Dr. Amanda Therrien is an Institute Scientist and Director of the Sensorimotor Learning Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI). As a sensorimotor neuroscientist, Amanda studies how the brain integrates incoming sensory information with motor commands to control body movements. She is interested in better understanding how the nervous system works to control movement, how damage to particular areas of the brain may disrupt our control of movement, and what interventions may help improve movement control in clinical populations. Running, knitting, gardening, reading, and cooking are some of Amanda’s favorite ways to spend her time when she’s not doing science. She loves exploring new places through running, and she’s often knitting her way through her next hat or sweater during TV time. Amanda received her B.Sc. in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa and her Ph.D. in Kinesiology, specializing in sensorimotor neuroscience, from McMaster University. Before accepting her current position at MRRI, Amanda conducted postdoctoral research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In our interview, Amanda shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 601_Amanda_Therrien_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jess Adkins is a Professor of Geochemistry at California Institute of Technology. Jess is an oceanographer who studies the history of the earth's climate. He is working to understand the inner workings of the earth's climate system by studying long-term shifts in climate that are documented in the chemical, biological, and geological records of the deep sea. When he's not at work, you can find Jess coaching his kids soccer teams, hiking in the mountains near Los Angeles, and cooking with his wife. He received his PhD in Chemical Oceanography from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He then completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and at the University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at Caltech. Jess has received many awards and honors during his career, including the Houtermans Medal from the European Association of Geochemistry, the Ruth and Paul Fye Best Paper Award from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Organic Geochemical Division of the Geochemical Society Best Paper Award. In our interview, Jess shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 600_Jess_Adkins_Rebroadcast_Final.mp3
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Dr. Herbert Geller is a Senior Investigator in the Developmental Neurobiology Section and Head of the Office of Education at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The Geller lab investigates why people don't recover from central nervous system injuries including spinal cord injuries. They are working on developing potential treatments that will help people recover function after spinal cord injury, particularly focusing on how to inhibit the stop signals in the brain that prevent cells from regenerating after injury. When he's not busy in the lab, Herbert stay active with running, skiing, and gardening. We also discovered that he is quite handy and has been hard at work repairing and restoring his old house. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and conducted postdoctoral research afterward at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Herbert served on the faculty at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for over 30 years before joining the NIH. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In our interview, Herb shares his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 599_Herb_Geller_Rebroadcast_Final.mp3
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Dr. Anna Frebel is the Silverman Family Career Development Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As an astrophysicist, Anna spends her time working with students, reviewing and analyzing data on the computer, and occasionally traveling to telescopes for observing time. Her research focuses on identifying and studying some of the oldest stars in the universe using chemical analyses. Anna loves spending time with her family and young son in her free time. She received her PhD from the Australian National University's Mt. Stromlo Observatory for which she was awarded the Charlene Heisler Prize for the best Australian astronomy PhD thesis of 2006. Afterward, Anna was awarded the McDonald Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas, Austin and went on to receive the Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics before joining the faculty at MIT. Anna and her research have been recognized with the Ludwig-Biermann Young Astronomer Award of the German Astronomical Society, the Annie Jump Cannon Award of the American Astronomical Society, and a National Science Foundation CAREER award. She was also named a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. In this interview, Anna shares more about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 598_Anna_Frebel_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jack Schultz is a Professor in Plant Sciences and Director of the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri. Jack is interested in understanding why insects and other animals don't consume all of the plants in the world. In his research, Jack has examined chemical defenses of plants and also chemical signaling in plants that can be detected by the predators that eat the insects that eat plants. Jack loves learning, so it's not always easy to pull himself away from the science. However, for most of his life, he has been an avid guitarist and really enjoyed playing music professionally and for fun. Jack also enjoys photography and landscape gardening. He received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Washington and completed postdoctoral research at Dartmouth College. He was then hired at Dartmouth as a Research Assistant Professor. Jack's next career move brought him to Penn State University where he remained for 25 years, rising to the rank of Distinguished Professor of Entomology before joining the faculty at the University of Missouri. Jack's research has been featured by the New York Times, People Magazine, and Time Magazine. Jack is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 597_Jack_Schultz_Final_V2.mp3
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Dr. Lily Wang is a Professor of Architectural Engineering in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Faculty Development in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Lily's research is in the field of architectural acoustics, which helps us understand how sound behaves in buildings, from glamorous concert halls to everyday offices and classrooms. When she's not in the lab, Lily loves to sing and spend some quality time playing with her two young daughters. She received her PhD in Acoustics from Pennsylvania State University. She then worked as a research fellow in the Department of Acoustic Technology at the Technical University of Denmark before accepting a faculty position at UNL. Lily has received many awards and honors during her career, including the R. Bruce Lindsay Award, the top award given by the Acoustical Society of America to a person under 35 years of age. Lily has also been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award as well as numerous awards from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln for teaching and mentorship.

Direct download: 596_Lily_Wang_Final.mp3
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Dr. Peter Crane is the Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Professor of Botany at Yale University. Much of Peter’s work has involved studying fossil plants, particularly plants from about 130 million years ago, to find out what they tell us about plant evolution and the evolution of flowering plants. Peter also compares fossil plants to those alive today to understand the relationships between historic and present day plants. Peter loves to travel and often gets to explore different places in the world as part of his scientific and other professional responsibilities. He enjoys spending time outside and is delighted to be able to work outdoors in the field for his research. When he has time to relax and pick up a book, Peter gravitates towards reading biographies of interesting people. Peter received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Afterward, he conducted postdoctoral research at Indiana University and worked for about 17 years at the Field Museum in Chicago, rising from Assistant Curator in Paleobotany to Museum Director. Peter then served as Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He also served as the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at Yale where he is today. Peter has received many prestigious awards and honors during his career. First and foremost, he was knighted in the United Kingdom in 2004 for his contributions to horticulture and conservation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Peter has received multiple honorary degrees and fellowships, including an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge. He was also the recipient of the International Prize for Biology, as well as many other national and international awards. In this interview, Peter shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 595_Peter_Crane_Final.mp3
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Dr. Yasmin Hurd is Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics as well as the Ward-Coleman Chair in Translational Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York. She is also Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders in the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System. Yasmin studies the brain and addiction. She wants to know how drugs impact the brain, as well as how genetics and other characteristics shape disease vulnerability. Her work also has applications for developing new therapeutic treatments for substance abuse. Outside of work, Yasmin loves cooking, including the challenge of assembling meals from the random ingredients in her pantry and hosting elaborate dinners for her friends. She has also developed a passion for painting. She received her PhD in Medical Science from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and spent time as a Pharmacology Research Associate Fellow with the NIH and Staff Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. Afterward, Yasmin returned to the Karolinska Institute where she remained as a faculty member for 13 years before coming to Mount Sinai. She is also a member of the American Society for Neuroscience, New York Academy of Sciences, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Yasmin shares more about her journey through life and science in this interview.

Direct download: 594_Yasmin_Hurd.mp3
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Dr. George Hajishengallis is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Through his research, George is trying to understand how the immune system interacts with oral bacteria. He is curious about why you see destruction of gums and the bone that supports the teeth in some people. They are also working on treatments to prevent gum disease called periodontists. Outside of his work life, George spends his time watching soccer, reading books, and hiking and swimming with his wife. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Athens in Greece and his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following postdoctoral studies in Immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University at Buffalo, George served on the faculty at Louisiana State University Health Science Center and the University of Louisville before joining the Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. George has been elected as a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and was a recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Biology from the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) in 2012 and the AADR/IADR William J. Gies Award in the Biological Research Category in 2014. In this interview, George shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 593_George_Hajishengallis_Final.mp3
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Dr. John Whyte is the Founding Director and Institute Scientist Emeritus at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), as well as the Founding Director of the Responsiveness Program at the Drucker Brain Injury Center at MossRehab. The goal of John’s research is to help people perform the tasks and roles they are interested in doing, regardless of any diseases or disabilities. Much of his work has focused on people with traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially more severe traumatic brain injury. He is also dedicated to advancing the field of rehabilitation research through developing novel methods, new assessment tools, and a specification system to more systematically describe and deliver rehabilitation treatments. Beyond science and medicine, John enjoys cooking, music, and going for long walks in the city. In pre-pandemic days, he also enjoyed going to the theater, but he hasn’t been able to do this lately. John was awarded his MD and PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Minnesota followed by a fellowship in traumatic brain injury at Tufts University. Among his many awards and honors, John is a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and recipient of their Gold Key lifetime achievement award. In addition, he has received the Distinguished Academician Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, the Moody Prize for contributions to brain injury research and practice, and he is an elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine. In our interview, John shares more about his life and work.

Direct download: 592_John_Whyte_Final.mp3
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Dr. Amy Vollmer is Professor and Department Chair of Biology at Swarthmore College. Amy is interested in understanding how bacteria sense and respond to their environment. In addition to her research, she is passionate about teaching through her classroom lectures and public science literacy efforts. Family is really important for Amy, and she likes to spend her spare time on the phone with her sisters and two grown children. Amy and her husband own a small Italian deli and market, and you can often find her at the store when she's not in the lab. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Rice University and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Afterward, Amy conducted postdoctoral research in Immunology at Stanford University and served on the faculty at Mills College before joining the faculty at Swarthmore where she is today, conducting research and teaching students. In this interview, Amy shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 591_Amy_Vollmer_Final.mp3
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Dr. Luke O'Neill is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin. He is also an author of three popular science books, including the recently released book Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here's the Science: A Scientist's Guide to the Biggest Challenges Facing Our Species Today. In addition, Luke co-founded Inflazome, a company dedicated to developing therapeutics to address unmet needs in inflammatory diseases. Luke is an immunologist. He studies the immune system, focusing mainly on inflammatory diseases like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. His lab aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of these diseases and develop new medicines to treat them. Recently, Luke’s lab has also been studying COVID-19 and potential therapeutics. In his free time, Luke enjoys music. He sings and plays guitar in a band called The Metabollix, and they have played a wide variety of gigs over the years, including at scientific conferences. He was awarded his B.A. in Natural Sciences with an emphasis in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin and his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London. Afterwards he accepted a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellowship to conduct research at Strangeways Research Laboratory in Cambridge. Luke has received numerous awards and honors for his exceptional research, including the Royal Dublin Society & The Irish Times Robert Boyle Medal for scientific excellence, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences, and the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal. Luke is also an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. In our interview, Luke shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 590_Luke_ONeill_Final.mp3
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Dr. Cassandra Extavour is a Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. Scientifically, Cassandra spends her time examining the evolution of embryonic development. Her lab seeks to understand how genes direct cells during development to become different kinds of cells. They are also interested in the evolutionary origin of these genes. In addition to her passion for science, Cassandra is also passionate about music. She enjoys listening to music and is a professional singer as well. Other activities that occupy her free time are dancing, hosting parties, and cooking for her friends. She received her PhD from the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Cassandra then conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Crete, Greece as well as at the University of Cambridge. Afterward, she worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Zoology at Cambridge before joining the faculty at Harvard. In this interview, Cassandra shares more about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: PBTS_589_Cassandra_Extavour_Final.mp3
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Dr. Aleix Martinez is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Computational Biology and Cognitive Science Laboratory at the Ohio State University. He is also affiliated with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and to the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. The work in Aleix's lab focuses on cognitive science. They hold the view that the brain operates like a big (very complicated) computer. To understand the brain, they need to understand the algorithms that are encoded in that computer. His lab uses fMRI and computational methods to understand what areas of the brain are activated or work together to solve certain problems. Some of Aleix's favorite activities are hanging out with his family, reading, and running (he runs 50-60 miles per week!). Aleix received a Master's degree and PhD in Computer Engineering from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Paris. Afterward, he conducted postdoctoral research at Purdue University, and also spent some time working as a Researcher at the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris before joining the faculty at OSU. Aleix and his research have been widely featured in the media by sources like CNN, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, CBS News, NPR, and The Guardian. During our interview, Aleix discussed his research, his career, and his life outside of science.

Direct download: 588_Aleix_Martinez_Final.mp3
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Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum is the Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. She is also Director of the award-winning Rice 360 Institute for Global Health and founder of Beyond Traditional Borders Program at Rice University. Rebecca and her colleagues are developing technologies to improve healthcare as well as improve access to healthcare. They are dedicated to making medical technology less expensive and finding ways to modify medical technology so it can be used in different environments and settings across the world. When she’s not working, Rebecca loves to spend time with her children. Rebecca also enjoys getting up early in the morning to go running, and she often participates in half marathon and marathon races. Rebecca received her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and went on to receive her M.S. in Physics and PhD in Medical Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and a Distinguished Teaching Professor. Rebecca has received many awards and honors during her career, including very recently being named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Some of her other recent awards include the Pierre Galletti Award (the highest honor from The American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering), the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation, and the Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award from the Optical Society of America. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Optical Society of America, and the National Academy of Inventors. Rebecca is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 587_Rebecca_Richards_Kortum_Final.mp3
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Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and Radiology at Stanford University. She is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Carolyn’s research combines chemistry and biology. Her lab develops tools from chemistry that can be used to study biology with the goal of ultimately creating new molecules that can cure diseases and help us live better, healthier lives. She has three young boys, and she keeps busy when she’s outside of the lab taking them to swimming lessons, gymnastics, and out to the movies. Carolyn received her undergraduate training in Chemistry at Harvard University and was awarded her PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to complete postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco and then accepted a faculty position at UC, Berkeley. Carolyn just recently joined the faculty at Stanford in 2015. She is the recipient of the UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award, the Hans Bloemendal Award from Radboud University, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry Organic Division Bioorganic Chemistry Award, the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Inventors, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and many other national and international awards and honors. In addition, Carolyn is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In this interview, Carolyn shares her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 586_Carolyn_Bertozzi_Final.mp3
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Direct download: 585_Talid_Sinno_Final.mp3
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Dr. Audrey Dussutour is a National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) Scientist at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France. Audrey studies animal behavior and collective intelligence in ant colonies and slime molds. In ant colonies, she examines how the ants regulate traffic to avoid traffic jams, and she creates algorithms that may help alleviate our own traffic jams. In slime molds, Audrey investigates the different cognitive abilities they are able to display even though they don’t have brains. Outside work, Audrey loves going out to the movies and watching DVDs. Some of her favorite directors are John Cassavetes and David Lynch, and she gets into sci-fi films as well. Audrey received a Masters Degrees in Ecology from Paul Sabatier University, a Masters Degree in Neurosciences and Ethology from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, and a PhD in Animal Behavior working in laboratories from both of these universities. She next conducted postdoctoral research at Concordia University in Canada and at the University of Sydney in Australia. Audrey has received numerous awards and honors for her exceptional work, including the Adolphe Wetrems Award of the Belgian Royal Academy, the Young Investigator Award of the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior, the Outstanding Paper Prize from the Journal of Experimental Biology, Lauréate du Prix Le Monde de la Recherche, and the Young Researcher Prize from the French Society for the Study of Animal Behavior. Audrey joined us for an interview to talk about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 584_Audrey_Dussutour_Final.mp3
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Dr. Erica Middleton is an Institute Scientist and Director of the Language and Learning Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute. Many people who have had a stroke experience a long-term impairment in their ability to produce or comprehend language. This impairment is called aphasia. Erica’s research focuses on applying fundamental learning principles to improve language rehabilitation in people with aphasia. Beyond her scientific interests, Erica is passionate about organic gardening and cooking. She and her family have been having fun creating a variety of dishes in the kitchen, including experimenting with different kinds of macaroni and cheese. She received her undergraduate training in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was awarded her PhD in cognitive psychology with a specialization in psycholinguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) and the University of Pennsylvania before accepting her current position at MRRI. Her work is supported by the National Institutes of Health, and has been recognized with the Stanley and Helene M. Cohen Prize for Research Excellence from the Einstein Healthcare Network. In our interview, Erica shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 583_Erica_Middleton_Final.mp3
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Dr. Eva Harris is a Professor of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology as well as Director of the Center for Global Public health at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the founder and president of the Sustainable Sciences Institute. Eva’s research focuses on dengue and influenza viruses that are major public health problems around the world. She applies a broad, multidisciplinary approach that spans basic science, translational research, and clinical studies. Another line of research in Eva’s lab focuses on building scientific capacities in developing countries, particularly in Latin America. When she’s not doing science, Eva enjoys spending time with her son, dancing, and sitting down to read a great book. Eva received her PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship and served as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley. Eva has received a number of awards and honors during her career, including the McArthur Genius Fellowship, being named a Pew Scholar, receiving a National Recognition Award from the Nicaragua Minister of Health, being named a Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and being awarded the Prytanean Faculty Award for outstanding women faculty. In our interview, Eva shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 582_Eva_Harris_Final.mp3
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Dr. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga is a Professor and Director of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. He is also an author of the books Borges and Memory, Principles of Neural Coding, Imaging Brain Function with EEG, and The Forgetting Machine. Rodrigo is interested in understanding how memory works and how the brain works in general. He conducts experiments to determine how the neurons in our brain make us see, feel, make decisions, and remember the things we experience and learn in our lives. The memory research in Rodrigo’s lab investigates how memories are formed, stored, consolidated, and forgotten. Rodrigo also enjoys getting out of the lab to give his mind a break from thinking about experiments. In particular, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and kids, playing sports, and practicing Judo. Rodrigo received his undergraduate training in physics from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and was awarded his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Luebeck in Germany. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Center Juelich in Germany and he received a Sloan Fellowship to conduct research at the California Institute of Technology. Rodrigo also worked briefly at RIKEN in Japan and at the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. Rodrigo has received numerous awards and honors including the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, a Young Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society, and Rodrigo was also named one of 10 UK RISE Leaders in Science and Engineering in 2014. Rodrigo spoke with us about his experiences his career, research, and life.

Direct download: 581_Rodrigo_Quian_Quiroga_V2.mp3
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Dr. Kenneth Heilman is the James E. Rooks, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Neurology and Health Psychology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He is also Director of the Memory Disorders Clinics, the Center for Neuropsychological Studies, and the Behavioral Neurology-Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Program at the University of Florida. Ken's research focuses on learning how the brain works, what is going on when it doesn’t work, and how to fix it when it’s not working well, particularly issues related to cognition and memory. He enjoys spending his free time with his family and out on the golf course. Exercise is also a priority in Ken’s life, and quality time on the treadmill has become part of his morning routine. Ken received his M.D. from the University of Virginia and continued his training in Internal Medicine at the Cornell University Medical Center. Afterward, he served as Captain in the Air Force and was Chief of Medicine at NATO Hospital in Izmir, Turkey during the Vietnam War. When Ken returned, he completed his Neurology Residency and Fellowship at Harvard University an then joined the faculty at the University of Florida. Ken is the recipient of a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, the Clinical Research Award from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the Behavioral Neurology Society Outstanding Achievement Award. He has also authored multiple books including The Believer’s Brain which published in 2014. He is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 580_Ken_Heilman.mp3
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Dr. David Holtzman is the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and Chairman of Neurology, Professor of Developmental Biology, Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and a Head of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders at Washington University in St. Louis. Much of the research in David’s lab is dedicated to better understanding the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, particularly looking at mechanisms and biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. In his free time, David loves playing tennis, road bicycling, hiking, going to vineyards, and traveling. He particularly enjoys exploring the culture of different places while traveling with his wife. David received his Medical Degree from Northwestern University and completed Residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. David has received many awards and honors during his career, including a Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar Award in Aging Research, the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology for research on Alzheimer’s disease, a MERIT award from the National Institute on Aging, the MetLife Award for research on Alzheimer’s disease, and two of his research discoveries were listed in the top 50 scientific innovations in 2006 by Scientific American. He is also an elected member of the American Neurological Association, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In our interview, David tells us more about his life and research.

Direct download: 579_David_Holtzman_Final.mp3
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Dr. Sudha Seshadri is a Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and a Senior Investigator at the Framingham Heart Study. She also serves as Co-Director of Medical Education for the Neurology Residency and Clerkship programs. She divides her time at work between seeing patients with memory problems and studying why the brain and cognitive function decline with age, and what modifiable factors determine this decline, with the hope of better predicting and preventing it. When she’s not at work, she loves to read and occasionally writes her own poetry as well. In addition, she likes to spend her free time walking, trekking, going for short runs, and hanging out with her daughter. 

Direct download: 578_Sudha_Seshadri_Final.mp3
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Dr. John Morris is the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Professor of Physical Therapy, and Professor of Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. He also is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, as well as the Memory and Aging Project. Much of Dr. Morris’s research has been focused on understanding the process of the development of Alzheimer’s disease compared to the process of normal brain aging. One of his major goals is to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease so that we can develop therapies to treat and prevent this disease. When he isn’t working, Dr. Morris enjoys spending time with family, reading a wide variety of books, and cycling on some of the fantastic bike paths in the St. Louis area. Dr. Morris received his MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Akron General Medical Center and his Chief Residency in Neurology and Residency in Neuropathology at the Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. He then spent some time in private practice and later as an emergency room physician. Dr. Morris first came to Washington University for a postdoctoral fellowship and joined the faculty soon after. Dr. Morris has received many awards and honors during his career, including the Distinguished Achievement Citation from Ohio Wesleyan University where he completed his undergraduate education, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s Alzheimer’s, and Related Disease from the American Academy of Neurology, the Carl and Gerti Cori Faculty Achievement Award from Washington University, the Peter Raven Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Science St. Louis, and the Washington University School of Medicine Second Century award. In this interview, he shares stories about his life and science.

Direct download: 577_John_Morris_Final.mp3
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Dr. Mina Bissell is a Distinguished Scientist in the Life Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Mina is working to understand why the cells in a particular part of your body form the structures they do and not something else. Tissue and organ specificity are fundamentally related to cancer. When cells forget their tissue-specific functions, they can begin to pile up, form tumors, and travel elsewhere in the body. In her free time, Mina loves to exercise, spend time with her family, watch theatre performances, read, go hiking, and work in her garden. She received her B.A. in Chemistry from Radcliffe College and a M.Sc. in Bacteriology and Biochemistry as well as a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University. Afterward, Mina was awarded a Milton Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University followed by an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. She started off at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory to study cell biology and cancer viruses and has dedicated over 40 years of her career to exceptional research there, rising through the ranks to her current position. Mina has received many awards and honors during her career. Just to name a few, she was awarded the highest award of the Department of Energy called the Lawrence Award, the Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor, the Susan G. Komen Foundation Brinker Award, an Honorary Doctorate from Pierre and Marie Curie University, and many more. In addition, Mina has been elected as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. A few years ago an award in Portugal was created in Mina’s name, and the Mina J. Bissell Award is given every 2 years to a person who has changed our perception of a field. In this interview, Mina shares her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 576_Mina_Bissell_Final.mp3
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Dr. Kerri Morgan is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis and a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP). In addition, Kerri is an accomplished Paralympic and World Champion athlete. Through her research, Kerri is working to better understand how to better support people with disabilities in the community. Studies in her lab investigate the needs of people with disabilities, their goals, available community interventions and programs, what is working, and how communities can ensure that people are able to do the things that they would like to do. When she’s not doing science, Kerri loves spending time with family, including her twin boys. In addition, Kerri enjoys playing wheelchair rugby and racing, and she finds that having other activities gives balance to her life and in turn makes her a better researcher. Kerri received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas Christian University and her MS degree in occupational therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She has served as an intern at the White House in the Presidential Personnel Office, and prior to joining the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, Kerri worked in the Occupational Therapy Department at the Devonshire Hospital in London, England. She later enrolled in the Program in Movement Science at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where she was awarded her PhD. Kerri completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alabama-Birmingham before accepting her current position. In our interview, Kerri shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 575_Kerri_Morgan_Final.mp3
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Dr. Julia Bailey-Serres is Director of the Center for Plant Cell Biology and Distinguished Professor of Genetics at the University of California, Riverside. She also holds the University of California John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair and is Professor of Rice Physiology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. A major focus of Julia’s lab is to investigate how plants survive water extremes with the goal of improving the ability of crops to survive a temporary flood. When she’s not working, Julia enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. She also has fun baking and cooking with fresh vegetables from her garden. She was awarded her B.S. in biology from the University of Utah and her Ph.D. in botany from the University of Edinburgh. Afterwards, Julia conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the faculty at UCR. She has received many awards and honors over the course of her career, including being named an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists. In addition, she has been recognized with the Stephen Hales Prize from the American Society of Plant Biologists. In our interview, Julia shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 574_Julia_Bailey_Serres_Final.mp3
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Dr. Saad Bhamla is Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Research in Saad’s lab spans two different focus areas. Some of his projects are dedicated to developing very low-cost scientific tools and medical devices to make these items more accessible and affordable worldwide. Another area of research examines questions in biology and organismal physics. In this area, he is investigating how animals are able to move very rapidly, as well as how organisms can form aggregates that can sense their environment and share information. In his free time, Saad loves to go running. Whether he is training for his next marathon or just taking his dogs out for some exercise, running has been a great way for him to think through problems and brainstorm new ideas. Saad received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University and was awarded a Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioengineering. In addition, Saad has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Beazley Design Award, Medgadget's Best Medical Technology Award, an award from The Index Project (formerly INDEX: Design to Improve Life), an Innovation in MedTech Award from the American India Foundation and Stanford University, the Centennial Teaching Award from Stanford University, and The Milton van Dyke Award from the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics. Saad has also been named an Accel Innovation Scholar and a National Geographic Explorer. In our interview, Saad shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 573_Saad_Bhamla_Final.mp3
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Dr. Kathryn Medler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at The State University of New York at Buffalo. Her lab is dedicated to understanding how the taste cells in our tongues are able to detect the chemicals in our food and send this information to the brain so that we can decide whether to eat something or spit it out. The sense of taste is critical for survival, and there are many complex signaling mechanisms involved. In addition to spending time with her family, one of Kathryn’s passions outside of work is travel. While she hasn’t been able to travel as much lately, she has managed to escape the city and spend some long weekends hiking and enjoying nature in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Kathryn was awarded her B.S. in biology from Texas A&M University, her M.S. in physiology from San Diego State University, and her PhD in neuroscience from Louisiana State University. Afterwards, Kathryn conducted postdoctoral research at Louisiana State University and subsequently at Colorado State University before joining the faculty there at the University at Buffalo in 2004. In our interview, Kathryn shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 572_Kathryn_Medler_Final_V2.mp3
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Dr. Katie Mack is Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University and member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster there. In addition, Katie is an avid science communicator and author of the recently released book The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). Her writing has also been published in popular publications including Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time.com, and Cosmos Magazine. As a cosmologist, Katie studies the universe as a whole over the full scale of time, including how the universe evolved, what it is made out of, and how it works. When Katie isn’t doing research or science communication, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places, playing basketball, rock climbing, trail running, reading science fiction books, and watching science fiction shows and films. Katie received her undergraduate degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and her PhD in astrophysics from Princeton University. Afterwards, she accepted a Science and Technology Facilities Council postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Cambridge and Kavli Institute for Cosmology. Next, Katie was awarded a Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellowship to conduct research at the University of Melbourne. Katie accepted her current position at North Carolina State University in 2018. In our interview, Katie shares more about her life and work.

Direct download: 571_Katie_Mack_Final.mp3
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Dr. Amanda Rabinowitz is an Institute Scientist and Director of the Brain Injury Neuropsychology Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), as well as a Research Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Amanda is a clinical psychologist who studies rehabilitation after brain injury. There are often cognitive and emotional changes after brain injury, and Amanda is interested in characterizing these changes and developing treatments to help people cope with them. She is also interested in understanding the impacts that having a brain injury earlier in life may have on people later in their lives. Much of Amanda’s free time is spent with her family, including her two young kids. In addition, she loves cooking everyday meals and experimenting with more ambitious recipes. Over the past year, Amanda has really enjoyed exploring the art of sourdough baking. Amanda received her B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she worked there as a Research Coordinator for a few years before enrolling in graduate school. Amanda was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Penn State University. During graduate school, she completed her Residency in Neuropsychology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Amanda conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania before accepting her position at MRRI. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 570_Amanda_Rabinowitz_Final.mp3
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Dr. Franklin West is an Associate Professor in the Regenerative Biosciences Center at the University of Georgia. In the lab, Franklin and his team are developing and testing stem cell therapies to treat stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). They use induced pluripotent stem cells, which are cells that can be reprogrammed to develop into any kind of cell in the body. Traveling is a passion for Franklin. Though he had to cancel his trip to Seoul, South Korea planned for this summer, he is looking forward to his next big travel adventure. In the meantime, Franklin has been having fun taking care of his garden at home. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Morehouse College and was awarded his Ph.D. in stem cell biology from the University of Georgia. Franklin then worked as an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Georgia for a few years before joining the faculty there in 2010. He received the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Science’s Young Alumni Award in 2019 and recently received the University of Georgia Alumni Award “40 Under 40” distinction. Franklin was also named an “Emerging Scholar” in 2012 by Diverse Magazine and among the “Top 40 Under 40: Georgia’s Best and Brightest” by Georgia Trend Magazine. In our interview, Franklin will share more about his life and science.

Direct download: 569_Franklin_West_Final.mp3
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Dr. Sharlene Santana is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington and Curator of Mammals at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. As an integrative and evolutionary biologist, Sharlene explores questions about evolution from a variety of perspectives. She is working to understand why some groups of organisms are more diverse in terms of their number of species, appearance, or behavior. There are over 1,400 species of bats that fulfill a variety of ecological roles, and much of Sharlene’s research focuses on diversity in bats. Sharlene loves trying new restaurants in Seattle, as well as traveling to other countries and learning about other cultures. In her free time, you can find Sharlene hiking or swimming with her dog, attending ballet performances, and listening to music and podcasts. She is also a fan of good storytelling in books, movies, TV series, and documentaries. She completed her undergraduate training in biology at the University of the Andes in Venezuela, and she was awarded her Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Afterwards, Sharlene conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute for Society and Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2012. In our interview, Sharlene shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 568_Sharlene_Santana_Final.mp3
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Dr. Steven Townsend is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. As an organic chemist, Steve’s work involves making drugs and other molecules that are drug-like. He is interested in why people get sick and how he can use chemistry to prevent or treat disease. When he’s not doing science, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters, reading psychological thrillers, exercising (running, basketball, and weight lifting), composting, and gardening. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Oakland University and his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Vanderbilt University. Prior to accepting his current appointment, Steve conducted postdoctoral research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Columbia University. Steve has received numerous awards and honors, including the Oakland University Alfred G. Wilson Founders Medal, the Ruth A. Lawrence Investigator Award for Research in Human Milk Science, Vanderbilt University’s Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the American Chemical Society Young Investigators Award, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation’s Teacher-Scholar Award. In addition, he has been named a Vanderbilt University Dean’s Faculty Fellow and one of Chemical & Engineering News’s “Talented 12”. In our interview, Steve will share more about his life and science.

Direct download: 567_Steve_Townsend_Final.mp3
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Dr. Kanaka Rajan is a computational neuroscientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In her research, Kanaka builds mathematical and computational models of the brain to better understand how the brain works. Her goal is to determine how the neurons and synapses of the brain work together to create complex processes like learning, memory, and decision-making. Running is a passion for Kanaka, and going for a run often helps her think more clearly. In addition, she enjoys sketching urban scenes and scientific themes. She received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University in India, her M.S. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Columbia University. Kanaka conducted postdoctoral research as a Biophysics Theory Fellow at Princeton University before accepting her current position. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Sloan-Swartz Theoretical Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brain and Behavior Foundation Young Investigator Award, Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Award from the James McDonnell Foundation, Sloan Research Fellowship in Neuroscience, and Friedman Brain Institute Research Scholars Award from the DiSabato Family Foundation. In our interview, Kanaka shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 566_Kanaka_Rajan_Final.mp3
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Dr. Shara Bailey is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Anthropology at New York University (NYU) and Associated Researcher in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Shara studies the bumps and grooves on the surface of teeth, and she uses these bumps and grooves to answer questions about human evolution. Outside of her research, Shara is passionate about mentoring students to help them discover what they are passionate about and how to turn their passions into a career. In addition, she is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys hiking, skiing, kayaking, going for walks, and watching the sun set. Shara is also an artist, and she specializes in painting landscapes and finding the beauty in everyday things. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from Temple University, and she was awarded her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University. Afterwards, Shara conducted postdoctoral research in the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at The George Washington University. She then worked as a Research Scientist at The Max Planck Institute Department of Human Evolution before joining the faculty at NYU. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including The Golden Dozen Teaching Award from New York University, a Goddard Junior Faculty Fellowship, a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, and others. In our interview, Shara shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 565_Shara_Bailey_Final.mp3
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Dr. Darryl Boyd is a Research Chemist in the Optical Sciences Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He is also the STEM Director at the Transformational Education Adventure Center in McLean, VA, as well as the STEM instructor for Roots Charter School in Washington, DC. As a synthetic chemist, Dr. Boyd creates new molecules and materials. His work focuses on developing and studying materials that can transmit infrared light, particularly materials that leverage the unique properties of the element sulfur. By looking through these materials, we can see wavelengths of light that are longer than what we can detect with our eyes alone. Dr. Boyd is also dedicated to outreach and getting students excited about STEM. When he’s not doing science, Darryl enjoys writing, playing his trumpet or saxophone, working out at the gym, and spending time at church. He and his wife also love hanging out with their young daughter who is less than a year old. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. Next, he attended Purdue University where he was awarded his M.S. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry. Afterwards, Dr. Boyd began working as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory, and he accepted a position as a Research Chemist there in 2014. Dr. Boyd has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a Jerome & Isabella Karle Research Fellow from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, and an Edison Patent Award from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He was also named among the “Talented 12” of 2018 by the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News magazine and a 2019 Rising Researcher in Defense and Commercial Sensing by The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). In our interview, Dr. Boyd will share more about his life and research.

Direct download: 564_Darryl_Boyd_Final.mp3
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Dr. Lauren Ponisio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Oregon. The United States is home to thousands of different species of native bees that are important for agriculture and natural ecosystems. Lauren’s research revolves around preserving and restoring bee populations in agriculture areas and other natural habitats. She is interested in understanding the distribution and health of different populations of native bees. When she’s not working, you can often find Lauren in her garden. She has been an avid gardener since childhood, and she currently has a thriving garden with lots of vegetables and plants to attract bees and other pollinators. She received her B.S. degree in biology with honors in ecology and evolution, as well as her M.S. degree in biology, from Stanford University. Lauren was awarded her Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral research at UC, Berkeley afterwards, and she served on the faculty University of California, Riverside before recently accepting her current position at the University of Oregon. Lauren received graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, as well as a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. She was also named among the Global Food Initiative’s "30 Under 30" in Food Systems in 2016. In our interview, Lauren shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 563_Lauren_Ponisio_Final.mp3
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Dr. Ayse Turak is Associate Professor and Associate Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University. Ayse develops and studies plastic-based electronic materials, such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes. Her goal is to create affordable, sustainable, and ubiquitous plastic materials to provide power and light for people around the world. In her free time, Ayse loves to travel, visit new places, see new things, explore new cultures, and seek adventure. She also enjoys theatre, writing, and volunteering with various social justice organizations. Ayse received her B.Sc. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from Queens's University and her PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she was a Canada Graduate Scholar. Afterwards, Ayse conducted research as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Metals Research and subsequently worked as a visiting professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey before joining the faculty at McMaster University. Ayse has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Early Researcher Award, the Petro-Canada Young Innovators Award, and a Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship from McMaster University. In addition, she was recently nominated as a Full member at Sigma Xi, and she is the co-chair of the Canadian Chapter of the Society of Information Display. In our interview, Ayse shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 562_Ayse_Turak_Final.mp3
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Dr. Umesh "Umi" Venkatesan is an Institute Scientist and Director of the Brain Trauma and Behavior Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI). Umi is trained as a clinical psychologist, and he currently studies behavior and cognition in people with neurological disabilities, particularly following traumatic brain injury. He is interested in how interactions between our physiology, our behavior, how we experience the behavior of others, and how others behave may impact our medical health, mental health, and general well-being. Outside of science, the arts have always been a big part of Umi’s life. He has practiced Indian classical dance since the age of five, and Umi even danced professionally in New York City during graduate school. In addition, Umi is a classically trained singer, and he enjoys singing R&B and soul music. Beyond music and dance, Umi loves exploring new cuisine from around the world and trying food from local restaurants. Umi received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Kessler Foundation Research Center for about two years before enrolling in graduate school. Umi was awarded his PhD in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University. During graduate school, he completed a clinical neuropsychology externship at Columbia University Medical Center and a pre-doctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Before joining the team at MRRI in 2019, UMI completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation within the VA Boston Healthcare System. In our interview, Umi tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 561_Umi_Venkatesan_Final.mp3
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Dr. Joe Baio is an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. In the lab, Joe studies how materials function in the natural world to determine if principles from natural materials can be applied to solve important problems in medicine, biotechnology, engineering, and other fields. In particular, Joe is interested in understanding the characteristics and interactions on the surfaces of materials. Surfaces of interest range from cell membranes to artificial hips to sticky frog tongues. To clear his mind and get a break from the stresses of work, Joe enjoys cycling on local trails and going surfing on the nearby Oregon coast with his neighbor. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington. Afterwards, Joe was awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research in the Department of Molecular Spectroscopy at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, in Mainz, Germany. He joined the faculty at Oregon State University in 2013. Joe was the recipient of the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship from the AVS 58th International Symposium, the PhD Student Award for Outstanding Research from the Society for biomaterials, and the STAR Award from the Society for Biomaterials. In our interview, Joe shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 560_Joe_Baio_Final.mp3
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Dr. Ileana Soto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Rowan University. She studies how disruption of brain development leads to neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her goal is to identify defects at the cellular level before signs and symptoms of the disease can be detected. These defects may be promising targets for early treatment and prevention. Much of Ileana’s work focuses on Niemann-Pick disease type C. This is a rare neurodegenerative disease that causes dementia in children. When Ileana isn’t doing research or teaching, she enjoys going out to dinner and spending quality time with friends and family. Ileana also always looks forward to road trips with her family where they can visit new places, explore nature, go hiking, ride bikes, and recharge. She received her BS in general sciences and her PhD in biology from the University of Puerto Rico. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University and The Jackson Laboratory before joining the faculty at Rowan University. Ileana was recently recognized for her work with the receipt of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In our interview, Ileana shares more about her life and research.

Direct download: 559_Ileana_Soto_Final.mp3
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Dr. Martha Muñoz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. Martha is an evolutionary biologist who is working to better understand how and why evolution proceeds unevenly across the tree of life. Some features and branches or organisms are evolving really quickly, while others remain inert or nearly inert for millions of years. Her research is uncovering the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. For Martha, nature is a wonderful source of peace and inspiration for her research. When she’s not working, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, hiking, seeing amazing views, and observing wildlife. She also spends her free time reading, going to museums, and visiting her family in New York City. She received her B.A. in biology from Boston University. Afterwards, Martha worked as a Fulbright Research Scholar at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, Spain. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Organismic & Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. Next, Martha conducted postdoctoral research in the Research School of Biology at The Australian National University and subsequently the Department of Biology at Duke University. Prior to accepting her current position at Yale University, Martha served on the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. Martha has received numerous awards and honors, including the Boston University Department of Biology’s Distinguished Alumni ‘Rising Star’ Award, and a Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Naturalists. She was also named a ‘Scientist to Watch’ by The Scientist Magazine in 2019. In our interview, Martha will tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 558_Martha_Munoz_Final.mp3
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Dr. Wes Gilson is Artificial Intelligence Lead for North America at Siemens Healthineers. Wes and his colleagues use artificial intelligence in the context of healthcare to gain insights on how to improve treatments for patients and how to improve the ways in which clinicians can deliver care. Wes is trained in medical imaging, and he looks at healthcare data in different ways to learn how they can improve healthcare outcomes and help patients recover faster. When he’s not at work, Wes enjoys quality time with his two teenage daughters. He also spends his free time traveling, exploring the outdoors, hiking, camping, and playing sports like soccer, basketball, and tennis. Recently, Wes has been taking scuba lessons with the goal of diving on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. He was awarded his B.S. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and medical imaging from the University of Virginia. Afterwards, Wes conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University before joining the team at Siemens. In our interview, Wes will tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 557_Wes_Gilson_Final.mp3
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Dr. Robert Dudley is President and CEO at Clarus Therapeutics, Inc. and is a clinical pharmacologist and board-certified toxicologist. With a background in clinical pharmacology and toxicology, Bob has dedicated his career to developing new drugs to promote men’s health. Over the years, Bob has worked on developing a variety of testosterone products, including the first testosterone gel and an oral testosterone replacement drug. Outside science, Bob and his wife enjoy building new houses together because they love being involved in choosing the details and design of their home. Some of Bob’s other hobbies include reading, golfing, and cycling. Riding his bike along the scenic trails in Tennessee is a great way to enjoy quiet time, think, and get exercise. Bob received his B.S. degree in biology from Pepperdine University, his M.S. in biology from the University of New Mexico, and his PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Prior to founding Clarus Therapeutics, Bob served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Anagen Therapeutics, a University of Chicago affiliated company. He has also previously served as President & CEO of Unimed Pharmaceuticals a public company that became a subsidiary of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. He started his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Abbott Laboratories. In our interview, Bob shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 556_Robert_Dudley_Final.mp3
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Dr. Mariana Byndloss is Assistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Research in Mariana’s lab investigates how the bacteria that live inside our gut can affect our health. She is interested in how things like diet, antibiotics, or infection may change how our body behaves. This, in turn, can change how the bacteria in our gut behave and lead to disease. Mariana loves animals, and she spends a lot of her free time with her dog and new puppy. They are both German Shorthair Pointers, and she trains them to hunt and to participate in American Kennel Club competitions. Mariana also enjoys quality time with her husband and son, listening to live music, and exploring all the great restaurants in Nashville. Mariana earned her DVM, MSc in veterinary pathology, and PhD in veterinary pathology from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil. She was awarded the Brazilian National Prize for best PhD thesis in Veterinary Medicine. Afterwards, Mariana conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In our interview, Mariana will tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 555_Mariana_Byndloss_Final.mp3
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Dr. Dylan Edwards is Director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute as well as an Institute Scientist and Director of the Human Motor Recovery Laboratory there. In addition, he is Professor of Neuroscience at Edith Cowan University in Australia, and Faculty at Harvard Medical Schools Continuing medical education program in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. In his research, Dylan studies the recovery of movement following damage to the nervous system that may occur after stroke or spinal cord injury. He and his team use rehabilitation robots to assess and train motor function. They also apply noninvasive stimulation to test the circuitry of the nervous system and as an experimental treatment to augment function. When he’s not at work, you can find Dylan hanging out with his family, enjoying fantastic food, playing the guitar, observing nature, traveling, and thinking about the future of technology and human civilization. He stays active through running and hitting the waves at his favorite surfing destinations around the world. Dylan received a B.App.Sci. degree with a focus in exercise physiology from Edith Cowan University in Australia and a B.S. degree in Physical Therapy from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. He was awarded his PhD in clinical neurophysiology at the Centre for Neuromuscular and Neurological Disorders at the University of Western Australia (now the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Sciences), and he conducted postdoctoral research there afterwards. Prior to joining the team at MRRI, Dylan served as Director of the Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Laboratory at Burke Neurological Institute, and was Associate Professor of Clinical Neurophysiology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

Direct download: 554_Dylan_Edwards_Final.mp3
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Dr. Ada Tang is a physical therapist, an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University, and a Clinician-Scientist with the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation. We know that exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone, but it can be more difficult for people with stroke to exercise as a result of mobility problems and other factors. Unfortunately, exercise is typically not a strong focus in stroke rehabilitation. Ada and her research team are assessing the impacts of exercise on the cardiovascular health of people with stroke, as well as other populations, and they are working to develop safe and effective exercise programs for people with stroke. Sport and exercise have always been important in Ada’s life. In addition to studying exercise in the lab, Ada loves being active outdoors. She spends her free time hiking, enjoying nature, and traveling. Ada is also an avid sports fan, and she enjoys watching sporting events, particularly basketball games with the Toronto Raptors. Ada completed her BSc in Physical Therapy, MSc in Rehabilitation Science, and PhD in Medical Science from the University of Toronto. Afterwards, she was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia before joining the faculty at McMaster University. In our interview, Ada shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 553_Ada_Tang_Final.mp3
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Dr. Ana Luisa Trejos is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as Biomedical Engineering at Western University in Canada. She is also an Associate Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute. Ana Luisa’s research is in the area of mechatronic systems engineering. This field combines mechanical, electrical, computer, and software engineering to develop smart machines that can perceive what is happening in the environment and react intelligently. In particular, she is designing wearable mechatronic technologies that can help people recover from mobility problems due to a musculoskeletal injury or a movement disorder like Parkinson’s disease. Her goal is to make these technology solutions more comfortable for users and to restore mobility and quality of life for people with upper body movement impairments. When she’s not at work, Ana Luisa enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, putting together jigsaw puzzles, hiking, swimming, running, and renovating her house. Ana Luisa was awarded her B.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Costa Rica and her M.A.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the University of British Columbia. She worked as an Applications Engineer for Progressive Moulded Products in Ontario from 2000-2003. She then joined the team at Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics at Western University as a research engineer. Ana Luisa later attended graduate school at Western University where she was awarded her Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering in 2012. Ana Luisa has been awarded the IEEE London Section Outstanding Women in Engineering Award and the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Canada District Volunteer Appreciation Award. In our interview, Ana Luisa shares more about her life and research.

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Dr. Tim Behrens is Senior Vice President of Human Genetics at the biotech company Maze Therapeutics and Adjunct Professor of Medicine in Rheumatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In his research, Tim is working to apply lessons and insights from human genetics to develop new drugs for different diseases. For example, Tim and the team at Maze Therapeutics are working on developing a drug that activates the immune system in new ways to fight cancer. Tim is an avid outdoors enthusiast, so he loves spending his free time canoeing, fishing, and going on wilderness trips. He also enjoys spending time playing the guitar, hanging out with his wife and two children, and playing fetch with the family dogs. Tim received his B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Rheumatology/Immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Afterwards, Tim worked as an emergency room physician at Brookfield Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin for about a year before accepting a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Tim joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1992, and he worked there until 2006 when he accepted the position of Senior Director and Head of the Department of Human Genetics at Genentech, Inc. After over a decade at Genentech, Tim became an independent consultant and later accepted his current position at Maze Therapeutics.Tim has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including recognition for one of the Top 10 Advances in Rheumatology in 2003 and 2004 by the Arthritis Foundation, being named the John F. Finn Arthritis Foundation Land Grant Endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota Medical School, as well as receipt of the Edmund L. Dubois Memorial Award for Research in Lupus from the American College of Rheumatology, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, the Feltl Family Award for Research in Rheumatic Disease, and other honors. In our interview, Tim shares more about his life and science.

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Dr. Paul Changelian is Vice President of Biology at Aclaris Therapeutics and Director of Biology at Confluence Life Sciences. He is working to discover new drugs to treat autoimmune disease and inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis. In these conditions, the immune system inadvertently attacks cells in your body. He and his team are working to identify and test small molecule drugs that patients could take by pill that would inhibit this abnormal activation of the immune system to slow down damage to joints or other areas that may be under attack. They have also recently begun working on potential cancer treatments that can impact inflammation around tumors to improve the body’s ability to clear tumors. Some of Paul’s passions outside of science include exercising, walking around in nature, and music. He listens to hard rock and jazz music, and he enjoys playing jazz music on the trumpet. Paul received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University in Cambridge. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research in neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis. Paul then worked in various roles at Pfizer for about 18 years. He served briefly on the faculty at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before becoming Director of Biology at Lycera Corporation. From 2012 - 2014, Paul served as Senior Director of Pharmacology at Infinity Pharmaceuticals before accepting his current positions.

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Dr. Verónica Pérez Rodríguez is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). Verónica is an archaeologist and anthropologist who is interested in studying people and life in cities over time. Through her work, she examines how people lived many years ago, what brought them to cities, what made them stay, what were the tradeoffs, and what were the environmental impacts. Her work focuses on the highlands of the Mixteca Alta in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. This region was a cradle of urbanism, innovation, and complex societies as early as 300 BC. When she’s not working, Verónica loves relaxing at home, watching movies, and hiking with her children and her husband. She also loves running outdoors, knitting, and reading fiction books in her free time. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology as well as a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at El Paso. Verónica then attended graduate school at the University of Georgia where she was awarded her Ph.D. in Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. She served on the faculty at Northern Arizona University before joining the faculty at the University at Albany, SUNY in 2013. In our interview, Verónica shares more about her life and science.

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Dr. R. Douglas Fields is Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the National Institutes of Health and Adjunct Professor in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, Doug is the author of numerous books and magazine articles about the brain, including the recently released book Electric Brain: How the New Science of Brainwaves Reads Minds, Tells Us How We Learn, and Helps Us Change for the Better. Doug studies how the brain develops and the mechanisms involved in changes to the brain’s structure and function (plasticity). He is particularly interested in how experience regulates development and plasticity in the brain as well as the mechanisms at a cellular level that are involved in learning. When he’s not doing research or writing about science, Doug enjoys rock climbing, mountain climbing, building acoustic guitars, and making his own beer and wine. He received his B.A. in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. degree in marine biology from San Jose State University, and his Ph.D. degree in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, working jointly in the Medical School and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Afterwards, Doug conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University, Yale University, and the NIH before starting his research laboratory at the NIH in 1994. Doug is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the scientific journal Neuron Glia Biology. In our interview, Doug tells us more about his life and science.

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Dr. Ayanna Thomas is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Graduate Program in Psychology at Tufts University. Ayanna conducts research to answer a wide variety of questions related to memory. She aims to better understand how our memories work, how our memories fail, how we perceive our memory function (metacognition), how memories change over time, and what are the impacts and implications of these aspects of memory for our everyday lives. In her free time, Ayanna loves watching movies. She and her husband have a tradition where they watch a different horror movie every night throughout the month of October to celebrate Halloween. Ayanna was awarded her B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Washington. Afterwards, Ayanna conducted postdoctoral research at Washington University in St. Louis. She worked as an Assistant Professor at Colby College before joining the faculty at Tufts in 2007. In our interview, Ayanna tells us more about her life and science.

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Dr. Michael Hochella is a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. Michael’s research is at the intersection of nanoscience and environmental geochemistry. He studies very small things that can impact the health of the planet and the health of humans. Since childhood, Mike has been fascinated by airplanes and flying, and he received his pilot’s license as an undergraduate student. Over 45 years later, Mike still delights in seeing Earth from the pilot’s seat thousands of feet above ground. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Sciences from Virginia Tech, and was awarded his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Stanford University. Michael served on the faculty at Stanford University before joining the faculty at Virginia Tech. He has been the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his career. Michael is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Mineralogical Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the European Association of Geochemistry, the Geochemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Association of GeoChemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He has also been awarded a Senior Fulbright Scholar Award, an Alexander von Humboldt Award, the Dana Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America, the Department of Energy Outstanding Research Award for Geosciences, the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence, the Virginia Scientist of the Year Award, the Distinguished Service Medal from The Geochemical Society, the George W. Brindley Lecture Award from the Clay Minerals Society, and most recently the Virginia Outstanding Faculty award in 2016. In addition, Michael is a former President of both the Geochemical Society, as well as the Mineralogical Society of America. In our interview, Michael shares more about his life and science.

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Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou is the Todd R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The CRISPR Journal and co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics, Locus Biosciences and TreeCo. Rodolphe’s research is focused on CRISPR gene editing technologies that allow us to modify the DNA in organisms ranging from bacteria to trees to humans. His lab primarily works to study and apply CRISPR technologies in bacteria to make food healthier, promote beneficial gut microbes, and help us be healthier. When he’s not working, Rodolphe enjoys spending time with his wife and three teenage children. He typically wakes up early and gets energized to greet each day with high intensity cardiovascular exercise as well as yoga. Rodolphe received his B.S. degree in biological sciences from Rene Descartes University in France, a M.S. in biological engineering from the University of Technology in Compiegne in France, a M.S. in food science from North Carolina State University, and his Ph.D. in functional genomics from North Carolina State University. He worked as an R&D Director at Danisco (a company now affiliated with DuPont) before returning to school to earn his MBA in Executive Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has received numerous awards and honors for his research, including the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences, the Award in Molecular Biology from the National Academy of Sciences, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the Canada Gairdner International Prize. In addition, Rodolphe is an Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. In our interview, Rodolphe shares more about his life and science.

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Dr. Natalia Vergara is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Natalia uses stem cells to understand how the retina forms during development and how it degenerates during disease with the goal of developing therapies to help patients who suffer from vision loss. In her free time, Natalia loves hanging out, cooking, and enjoying food with friends and family, including her husband and two young kids. Natalia is also an avid traveler, and she delights in the thrill of discovery that comes along with exploring new places. Natalia received her B.S. in biochemistry from the National University of the Litoral in Argentina. She worked as an instructor and research intern at the National University of Entre Rios for about three years before beginning graduate school. Natalia was awarded her PhD in retinal regenerative biology from Miami University in Ohio. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She served as a Research Associate Faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for about two years before joining the faculty at the University of Colorado. Natalia has received awards for research and for mentoring, including the Ruben Adler Research Award from the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2012, and she was selected as an Emerging Vision Scientist to participate in the Third Annual EVS day on Capitol Hill by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research in 2017. In our interview, Natalia tells us more about her life and science.

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Dr. David Sedlak is the Plato Malozemoff Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Co-Director of the Berkeley Water Center, Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure, and Director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he is author of the book Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource. David is working to create technologies that will allow future generations to have access to adequate amounts of clean, safe water. When David isn’t working, he enjoys long-distance running. He often runs along the many trails that go through and around the city of Berkeley, and he participates in an annual local trails marathon. David earned his Bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Cornell University. After college, he worked as a Staff Scientist at Environ Corporation in Princeton, New Jersey. David then attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he was awarded his Ph.D. in water chemistry. Prior to joining the faculty at UC, Berkeley, David conducted postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Throughout his career, David has received numerous awards and honors, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Development Award, the Paul L. Busch Award for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, a Fulbright Alumni Initiative Award, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering Gilbreth Lecture Award, and the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for Excellence in Water Research. He has also been named an Elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, as well as a Rydell Distinguished Visiting Professor at Gustavus Adolphus College and the Francqui Foundation Chair, Ghent University. In our interview, David shares more about his life and research.

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Dr. Jonathan Toner is a Research Assistant Professor in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. Jon conducts research on planetary surfaces, such as Earth, Mars, and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. He is interested in identifying and better understanding sources and potential of water in these environments. This work has important implications for future exploration endeavors and the search for possible life. In addition, Jon studies how the environmental conditions on Earth and other planetary systems may have contributed to the origins of life. When he’s not working, John enjoys being outdoors, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, traveling, and spending time with his wife and daughter. They recently bought a house in Seattle, and Jon has been dedicating a lot of time to renovating their new home. He received his B.S. degree in Physics from The College of New Jersey and his PhD in Geophysics from the University of Washington. Jon next conducted postdoctoral research in three postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Washington, including a NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2017, he accepted his current faculty position there. During our interview, Jon tells us more about his life and science.

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Dr. Crystal Marconett is Assistant Professor of Research Surgery in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Crystal’s work centers around understanding the molecular origins of lung cancer. She is interested in how cancer arises in the lungs, what types of cells are involved, what genetic mutations may be happening, and the causes of these mutations. In addition, Crystal’s lab is working to develop new cures for lung cancer and determine which patients will respond best to these treatments. Beyond being a scientist, Crystal loves spending time with her two young children, crocheting, and skiing. Another one of her hobbies is painting houses. For Crystal, painting is a relaxing, rhythmic activity, and she really enjoys how you can step back and enjoy a finished product at the end of just one day. She received her B.S. degree in molecular, cell, and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Crystal next earned her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Predoctoral Award and the California Breast Cancer Research Program Dissertation Fellowship. Afterwards, Crystal was awarded an American Cancer Society and Canary Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research at the University of Southern California before joining the faculty there. In our interview, Crystal tells us more about her life and science.

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Dr. David Weiner is Executive Vice President, Director of the Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, and the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Professor in Cancer Research at The Wistar Institute. He is also Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In the lab, David and his colleagues are creating drugs using the same DNA codes and signals that our bodies use naturally. The drugs they are creating are natural compounds that can be given to people to prevent them from getting sick or to help them be healthier. One area of David’s research focuses on developing DNA vaccines to prevent illness. These DNA vaccines are designed to create specific proteins that trigger the immune system to respond to fight particular pathogens. David and his wife enjoy reading and going on walks with their dog Ruby. Ruby is a Shih Tzu Yorkie mix that they rescued after a recent hurricane in Puerto Rico. David received his B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, his M.S. in biology from the University of Cincinnati, and his  Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Afterwards, David worked as a research fellow in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty there. He held a joint position as Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine from 1990-1993. David returned to The Wistar Institute in 2016 to accept his current positions. Among his many awards and honors, David has been elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Society for Vaccines. He has also received the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team, the prestigious Hilleman Lectureship from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a Stone Family Award from Abramson Cancer Center for his groundbreaking work on DNA vaccines for cancer immune therapy, and the Scientific Achievement Award from Life Sciences Pennsylvania. In addition, David was named a "Top 20 Translational Researchers" in 2016 by Nature Biotechnology.

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Dr. Ana Spalding is Assistant Professor of Marine and Coastal Policy and Affiliate Faculty at the Pacific Marine Energy Center at Oregon State University. She is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama as well as at the Coiba Research Station in Panama. As a social scientist who works in marine and coastal policy, Ana’s research is focused on the intersections of people, the environment, and policies. She is interested in understanding people’s perceptions of the ocean and coast, policy and management frameworks surrounding resource use in these areas, and the major cares, concerns, and conflicts that people have related to coastal areas. Recently, Ana has been having an amazing time participating in the Corvallis Rowing Club. She used to row in college, and it has been fun to get back into the sport with people from a variety of ages and backgrounds. Ana received her B.A. in Economics and International Studies from the University of Richmond, her M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, and her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Afterwards, Ana conducted postdoctoral research at the STRI in Panama before joining the faculty at Oregon State University.

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Dr. Simon Sponberg is Dunn Family Professor and Assistant Professor in the School of Physics and the School of Biological Sciences, as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Through his research, Simon is interested in understanding how the brain works with muscles to make bodies move. Animals move gracefully in nearly all environments on Earth, and many types of movement can be difficult to perform in robotics and other created systems. Simon uses animal models to study how the body and the muscles inform the brain in terms of the information we take in and how we react to the environment. He received his B.A. in physics and biology from Lewis & Clark College and his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Afterwards, Simon conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech. He has been the recipient of an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biological Informatics, the University of Washington Postdoctoral Mentoring Award, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Neuroethology, an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, a Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship in the Neurosciences, and a Hertz Fellowship. In our interview, Simon shares more about his life and science.

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Dr. Kristen Lani Rasmussen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Research in Kristen’s lab focuses on studying extreme events, particularly weather events such as heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, hail storms, and other events that have a big impact on humans and society. She is interested in examining these extreme event systems in the context of our current climate and how they may change in the future. In addition to spending quality time with her fantastic family, Kristen enjoys playing jazz trumpet. She has played jazz and bluegrass music with various bands in Colorado. Kristen received her bachelor’s degree in meteorology and mathematics as well as music from the University of Miami. She then attended the University of Washington where she was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences. Afterwards, Kristen conducted postdoctoral research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research before joining the faculty at Colorado State University. She has received a number of awards and honors in her career, including the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Science from the Desert Research Institute, the College of the Environment Outstanding Community Impact Award from the University of Washington, and the Very Early Career Award from the American Meteorological Society’s Mesoscale Processes Conference. In addition, she was recently awarded the Graduate Mentoring and Advising Award from Colorado State University as well as the George T. Abell Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award from the College of Engineering at Colorado State University. In our interview Kristen tells us more about her life and science.

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Dr. Laurel Buxbaum is Associate Director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Director of the Cognition and Action Laboratory, and Research Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Laurel’s research examines how the brain controls perception and action. She studies people who have had strokes in particular parts of their brains to uncover where in the brain strokes may cause certain difficulties or impairments. She also uses a wide variety of techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye tracking, and electroencephalography to further understand how we perceive and interact with our environment. When she’s not at work, Laurel enjoys reading, taking walks around the beautiful arboretum near her house, attending dance fitness classes at a local studio, spending time with friends, and going out to listen to her husband’s funk band play live music. Laurel received her BA in Biological Bases of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in Clinical Psychology (with specialization in Neuropsychology) from Hahnemann University. Afterwards, she completed an NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of her career, Laurel has received numerous awards and honors, including the Kenneth M. Viste Award of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation, the Arthur S. Benton Mid-Career Award of the International Neuropsychological Society, the Widener University Graduate Award for Excellence in Professional Psychology, the Maimonides Society Manuscript Award, and the Cohen Award for Research Excellence from the Einstein Healthcare Network. In our interview Laurel shares more about her life and science.

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Dr. Tim Long is Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech. Tim’s lab is working on a wide variety of research projects that are focused on novel macromolecular structures to tailor the properties and processing of polymers. His work has applications across many industries, including the development of chemotherapy treatments and electro-active devices important for prosthetics in medicine. In his job, Tim spends a lot of time in his office, in front of computers, in the lab, and inside at conferences, so he likes to spend his free time outside. There are beautiful mountains near his home in Virginia, and Tim has fun going hiking, riding mountain bikes, and enjoying nature with his family. He was awarded his B.S. in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Tim worked as an Advanced Research Scientist and subsequently a Senior Research Scientist at Eastman Kodak Company, an Advanced Technical Program Research supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a Principal Research Chemist with Eastman Chemical Company. Tim has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including the Virginia Outstanding Scientist of the Year Award, the Robert L. Patrick Fellowship Award, the ACS POLY Mark Scholar Award, the Carl Dahlquist Award from the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council, the American Chemical Society Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Cooperative Research Award, the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence, the Collano Innovation Award, the Interdisciplinary Research Team Fellowship Award, the Faculty Research Award from the Virginia Tech Department of Chemistry, the IBM Faculty Award, and the 3M Company Faculty Award. Tim has also been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society Polymer Division. In our interview, Tim shares more about his life and science.

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Dr. Yolanda Chen is a Gund Fellow in the Gund Institute for Environment as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont. Through her research, Yolanda is working to understand the origins of insects as pests in agriculture. To do this, she investigates the origins of agriculture and crop domestication, and how these processes have changed biodiversity and the interactions between crops and insects. She is interested in understanding how insect pests have become so successful, including invasive insect pests like the swede midge that impacts local growers in Vermont. Much of Yolanda’s free time is spent with her family, including driving her 10 year old and 14 year old children to their rock climbing competitions, biathlons, and soccer games. Yolanda also enjoys running and cooking. In particular, she has been having fun trying new recipes and exploring the world through food with a local cookbook discussion group. Yolanda was awarded her B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University and her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at UC, Berkeley as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fellow. She then worked as an entomologist studying host plant resistance at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines before joining the faculty at the University of Vermont. In our interview Yolanda shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 534_Yolanda_Chen_Final.mp3
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Dr. Andrew Friedman is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He is also a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As an astrophysicist and cosmologist, Andy is studying the history of the universe from the Big Bang through present day. Andy and his colleagues use the universe as a laboratory to learn more about how things work. Specifically, Andy uses observations of astronomical objects in other galaxies to learn about fundamental physics and quantum mechanics. When he’s not at work, you can find Andy hanging out with his wife and dog, or enjoying good food and good conversation with friends and family. Andy received his bachelor’s degree in physics and astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley and his master’s and PhD degrees in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Harvard University. Afterwards, Andy worked as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT, a National Science Foundation funded Research Associate at MIT, and a Visiting Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. He joined the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at UCSD in 2017. In our interview, Andy tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 533_Andrew_Friedman_Final.mp3
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Dr. Sonia Contera is an Associate Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Oxford Physics Department, and a Research Fellow of Green Templeton College. She is also the author of the recently released book Nano comes to Life. Sonia is interested in biology and the mechanics of biology across different space and time scales. She develops experiments and techniques to understand the physics that allow biological systems to build nano-scale molecules into cells, organs, tissues, and organisms.. Projects in Sonia’s lab include studying and treating pancreatic tumors, understanding heart arrhythmias, and the physics of plant growth. When she’s not doing science, Sonia likes to relax and do nothing. She also enjoys spending time with people she loves, talking to people, cycling, walking, exploring art, and learning new languages. Sonia received her bachelor’s degree in physics from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She attended graduate school at Beijing Languages and Culture University and subsequently worked as a researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Sonia was then awarded a Japanese Government Monbushō scholarship to attend Osaka University where she received her PhD in Applied Physics. Next, Sonia was awarded an E.U. Fellowship to Japan at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research SANKEN at Osaka University. Prior to coming to Oxford in 2003, she served as a Research Assistant Professor at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In 2008, Sonia founded the Oxford Martin Institute of Nanoscience for Medicine at the Oxford Martin School. In our interview, Sonia shares more about her life and science.

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Dr. Donovan German is Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He studies how guts work, aiming to better understand how materials move through the gut, which enzymes are secreted during digestion, what microbes are present, and what role these microbes play. In particular, Donovan focuses his research on animals with unusual diets, such as fish that eat wood or algae, to understand how these foods are digested and how animals can survive on these lower quality foods. Beyond his interests in science, Donovan loves sports and music. He played football through college, and he now enjoys coaching his kids’ baseball and soccer teams. Donovan played bass in a band during college, and he also plays the guitar and drums. Donovan received his B.A. in Marine Science from the University of San Diego, his M.S. In Biology from California State University in Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Florida. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research at UC, Irvine before joining the faculty there in 2011. Donovan’s awards and honors include receipt of the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, the UCI School of Biological Sciences Dean’s Award for Postdoctoral Excellence, and the UCI School of Biological Sciences Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research. In our interview Donovan shares more about his life and science.

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Dr. Mary E. Power is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley as well as Faculty Manager at the Angelo Coast Range Reserve and Director of the California Biodiversity Center. Mary is also a contributing scientist in a new documentary film called The Serengeti Rules. Over the course of her career, Mary has studied the ecosystems of four different rivers. Her work to understand the food webs in those rivers has involved observation and taking field notes, mapping and quantitative observations to identify patterns, developing questions and hypotheses, and then testing her hypotheses with experiments. Mary loves to listen to and play folk and rock and roll music. She has been learning to play Celtic music on the mandolin as well as rock and roll music from the ‘60s and ‘70s on the guitar. She received her B.A. in biology from Brown University, her M.S. in biology from the Boston University Marine Program at Woods Hole, and her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington. Mary is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. She has been awarded the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Medal from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Kempe Award for Distinguished Ecologists, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an honorary doctorate degree from Umeå University in Sweden. In addition, Mary is past president of the Ecological Society of America and the American Society of Naturalists. In our interview Mary shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 530_Mary_Power_Final.mp3
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Dr. Gayle Schueller is the Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Sustainability and Product Stewardship at 3M. In her work, Gayle has the opportunity to use science to have an impact on the world through the development of innovative products. These products span electronics, healthcare, consumer products, and other areas. She brings together teams of talented people to find innovative solutions and address sustainability problems. In her free time, Gayle enjoys biking, food, festivals, and spending time with her family. She is also an avid gardener, and she particularly likes growing flowering plants to attract bees. She received her BS in physics from the State University of New York at Geneseo and her PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Virginia. Afterwards, Gayle began her career at 3M as a Product Development Specialist in 3M’s Corporate Research Materials Laboratory. Over the years, Gayle has worked in a variety of technical, project management, and leadership roles at 3M. In our interview, Gayle shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 529_Gayle_Schueller_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jennifer Ross is a Professor in the Department of Physics at Syracuse University. Through her research, Jenny is working to better understand how living things can organize themselves. An animal starts with one cell and then develops into a full organism through self-organization and self-assembly. Jenny and her lab are working to identify simple rules and develop models using physics to explain how biological processes work. In her free time, Jenny enjoys doing activities with her two kids. They’ve been having fun engaging in science-related activities like visiting volcanoes and watching the solar eclipse a few years ago. Jenny also loves watching TV, listening to podcasts, and reading, particularly when the subject is science fiction. Jenny received her BA in physics and mathematics from Wellesley College, and her PhD in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania. Jenny joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2007, and she just recently moved to Syracuse to accept her current position there. Jenny has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including a National Science Foundation INSPIRE Award, a Cottrell Scholars Award, a Scialog Fellowship, the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award from the Biophysical Society, and the Basil O’Connor Starter Award from the March of Dimes Foundation. In addition, Jenny is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In our interview, she will tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 528_Jenny_Ross_Final.mp3
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Dr. John J. Talley is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Euclises Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In addition, John is Co-Founder, Partner, and Vice President of Chemistry at Emmyon, Inc. John is an organic chemist who works to identify targets that can be modulated by chemicals. Currently, the two areas that John is focusing on are developing non-opioid treatments for acute and chronic pain and developing a new medicine that can be used with immune checkpoint inhibitors to slow or reverse tumor growth in cancer. In his free time, John enjoys cultivating vegetables and flowers in his garden, as well as growing indoor plants. Some of his other favorite activities include travel, camping with his family, and playing with his three cats. He received his BA in chemistry and science from Northern Iowa University and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the team at Euclises, John worked in various roles at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacia, Searle, Monsanto, and General Electric. John has received numerous honors and awards over the course of his career. He is co-inventor of seven marketed drugs, a named inventor on more than 215 U.S. drug patents, and a recipient of the prestigious PhRMA Foundation Discoverers Award. In our interview, John shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 527_John_Talley_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jim Estes is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In addition, Jim is author of the book Serendipity: An Ecologist’s Quest to Understand Nature, and he is a contributing scientist in a new documentary film called The Serengeti Rules. Most of Jim’s career has been spent as a research scientist studying topics in ecology. He is interested in how nature works, and how species interact with one another and their physical environment. Specifically, Jim is working to better understand coastal marine ecosystems, kelp forests, and the kelp forest ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean. One of Jim’s major passions outside of science is fly fishing. He also enjoys hiking, reading, writing, and spending time with friends. He received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Minnesota, his MS in biology from Washington State University, and his PhD in biology and statistics from the University of Arizona. For over 30 years, Jim worked as a research scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. He retired from his position there in 2007 to join the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jim has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including the U.S. Geological Survey’s Schumaker Award for excellence in science communication, the Western Society of Naturalists’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Society of Mammalogists’ C. Hart Merriam Award. Jim is also a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In our interview, Jim shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 526_Jim_Estes_Final.mp3
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Dr. Joyce Ohm is an Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Genetics and Genomics at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Joyce’s research examines the epigenomics involved in development and disease, particularly in cancer. In her free time, Joyce enjoys cycling as well as hiking and kayaking with her two adorable dogs. She recently cycled 500 miles from New York City to Niagara Falls in the Empire State Ride, and it was an amazing experience. She was awarded her PhD in Cancer Biology from Vanderbilt University. Afterwards, Joyce conducted postdoctoral research in oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at Roswell Park, she served on the faculty at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In our interview Joyce tells us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 521_Joyce_Ohm_Final.mp3
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Dr. Molly Gale Hammell is an Associate Professor in Quantitative Biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She sequences genomes and analyzes genome sequences to understand which differences in our genomes are due to random variation between individuals, and which are associated with diseases. In particular, she focuses on studying elements of the genome associated with neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In her free time, Molly loves gathering a group of friends together to attend some of the many fantastic live music concerts in the New York City area. Molly received her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from Dartmouth College. She then conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Victor Ambros at the University of Massachusetts Medical School before joining the faculty at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Molly was named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar in 2014, and she was awarded the Ben Barres Early Career Award in 2018. In our interview Molly shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 520_Molly_Gale_Hammell_Final.mp3
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Dr. Kim Tieu is Professor and Interim Chair in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at Florida International University. Kim’s research focuses on three related areas. The first is understanding why people develop Parkinson’s disease (PD). The genetic or environmental causes of PD are unknown in about 90% of cases. Kim is studying the effects of environmental toxins on the development and progression of PD. The second major area of research in Kim’s lab examines why and how the dopamine-producing neurons die in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia in people with PD. A third research line in Kim’s lab aims to develop an effective drug therapy for PD. Kim loves going to the beach to swim, snorkel, and fish with his family. He also enjoys travel, photography, yard work, and tending to his approximately 30 fruit trees. He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan and subsequently worked as a pharmacist for several years. Kim then returned to the University of Saskatchewan to complete his Ph.D. in neuroscience. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research at Columbia University. Kim accepted his first faculty position at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and he served on the faculty at Plymouth University in England prior to joining the faculty at Florida International University. In our interview, Kim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 519_Kim_Tieu_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jessica Tracy is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Emotion and Self Laboratory at the University of British Columbia. In addition, she is a University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business Distinguished Scholar and author of the book Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success. Jess conducts research in the field of social and personality psychology. Her lab focuses on better understanding the self-conscious emotions we feel when we are evaluating ourselves. Some examples of self-conscious emotions are pride and shame. In her free time, Jess enjoys being outdoors in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of her favorite outdoor activities are hiking, running, visiting the beach, and skiing. Jess received her B.A. in psychology From Amherst College, and she was awarded her M.A. and PhD in social-personality psychology from the University of California, Davis. After a brief postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis, Jess joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia in 2006. Jess is a Fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. She has also been the recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Salary Award, the University of British Columbia Killam Research Prize, the Outstanding Early Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Career Salary Award. In our interview, Jess shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 518_Jessica_Tracy_Final.mp3
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Dr. Michelle Heck is a Research Molecular Biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), an Associate Professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the school of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. Michelle studies interactions between the insects that infest plants, the pathogens that those insects can transmit, the diseases that can occur as a result, and new ways to control the spread of these diseases. Outside the lab, she loves spending time with her fantastic family, being a musician, watching her kids get interested in music, and cycling in scenic areas nearby. Michelle received her B.A. degree in biology from Boston University and her Ph.D. in biology from Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. She then conducted postdoctoral research at Cornell University. Michell has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the 2014 USDA ARS Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Scientist of the Year Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award in 2017. In our interview, Michelle shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 517_Michelle_Heck_Final.mp3
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Dr. Uri Tabori is a Staff Physician in the Division of Haematology/Oncology, Senior Scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology program, and Principal Investigator of The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). In addition, Uri is a Professor in Paediatrics and Associate Professor in the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Uri works as a physician treating kids with cancer, particularly brain tumors. Through his research, he is working to identify drugs and make new discoveries that may cure cancers or improve patients’ lives. When he’s not hard at work in the lab or clinic, Uri enjoys spending time with his family, watching American football, and exploring the wilderness of Canada. In particular, he is fond of canoeing and canoe camping with his family. He received his MD from the Hadassah School of Medicine of Hebrew University in Israel. Afterwards, he completed a Rotating Internship and his Residency in Pediatrics at the Sorasky Medical Center in Israel. Next, Uri accepted a Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel. He served as a Staff Physician in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at The Sheba Medical Center for about a year before accepting a Research and Clinical Fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children in Canada SickKids where he remains today. Over the course of his career, Uri has received numerous awards and honors, including the Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Development and Innovation, the New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Junior Physician Research Award from the University of Toronto Department of Pediatrics, The New Investigator Award from the Terry Fox Foundation, A Eureka! new investigator award from the International Course of Translational Medicine, A Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, and The Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Neuro-Oncology Society. In our interview, Uri shares more about his life, science, and clinical care.

Direct download: 516_Uri_Tabori_Final.mp3
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Dr. Meredith Hughes is an Associate Professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University. In her research, Meredith uses large radio telescopes to study how planets form around other stars. After stars are formed, disks of leftover gas and dust go on to form planets. Meredith studies how this process works, the conditions that exist in these early disks, how the disks form planets, and the types of planets that form around stars. Studying this process in other star systems helps us learn more about our own solar system and how it formed.When Meredith isn’t working, you can find her hanging out with her husband, two young kids, and their dog. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, being outdoors, and volunteering in her community. She received her B.S. degree in Physics & Astronomy from Yale University. Afterwards, Meredith attended graduate school at Harvard University where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy. She was awarded a Miller Fellowship to conduct postdoctoral research in the Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley before she joined the faculty at Wesleyan University in 2013. Meredith has received the Harvard Astronomy Department's Fireman Fellowship for her outstanding doctoral thesis as well as Harvard Astronomy’s Bok Prize for research excellence by a Ph.D. graduate under the age of 35. In addition, she was selected as a Cottrell Scholar in 2018 by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. In our interview, Meredith shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 515_Meredith_Hughes_Final.mp3
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Dr. Susanne Brander is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University. Susanne is an ecotoxicologist who studies the effects of environmental stress on wildlife. She particularly focuses on aquatic organisms that live in coastal areas, estuaries, and marine environments. Her research examines how environmental stressors affect organisms’ ability to function, reproduce, grow, and survive. In addition, Susanne assesses the risk of chemicals like pesticides or pharmaceuticals in waste waters in terms of how they might affect the health and survival of fish and other invertebrates. In her free time, Susanne enjoys hanging out with her two young daughters, hiking, and doing art and science projects at home with them. She also likes running and making bowls and coffee cups on her pottery wheel. Susanne received her B.S. degree in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College, her M.S. degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, and her PhD in Toxicology from the University of California, Davis. Susanne then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She subsequently served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington before joining the faculty at the University of Oregon where she remains today. In our interview, Susanne will tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 514_Susanne_Brander_Final.mp3
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Dr. Nick Haddad is a Professor in Integrative Biology at Michigan State University and a Senior Terrestrial Ecologist at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. In addition, Nick is the author of the recently released book The Last Butterflies: A Scientist's Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing Creature. Through his research, Nick searches for the rarest butterflies in the world and works to understand what factors cause the decline of these butterflies and what we can do to conserve them. Outside of work, Nick has been enjoying renovating his home with his wife who is a historic preservationist. Their home was built in 1840, so they have been tackling a wide variety of projects including updating the plumbing and replacing all of the electrical wiring. Nick received his BS in Biology from Stanford University, and he was awarded his PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia. Afterwards, Nick conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota. Before joining the faculty at Michigan State, University, Nick served on the faculty at North Carolina State University for about 19 years. In our interview, Nick shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 513_Nick_Haddad_Final.mp3
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Dr. David Berman is Head of Research and Development at Immunocore, a leading T cell receptor biotechnology company. David and his team are working on new therapies that can train the immune system to recognize and kill cancer. This approach to treating cancer is called immunotherapy. Immunocore is taking a novel approach to immunotherapy by leveraging the mechanisms used by T cell receptors to identify indicators of cancer within cancer cells. Much of David’s time outside of work is spent driving his daughters to their soccer and lacrosse games and watching them play. He also enjoys cycling with his family and thought-provoking solo cycling outings. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Afterwards, David was awarded his PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Alfred Gilman (Nobel Prize 1994) and his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He completed his Residency in Anatomic Pathology at the National Cancer Institute and a Fellowship in Pathology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. David then began his 10-year tenure at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he held various senior development roles in immuno-oncology. He then spent three years in immuno-oncology leadership positions at MedImmune and AstraZeneca. In our interview, David shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 512_David_Berman_Final.mp3
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Dr. Lisa Whitenack is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biology and Geology at Allegheny College. Through her research, Lisa aims to better understand how animals work from a mechanical perspective. She studies how sharks have used their teeth over their 400 million years of evolution, how salamanders jump, and how stone crabs perform pinching movements. When she’s not at work, Lisa loves getting creative with a variety of crafts such as crochet, cross-stitch, and painting. She also enjoys refereeing roller derby, hiking, and spending time with her family. Lisa received her B.S. in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her M.S. degree in geological sciences from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in integrative biology from the University of South Florida. Lisa served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tampa for about a year. She next conducted postdoctoral research in geology at the University of South Florida before joining the faculty at Allegheny College. Lisa has been named Volunteer Partner of the Year by the Crawford County K-12 Career Education Alliance for her science outreach efforts. In our interview, Lisa shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 511_Lisa_Whitenack_Final.mp3
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Dr. Al Robichaud is Chief Scientific Officer at Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system disorders. The team at Sage Therapeutics is focused on delivering new medicines for people with central nervous system disorders, such as depression. The compounds they have developed modulate the activity of receptors in the brain that respond to specific neurotransmitters. Outside of science, Al has been an avid scuba diver for most of his life. He particularly enjoys exploring the ocean in the Caribbean with his family. Al received his B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He worked as a staff chemist at FMC Corporation for about two years before returning to school to earn his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Al next conducted research as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in organic chemistry at Colorado State University. Before joining the team at Sage Therapeutics, Al held positions at Merck Pharma, DuPont Merck Pharma, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck Research. In our interview, Al tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 510_Al_Robichaud_Final.mp3
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Dr. Christine Drea is the Earl D. McLean Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, as well as Professor in the Department of Biology, the University Program in Ecology, and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University. Research in Christine’s lab examines animal behavior from an integrative perspective. She and her colleagues are investigating the genetic, behavioral, cognitive, sensory, and endocrine mechanisms involved in social interactions and communication in socially complex animals. Christine focuses primarily on female-dominant species such as hyenas, lemurs, and meerkats. Christine’s hobbies outside of science include gardening, playing and walking with her two dogs, and traveling. Christine completed her undergraduate training in zoology at the University of Maryland College Park. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in psychobiology from Emory University. Afterwards, Christine conducted postdoctoral research in physiology at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and subsequently she was awarded a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship in psychology to conduct research at the University of California, Berkeley. Next, Christine served as a lecturer at UC, Berkeley before joining the faculty at Duke University. At Duke, she has been awarded the Thomas Langford Lectureship Award for the appeal of her research to an interdisciplinary audience and her embodiment of Langford’s dedication to teaching, research, and service. In our interview Christine will share more about her life and science.

Direct download: 509_Christine_Drea_Final.mp3
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Dr. Paul Cannon is the Parkinson’s Disease Program Manager at 23andMe. Paul and the team at 23andMe are working with patients, genetic data, and other self-report data to understand genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease, disease risk factors, and other comorbidities experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease. Outside of work, Paul enjoys traveling to visit new places in countries or parts of countries that are not necessarily considered typical tourist destinations. He also likes to hike, watch cricket matches, and watch Premier League Soccer games. Paul received his Master’s degree in Natural Sciences from Christ’s College in Cambridge and his PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Calgary. Afterwards, he worked as a Research Scientist at Syntex. Next, Paul spent nearly 15 years in various roles at Roche Pharmaceuticals and Genentech. He worked as a Senior Consultant for Tynan Consulting for about four years before joining the team at 23andMe. In our interview, Paul tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 508_Paul_Cannon_Final.mp3
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Dr. Cori Richards-Zawacki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of the Pymatuning Lab of Ecology at the University of Pittsburgh. Cori studies topics in ecology, evolutionary biology, behavior, and conservation in frogs. In particular, she is working to understand how frogs use different body forms, colors, and other features to survive partially on land and partially in water. When she’s not working and doing research, Cori enjoys spending time outside with her husband and two young daughters. She likes to play soccer, hike, go mountain biking, and do other outdoor activities. Cori received her Bachelor’s degree in engineering and biology as well as her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology both from the University of Michigan. She conducted postdoctoral research at the Smithsonian Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. Cori next served on the faculty at Tulane University prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. In our interview, Cori shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 507_Cori_Richards_Zawacki_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jim Doherty is Chief Research Officer at Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system disorders. Jim and his colleagues are focused on developing new treatments for different brain disorders including psychiatric, neurodegenerative, and movement disorders. Outside of science, Jim enjoys traveling, seeing cool new sites, and exploring the history of different places with his wife and two kids. He also enjoys participating in a variety of team sports like golf, softball, and ultimate frisbee leagues. Jim received his B.A. in biology from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown University. Next, he conducted postdoctoral research at Emory University Medical School and subsequently served on the faculty at Emory for about two years. Prior to joining the team at Sage in 2014, Jim worked for about eleven years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. In our interview Jim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 506_Jim_Doherty_Final.mp3
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Dr. Neil Solomons is Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies in disease areas of high unmet medical need. Neil is working to develop a drug to treat a rare autoimmune disease called lupus nephritis. In lupus nephritis, there is inflammation of the kidneys that can result in kidney failure, need for dialysis, or kidney transplant. Currently, there are no FDA-approved therapies for this disease, and the team at Aurinia is excited to be in the final stages of developing a drug called Voclosporin to treat lupus nephritis. Outside of research, Neil is an obsessive soccer fan, and he has been avidly watching English Premier League games since he was a child. He also enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family. Neil was awarded his Medical Degree from the University of London’s Guys Hospital Medical School. Afterwards, he worked as a physician in London and completed specialist training in anesthesia and intensive care. Neil held positions at Roche Pharmaceuticals, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, and Vifor Pharma before co-founding Aurinia. In our interview Neil will tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 505_Neil_Solomons_Final.mp3
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Dr. Anne Fung is the Global Development Lead for the Port Delivery System with Ranibizumab and Lucentis at Genentech. She is also a practicing retina specialist and researcher at Pacific Eye Associates and California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Macular degeneration is a degenerative condition of a portion of the retina in the eye. This disease generally affects older adults. While there are some amazing medicines that can help people with macular degeneration, these medicines must be injected into the eye every 4-6 weeks. Anne is working on a tiny implant that serves as a reservoir for medicine so it can be slowly released over 6 months or more. They are currently investigating how long this implant can effectively treat the disease. Outside of science, Anne loves practicing yoga, as well as reading, listening to podcasts, and listening to audiobooks on a variety of topics including business, organizations, and psychology. Anne received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her Medical Degree from Cornell University. She completed her residency in ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine and then pursued a Medical Retina Fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Anne worked in clinical practice for ten years before joining the team at Genentech in 2014. Anne is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In our interview she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 504_Anne_Fung_Final.mp3
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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

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