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
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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