Dr. Jo Dunkley is a Professor of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and author of the book Our Universe: An Astronomer's Guide. Jo is a cosmologist, and her job is to study the universe. She conducts research to try to approximate how space behaves as a whole. This includes looking into space and taking measurements to determine how the universe began, what it’s made of, how it’s growing, and what is going to happen to it in the future. Physics and family are two of the major pieces in Jo’s life. She loves spending time with her two daughters, while they run, draw, sing, and learn about space. She received her MSci with First Class Honors in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and her PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research and was subsequently a Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University. Before joining the faculty at Princeton University, Jo served on the faculty at the University of Oxford. Over the course of her career, Jo has received numerous awards and honors including the Maxwell Medal from the Institute of Physics, the Royal Astronomical Society’s Fowler Prize in Astronomy, the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award, the Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award, and the Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust. She also shared the Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize, a NASA Group Achievement Award, and most recently the Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe team. In our interview, Jo speaks about some of her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 766_Jo_Dunkley_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. John Aitchison is President and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the largest independent, non-profit organization in the U.S. that is focused solely on infectious disease research. In addition, John serves as an affiliate or adjunct Professor at the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, and the Institute for Systems Biology. John’s research investigates the systems biology related to infectious disease by using technology, computation, and high throughput biology to examine molecules in complex biological systems to better understand how the system will react to a new stimulus or perturbation. Their ultimate goal is to predict how effective a drug or vaccine will be against a particular disease and to implement it with high efficiency. When he’s not in the office or the lab, John loves to be out on the water sailing and racing sailboats. He’s also a fan of playing squash, skiing, spending time with his family, and being outdoors. John received his B.Sc. degree with Honors in Biochemistry from McMaster University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McMaster University as well. He then conducted postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Cell Biology at The Rockefeller University. Next, John served on the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. Afterwards, he became a founding member at the Institute for Systems Biology where he later served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Integrative Biology. While working at the Institute for Systems Biology, John also began conducting research at the Center for Infectious Disease Research where he still works today. In our interview John shares his experiences in life, leadership, and science.

Direct download: 765_John_Aitchison_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Robert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Being one of the eight Institute Professors is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member at MIT. Much of Bob’s research is at the interface between materials and medicine. His lab has created nanoparticles and drug delivery systems, engineered tissues and organs for things like artificial skin for burn victims, and made organ-on-a-chip technology to help develop and test new drugs that may someday help patients. When he’s not working, Bob enjoys spending time with his family, taking his kids to sporting events, lifting weights, and going on walks with his wife. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and his Sc.D. in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Bob worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s Hospital Boston and at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty at MIT in 1978. Since then, Bob has accepted more than 220 major awards and honors, including the U.S. National Medal of Science, the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation (he is one of 3 living individuals to have received both these honors), the Charles Stark Draper Prize (often called the Engineering Nobel Prize), Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Albany Medical Center Prize, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Kyoto Prize, Wolf Prize for Chemistry, Millennium Technology Prize, Priestley Medal (highest award of the American Chemical Society), Gairdner Prize, Hoover Medal, Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences, BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine, Balzan Prize, and the Dr. Paul Janssen Award. In 1998, he received the Lemelson-MIT prize, the world’s largest prize for invention for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine,” and he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. He is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Inventors, and the Royal Academy of Engineering. He has been awarded over 1,000 patents and has received 42 honorary doctorate degrees, including degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Northwestern. In our conversation, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 764_Robert_Langer_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Marcie O'Malley is the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as well as a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. Marcie is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine and at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In addition, she is Director of the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab at Rice University, Director of Rehabilitation Engineering at TIRR-Memorial Hermann Hospital, and co-founder of Houston Medical Robotics, Inc. The goal of Marcie’s research is to use robotic systems to maximize what people can achieve. She is working on incorporating robotics to rehabilitate and restore function in people after spinal cord injury or stroke. To do this, Marcie creates wearable and interactive robots to assist with therapy. Another area of Marcie’s research focuses on the use of robots for training via surgical simulations. Outside of her scientific interests, Marcie loves to travel and explore new cities. She is also a mom of eleven year old twin boys, so she spends a lot of time working on school projects, attending sporting events, going to art classes, exploring parks, and visiting museums with them. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and she was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University. Marcie has received recognition for her teaching and research through receipt of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice University, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. She has also been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Marcie joined us for an interview to talk about some of her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 763_Marcie_OMalley_Final_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT






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