Dr. Michael Demetriou is Director of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Designated Comprehensive Care Clinic, Professor of Neurology, and Chief of the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine. In his research, Mike studies the biological roles of complex sugars called glycans. Glycans are mostly found outside of cells and on cell surfaces. They form a dense forest around the surface of cells and can interact with other proteins to regulate cellular function through interactions with other cell surface proteins. Mike’s lab is interested in how these cell surface glycans influence biology and disease, particularly in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and in diseases like cancer where there are commonly abnormalities in these glycans. Mike is also a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. While he doesn’t play hockey himself anymore, he loves watching professional hockey games and seeing the Maple Leafs play whenever they are in town. He was awarded his MD and his PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Toronto. Mike completed his residency in Neurology at the University of Toronto as well and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He has received a variety of awards and honors in his career, including being named a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada. In addition, he has received UCI’s College of Medicine Committee on Research Award, the Health Science Partners Research Award, the Academic Senate Distinguished Service Award, and the Dr. S. Van Den Noort Research Award for Junior Faculty. In our interview, Mike shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 740_Michael_Demetriou_Final.mp3
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Dr. Beth Weaver is a Professor in the Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology and the Department of Oncology/McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. She is co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. Beth studies a group of commonly used chemotherapy agents to better understand how they work, who will respond to these treatments, and how to make resistant tumors more sensitive to these drugs. Outside of work, Beth enjoys spending time with her family. She, her husband, and their two children enjoy making fun group Halloween costumes, and she also brings this creativity into entertaining and hosting themed parties. Beth received her B.S. in biochemistry from Brown University and her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of California, San Diego. Afterwards, Beth conducted postdoctoral research at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has received various awards and honors during her career. These have included receipt of the Bothwell Prize and the Women’s Health Research Mentorship Award from UW-Madison. In addition, she has been named an American Cancer Society Research Scholar, a Romnes Faculty Fellow by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and a University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center Ride Scholar. In this interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 739_Beth_Weaver_Final.mp3
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Dr. Magdalena Osburn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University. Maggie's research brings together microbiology and geology to understand biological activity in different environments in the past and present. She studies unique microbes that live in extreme environments like deep mines, hot springs, and caves. When she’s not working, Maggie likes to go hiking, backpacking, and generally be outside exploring nature. When she’s able to get away, she loves going on road trips to enjoy the splendor of the mountains in Montana. At home, Maggie also spends her time doing yoga, running, and knitting. She received her bachelor’s degree in Earth & Planetary Sciences and Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Afterwards, she enrolled in graduate school at the California Institute of Technology where she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geobiology from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. Next, Maggie conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Southern California before joining the faculty at Northwestern University. Maggie has received a variety of awards and honors during her career. She was the recipient of a Packard Fellowship Award in 2017, she has recently received the Sulzman award for teaching and mentoring from the American Geophysical Union, and she has also been named a CIFAR Fellow by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and an AT&T Fellow by Northwestern University. In this interview, Maggie shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 738_Magdalena_Osburn_Final.mp3
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Dr. Erdem Tabdanov is Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine and also a Member of the Penn State Cancer Institute. He studies the mechanical and structural aspects of cells to better understand how cells physically move, sense their environments, and accomplish their various functions. This is very relevant to cancer biology and understanding the immune system. Some of Erdem’s hobbies outside of science include working out at the gym, calligraphy, sketching, digital art, and other visual arts. He is also considering adopting a cat. His interest in digital art emerged from his desire to put the story of his research together in compelling figures and schematics for journal articles. He received his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and his MSc in chemistry and molecular and cellular biotechnology from Lomonosov Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology (MITHT). He was awarded his PhD in cancer research from L'Institut Curie in Paris. Afterwards, Erdem conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. He then served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. army for four years. Erdem completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at Penn State where he is today. In this interview, Erdem shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 737_Erdem_Tabdanov_Final.mp3
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Dr. Alexis “Lekki” Wood is Associate Professor at USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center in the Division of Pediatrics-Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine. Research in Lekki’s lab aims to better understand how food influences our health. She examines the full chain of changes that occur from the moment food is put into our mouths, trough digestion and absorption of particular molecules, to where those molecules go and how they affect our organs. Outside of work, you can find Lekki working out at the gym and spending quality time with her two children and their German shepherd. She is also a Lego builder and a competitive Pokemon card player along with her son. She received her BSc with honors in Psychology and from the University of Warwick. Afterwards, she completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Cambridge. Lekki enrolled in graduate school at King’s College London where she earned her MSc in social, genetic, and developmental psychiatry and her PhD in statistical genetics. Next, she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Alabama focusing on statistical genetics and epidemiology. Lekki served on the faculty at The University of Texas, Health Sciences Center for about two years before joining the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine where she is today. Lekki has received a variety of awards and honors for her work, including the Young Investigator Award from the International Congress on ADHD and the Young Investigator Award from the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, she has received the Scott Grundy Award for Excellence in Metabolism Research and the Mark Bieber Award for Excellence in Nutrition Research, both from the American Heart Association. She was also named a Fellow of the American Heart Association in 2015. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 736_Alexis_Wood_Final.mp3
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Dr. Gareth Fraser is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida. Gareth is a developmental biologist interested in how things form during development, how they are recreated during regeneration, and how features develop and persist on evolutionary timescales. His lab typically examines these questions looking at oral teeth and dermal denticles (tooth-like structures) in unusual fish like pufferfish, hammerhead sharks, and ghost sharks (chimaera). When he’s not working, Gareth enjoys being outside in nature, playing soccer, scuba diving, and hunting for fossils in the creek near their home. He and his two young daughters have also been having fun exploring the mysterious realm of cryptozoology and reading books about monsters. Gareth received his bachelor’s degree in palaeobiology and evolution from the University of Portsmouth, his master’s degree in evolutionary biology and systematics from the University of Glasgow, and his PhD in evolutionary developmental biology from King’s College London. Afterwards, Gareth conducted postdoctoral research at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He served on the faculty at The University of Sheffield for about nine years before joining the faculty at the University of Florida in 2018. In this interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 735_Gareth_Fraser_Final.mp3
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Dr. Rachel Perry is Assistant Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Rachel’s scientific training focused on how our bodies use nutrients to stay healthy and what goes wrong in diseases like obesity and diabetes. In her current lab, she applies this background to better understand how changes in metabolism (nutrient supply) may affect cancer and how our bodies respond to cancer treatments. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, playing with their Labradoodle puppy, and going on walks in the fantastic fall weather. She is also an avid home chef, and she applies her scientific precision to prepare delicious meals for friends and family. She was awarded her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and her Ph.D. (with Distinction) in Cellular & Molecular Physiology from Yale University. Afterwards, she remained at Yale for postdoctoral training in internal medicine and endocrinology, and she joined the Yale faculty in 2018. Rachel has received a variety of awards and honors for her research, including the American Physiological Society New Investigator Award, an R37 MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Translational Science Research Prize from the Yale Cancer Center, the Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award, the Rising Stars in Cancer Metabolism Award, the Breakthrough of the Year Award from the Yale Cancer Signaling Networks Program, and the Translational Science Research Prize from the Yale Cancer Center. In addition, she was named a Kingsley Fellow of the Yale University School of Medicine. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 734_Rachel_Perry_Final.mp3
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Dr. Susie Dai is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University. She is also Director of the Biomonitoring Program in the Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory, leading the Iowa Statewide Biomonitoring public health surveillance. Susie works at the interface of chemistry and biology, and her research leverages microorganisms like bacteria and fungus to synthesize chemicals of value or degrade poisonous chemicals. This work has important applications for developing sustainable methods to produce chemicals and breaking down dangerous chemicals that are very stable. In addition, Susie’s work also includes biomonitoring where they examine exposure to toxic chemicals from private wells and other environmental sources. When she’s not at work Susie enjoys reading and hanging out with her family, including her two wonderful daughters. Susie received her BS degree in Chemistry from Fudan University, and her PhD in Chemistry from Duke University. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research with the Scripps Research Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Next Susie began working as a Research Assistant Professor and was promoted to Research Associate Professor at Texas A&M in the Office of the Texas State Chemist. Subsequently, she served as Associate Director of the Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa and Director of the Environmental Health Division. She returned to the Texas A&M faculty in 2019. In this interview, Susie shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 733_Susie_Dai_Final.mp3
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Dr. Ralph Dewey is the Philip Morris Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Ralph uses the tools of molecular biology to identify and characterize genes of agronomic importance in crop species. When possible, he and his team alter those genes in ways that add value to the crop above and beyond what can be attained with traditional breeding approaches. Ralph and his team have done important work on the genetics of tobacco plants to decrease the hazards of smoking for people who still smoke. When Ralph has free time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife at their nearby beach condo and also watching college sports (particularly football and basketball). In addition, Ralph is working on writing his first novel. He was awarded his B.S. degree in biology from Utah State University, followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in Crop Science from North Carolina State University. Afterwards, Ralph received an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Plant Biology to conduct postdoctoral research at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University. Ralph joined the faculty at NCSU in 1991. He has been issued 34 U.S. Patents for his discoveries in plant biotechnology, with several more pending, and he was awarded NCSU's Philip Morris endowed Professorship in 2009 for his research on harm reduction in tobacco. In this interview, Ralph shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 732_Ralph_Dewey_Final.mp3
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Dr. C. Denise Okafor is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. Many of the medications we take work by binding to a particular target and either turning off whatever is causing a problem or turning something on that is not working correctly. Denise’s research examines how small molecules like drugs find and interact with the targets they are supposed to interact with. She is particularly interested in proteins that can be turned on or off by the small molecules/drugs that they bind with. While science is a large part of Denise’s life, she also enjoys reading and writing fiction. Lately, she has been spending much of her free time with her kids, learning dances from Youtube videos and hanging out together. She received her B.S. in biomedical chemistry from Oral Roberts University and was awarded her M.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Denise was selected to complete an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award from the NIH to conduct postdoctoral research at Emory University and teach at Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta. Denise has received a variety of awards and honors for her work, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, an NSF CAREER Award for early investigators, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. In addition, she has been named a Keystone Symposia Fellow and a Kavli Foundation Fellow. In our interview, Denise talks more about her life and science.

Direct download: 731_Denise_Okafor_Final.mp3
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Dr. Laura Kiessling is the Novartis Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Member of the Broad Institute. Laura’s research focuses on carbohydrates, particularly all of the different carbohydrates found on the surfaces of cells. We still know relatively little about the functions of these carbohydrates, and Laura is eager to learn more. When she’s not doing science, Laura likes being active through rowing, kayaking, cycling, lifting weights, or doing yoga. She also likes to spend her free time cooking, hiking, camping, and enjoying art. She received her BS degree in chemistry from MIT and her Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Yale University. After two years at the California Institute of Technology as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1991. She returned to MIT in 2017. Laura has received numerous awards over the course of her career, including the Ronald Breslow Award in Biomimetic Chemistry, the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Tetrahedron Prize for creativity in Organic Chemistry or Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, the Gibbs Medal, from the Chicago Chapter of the American Chemical Society, the Vilas Distinguished Faculty Award from UW-Madison, and others. Laura is an elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and American Philosophical Society, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Cancer Society Fellowship, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. She is also the founding Editor-In-Chief of the journal ACS Chemical Biology. In this interview, Laura shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 730_Laura_Kiessling_Final.mp3
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Dr. Nicole Calakos is the Lincoln Financial Group Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Chief of the Movement Disorders section in Neurology at Duke University Medical Center. Research in Nicole’s lab examines how the brain learns and adapts to experiences. She studies synaptic plasticity, from the levels of molecules, cells, cell circuits, and behaviors, to understand what goes wrong in disease and how we can harness brain processes to address disease. When she’s not working, Nicole enjoys being outdoors, playing sports, running, going mountain biking, and participating in mountain bike races. Her favorite indoor activities include creative cooking and spending time with family and friends. Nicole was awarded her MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University. Afterwards, she completed an internship in Medicine and Residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University before joining the faculty at Duke University in 2005. Nicole has received numerous awards and honors in her career, including the 2023 Korsmeyer award from the American Society of Clinical Investigation and being named an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Investigators. In our interview, Nicole shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 729_Nicole_Calakos_Final_V2.mp3
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Dr. Alex Spyropoulos (“Dr. Spy”) is a Professor of Medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine as well as System Director of Anticoagulation and Clinical Thrombosis Services for the multi-hospital Northwell Health System. In addition, Dr. Spy is a Professor of the Merinoff Center for Patient-Oriented Research as part of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. As a thrombologist, Dr. Spy studies blood clots. Many people worldwide are either at risk for blood clots or have existing clots. He focuses on venous thromboembolism primarily in the lungs and legs. These blood clots could cause morbidity or mortality, and many people are not familiar with the risks, common symptoms, or the situations in which clots may occur. Outside of work, Dr. Spy loves spending time with his wife and his young kids. Lately, they’ve been enjoying apple picking, hay rides, pumpkin carving, and apple carving. His other hobbies include sailing, snowboarding and mountain biking. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Dr. Spy is a recipient of the Lovelace Clinic Foundation Excellence in Education Award, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians, the International Academy of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Haemostasis, and the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. In this interview, he speaks with us about his life and science.

Direct download: 728_Alex_Spyropoulos_Final.mp3
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Dr. Erin Hodgson is an Associate Professor and Extension Entomologist at Iowa State University. She specializes in insects in agriculture, often focusing on corn and soybean crops. Erin also works with people like farmers, crop consultants, people in the agricultural industry, regulators, and people in pest management to best manage insect pests in an agricultural landscape. Erin spends her free time outside enjoying the company of her husband and two dogs. She is also an Assistant Coach for the Iowa State University Women’s Rugby Club and dedicates a lot of her time in the evenings to helping coach the team. She received her undergraduate training in Biology and Botany and her M.S. in Entomology from North Dakota State University. Erin was awarded her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Minnesota, followed by a postdoctoral research position also at the University of Minnesota. Erin served on the faculty at Utah State University before joining the faculty at Iowa State where she is today. Erin has received many awards and honors in her career, including the Editor’s Choice Award from the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, the Iowa State University Outreach and Extension New Professional Award, and multiple awards from the Entomological Society of America for her educational and outreach efforts. In addition, Erin is co-host of the "Soybean Pest Podcast" with her colleague Matt O’Neal. Erin is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 727_Erin_Hodgson_Final.mp3
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Dr. Sarah Bergbreiter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. Sarah’s research involves building and conducting experiments with tiny locomoting robots that are about the size of ants. They also apply the same technologies used in their tiny robots to build better sensors and actuators for bigger robots to help improve performance of these robots. Spending time with her family is a big part of Sarah’s life outside of work. Her kids enjoy swimming, playing with legos, and building things. Sarah also spends her free time swimming and playing water polo. She received her B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley where she focused on microrobotics. Sarah has been the recipient of multiple awards for her outstanding work including the DARPA Young Faculty Award, an NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and Sarah gave a TED Talk in 2015. Sarah joins us for an interview to discuss her life and work.

Direct download: 726_Sarah_Bergbreiter_Final_2.mp3
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Dr. Anand Padmanabhan is a pathologist, transfusion medicine physician, and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic. Anand studies blood clotting, also known as “thrombosis”. He is working on a particular type of blood clotting that can occur when our bodies produce antibodies for proteins or other molecules inside or on the surface of blood platelets. Anand is interested both in finding better ways to diagnose and to treat patients with these potentially deadly diseases. When he’s not working, Anand loves spending time with his wife, their 15-year-old son, and their two dogs. They enjoy watching movies and traveling together across the U.S. and around the world. He received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree from Thanjavur Medical College and completed a Clinical Internship in Medicine and Surgery at LLR and Associated Hospitals in India. He was awarded his PhD in biochemistry from Brown University. Afterwards, Anand completed his residency in clinical pathology at Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital and transitioned into a Fellowship in transfusion medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Anand worked at the Blood Center of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2010 - 2019, and he joined the Mayo Clinic in 2020. Anand has received various awards and honors over the course of his career, including the JN Tata endowment for the higher education of Indians, National Blood Foundation Award for Innovative Research, ASFA Lecturer award, and Choosing Wisely Champion Award from the American Society for Apheresis, and he was recently inducted into the National Blood Foundation Hall of Fame. In this interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 725_Anand_Padmanabhan_Final.mp3
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Dr. Ellen Arruda is the Maria Comninou Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering with joint appointments as Professor of Biomedical Engineering, as well as Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen studies the mechanical behavior of soft materials, including polymers, plastics, and soft tissues of the body. Her research group focuses on understanding how to design with soft materials so the materials don’t break in different applications, as well as how to design replacements for soft tissues in our bodies when they are damaged. Ellen’s hobbies include running, cooking, and knitting. Running is one of her favorite ways to get exercise and generate great ideas for her work. She is a skilled sweater knitter who learned how to crochet from her mother and picked up knitting from her mother-in-law. She received her B.S. with Honors in Engineering Science and her M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. Ellen was awarded her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan afterwards in 1992. Ellen has received numerous awards and honors for her outstanding research, teaching, and service, including the Ann Arbor Spark Best of Boot Camp award, the Excellence in Research Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, the Cadell Memorial Award, the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University, the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, and the Trudy Huebner Service Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Mechanics, and the Society of Engineering Science. She was also named a Centennial Fellow of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University. She was also recently named a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Ellen joined us for an interview to discuss her experiences in her career, her life, and her engineering research.

Direct download: 724_Ellen_Arruda_Final.mp3
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Dr. John Kress is a Distinguished Scientist and Curator of Botany at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. John’s research involves exploring the natural world and all the organisms that make up the natural world. Since graduate school, he has been exploring different areas, particularly tropical areas, to determine what grows there now, what grew there in the past, and how the plants and animals there interact. Not only does John enjoy investigating the natural world at work, he also enjoys spending his free time outside exploring nature. John often goes on walks or hikes with his wife and dog to see nature in action. In addition, John is an avid gardener. Among the plants he cultivates in his own yard are some of the ginger and banana plants that he studies. John received his B.A. in biology from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in botany from Duke University. John formerly served as the Interim Undersecretary for Science for the Smithsonian Institution, Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and Director of the Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, which is one of the four grand challenges of the Smithsonian Institution’s strategic plan. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and an Affiliate Faculty member at George Mason University. He has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Among John’s awards and honors are receipt of the Parker-Gentry Award for Biodiversity and Conservation from the Field Museum of Natural History, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Heliconia Society International, and the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for Co-Development of Leafsnap – the First Mobile App for Plant Identification. John is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary Fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. In this interview, he discusses his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 723_John_Kress_Final.mp3
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Dr. Young-Hui Chang is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology where he directs research in the Comparative Neuromechanics Laboratory. Research in Young-Hui’s lab aims to examine how the control of movement by the nervous system is influenced by mechanics and physics during locomotion. He is interested in broad mechanisms for behaviors like walking, running, and hopping that apply within and across species. Young-Hui likes to spend his free time with his family. He, his wife, and his two boys enjoy exploring the outdoors, hiking, and camping together. Though Young-Hui was not always a particularly outdoorsy person, enrolling his sons in the Scouts program has provided an avenue for him and his family to learn more and get outside. Young-Hui received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and his M.S. in Animal Physiology from Cornell University. Next, he conducted his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his PhD in Integrative Biology in 2000. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, Young-Hui was a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University. While at Emory, he was awarded the Association of Korean Neuroscientists President Outstanding Research Hanwha Award. Young-Hui has also been awarded an NSF CAREER Award. In this interview, he discusses his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 722_Young-Hui_Chang_Final.mp3
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Dr. Sonia Mayoral is the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Assistant Professor of Brain Science at Brown University. In the lab, Sonia studies glial cells, the cells in your brain that aren’t neurons. These cells perform a lot of different functions and could hold promise for developing therapies for neurologic diseases. Outside of work, Sonia loves spending as much time as possible with her four-year-old son. Lately, they’ve been enjoying playing Plants vs. Zombies on the iPad and also acting the game out around the house. She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from San Jose State University and her PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the faculty at Brown University in 2021. In this interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 721_Sonia_Mayoral_Final.mp3
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Dr. Steve Ramirez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University. In his research, Steve is studying learning and memory, and he is interested in discovering whether it is possible to artificially turn memories on and off. His research focuses on understanding the brain and what we can do when processes in the brain break down. They are working on turning on positive or negative memories in animal models to gain a better understanding of how the brain and memory work. In addition, they use animal models of conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD to study whether artificially manipulating memories may alleviate some of the symptoms of these conditions. Steve was born and raised in the Boston area, so accepting a faculty position at Boston University meant reuniting with his family, friends, and beloved New England Patriots. He spends his down time watching Netflix with friends and hanging out with his family. He attended Boston University for his undergraduate studies in neuroscience, was awarded his PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served as a Visiting Lecturer of Neuroscience at Tufts University while a graduate student, and spent two years at the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University as a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows before returning to Boston University as a faculty member. Steve has received many awards and honors thus far in his career, including an NIH Early Independence Award, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, the Gordon Research Conference Travel Award, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award, Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award in the Natural Sciences, the Walle Nauta Award for Continuing Dedication to Teaching at MIT, and the Angus MacDonald Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at MIT. Steve has also been named among Forbes Magazine’s 30 Innovators Under the Age of 30 in the area of Science and Technology, a National Geographic Breakthrough Explorer, one of Science News’s Top 10 Bright Young Minds, Pacific Standard Magazine’s Top 30 Thinkers Under the Age of 30, and the MIT Technology Review World’s Top 35 Innovators Under the Age of 35 Award. He has also given two TED talks. In this interview, Steve talks about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 720_Steve_Ramirez_Final.mp3
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Dr. Abby Smith is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago. In the lab, Abby is dedicated to studying shells and the animals that make shells. She is interested in how shells are made, what they are made out of, and how fast they grow. Abby also examines how shells break down over time and uses old shells to understand what the water was like in the past. Outside of science, Abby is a mother of two, and she keeps busy with family life and taking care of her kids. In her free time, she likes to watch cricket, knit, and cook. In particular, Abby has been experimenting lately with making different fruit jams and preserves. She Received her B.A. Degree in Geology and Biology from Colby College, her M.S. Degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her PhD in Earth Science from the University of Waikato. Abby joined us in this interview to share stories from her life and science.

Direct download: 719_Abby_Smith_Final_V2.mp3
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Dr. Antoine van Oijen is a Distinguished Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Chemistry at the University of Wollongong in Australia. The work Antoine does combines physics, chemistry, and biology. He develops new types of microscopes to visualize complex biochemical reactions at the level of individual molecules. In particular, his group is interested in how DNA is copied before a cell divides. Antoine is also doing research examining how bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance. Antoine and his family enjoy spending much of their free time exploring the beautiful beach and hiking in the wonderful parks nearby. Antoine received his MSc and PhD in Physics from Leiden University in the Netherlands, where his graduate work was recognized with the C.J. Kok prize for best doctoral thesis. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Antoine served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and Groningen University in the Netherlands before his recent move to the University of Wollongong where he is today. Antoine has received a wide array of honors and awards for his research, including the Armenise-Harvard Junior Faculty Award, a Searle Scholarship, a NSF CAREER Award, a Vici Award from the Dutch Science Foundation, the Dutch Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Award for the most promising young scientist, and the prestigious Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship. In this episode, Antoine discusses his research and his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 718_Antoin_Van_Oijen_Final.mp3
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Dr. Hongkui Zeng is Executive Vice President and Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. She is dedicated to understanding how the brain is organized and how the different components of the brain work together to generate behaviors and functions. Hongkui and her colleagues examine the cellular basis of brain circuit formation and how those circuits produce function. They generate foundational tools and resources for the neuroscience community to help scientists around the world advance their research on neurological disease, potential treatments, and more. Living in the beautiful city of Seattle, Hongkui enjoys getting outside and exploring nature. This includes kayaking and hiking in the nearby mountains. When she’s at home, Hongkui likes to relax with a good book, listen to music, and indulge in watching shows and movies. She received her B.S. degree in biochemistry from Wuhan University and her PhD in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University. Next, she conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hongkui then worked for several years at Omeros Corporation before joining the Allen Institute in 2006. Hongkui has received numerous awards for her work, including the National Academy of Sciences’ Pradel Research Award, Gill Transformative Investigator Award from Indiana University, the NIH BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network Award, and the Award for Scientific Advancement from the Association for Women in Science. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. In this interview, Hongkui shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 717_Hongkui_Zeng_Final.mp3
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Dr. Dominic D’Agostino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida. He is also a Research Scientist Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Dom’s lab develops technology that allows them to investigate the molecular, cellular, and physiological changes we experience in extreme environments, including those that would occur undersea, at high altitude, or in space. They are also designing and evaluating metabolic-based therapies as treatments for cancer and other diseases. Dom and his wife enjoy outdoor activities like going to the beach, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. They also do quite a bit of scuba diving together for his wife’s marine biology research on manta rays. Data collection has taken them to Indonesia, Fiji, Palau, Hawaii, and many other phenomenal dive sites. Dom received his B.S. in Nutritional Sciences and Biological Sciences as well as his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Physiology at Rutgers University. Afterwards, Dom conducted postdoctoral research at Wright State University and at the University of South Florida before joining the faculty at the University of South Florida. In this episode, Dom talks more about his research and tell us about his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 716_Dominic_DAgostino_Final.mp3
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Dr. Molly Peeples is an Aura Assistant Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Molly’s research is improving our understanding of galaxies and helping to reveal why galaxies are different from each other and how galaxies have changed over time. To do this, she traces the origins and fates of heavy elements that were all originally produced within stars. Examining where the elements end up gives us information on how gas flows into and out of galaxies. Molly also does modeling and runs simulations to better understand what is going on in the universe. There are a lot of great parks around Baltimore, so Molly likes getting outside to go hiking in her free time. She also enjoys cooking, reading, trying new cocktails, exploring new bars in town, and playing board games with friends. She received her B.S. in Physics from MIT and went on to complete her MS and PhD in Astronomy at Ohio State University. Molly was then awarded a Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution Fellowship during which she worked at UCLA. In 2013, Molly joined the Space Telescope Science Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, and a year later she became a member of the staff and continues to do amazing research there. Molly joined us for an interview to tell us more about her life and science.

Direct download: 715_Molly_Peeples_Final.mp3
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Dr. Christy Haynes is the Elmore H. Northey Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. In Christy’s research group, they are working to develop new methods to monitor small quantities of important chemicals in complex environments. Their research also aims to develop new, safe nanomaterials for applications in human health and sustainable energy. When she’s not at work, Christy loves to go for a run around the lakes of Minneapolis and spend time with her spouse and two kids. Her son has an analytic mind and is interested in competitive sports, while her daughter enjoys art and music. She completed her undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Macalester College and received her MS and PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University. Next, Christy was awarded a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award Post-Doctoral Fellowship to conduct research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2005. Christy has received many awards and honors for her research, including the Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award, the Taylor Award for Distinguished Research from the University of Minnesota, the Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lectureship, the Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award, the Joseph Black Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Arthur F. Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist from the American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry, the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry Young Investigator Award, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the NIH New Innovator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, and the Victor K. LaMer Award from the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Science. In addition, Christy has been recognized for her excellence in mentoring through receipt of the Advising and Mentoring Award and the Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award both from the University of Minnesota. She has also been listed among the Top 100 Inspiring Women in STEM from Insight into Diversity magazine, the Analytical Scientist's “Top 40 Under 40” Power List, and one of the “Brilliant 10” chosen by Popular Science magazine. Christy is with us today to share stories from her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 714_Christy_Haynes_Final.mp3
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Dr. David R. Liu is the Richard Merkin Professor and Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, vice-chair of the faculty at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences at Harvard University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. In addition, he is the founder or co-founder of several biotechnology and therapeutics companies, including Beam Therapeutics, Prime Medicine, Editas Medicine, Pairwise Plants, Exo Therapeutics, Chroma Medicine, Resonance Medicine, and Nvelop Therapeutics. David’s research integrates components of biological evolution with chemistry to enable the development of new types of therapeutics and to better study biology. Through chemistry, they can change the structure of a molecule in order to change its function in anticipated ways. They also harness the power of cycles of natural selection to evolve molecules with desired tailor-made properties. Outside of science, David’s hobbies include photography, making wooden vessels using a wood lathe, growing bonsai trees, and exploring electronic art and other homemade art projects. He enjoys blending creativity and intellectual pursuits to create something surprising and beautiful. He completed his undergraduate education at Harvard College, majoring in chemistry. He was awarded his PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley, and he joined the faculty at Harvard University afterwards. He has been an HHMI investigator since 2005. Over the course of his career, David has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named the 2022 King Faisal Prize Laureate in Medicine and receipt of the Ronald Breslow Award for Biomimetic Chemistry, the American Chemical Society David Perlman Award, ACS Chemical Biology Award, the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award, the Arthur Cope Young Scholar Award, and other prestigious awards for his research and teaching. In 2016 and 2020, he was named one of the Top 20 Translational Researchers in the world by Nature Biotechnology, and he was named one of Nature’s 10 researchers in 2022. In addition, he is an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In this interview, David shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: PBTS_713_David_Liu_Final.mp3
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Dr. Lynne Maquat is the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Director of the Center for RNA Biology, and Chair of Graduate Women in Science at the University of Rochester. Research in Lynne’s lab focuses on human diseases and what causes diseases in our cells. She is working to understand how cells function normally, determine what causes diseases, and develop treatments for diseases. In particular, she has been studying a process in cells that causes about one third of all inherited diseases, like cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as one third of all acquired diseases, including cancer. Lynne has a Labrador retriever whom she loves taking on walks through the lovely parks and woods in Rochester, New York. She also enjoys exercising through yoga, lifting weights, and doing cardio. She received her BA in Biology from the University of Connecticut and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lynne conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she worked as a faculty member at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute for 19 years before joining the faculty at the University of Rochester. Lynne has received numerous awards and honors during her career, including the International RNA Society Lifetime Achievement in Science Award, the Canada Gairdner International Award, the William Rose Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Athena Award from the Women's Council of the Rochester Business Alliance, a MERIT Award from the NIH, the Presidential Diversity Award from the University of Rochester, the RNA Society Lifetime Achievement Award in Service, and many others. She was also named a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Batcheva de Rothschild Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Lynne discusses her experiences in life and science with us in this interview.

Direct download: 712_Lynne_Maquat_Final.mp3
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Dr. Blake Meyers is a Member Principal Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and a Professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri. The focus of Blake’s research is on small RNAs in plants. His lab studies how RNAs are used to regulate the complex machinery of cells, particularly in the context of plant reproductive biology. When he’s not conducting research in the lab, Blake loves to travel both for work and for fun. Blake strives to balance his family life with his science, and he also enjoys reading cookbooks and experimenting in the kitchen at home. He received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Chicago, and went on to receive his MS and PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. Afterwards, Blake completed postdoctoral fellowships at Dupont Genomics and at the University of California, Davis. Before accepting his current positions, Blake was the Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor and Chair of the Department Plant and Soil Sciences of the University of Delaware. Blake is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 711_Blake_Meyers_Final.mp3
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Dr. Jennifer Wilcox is an Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and an Investigator within the Clean Energy Conversions Laboratory there. The research in Jen’s group focuses on carbon capture and trace metal pollution. On the carbon capture side, she tries to better understand and reduce CO2 emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants. In terms of trace metals, the most common source of trace metals like mercury in the fish we eat is burning coal in coal-fired power plants. Jen’s research examines how to capture trace metals and reduce their emission into the environment. Outside of science, Jen keeps busy spending time with her family including her husband and daughter. She also loves being active outdoors through hiking, running, and bicycling. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wellesley College and her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. She served on the faculty at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and at Stanford University before joining the faculty at the Colorado School of Mines. Jen has received numerous awards and honors, including an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, an American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Young Investigator Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. She also was awarded the Stern Award for Distinguished Paper from the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association. Jen is with us today to tell us all about her life and science.

Direct download: 710_Jen_Wilcox_Final.mp3
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Dr. Tim Buschman is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. He studies a process called cognitive control, a process in the brain that allows you to control your own thoughts and actions toward achieving your goals. There are a lot of factors that can influence cognitive control that must be integrated to direct your behavior. He uses animal models to better understand aspects of cognitive control, and his work has relevant applications for improving machine learning and artificial intelligence as well as developing new treatments for neurological diseases that impact cognitive control. When he’s not in the lab, Tim enjoys spending time outdoors with his family. In particular, they have been doing a lot of hiking, and Tim finds it a great activity for stimulating thoughts and drawing out his creativity. He received his B.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology, and Tim was then awarded a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) to conduct research at the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Neurophysiology. Next, he completed his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tim remained there to conduct postdoctoral research before joining the faculty at Princeton University. He was awarded the NIH Director’s “New Innovator” Award in 2014, and he holds multiple patents related to his research. In our interview, Tim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 709_Tim_Buschman_Final_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:03am EDT

Dr. Charles Hohenberg is a Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. In the lab, Charles does mass spectrometry of noble gases like Krypton and Xenon. He designed and built his own mass spectrometer which is one of the best in the world. With this instrument, Charles measures noble gas isotope ratios in various sources. A major focus is studying meteorite samples to understand early solar system processes. Charles has always been a tinkerer, and he often spends his free time working on various projects around the house. For example, one of Charles’ hobbies is woodworking. He built his own kitchen table and several other pieces of furniture. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and has been on the faculty at Washington University since 1970. Charles has received many awards and honors during his career, including election as Fellow of the Meteoritical Society and a Fellow of the St. Louis Academy of Science. He has been awarded the NASA Principal Investigators Award, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award, and recently the James B. Eads Award honoring engineering or technology from the St. Louis Academy of Science. Charles is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 708_Charles_Hohenberg_Final.mp3
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Dr. Diana Aga is the Henry M. Woodburn Chair and a State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo. She also serves as the Director of RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute at the University at Buffalo. Diana is an environmental chemist. She studies sustainable agriculture and pollutants such as the “forever chemicals” (Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS)) that we frequently encounter in our everyday lives. When it’s warm outside, Diana enjoys biking and hiking, and when it’s cold she spends more time indoors watching movies. Cooking is another one of Diana’s hobbies, and she is particularly fond of making Filipino food, creatively reusing leftovers, and recreating restaurant favorites at home. Diana received a B.S. degree in agricultural chemistry from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños and her PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. Diana worked on the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and then in industry at Bayer before joining the faculty at the University at Buffalo. She has received numerous awards for her research, teaching, and mentoring, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, the Koh Lectureship Award in Science from the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering, the Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal of the Western New York Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Menzie Environmental Education Award from The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University at Buffalo. Diana has also been named a Fulbright Fellow, an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow, an ACS Fellow, and an ACS AGRO Fellow. In this interview, Diana shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 707_Diana_Aga_Final.mp3
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Dr. Andrew Alleyne is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center on Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) headquartered there. He is an engineer who works on control systems, which provide an automated way of making decisions. They take in relevant information and use algorithms to make correct decisions based on the information gathered. Andrew’s group designs algorithms that make the best decisions possible with the information available to keep systems stable and performing well. When not doing science, he spends much of his time with his wife and two sons. This translates to a lot of driving back and forth to soccer games, but also going on road trips and having fun together. Andrew grew up in Jamaica and came to the United States when he was in high school. He received his B.S. in Engineering degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where he was awarded his M.S. in Engineering and Ph.D. degrees. In 1994, Andrew joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he remains today. Andrew has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including an NSF CAREER award, the Xerox Award for Faculty Research, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the SAE International Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. In addition, Andrew was also named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and he has received their Gustus Larson Award, Charles Stark Draper Award for Innovative Practice, and Henry Paynter Outstanding Investigator Award. Andrew has joined us today to talk about his experiences in life and research.

Direct download: 706_Andrew_Alleyne_Final.mp3
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Dr. Germán Forero-Medina is the Science and Conservation Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society Colombia. He also coordinates the projects for the conservation of freshwater turtles and tortoises in the Amazon Orinoco region. In his research, German studies the way animals live in nature and the problems that challenge their survival. He works with local communities and people in Columbia and across Latin America to find solutions for the environmental problems that affect the species they work with, as well as the people who co-exist with those species. Outside of his work, German loves spending time with his wife and twin sons. They enjoy traveling and exploring the outdoors together. German also likes playing basketball with friends on the weekends, and supporting his sons at their soccer and water polo matches. Germán completed his undergraduate training in Biology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He received his MSc in Ecology from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and was awarded his PhD in Ecology and Conservation from Duke University, in North Carolina. He has been recognized for his exceptional work by being elected as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. In our interview, Germán shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 701_German_Forero_Medina_Final.mp3
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Dr. Debbie G. Senesky is an Assistant Professor in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at Stanford University. She is dedicated to creating materials that are tiny and tough enough to operate in extreme environments like outer space. They also study the impacts of space-like conditions on these materials. In particular, they leverage the properties of a class of nanomaterials called wide band gap semiconductors. The ceramic properties of these materials make them resistant to extreme temperature, chemical, and radiation environments, and Debbie’s research group fabricates these materials into small sensors and other devices. When Debbie isn’t working in the lab, you can find her hanging out with her husband, her daughter, and the family dog. Debbie also enjoys volunteering for the non-profit organization Scientific Adventures for Girls. This program engages elementary school students in activities to get them excited about STEM fields. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Debbie was next awarded her M.S. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining the faculty at Stanford, Debbie held positions at GE Sensing, the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, GE Global Research Center, Hewlett Packard, and Delphi Automotive Systems. In recognition for her excellence in research, Debbie has received many awards and honors, including an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Ph.D. Fellowship, a Galiban Faculty Fellowship at Stanford University, the Frederick E. Terman Faculty Fellowship at Stanford University, and the Space Technology Early Faculty Award from NASA. Debbie is with us today to tell us about her life and science.

Direct download: 700_Debbie_Senesky_Final.mp3
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Dr. Daniel Czyż is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida. Daniel’s lab has two main research areas. Part of his lab is dedicated to developing new treatments to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria using methods such as bacteriophages (viruses that kill bacteria), silver nanoparticles, and enhancing the ability of our immune system to fight bacteria. The other part of his lab is working to understand the effects that bacteria in our gut have on our brain and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. They enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, traveling, and visiting many of the nearby beaches in Florida. He completed his undergraduate training in biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was awarded his PhD in molecular biosciences from Northwestern University. During his PhD, Daniel spent two years as a Visiting Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Afterwards, Daniel conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and Howard Taylor Ricketts Regional Biocontainment Laboratory on the campus of Argonne National Laboratory before joining the faculty at the University of Florida. In our interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 699_Daniel_Czyz.mp3
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Dr. Melissa Franklin is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. Melissa’s research aims to better understand the nature of space and time. To accomplish this, Melissa uses large particle accelerators to collide particles together. This produces a lot of energy in a relatively small space over a relatively short time. She and her colleagues observe what happens when these particles collide under the conditions of excited spacetime that they created. Some of Melissa’s favorite things to do when she’s not working include reading, watching movies, listening to music, and going for walks. On a sunny day, you can often find her enjoying a scenic walk alongside the nearby pond in Cambridge. She completed her undergraduate studies in Physics at the University of Toronto and received her PhD in Physics from Stanford University. Next, Melissa conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She served on the faculty of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard before joining the faculty there. Melissa has been named a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and she has been awarded the Spark Award for Women in Science from the Women in Science at Harvard-Radcliffe, as well as a Doctorate Degree in Law from Queens University in Canada. Melissa is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 696_Melissa_Franklin_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Gregory Krug is Founder, President, and CEO of Lampire Biological Laboratories, a biotech life science company that produces biological reagents used in the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries. Greg and the team at Lampire Biological Laboratories supply biologic reagents and raw materials for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic industries. Their products are shipped worldwide, and they are used in a lot of different applications. When he’s not working, Greg enjoys spending quality time with his family. He is also very passionate about sports, especially football, lacrosse, and polo. Over the years, Greg has enjoyed coaching and watching his sons’ football and lacrosse games, and he has been highly engaged in the polo community. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Delaware Valley University, and Lampire Enterprises was founded shortly afterwards as a result of work that he started doing as an undergraduate student. Greg incorporated the company as Lampire Biological Laboratories and acquired full ownership several years later. He joins us in this interview to tell us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 697_Gregory_Krug_Final.mp3
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Dr. Sapna Sharma is an Associate Professor in Biology at York University. Sapna studies the effects of climate change, invasive species, and pollution on lakes. She is investigating how these effects are manifested through water quality, fish populations, water temperatures, and lake ice. With a young, a lot of Sapna’s time away from science is spent with her family. It has been fun to go to music classes and swimming classes together. She received her PhD in Ecology and evolution from the University of Toronto and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Montreal and the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served on the faculty at Loyola before joining the faculty at York where she is today. Sapna is also founder of a science outreach program at York University for refugee children called SEEDS. She is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.


Direct download: 696_Sapna_Sharma_Final.mp3
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Dr. Corey Hopkins is a Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In his lab, Corey and his team use chemistry to answer the biological questions behind diseases and how to treat them. They make drug-like compounds and test them in biological systems to investigate whether particular proteins are involved in the disease process. They are particularly interested in diseases with unmet medical needs, including neurological diseases such as schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. When he’s not working, Corey likes to spend his time home-brewing beer, golfing, and lately he has started learning how to play the guitar. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Indiana University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. Afterwards, he held industry positions at Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, and then Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals. He served on the faculty at Vanderbilt University before joining the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2016. He has been awarded UNMC’s Excellence in Mentoring Award, Most Promising Invention Award, and Distinguished Scientist Award. In this interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 695_Corey_Hopkins_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Daniel Goldman is an Associate Professor of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His lab studies how animals like lizards and snakes move around in complex natural environments. They use physics to understand movement and test their hypotheses in robotic systems with the goal of developing robots with greater abilities to navigate complex environments. When he's not doing science, Dan spends much of his time with his young daughter. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas, Austin and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley. Dan has received many awards and honors during his career including recently being named a Georgia Power Professor of Excellence and receipt of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, a Sigma Xi Young Faculty award, an NSF CAREER/PECASE Award, a Georgia Tech Blanchard Milliken Fellowship, the Georgia Tech Fund for Innovation in Research and Education Award, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface. In addition, Dan is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His work has also been featured by the New York Times, NPR, BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and other media sources. Dan is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 694_Dan_Goldman_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:20am EDT

Dr. Adriana San Miguel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Adriana conducts research using a small roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). They use this model organism to better understand processes such as aging, neurodegeneration, and stress. In particular, Adriana’s lab uses engineering tools and approaches to try to conduct research that is highly efficient and quantitative. In her free time, Adriana enjoys exercising, swimming, and spending quality time with her family. She received her BSc. in chemical engineering from ITESM, a technological institute in Monterrey, Mexico. As an undergraduate, she received the Frisa Entrepreneurship Award from ITESM as well as the Craig P. Dunn Award for Social Innovations in Entrepreneurship from the San Diego State University Venture challenge. Prior to starting graduate school, Adriana worked in the cement and water-treatment industries. She was awarded her PhD in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech, and during her PhD, she was recognized with the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award and the Ziegler Award for Best PhD Thesis Proposal from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. Afterwards, Adriana worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Tech and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As a postdoc she received an NIH K99 Pathway to Independence Award. In our interview, she shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 693_Adriana_San_Miguel_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Dr. Mike Blatt is the Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow and Adjunct Professor at Pennsylvania State University. Mike is a cell biologist and physiologist who studies cells to understand how the parts fit together to accomplish important functions in plants. He is also passionate about electronics, and he has built much of the equipment they use for their work. Mike loves winter sports, especially downhill and cross country skiing. In fact, he has skied throughout most of his life is currently looking forward to an upcoming ski trip to the Alps with his father who is still hitting the slopes in his nineties! He conducted his undergraduate studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he received his BS with honors in Botany and Biochemistry. Next, Mike was awarded a PhD in Plant Biology from Stanford University while working in the Department of Plant Biology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. During his graduate work, Mike received a Fullbright-Hays Graduate Fellowship to study at the University of Nürnberg. Afterwards, Mike traveled to Yale University Medical School to accept an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship and then to the University of Cambridge to accept a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship. He has served on the faculty at the University of London and Imperial College London prior to joining the faculty at the University of Glasgow. Mike has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the James Hutton Institute, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the premier international journal Plant Physiology. In this interview, Mike discusses his experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 692_Mike_Blatt_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. David Kaplan is the Stern Family Endowed Professor of Engineering at Tufts University, a Distinguished University Professor, and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He also holds faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical and Biological Engineering. For his research, David looks to nature for sources of inspiration, and he uses scientific and engineering disciplines to create new things. His work spans biopolymer engineering, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and cellular agriculture. In his free time, David enjoys traveling, meeting new people, observing nature, and studying trees from both a naturalist and scientific perspective. David received his B.S. degree in biology from the State University of New York and his PhD in biochemistry from Syracuse University and SUNY Syracuse. He worked as a research scientist at Natick Research & Development Center for several years before joining the faculty at Tufts University in 1996. He has received multiple awards for his research and teaching, including the Clemson Award for literature contributions from the Society for Biomaterials, the Massachusetts Columbus Quincentennial Award, and the Henry and Madeline Fischer Faculty Award from Tufts University. In addition, David is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the National Academy of Engineering, and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering. In this interview, he shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 691_David_Kaplan_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Barry Byrne is the Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Genetics, Associate Chair of Pediatrics, Director of the Powell Gene Therapy Center, and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Florida. He conducts research on neuromuscular diseases which may cause problems such as muscle weakness, uncoordinated movements, difficulty speaking, and heart problems. In addition, Barry is a practicing physician who treats patients with these diseases. When he isn’t working in the lab or treating patients, Barry enjoys spending time with his family. He also likes to get outdoors to play sports, cycle, or go hiking. Barry received his B.S. in Chemistry from Denison University and his M.D. and Ph.D in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Illinois. He completed his Pediatrics residency, cardiology fellowship training, and post-doctoral training in Biological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Barry started his career as a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, and he joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1997. Barry’s excellence in research has been recognized throughout his career through his receipt of various awards including the Faculty Research Prize in Clinical Research and the Research Professor Award from the University of Florida, as well as the Clinician Scientist Award from Johns Hopkins University. In this interview, Barry shares more about his research and his journey through life and science.

Direct download: 689_Barry_Byrne_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Alex DiFeliceantonio is an Assistant Professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion School as well as Associate Director of the Center for Health Behaviors Research. Alex’s research examines why we eat what we eat in terms of the underlying neuroscience and physiological factors that influence food choice. Diet and food choice have tremendous impacts on health, and these can be targets for interventions to improve health and people’s lives. In her free time, Alex enjoys going to parks, shopping at the local farmer’s market, and watching garbage collection trucks with her young son. She is also an avid reader, and she particularly loves science fiction and fantasy novels. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sweet Briar College and her PhD in biospsychology from the University of Michigan. Afterwards, she worked as a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Translational Neurocircuitry Group at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne, Germany. She also conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and served as an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University before accepting her current position. In our interview, Alex shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 689_Alexandra_DiFeliceantonio_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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