Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen is Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University. In the lab, Mary Jo uses theory and computation to better understand how molecules work. In particular she works on enzymes which are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Mary Jo and her team also develop methods and theories to interpret genomic data, and they work on the computational side of drug discovery, helping medicinal chemists develop new drugs, treatments, and diagnostics. When she’s not at work, you can often find Mary Jo out running, tending to her vegetable garden, and cooking. She is also interested in herbs, spices, and medicinal plants. She earned her bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Reed College, and she was awarded her PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Physics from Northwestern University. Afterwards, Mary Jo completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago and subsequently a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at Tel-Aviv University in Israel. She joined the faculty at Northeastern University in 1980. Mary Jo was awarded the Outstanding Native American Student Mentor in 2018 from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and she has been dedicated to advocacy and activism for underrepresented communities in science and society, as well as conservation and stewardship of the Earth. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 705_Mary_Jo_Ondrechan_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Tessa Hill is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Davis. She is part of the Bodega Ocean Acidification Research group there at the Bodega Marine Laboratory. Research in Tessa’s lab focuses on the ocean and the impacts of climate change on environments in the ocean in the past, present, and future. Outside of work, Tessa, her husband, and their two children spend a lot of time gardening, skiing, hiking, camping, and going on vacations together. Additionally, Tessa is a long-distance runner, so she enjoys running half and full marathons. Tessa received her B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College and her Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Next, Tessa was awarded a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Davis before joining the faculty there. Tessa has received many awards and honors during her career, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, as well as an NSF CAREER Award. She is also a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Public Engagement Fellow, and a panelist on the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel. Tessa is with us today to tell us about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 704_Tessa_Hill_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Kevan M. Shokat is Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco, Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, and an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Kevan’s lab uses approaches from chemistry to address unsolved challenges and opportunities for discovery in biology and medicine. His goal is to apply chemistry to biology in the most impactful, interesting, and meaningful ways while pursuing his curiosity. The lab has been investigating key signaling proteins in diseases such as cancer to develop new treatments. When he’s not working, Kevan enjoys spending time with family, cycling with his friends, getting exercise, being out in nature, and reading biographies of scientists. Kevan received his B.A in chemistry from Reed College and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Afterwards, he received a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellowship to conduct postdoctoral research at Stanford University, and he served on the faculty at Princeton University before joining the faculty at his current institutions. Kevan has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including the 2023 Sjöberg Prize from the The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the 2023 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery, the 2023 Howard Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology from his alma mater Reed College, the 2022 American Association for Cancer Research’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research, and many others. He was also named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, a Searle Scholar, a Cottrell Scholar, a Glaxo-Wellcome Scholar in Organic Chemistry, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow. In addition, Kevan is an elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In our interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 703_Kevan_Shokat_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Dr. Adam Abate is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California San Francisco. He is also a co-founder of the startup company Mission Bio. The overall goal of Adam’s lab is to make biology a new kind of computer science. It is important to characterize the state of biological systems in detail so you can manipulate the system successfully to get the outcome you want. For example, a disease represents a problem with a biological system, and you have to understand the system and know what to change to successfully cure a disease. Adam builds technologies, focusing on microfluidics technologies, to allow us to comprehensively characterize cells in a system. When he's not doing science, Adam and his wife have been working on various home improvement projects around the house, including painting and installing new lighting. The instant gratification of remodeling is a refreshing contrast to work in the lab. Adam received his B.A. in Physics from Harvard College, his M.S. in Physics from the University of California Los Angeles, and his PhD in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, Adam conducted postdoctoral research in Physics and Engineering at Harvard University, and during this time, his research became the foundation for the sequencing company GnuBIO. Adam is currently a member of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) program that helps launch start-up companies on the UC campuses. He has received a number of awards and honors during his career, including the NSF CAREER Award, the NIH New Innovator Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award. Adam is here with us today to share stories about his life and science.

Direct download: 702_Adam_Abate_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am EDT






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