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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