Bios

Bonnie Bassler

Princeton University

Email: bbassler@Princeton.edu

Bonnie Bassler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor and Chair of the Molecular Biology Department at Princeton University. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. This process is called quorum sensing. Bassler’s work is paving the way to novel therapies for combating bacteria by disrupting quorum-sensing-mediated communication. Bassler directed the Molecular Biology Graduate Program and she currently chairs Princeton University’s Council on Science and Technology, which revamped the science curriculum for humanists. Bassler has been elected to the Royal Society, American Philosophical Society, and EMBO. She has been an awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Lounsbery Award, the L’Oreal–UNESCO Women in Science Award, the Wiley Prize, and the Eli Lilly Award. She has been President of the American Society for Microbiology and she currently Chairs the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors. She serves on oversight, grant, and award panels for the NAS, NIH, NSF, ASM, AAM, HHMI, Keck Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Trust, Jane Coffin Childs Fund, PEW Trust, Whitehead Institute, Discovery Channel, TED, and the Koshland Museum.

Eshel Ben-Jacob

Tel Aviv University/Rice University

Email: eshelbj@gmail.com

Eshel Ben-Jacob is a Professor of physicist at Tel Aviv University, holder of the Maguy-Glass Chair in Physics of Complex Systems and a Fellow of the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) at Rice University. He served as Vice President (1999-2002) and President (2002-2005) of the Israel Physical Society. Ben-Jacob became a pioneer in the study of collective behaviors and decision-making of bacteria, and has been international leader in establishing the rapidly evolving fields of Bio-complexity and Physics of Living Systems. Ben-Jacob has important contribution in the field of network neuroscience. In 2007, Scientific American selected Ben-Jacob’s invention, the first hybrid Neuro-Memory-Chip, as one of the 50 most important achievements in all fields of science and technology for that year. The Neuro-Memory-Chip entails imprinting multiple memories, based upon development of a novel, system-level analysis of neural network activity. In recent years he applied these methods towards new analysis of the stock market.

Krastan Blagoev

National Science Foundation

Email: kblagoev@nsf.gov

I have done theoretical work on the properties of macroscopic quantum states occurring in condensed matter and cold atom systems. In the past 10 years I have worked on theoretical aspects of telomere dynamics in aging and cancer, the role of stem cells division dynamics in tissuehomeostasis, and lately on relating data from cancer clinical trials to kinetics of cancer cell divisions.

Denise Caldwell

National Science Foundation
Division Director, Division of Physics, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Email: dcaldwel@nsf.gov

Parag Chitnis

National Science Foundation

Division Director, Division of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences

Email: pchitnis@nsf.gov

Masaya Fujita

University of Houston

Email: mfujita@Central.UH.EDU

B.S., Hiroshima University (Japan)

Ph.D., Osaka University (Japan)
Masaya Fujita is an associate professor at the University of Houston. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Osaka University and performed postdoctoral work at Harvard University. He joined the University of Houston in 2005. The research in his laboratory focuses on understanding how external signals are transmitted into the cell and how these signals lead to cellular differentiation. For this objective, his laboratory has utilized, as a simple model system, the regulation of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. The traditional model assumes that sporulation in B. subtilis is triggered by an as yet unidentified ligand that activates a histidine kinase under conditions of nutrient depletion. Despite numerous efforts, little is known of the molecular basis of the initiation process of sporulation. One major limitation is complexity of the network known as phosphorelay that includes multiple histidine kinases and the downstream components in a feedback system. To overcome the technical limitations, he has created a novel system in which sporulation can be initiated with high efficiency in the growing cells by artificially synthesize the sporulation kinase, now known as ASI (Artificial Sporulation Initiation). Based on the results using ASI, he proposes a “threshold” model, in which sporulation is triggered by a threshold level of constitutively active kinase in a ligand-independent manner.

Ido Golding

Baylor College of Medicine

Email: igolding@illinois.edu

I was trained as a theoretical condensed-matter physicist, but later spent five years learning the experimental arsenal of modern molecular biology. The goal of my lab is to form a quantitative narrative for how living cells process information from their environment and modulate their behavior based on that information. Our narrative will be built upon precise measurements performed in individual cells, at the level of individual molecules and discrete events in space and time. To achieve this resolution, we are using a synthesis of approaches: classical molecular biology and biochemistry; single-cell and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy; advanced image- and data analysis algorithms. By using simple, coarse-grained theoretical models we are able to distill our experimental findings into general principles, which can then be directly tested across different biological systems..

Sui Huang, MD

Institute for Systems Biology

Email: Sui.Huang@systemsbiology.org

Sui Huang, MD, PhD, received his degrees from the University of Zurich for work on interferons, and was faculty at the Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and at the University of Calgary. He is currently Professor at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle. After more than a decade of work on tumor angiogenesis and cell fate control Dr. Huang focused on fundamental and formal aspects of mammalian cell state transitions using systems biology approaches. As part of his quest for a formal theory of multi-cellularity, he demonstrated that cell types are high-dimensional attractor states of gene regulatory networks and championed the idea of “cancer attractors” which explains the intrinsic inevitability of cancer in metazoan. In his current research in Seattle Dr. Huang studies cell fate decision of multi-potent cells, non-genetic cell population heterogeneity and dynamics – a neglected level of description between genotype and phenotype– and examines the role of such non-genetic phenotype plasticity in tumor progression.

Oleg Igoshin

Rice University

Email: igoshin@rice.edu

Dr. Igoshin 2007 is currently an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, TX. He Igoshin received his PhD degree in physics from UC Berkeley in 2004 with George Oster. From 2004 to 2006, he was a postdoctoral fellow in UC Davis Biomedical Engineering Department with Michael Savageau. The Igoshin group specializes in computational systems biology with emphasis in evolutionary design principles and the characterization of biochemical networks, pattern formation in bacterial biofilms, and gene-regulatory networks in bacterial and stem cell development. These research projects are supported by grants and awards from National Science Foundation, National Institutes of health and John S. Dunn Research Foundation..

Herbert Levine

Rice University

Email: herbert.levine@rice.edu

Herbert Levine is a theoretical physicist conducting research into the dynamical behavior of biological systems. He currently co-directs the NSF Physics Frontier Center on Theoretical Biological Physics, headquartered at Rice University. His recent interests have included eukaryotic cell motility (from the sensing to the network to the motor machinery), bacterial colony dynamics (and analogies thereof to the growth of malignant tumors), and the role of population size on Darwinian evolutionary dynamics.

José Onuchic

Rice University

Email: jonuchic@rice.edu

JOSÉ ONUCHIC is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University and is the co-Director of the NSF-sponsored Center for Theoretical Biological Physics. He did his undergraduate work at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and received his PhD from Caltech at 1987 under the supervision of John J. Hopfield. His thesis work was on new aspects of the theory of electron transfer reactions in biology. He then spent six month at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara and after that went back to Brazil at the University of São Paulo as an Assistant Professor for two and half years. During this period he continued his work on electron transfer theory as well as on the theory of chemical reactions in condensed matter and molecular electronics. He came to the University of California at San Diego in 1990. In 1989 he was awarded the International Centre for Theoretical Physics Prize in honor of Werner Heisenberg in Trieste, Italy, in 1992 he received the Beckman Young Investigator Award, and he is a fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2006 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, and in 2009 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2011 he was awarded the Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and recently he has been elected Fellow of the Biophysical Society.

Adam Palmer

Harvard Medical School

Email: adam_palmer@hms.harvard.edu

Adam C. Palmer, Ph.D is a James S. McDonnell Foundation Fellow in the
Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. He received
his B.Sc. with majors in biochemistry, chemistry and physics from the
University of Adelaide, Australia, where he researched the physics of
gene regulation with J.B. Egan and K.E. Shearwin. He completed his
Ph.D in Systems Biology at Harvard University, USA, in the laboratory
of Roy Kishony, where he investigated the effects of genetic
interactions and drug interactions on the evolution and mechanisms of
antibiotic resistance. Adam is currently studying multi-phenotype
epistasis to understand the directionality of gene-gene and drug-drug
interactions.

Susan Rosenberg

Baylor College of Medicine

Email: smr@bcm.edu

Susan Rosenberg is a molecular biologist and geneticist who studied phage lambda and mechanisms of DNA recombination in E. coli during her PhD with Frank Stahl at the University of Oregon and postdoctoral work with Miroslav Radman in Paris. Initially on the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and from 1997 to present at Baylor College of Medicine, working in E. coli, her lab demonstrated and elaborated molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis activated by stress responses. These increase genetic diversity specifically when cells are poorly adapted to their environments. Her lab also studies mechanisms of DNA repair and genome instability. Her demonstration that mutagenesis is regulated changes understanding of genomic plasticity, host-pathogen adaptation, antibiotic resistance, and cancer development.

Rosie Redfield

University of British Columbia

Email: redfield@zoology.ubc.ca

* Undergraduate degree in biochemistry in Australia (Monash University)
* M.Sc. at McMaster in Ontario (chromatin structure and SDNA methylation)
* PhD at Stanford in California (lambda prophages with Allan Campbell)
* Post-doctoral research at Harvard University (modeling transformation with Dick Lewontin) and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Haemophilus transformation with Hamilton Smith)
* Been at UBC since 1990: Professor, Dept. of Zoology.
* Research question: Do bacteria have sex?
* All brain-power is currently being consumed by Useful Genetics MOOC on Coursera.

Kamal Shukla

National Science Foundation

Email: kshukla@nsf.gov

David Sprinzak

Tel-Aviv University

Email: davidsp@post.tau.ac.il

David Sprinzak received a PhD in experimental solid state physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. After working for a few years in a biotech startup company in Israel he moved to Caltech and worked as a postdoc fellow with Prof. Michael Elowitz on the systems biology of intercellular signaling and its role during development. Since 2010, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tel-Aviv University. David Sprinzak combines quantitative microscopy techniques with mathematical and biophysical models to elucidate principles underlying developmental patterning processes and intercellular communications.

Leslie Valiant

Harvard University

Email: valiant@seas.harvard.edu

Leslie Valiant was educated at King’s College, Cambridge; Imperial College, London; and at Warwick University where he received his Ph.D. in computer science in 1974. He is currently T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1982. Before coming to Harvard he had taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Leeds University, and the University of Edinburgh.

His work has ranged over several areas of theoretical computer science, particularly complexity theory, computational learning, and parallel computation. He also has interests in computational neuroscience, evolution and artificial intelligence.
He received the Nevanlinna Prize at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1986, the Knuth Award in 1997, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science EATCS Award in 2008, and the 2010 A. M. Turing Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

Susanne von Bodman

National Science Foundation

Email: svonbodm@nsf.gov

Gregory Warr

National Science Foundation

Email: gwarr@nsf.gov

Ned Wingreen

Princeton University

Email: wingreen@princeton.edu

Ned Wingreen received his Ph. D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from Cornell University in 1989. He did his postdoc in mesoscopic physics at MIT before moving, in 1991, to the newly founded NEC Research Institute in Princeton. At NEC, he continued to work in mesoscopic physics, but also started research on the statistical mechanics of protein folding. Thinking about proteins led him inexorably down the path into biology. During a sabbatical at UC Berkeley in 1999, his primary focus shifted to systems biology of bacteria. Wingreen joined Princeton University as a Professor of Molecular Biology in 2004, with a joint appointment in the Lewis-Sigler Institute as of 2008. Wingreen’s current research focuses on modeling intracellular networks in bacteria and other microorganisms.

Wade Winkler

University of Maryland

Email: wwinkler@umd.edu

During his scientific career, W. Winkler has investigated different classes of cis- and trans-acting regulatory RNAs, first with his PhD training at The Ohio State University where he studied tRNA-sensing “T box” regulatory RNAs, and then with his postdoctoral research with Ronald Breaker at Yale University, where he investigated metabolite-sensing “riboswitches”. Since its initial formation in 2004, the Winkler laboratory continues to investigate RNA-mediated genetic mechanisms in bacteria, with a particular focus on Bacillus subtilis and other Gram-positive bacteria. The overarching goal of the Winkler laboratory is to comprehensively discover and characterize the post-initiation regulatory mechanisms of the model microorganism, B. subtilis, and to elucidate the connections between these regulatory networks and known transcriptional networks.

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