Dr. Allison Okamura is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She also holds a courtesy appointment in Computer science there. Research in Allison’s lab examines three different areas of robotics. The first is haptics, which involves human machine interactions through the sense of touch. The second is designing medical robots that can, for example be used to help people recover from stroke or perform surgery. A final area that Allison studies is creating soft robots that can conform to their environments. Much of Allison’s free time is spent with her husband, daughter, and son. When she’s not at work, Allison also enjoys relaxing, running, and playing ice hockey. Allison received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and she was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D. both in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at Stanford University, Allison was Professor and Vice Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Allison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being elected as a fellow for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She has also been awarded the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. In addition, Allison was honored as a Duca Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, a Robert Bosch Faculty Scholar, a Gabilan Fellow, and an Alumni Distinguished Scholar by Stanford University, as well as a Decker Faculty Scholar by Johns Hopkins University. In our interview, Allison speaks more about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 477_Allison_Okamura_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Mario Thevis is Vice President of Research, Professor, and head of the Centre for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University of Cologne. He is also Director of the European Monitoring Center for Emerging Doping Agents (EuMoCEDA), a forensic chemist, Editor and Chief of the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, and a Research Scientist with the Partnership for Clean Competition. Mario’s time in the lab is split between research and performance of routine doping control work. On the research side, he is developing novel means and analytical methods to test athletes for the use of banned substances and methods of doping. Substances tested for include stimulants, steroids, blood doping, and others. The routine doping control side of Mario’s work involves testing samples for banned substances and investigating positive test cases. When he’s not working in the lab, Mario enjoys spending time with his family and watching soccer matches. He received his undergraduate education in organic chemistry from RWTH Aachen University as well as in sports sciences from the German Sport University of Cologne. Mario went on to earn his PhD in biochemistry from the German Sport University of Cologne. Afterwards, Mario conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles. He served as a senior researcher at the German Sport University Cologne for a few years before being appointed Professor for Preventive Doping Research there. In our interview Mario will tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 476_Mario_Thevis_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Dennis Riley is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Galera Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company discovering and developing innovative cancer treatments. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. Dennis and his colleagues have been developing synthetic enzymes that target undesired or toxic metabolic byproducts. One compound Dennis has developed protects healthy tissue from radiation damage during cancer treatment. When he’s not doing work, Dennis enjoys mountain biking, golfing, and amateur astronomy. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics from Heidelberg College and his PhD in inorganic chemistry from The Ohio State University. Afterwards, Dennis conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago. Dennis began his career working in research and development with Proctor and Gamble, and he spent much of his career working at Monsanto where he held the positions of Senior Science Fellow and Manager of Metal-Mediated Chemistry. He subsequently served as Vice President of Research at Metaphore Pharmaceuticals and Senior Vice-President at the start-up company Kereos before co-Founding Galera Therapeutics. Dennis is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and he has received the American Chemical Society St. Louis Section’s Chemist of the Year Award. In addition, Galera Therapeutics’ new drug GC4419 has been designated as a “Breakthrough Therapy” by the FDA for reduction in the duration, incidence, and severity of oral mucositis induced by radiation therapy in cancer patients. In this podcast interview, Dennis spoke with us about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 475_Dennis_Riley_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Whitehead is an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University where she also holds a courtesy appointment in Biomedical Engineering. Research in Katie’s lab group focuses on therapeutic drug delivery. Their goal is to make the process of drug delivery more efficient by sending medicine only to the specific parts of the body where they are needed. Katie is also working to create new precision medicines using RNA and DNA and to develop the drug delivery systems for these future medicines. Since she was a PhD student, Katie has been interested in gardening. She started with just a single tomato plant, and now she grows over 20 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, as well as other vegetables, fruits, and berries. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Katie has received numerous awards and honors, including the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the DARPA Director’s Fellowship, the Controlled Release Society Capsugel/Pfizer Oral Drug Delivery Award, the Diabetes Technology Society Peterson Research Award, a UC Graduate Research and Education in Adaptive Biotechnology Fellowship, an NIH Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellowship, the Kun Li Award for Excellence in Education, the Popular Science Brilliant 10 Award, and very recently the 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. She has also been named an MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 and the 2016 Young Innovator Award from Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE). In our interview, Katie speaks more about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 474_Katie_Whitehead_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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