Dr. Andrea Califano is the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical Systems Biology in the Departments of Systems Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, and Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. He is Founding Chair of the Department of Systems Biology, Director of the JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center, and Associate Director for Bioinformatics of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the lab, Andrea is trying to develop what we can think of as a blueprint or assembly manual for cells. He is using genetic and genomic information to reconstruct models of regulatory systems in normal cells and cells in disease states. They are learning about the proteins that regulate cellular changes in diseases like cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Andrea and his family enjoy family outings to the botanical gardens, the zoo, and musical events. He also spends his down time playing tennis, skiing, watching movies, and reading. He completed his doctoral studies in physics at the University of Florence in Italy and his postdoctoral studies at MIT. Afterward, Andrea worked at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center, and he subsequently became Program Director of the IBM Computational Biology Center. In 2000, Andrea co-founded First Genetic Trust, Inc and founded another company called Therasys in 2008 before joining the faculty where he is today at Columbia University. Andrea is with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 611_Andrea_Califano_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Sharon Antonucci is a clinical researcher, speech-language pathologist, and Director of the MossRehab Aphasia Center. She works primarily with people who have a language impairment called aphasia as a result of a stroke. Sharon is particularly interested in understanding how information related to the meaning of words can be accessed in people with aphasia and how this may influence a person’s ability to retrieve words. Another line of research she is working on examines word retrieval in the context of conversation. In addition, Sharon is excited about the animal-assisted therapy work they have been doing in people with aphasia. When she’s not at work, Sharon loves to spend her time reading, watching TV, singing, and volunteering with shelter dogs, and hanging out with her two dogs Maggie and Hulk. She was awarded her B.A. in child development and Italian from Connecticut College, her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Arizona. Prior to accepting her position at MossRehab, Sharon served on the faculty at Worcester State University. She has received the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Distinguished Scholar Award for her excellence in aphasia research, and in our interview today, she shares more about her science and her life.

Direct download: 610_Sharon_Antonucci_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Jan Westpheling is a Professor of Genetics in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia. In the lab, Jan is dedicated to her research on biofuels. Her lab works to engineer bacteria that help convert non-food crop plants like switchgrass into useful fuels like ethanol. Jan lives on eight acres of old-growth forest and loves gardening. She has been planting specific trees to attract birds and also putting out bird feeders. As a result, her property is like a bird sanctuary, with owls and migratory birds coming through each year. Jan loves spending her time outside enjoying nature and the wildlife around her. She received her B.S. degree in Microbiology from Purdue University. Jan worked as a  Research Technician at Eli Lilly before going back to graduate school to earn her Ph.D. in Genetics from the John Innes Institute. She worked for a year for Biogen in Geneva, conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University, and served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia where she is today. Jan is a two-time recipient of the Creative Research Medal from the University of Georgia, and she served as a Member of the National Research Council Committee on the Development and Acquisition of Medical Countermeasures against Biological Warfare Agents in 2005. During our interview, Jan shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 609_Jan_Westpheling_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Ricardo Araneda is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland. In the lab, Ricardo is dedicated to studying the sense of smell. Smells are important for communication for a lot of animals, and there is a strong link between smell and taste. He studies the cells in the brain that help us determine what we are smelling and make decisions about how to respond to it. Ricardo has a variety of hobbies outside of science, including painting, photography, and bicycling. He also likes taking his dog out to the beach for a run. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Concepcion in Chile and his undergraduate thesis project at the Catholic University in Santiago. Afterward, he came to the U.S. and conduct research at St. Louis University. Ricardo received his PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and served as a postdoctoral fellow and then Associate research scientist at Columbia University before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland. Ricardo is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 608_Ricardo_Areneda_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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