Dr. Daniel Chung is the global medical strategy lead for ophthalmology at Spark Therapeutics. Spark Therapeutics concentrates on discovering, developing, and delivering gene therapy for rare diseases. Dan works in the area of ophthalmology, and he and his colleagues brought the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease to market. This therapy was created to treat an inherited retinal disease that results in blindness and is caused by variants or mutations in the RPE65 gene. When he isn’t working or traveling, Dan enjoys spending time with his family. He is also an avid photographer who loves capturing photos of nature, landscapes, and wildlife. In particular, he has really enjoyed photographing the panoramic landscapes of Monument Valley in Arizona, brown bears in Alaska, and polar bears in Northern Canada. Dan earned both his bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in family counseling from Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts. He also holds a doctorate degree in Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Afterward, Dan became a research training award fellow at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, studying retinal gene therapy, and he went on to complete his residency in ophthalmology within the Summa Health System in Ohio. Dan joined the Cleveland Clinic as a pediatric ophthalmology clinical/ocular genetics research fellow and subsequently worked as a senior investigator at the Scheie Eye Institute in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for eleven years before joining the team at Spark Therapeutics in 2014. In this interview, Dan shares more about his personal and professional passions, as well as his research.

Direct download: 525_Dan_Chung_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Elizabeth Haswell is a Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-Simons Faculty Scholar. Liz’s research examines how the molecules, cells, and tissues within plants can sense and respond to forces. In particular, she studies a type of proteins that is really sensitive to mechanical signals called mechanosensitive ion channels. Liz is working to understand how these mechanosensitive ion channels sense and respond to internal forces within plant cells, such as turgor pressure (i.e. the water pressure within cells). In her free time, Liz enjoys traveling, hiking, hanging out with her family, and reading. She also co-hosts a plant biology podcast called The Taproot. She received her B.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. Afterwards, Liz conducted postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis where she remains today. In addition to being named an HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholar, Liz received a National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Development (CAREER) Award. In our interview she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 524_Elizabeth_Haswell_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Karen Daniels is a Professor in the Department of Physics at North Carolina State University. Karen’s lab investigates the physics of how materials change state (e.g. from solid to fluid), how they deform, and how they may ultimately fail. She studies these questions across a variety of length and time scales, from microscopic phenomena that occur in less than a second to shifts in land that occur on geologic timescales and may lead to landslides. Travel is a passion for Karen. While traveling, she loves hiking on mountain trails, eating delicious food, discovering new foods that she can try to make at home, reading books, knitting, and interacting with new people and places. She received her BA in physics from Dartmouth College. Karen then worked for about three years as a science teacher at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn before enrolling in graduate school at Cornell University where she earned her PhD in physics. She then conducted postdoctoral research at Duke University before joining the faculty at NCSU in 2005. Karen has been awarded a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to support a yearlong sabbatical at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany. In addition, Karen was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the Equity for Women Award from NCSU, and the LeRoy and Elva Martin Award for Teaching Excellence. She has also been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Direct download: 523_Karen_Daniels_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Edward Rebar is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Sangamo Therapeutics. Ed and the team at Sangamo are developing genomic medicines. They use different techniques including gene therapy, ex vivo genome editing (using cells sourced from outside the body), in vivo genome editing (using a patient’s own cells within their body), and in vivo targeted gene regulation to downregulate their genes of interest. When Ed isn’t at work, he loves being outside with his wife, going to local parks, and visiting National Parks. When walking around observing nature, he tries to understand the story behind what he sees. He particularly enjoys exploring and pondering the amazing rock formations in Southern Utah. Ed earned his B.S. degree in biochemistry from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in biophysics and structural biology from MIT. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the team at Sangamo in 1998. In our interview, Ed shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 522_Ed_Rebar_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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