Brian Goode is a Research Scientist at the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, formerly the Biocomplexity Institute. Brian’s background is in engineering, and his current research aims to understand how data-driven and theoretical models can be applied to the real world. For example, in one project, he is working to predict outcomes for people and their families using data from their first nine years of life. Their goal is to make the best models they can, identify the considerations needed to apply these models to reality, and then determine how their models can be used to help craft interventions and policies. Lately, Brian has been spending his weekends with his wife repairing and preparing their sailboat. He learned how to sail during graduate school, and he is excited to be nearly ready to set sail in his own sailboat. Brian received his B.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech. He was awarded an Office of Naval Research assistantship to complete his doctoral work. Afterwards, Brian went on a working holiday visa to Australia where he was a Field Engineer for Infrastructure Management Group, a bartender in Port Douglas, Queensland, and started freelance web developing while traveling. He then became an English Teacher in Thailand, and a Logistics Engineer at JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc. before returning to Virginia Tech to accept a postdoctoral fellowship. In 2016, Brian transitioned into his current position as a Research Scientist at Virginia Tech, and in 2017, he was awarded an Innovation Award from the Fragile Families Challenge held at Princeton University. In our interview, Brian will tell us more about his life and research.

Direct download: 501_Brian_Goode_Final.mp3
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Dr. Edith Widder is Co-Founder, CEO, and Senior Scientist at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), a scientific based conservation nonprofit. ORCA aims to find upstream solutions to the pollution problems that are plaguing our oceans. They use science-based approaches to determine where pollution is coming from and what can be done to stop it. When Edie isn’t doing science, she loves immersing herself in nature through hiking and kayaking. She also enjoys visiting museums, especially art museums. Edie received a BS in Biology from Tufts University and worked as a Laboratory Technician at Harvard Medical School before enrolling in graduate school. She attended UC, Santa Barbara where she earned a MS in biochemistry and a PhD in Neurobiology. Prior to founding ORCA, Edie worked for 16 years as a senior scientist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. Edie has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the 2018 Explorers Club Citation of Merit, Induction into the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, and Certifications as a research pilot for single-person submersibles, including wasp, Deep Rover, and Deep Worker. Edie also has the honor of having her underwater images featured on seven of the ten recently released bioluminescence stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. In our interview, Edie shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 500_Edith_Widder_Final.mp3
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Dr. Annaliesa Anderson is Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Bacterial Vaccines within Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer Inc. In the lab, Liesa is working to develop new vaccines that prevent infectious diseases caused by bacteria. Outside of work, Liesa loves spending time at home with her husband, sixteen year old son, twelve year old daughter, and the family’s new dog. She also enjoys being outside, visiting the Jersey Shore beaches, taking exercise classes with her husband, and serving as a girl scout leader. She earned her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick in the UK. Afterwards, Liesa was awarded a Natural Environment Research Council postdoctoral fellowship which she completed at the University of Coventry. She was subsequently awarded a Royal Society postdoctoral fellowship during which she conducted research at the University of Warwick. Next, Liesa worked for about 9 years at Merck Research Laboratories. She then joined the team at Wyeth a few years before it was acquired by Pfizer, and she has been with Pfizer ever since. Liesa is a Member of the Microbiology Society, a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and she serves on the Microbiology and Infectious Disease Steering Committee at the NY Academy of Sciences. In our interview Annaliesa will share more about her life and science.

Direct download: 499_Annaliesa_Anderson_Final.mp3
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Dr. Denver Lough is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of PolarityTE, a biotech company developing methods for patients’ own cells to regenerate functionally-polarized tissues. Denver and the team at Polarity TE have developed novel methods to successfully induce regeneration across the full spectrum of tissue types including skin, muscle, and bone. They have accomplished this by understanding the environment, stimuli, and interactions needed for these tissues to orient, self-organize, and develop. With their technology, patients with a variety of diseases and injuries can regenerate fully functional tissues from their own cells. When he isn’t working at PolarityTE, Denver enjoys spending time with his wife and three young children. It is exciting to watch them learn and discover new things about the world, and it makes Denver appreciate all the incredible things in life that we sometimes overlook. Denver received his MD and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology from Georgetown University. He completed his residency in Plastic Surgery at Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, Denver founded PolarityTE. In our interview Denver will tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 498_Denver_Lough_Final.mp3
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Dr. Karen Strier is the Vilas Research Professor and Irven Devore Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Karen is a Primate behavioral ecologist. She is working to understand the biological basis of human behavior, evolution, and adaptation by studying our closest living relatives. Research in Karen’s group involves observing a critically endangered primate, the northern muriqui, in its natural habitat to understand how their behaviors are similar to or different from human behaviors. When she’s not in the lab or observing primates in the wild, Karen enjoys being outside, going for walks in nature, cooking delicious multi-course meals for her friends and family, reading, and spending time with her cats. Karen received her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Biology from Swarthmore College, and she was awarded her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University. After completing her Ph.D., Karen served as a lecturer at Harvard University and subsequently became a faculty member at Beloit College. She joined the faculty at UW-Madison in 1989. Karen has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including being elected as a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, she is an Honorary Member of the Latin American Society of Primatologists and the Brazilian Society of Primatologists, and she has received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from the University of Chicago. Karen has been the recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Kellett Mid-Career Faculty Researcher Award, and WARF Professorship from UW-Madison, the Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research & Public Service from UW-Madison, and the Distinguished Primatologist Awards from the American Society of Primatologists and the Midwest Primate Interest Group. She is currently the President of the International Primatological Society. In our interview Karen shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 497_Karen_Strier_Final.mp3
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Dr. Eric Pop is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering as well as Materials Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Research in Eric’s laboratory spans electronics, electrical engineering, physics, nanomaterials, and energy. They are interested in applying materials with nanoscale properties to engineer better electronics such as transistors, circuits, and data storage mechanisms. Eric is also investigating ways to better manage the heat that electronics generate. When he’s not working, Eric enjoys snowboarding up in the mountains of California. He also enjoys traveling, playing soccer, and following professional soccer leagues. Eric received his B.S. in electrical engineering, B.S. in physics, and a M.Eng. in electrical engineering from MIT. He was awarded his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Afterwards, Eric conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University before accepting a position as a Senior Engineer at Intel. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford University, he served on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Eric has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Young Investigator Awards from the Navy, Air Force, and DARPA, as well as an NSF CAREER Award. In our interview Eric will share more about his life and research.

Direct download: 496_Eric_Pop_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jayshree Seth is a Corporate Scientist and Chief Science Advocate at 3M. Jayshree is developing and studying adhesives and tapes for use in industrial environments. Her goal is to create stronger, more versatile, and more sustainable products. In addition to science, Jayshree enjoys a variety of creative pursuits such as writing poetry, writing articles, and cooking a wide array of foods. Jayshree received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Trichy in India. She then attended Clarkson University in New York where she earned her MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering. Jayshree has worked at 3M now for over 25 years, and she holds 65 patents for a wide variety of innovations. In our interview, Jayshree shares more about her life, science, and the 3M State of Science Index.

Direct download: 495_Jayshree_Seth_Final.mp3
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Dr. Kimberly Blackwell is Vice President of Early Phase Development and Immuno-oncology at Lilly Oncology. In addition, Kim is Co-Founder of Cereius, a company that aims to improve the lives and survival of patients with solid tumor brain metastasis by using personalized and highly targeted radiotherapy. After 25 years of treating patients and conducting breast cancer research, Kim recently left her position in academic medicine to focus her efforts on getting new drugs to patients facing cancer. Kim’s hobbies include spending time with her family, watching her son’s baseball games, practicing yoga, meditating, skiing, and horseback riding. Kim received her bachelor’s degree in bioethics from Duke University and her M.D. from Mayo Clinic Medical School. Afterwards, she completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Duke University Medical School. Prior to accepting her position at Lilly, Kim was a faculty member at Duke University Medical Center. Kim has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Duke University Distinguished Alumni Award, the Young Investigator Award in Breast Cancer from the National Cancer Institute Specialized Program of Research Excellence, and the Joseph Greenfield Award for Mentorship of Clinical Research. She was also recognized as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013. In our interview Kim shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 494_Kimberly_Blackwell_Final.mp3
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Dr. Rafael Carbunaru is Vice President of Research and Development of the Neuromodulation Division of Boston Scientific Corporation. Rafael is dedicated to creating innovative medical solutions to transform the lives of patients worldwide. He and his team are developing non-drug treatments to help patients with chronic neurological disorders such as chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease. To do this, they are creating new devices and therapies that can modify the signals the nervous system is sending that may cause the symptoms of these neurological disorders. Outside of work, Rafael enjoys spending time with his family. They like to explore outside, ride through the beautiful bike trails in Southern California, and hang out at the beach together. Rafael received his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. He was awarded his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. After completing graduate school, Rafael joined the industry as an engineer for Advanced Bionics. Prior to his current role, Rafael was the Director of Research and Development for Emerging Indications at Boston Scientific. Rafael was named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He holds over 60 U.S. and International patents. In our interview Rafael will tell us more about his life and work.

Direct download: 493_Rafael_Carbunaru_Final.mp3
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Dr. Joan Mannick is Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of resTORbio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel therapeutics to treat aging-related diseases. Joan and her colleagues at resTORbio are targeting the biology of aging to treat and prevent aging-related diseases so people can be healthier longer. In particular, Joan is interested in targeting the aging immune system in an effort to reduce the risk of respiratory infections in older adults. After a busy day at work, Joan likes to relax by working out at the gym, watching movies, and reading novels. Joan received her B.A. from Harvard College and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in Infectious Disease at Harvard University. Joan then worked as a Medical Director at Genzyme and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Prior to joining resTORbio, Joan was Executive Director in the New Indications Discovery Unit of the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical research. In our interview Joan shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 492_Joan_Mannick_Final.mp3
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Dr. Stephanie Shipp is Deputy Director and Research Professor in the Social and Decision Analytics Division of the Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative at the University of Virginia. Stephanie works with social scientists and statisticians who are passionate about improving the quality of life for communities through data. They use data to inform policy-making and decision-making, working both at the scale of local communities and national projects. Stephanie develops methods and provides analyses to tell stories and answer questions using the massive amounts of data available today. When not at work, Stephanie enjoys cycling, pilates, running around with her grandchildren, and watching theatre performances with her sisters. Recently, she has also been having fun taking ballroom dancing classes with her husband. She received her B.A. Degree in Economics from Trinity College and her Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University. Stephanie has previously held research positions at the Federal Reserve Board, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute, and the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. Stephanie has received numerous awards and honors over the course of her career, including the Pat Doyle American Statistical Association Service Award, the Jeanne E. Griffith mentoring Award, and the Bronze Medal of the Department of Commerce. She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. In our interview Stephanie shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 491_Stephanie_Shipp_Final.mp3
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Dr. Fulvio D'Acquisto is Professor of Immunology and Director of the Health Science Research Centre at the University of Roehampton in London. Through his research, Fulvio seeks to understand how emotion and lifestyle influence our immune response. He is investigating how different types of emotions (both positive and negative) affect our immune systems at the level of individual cell types and cellular responses. Fulvio’s hypothesis is that each emotion has a particular signature effect on a person’s immune system. Fulvio is also fascinated by psychology, psychotherapy, archetypes, and personality types. He enjoys reading and attending presentations on these subjects when he’s not working in the lab. In addition, Fulvio likes drawing to relax and explore his own creative imagination process. Fulvio attended the University of Naples “Federico II” in Italy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, a Master of Research degree in Experimental Pharmacology, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Pharmacology. After completing his Ph.D., Fulvio conducted postdoctoral research in molecular immunology at Yale University and subsequently conducted research at the William Harvey Research Institute of Queen Mary University of London. Fulvio was awarded a Medical Research Council New Investigator Award in 2004. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Roehampton where he is today, Fulvio served on the faculty at Queen Mary University of London. While there, he earned a Master of Art degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Northampton. In our interview, Fulvio shared more about his life and science.

Direct download: 490_Fulvio_DAcquisto_Final.mp3
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Dr. Talithia Williams is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Research and Experiential Learning at Harvey Mudd College. In addition, Talithia is Host of the PBS Series NOVA Wonders and author of the book Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics. Talithia is a mathematician who does disease modeling. She has been working with the World Health Organization to create models of the rates at which groups of people develop cataracts over time. Left untreated, cataracts can cause partial or complete blindness. In the U.S., cataract surgery is quick and accessible, but this is not the case in other countries. Knowing where there is the greatest need for treatment is important for the World Health Organization as they make decisions on where to send ophthalmologists to perform surgeries. In addition to being a mathematician and researcher, Talithia is a mother of three boys, a wife of 15 years, a TV show host, an author, and a person of faith. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, being involved in her church, volunteering, and helping people in her community. She received a B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, and while an undergraduate student, Talithia conducted research at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After graduating, Talithia went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics from Howard University, a master’s degree in statistics from Rice University, and a PhD in statistics from Rice University. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvey Mudd College, Talithia conducted research at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the NASA Johnson Space Center, and the National Security Agency. Talithia has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member and The Claremont Colleges Diversity Mentor Award. In our interview Talithia shares more about her life and work.

Direct download: 489_Talithia_Williams_Final.mp3
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Dr. Joseph Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience at the University of Florida. In the lab, Joe studies DNA from squishy marine invertebrates like ctenophores (e.g. comb jellies), cnidarians (e.g. jellyfish), tunicates (e.g. sea squirts), and sea cucumbers. His goal is to understand how different types of animals are related, how animals adapt to extreme environments, and how animals have evolved the extraordinary diversity we see today. When he’s not at work, Joe loves spending time with his family. He and his two kids (one and three years old) enjoy dancing to “Tiny Bubbles” by Don Ho and songs by the band The Clash. Joe is also a fan of singer-songwriter Slim Whitman, and he plays guitar, drums, and keyboard. Joe received his PhD in bioinformatics from Boston University. Afterwards, he was awarded a research fellowship at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology in Bergern, Norway. In our interview Joseph shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 488_Joseph_Ryan_Final.mp3
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Dr. Lisette DePillis is the Norman F. Sprague Jr. Professor of Life Sciences, Professor of Mathematics, and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. Lisette is an applied mathematician. She creates mathematical models or structures to help describe questions in biology. In particular, Lisette has been working on building models to improve our understanding of diseases related to the human immune system, such as cancer. Her goal is to understand the genesis and dynamics of diseases as well as to discover improved and personalized treatment approaches. In her free time, Lisette plays piano, sings, dances, and reads for fun. She also enjoys spending time playing family games, visiting new places, going to movies, trying new restaurants, and going for walks outside with her husband and three daughters. They live up against the foothills in California, so they don’t have to walk far to be immersed in nature and see lots of wildlife. She received her PhD in mathematics from the University of California Los Angeles. Lisette was Director of the Harvey Mudd College Global Clinic Program prior to being elected department chair. Lisette has been recognized for her multidisciplinary research excellence with the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Distinguished Scholar Award from the Argonne National Laboratory. She is also a HERS-CBL Clare Boothe Luce Leadership in STEM Scholar and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In our interview Lisette shared more about her life and work.

Direct download: 487_Lisette_DePillis_Final.mp3
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Dr. Paul Steinhardt is the Albert Einstein Professor in Science, Professor in the Department of Physics, Professor in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and Director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Sciences. In addition, Paul is author of the popular science book Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang and the recently released book The Second Kind of Impossible: The Extraordinary Quest for a New Form of Matter. Paul is a theoretical physicist whose areas of study range from the nature of particles to the origins of the universe. He uses the known laws of nature to unravel some of the many secrets of nature that remain. His goal is to understand why things are the way they are and to discover connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena. In his free time, Paul enjoys hanging out with his four kids and his grandchild. Lately, he has also become fond of attending opera performances and hiking. Paul received his B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Harvard University. Afterwards, Paul was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. He served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for about 17 years before joining the faculty at Princeton University. Paul has been recognized for his exceptional research as one of the recipients of the 2002 Dirac Medal from the International Centre for theoretical Physics, a recipient of the Oliver E. Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society, a recipient of the John Scott Award, and one of the recipients of the 2018 Aspen Italia Prize. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. Paul was also named a Sloan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, the Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics, a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University, a Moore Fellow at Caltech, and a Caltech Distinguished Alumnus. In our interview Paul shared more about his life and science.

Direct download: 486_Paul_Steinhardt_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Carla Finkielstein is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences within the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. She is also Director of the Integrated Cellular Response Laboratory at Virginia Tech, a Member of the Executive Committee of the Susan G. Komen Blue Ridge Board, and past member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation. In the lab, Carla is interested in understanding the mechanisms cells use to measure time to regulate cell division. Evidence supports that people with circadian disorders have a higher incidence of cancer. Carla hypothesizes that cancer may occur when the clocks within cells don’t function properly. In these cases, the clocks may signal to the cell to divide too frequently. Carla’s goal is to understand how this process occurs so that we can fix the issue, detect the problem early to provide treatment, or prevent it from happening. Carla’s favorite hobby is cooking. She loves making new and creative dishes that bring together different colors, flavors, and taste profiles. Cooking is relaxing for her, and it’s fun to share dishes she creates with her friends and family. In addition, Carla enjoys reading a wide variety of books about history. Carla received her B.S. and Ph.D. both in Molecular Biology from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Afterwards, she worked as a Research Associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Carla then conducted further postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center before joining the faculty at Virginia Tech. Carla has been recognized for her research accomplishments with the L. Chely Award for Best PhD Thesis, a Howard Hughes Institute Fellowship for Research, an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Karin Noss Scholarship for Research Advocacy in Breast Cancer, the Susan G. Komen Award for Junior Investigators, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In our interview Carla shared more about her life and science.

Direct download: 485_Carla_Finkielstein_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Todd Zankel is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Mercaptor Discoveries, Inc., a biotech company focused on developing molecules to treat brain injury and degeneration. Todd studies chemistry and molecular biology to develop new drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system and brain. The molecules they are working on now help reduce side effects by making drugs only active in the parts of the body they are supposed to target. When he’s not working, Todd likes to read non-science books and take his dog for walks in the hills and woods near his house. Todd received his B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University. Afterwards, he accepted a position as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Plant Gene Expression Center in Berkeley, California as well as the Chemistry Department of ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. Todd then worked for BioMarin Pharmaceutical for about eight years. Before co-founding Mercaptor Discoveries, Todd co-founded Raptor Pharmaceuticals in 2006, acting as Chief Scientific Officer and head of discovery research until 2016 when the company was acquired. In our interview, Todd shared more about his life and science.

Direct download: 484_PBTS_Todd_Zankel_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Michael Fox is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Harvard University Medical School and Director of the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation. In addition, Mike is Associate Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Co-Director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Deep Brain Stimulation Program, Assistant Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a practicing clinical neurologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In Mike’s research, he uses wiring diagrams of the human brain to try to make sense of brain problems and help patients. In the clinic, Mike treats patients with movement disorders like tremor and Parkinson’s disease using deep brain stimulation. He also uses noninvasive brain stimulation to treat people with psychiatric conditions like depression. When Mike isn’t doing research in his lab or working with patients in the clinic, he loves spending time with his wife and two daughters. They enjoy hiking and having fun outdoors together. He received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, and he was awarded his MD and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis. Afterwards, Mike completed a medical internship at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Next, he completed his Neurology Residency and Movement Disorders Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before becoming a faculty member with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. Mike is the recipient of the inaugural Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. In our interview, Mike tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 483_Mike_Fox_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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