Dr. Maureen Murphy is a Professor and Program Leader in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program of the Wistar Institute Cancer Center in Philadelphia. She is also the Associate Vice president for Faculty Affairs and Associate Director For Education and Career Development there. Maureen’s research is aimed at understanding and developing cures for cancer. Specifically, they focus on the p53 tumor suppressor protein that is responsible for stopping tumors from forming. When she’s not in the lab, you can find Maureen hiking outside with her dogs. She loves nature and thinks dogs are wonderful for reminding us to take a break from our hectic schedules to enjoy life. Maureen is also a fan of traveling, cycling, and yoga. Maureen received her B.S. in biochemistry from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After graduate school, she completed postdoctoral research at Princeton University. Maureen served on the faculty at the Fox Chase Cancer Center before accepting her current position at the Wistar Institute. Maureen is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 756_Maureen_Murphy_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Carlos Portela is the Brit and Alex d'Arbeloff Career Development Professor in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Carlos’s research involves designing, making, and testing new types of materials that have unconventional properties. To do this, they rearrange the components of existing materials in three dimensions at the micro or nano scale to create new architected materials. The new materials may absorb a lot of energy upon impact, or be extremely lightweight, but also very stiff. When he’s not working, Carlos likes to stay active by running, playing golf, and playing a variety of team sports. He also enjoys exploring new restaurants in Boston, particularly places that serve Asian-Spanish fusion food. He received his bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering and physics from the University of Southern California, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Carlos remained at Caltech to conduct postdoctoral research before joining the faculty at MIT. He was the recipient of an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, and he has also been named among MIT Tech Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. In this interview, he shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 755_Carlos_Portella_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Joel Fodrie is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences and Department of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Joel studies estuaries which are habitats where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with the salt water of the ocean. He acts as a sort of detective to investigate how things like salt marshes, sea grasses, and oyster reefs keep this habitat healthy and to determine what may be driving observed changes in fish abundance in these areas. Joel has always loved going out on the water for activities like fishing, surfing, and boating. He got his first boat when he was only 13 years old! In addition, Joel is also an enthusiastic basketball player and reader of Revolutionary Era history books and biographies. He received his undergraduate training in Biology and History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to receive his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Afterward, Joel conducted postdoctoral research with the Marine Sciences Consortium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Joel served on the faculty at the University of South Alabama before joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is today. Joel is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 754_Joel_Fodrie_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Taylor Hutchison is an astrophysicist and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Taylor uses large telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope to study the most distant galaxies that we can detect in the universe. Her goal is to answer questions like what kinds of stars are inside these galaxies, how massive the galaxies are, and what elements are present. When she’s not working, Taylor engages in a variety of hobbies, crafts, and opportunities to learn new skills. She particularly enjoys reading, hiking, sewing her own clothing, and creatively reusing items that may have otherwise been thrown away. For example, she uses recycled cardboard and newspapers to make baskets and other tools. She received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Southwestern University and her Master’s and PhD degrees in Astronomy from Texas A&M University. She was the recipient of the Dr. Joseph Newton Graduate Service Award, a University Prestigious Fellowship Scholarship, the Leadership in Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Award, and the Graduate Diversity Excellence Award from Texas A&M University, and she also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship as well. In this interview, Taylor shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 753_Taylor_Hutchison_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Ken uses the fruit fly as a model to understand how animals have adapted to different kinds of changes in the environment and how they can cope with it. He uses neurophysiology and behavioral genetics approaches to study the impacts of different kinds of stresses, including high temperature and low oxygen. This work has important applications for human conditions like febrile seizures that can occur when the body temperature rises or complications from stroke that deprive parts of the brain of oxygen. Much of Ken's free time is spent with his two kids. His daughter plays basketball and the trombone, and his son is into tennis and the baritone. This means he gets to go to a lot of practices, games, and concerts with his family. Moving from Canada to Florida has turned them into avid beach-goers as well, so they like to enjoy as much sand and sun together as possible. He received his Master's degree in Neurobiology from Queen's University and his PhD in Neurophysiology from the University of Toronto. Ken then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto before joining the faculty at Florida Atlantic University. In our interview, Ken shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 752_Ken_Dawson_Scully.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Stacey Harmer is a Professor of Plant Biology in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Stacey studies different biological rhythms and the circadian clocks within organisms that create and maintain those rhythms. Circadian clocks can be found in various organisms, from bacteria to people. In particular, Stacey is interested in understanding why plants have circadian clocks, how these clocks work in plants, and what aspects of physiology and development these clocks control. Stacey likes to take her mind off research when she’s not in the lab by doing yoga and road biking. She and her husband also enjoy cooking and eating their delicious kitchen creations. She received her BA in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and was awarded her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. Afterwards, Stacey conducted postdoctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Joya before joining the faculty at UC, Davis where she has been since 2002. She is the recipient of the American Society of Photobiology’s New Investigator Award and was selected as a Chancellor’s Fellow at UC Davis. Stacey is with us today to share her exciting experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 751_Stacey_Harmer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT

Dr. Alan R. Saltiel is Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Maryam Ahmadian Endowed Chair in Metabolic Health, Director of the Institute for Diabetes and Metabolic Health at UC, San Diego, and Director of the UCSD/UCLA Diabetes Research Center. Alan studies how cells that are involved in metabolism decide to take up and store energy, burn energy, or release energy for other cells to use in response to hormones, nutritional cues, and metabolic stress. He is particularly interested in studying cells in liver and fat tissues and better understanding the pathways involved in controlling the metabolic activities of these cells. When he’s not working, Alan enjoys exercise and physical activity, including tennis and occasionally basketball. He also likes to read fiction and non-fiction, spend time with friends and family, and experiment with cooking Mediterranean cuisine. He received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Duke University, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Wellcome Research Laboratories. Alan served on the faculty at Rockefeller University before joining Parke Davis Pharmaceutical Research in 1990, where he remained until 2001 when he accepted a position at the University of Michigan. He transitioned to his current positions in 2015. Alan has received numerous awards and honors, including the Rosalyn Yalow Research and Development Award from the American Diabetes Association; the Hirschl Award from Hirschl Trust; the John Jacob Abel, Goodman and Gilman, and Pharmacia-ASPET Awards from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and he was named a Fellow of the Society in 2022. In addition, Alan is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected Member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and an elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine. In this interview, Alan shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 750_Alan_Saltiel_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Erica Golemis is a Professor, Deputy Chief Science Officer, Co-Leader of the Molecular Therapeutics Program, and Director of the High Throughput Facility at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. In addition, Erica is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University School of Medicine, and the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine. For most of her scientific career, Erica has been conducting cancer research. Her recent work investigates why some cancers are particularly malignant. Erica’s research examines what genes cause cancer to change and progress, whether there are genes that can be targeted directly with different treatments to reverse this process, and if there is a therapeutic time window in which they could potentially reverse this process. When Erica finds free time, one thing she loves to do is read. She reads broadly and has been an avid reader since her early childhood. Erica also has fun attending theatre performances. There are multiple excellent theaters in her home city of Philadelphia, and she especially enjoys shows by British playwright Tom Stoppard. She completed her undergraduate studies in biology and English at Bryn Mawr College and was awarded her PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Erica conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Molecular Biology and Harvard Medical School department of Genetics before joining the Fox Chase Cancer Center. In this interview, Erica speaks about her experiences in both life and science.

Direct download: 749_Erica_Goelemis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. David Fitzpatrick is Chief Executive Officer, Scientific Director, and Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. The brain is important for so many aspects of our daily experiences, including what we perceive, what we think about, how we move, the decisions we make, and more. However, we still know relatively little about how the brain works and how it develops. David’s goal is to dive deep into these basic science questions of how the brain works and how it develops. When David isn’t hard at work at Max Planck, he spends his time hiking, biking, kayaking, and immersing himself in nature. He has also become a keen photographer, capturing captivating photos of the natural world and memorable moments in his life. David received his B.S. degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State University and his PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Medical University of South Carolina and then returned to Duke University as a member of the faculty. Before accepting his current positions at the Max Planck Florida Institute, David was the James B. Duke Professor of Neurobiology and Director of the Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University. David has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career for his outstanding research and teaching, including the 2011 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Award, the Cajal Club Cortical Discoverer Award, the McKnight Neuroscience Investigator Award, and the Excellence in Basic Science Teaching Award from Duke University School of Medicine. David joined us for an interview to share his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 748_David_Fitzpatrick_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Jennifer Ramp Neale is Director of Research and Conservation at the Denver Botanic Gardens. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Colorado Denver. The Denver Botanic Gardens is an accredited museum, a public nonprofit organization, and a research institution, so Jenny has a variety of different roles. She oversees the research conducted there, communicates their findings and the importance of science to different audiences, and works closely with land managers/owners to provide information on the local plants to help guide land management decisions. Jenny’s research focuses on applied conservation of plants, particularly rare and endangered species in Colorado. Outside of work, Jenny is a wife, mother, and outdoors enthusiast. She enjoys being active outdoors with her family playing soccer, skiing, camping, hiking, and generally having fun outside. Jenny’s passion for identifying plants and mushrooms is contagious, and as a result, her family has also become quite knowledgeable about the plants of Colorado. She received her B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College and her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado. Afterwards, Jenny conducted postdoctoral research in community genetics at the University of Colorado. Jenny’s previous positions include Manager of Research Programs and Associate Director of Research at the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as Conservation Genetic Consultant with LSA Associates and Solano County Water Agency through the University of Colorado Museum. Jenny is the recipient of the 2012 Partners in Mission Recovery Champion Award as part of the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 747_Jennifer_Ramp_Neale_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Eric Skaar is Director of the Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation, Director of the Division of Molecular Pathogenesis, the Ernest W. Goodpasture Chair in Pathology, and Vice Chair for Research and a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at Vanderbilt University. Eric is a bacteriologist who studies the impact of nutrition on infectious disease. His research examines how the food we eat affects our susceptibility to bacterial infection and how the bacteria that infect us get food once they are inside our bodies. He earned his B.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Northwestern University, and his M.P.H. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Northwestern University. Afterwards, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in microbiology at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2005. Eric has received numerous awards and honors for his research including being named an American Asthma Foundation Scholar, receipt of Vanderbilt University’s Stanley Cohen Award for Excellence in Research Bridging Disciplines, the Pfizer ASPIRE Young Investigator Award, the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research, and more. He has also won a variety of awards for exceptional mentorship and teaching, including the Vanderbilt Molecular Pathology and Immunology Graduate Program Teacher of the Year Award, the F. Peter Guengerich, Ph.D., Award, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Postdoc Mentor of the Year Award, and others. In addition, he is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. In our interview, Eric shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 746_Eric_Skaar_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Ellen Zweibel is the W. L. Kraushaar Professor of Astronomy and Physics, and the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Ellen is a theoretical astrophysicist who specializes in plasma astrophysics. Her studies examine electricity and magnetism in the cosmos, including phenomena like sun spots, the solar cycle, and high energy electromagnetic emissions (e.g. x-rays, gamma rays, and radio waves) from stars and galaxies. Ellen’s interests outside of science include creative writing, art, and exercise. She has recorded her thoughts and sketches in a journal since 1977, and drawing is a wonderful way for Ellen to see details in her surroundings that she might otherwise miss. In addition, Ellen has explored her artistic side through sculpting clay and painting. As far as exercise, Ellen runs at least 45 minutes every day. She received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and her PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University. Ellen served as a faculty member at the University of Colorado for over 20 years before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in 2003. Ellen has received numerous awards and honors during her career, including being elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and being awarded the American Physical Society’s Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics. Ellen joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 745_Ellen_Zweibel_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Ryan Potts is VP of Research and Head of the Induced Proximity Platform at Amgen that works on ways to bring two or more molecules in close proximity to each other to tackle drug targets that are currently considered “undruggable.” Ryan conducts early-stage research to discover new high-impact medicines for serious diseases that have a high unmet medical need. Their work examines biological pathways, drug targets, disease drivers, and new ways to create drugs that have the desired effects. He also leads Amgen’s Research & Development Postdoctoral Fellows Program. Outside of science, Ryan enjoys spending quality time with his family and his kids. They enjoy exploring the natural world, hiking, and exploring the nearby Santa Monica Mountains and local beaches. Ryan is also an avid traveler and sports fan. Ryan received his BS in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he was awarded his PhD in cellular and molecular biology from UT Southwestern Medical Center. After completing his PhD, Ryan served on the faculty at UT Southwestern Medical Center for eight years before accepting a position on the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He joined the team at Amgen in 2020. In this interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 744_Ryan_Potts_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Pankaj Karande is an Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Pankaj was trained as a chemical engineer, and his research aims to apply engineering approaches and technology to solve problems in biology and healthcare to improve the quality and quantity of human life. Projects in his lab span areas such as drug discovery, drug delivery, biomaterials, diagnostics, and more. When he’s not working, Pankaj loves to cook, and experimenting with different recipes has been a great way to relieve stress. He was awarded his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Pankaj was awarded an Anna Fuller Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Oncology, and he conducted postdoctoral research in the Center for Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at Rensselaer. Pankaj has received a variety of awards and honors in his career, including the Excellence in Classroom Instruction Award and the Outstanding Teaching Award from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also received the Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator Research Award, the Goldhirsh Brain Tumor Research Award, and a Bronze Edison Award in the Best New Product in Science and Medical Category. In addition, he has been issued multiple patents in the areas of Transdermal Formulation Discovery and Novel High Throughput Screening Platforms. In our interview, Pankaj shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 743_Pankaj_Karande_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Claire Higgins is a Reader (faculty) in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. She is also President of the European Hair Research Society and Vice President of the Institute of Trichologists, a professional association for researchers who study the hair and scalp. Claire teaches and conducts research in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. She uses skin and hair follicles as models to better understand how tissues respond to injury, heal wounds, and repair after disease. Outside of science, making pottery has been one of Claire’s favorite pastimes since she took her first classes as a postdoc. She enjoys making items like bowls, vases, and lamp bases on her pottery wheel in her studio during her free time. Claire received her B.Sc. in natural sciences and her PhD in skin developmental biology from Durham University in England. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at Columbia University. She worked as an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University before joining the faculty and starting her laboratory at Imperial College London in 2014. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 742_Claire_Higgins_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Ariel Furst is the Paul M. Cook Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In her research, Ariel has been using microbes to address problems surrounding human health, environmental remediation, and sustainability. Her lab focuses on energy equity by developing  new technologies that are accessible to people who haven’t had access to technology but are negatively impacted by it. She is also working towards energy justice by developing technology and approaches to remediate prior harms to marginalized communities. In her free time, Ariel and her husband enjoy experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. She also likes to spend time outdoors hiking, jogging, and doing fun activities like apple picking with her lab members. She received her B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago and her PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. Afterwards, she was awarded a Beckman Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the faculty at MIT in 2019. Ariel has received a variety of awards during her career, including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the Marion Milligan Mason Award from American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Women in Chemical Engineering Rising Star Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. She was also named a Scialog Fellow for Negative Emissions Science. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 741_Ariel_Furst_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT

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