1PM - 5:30PM, WITH RECEPTION TO FOLLOW
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 20TH, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, 435 E 30TH STREET, SB 103
Jessica Polka: Reimagining publishing: making scientific communication more constructive
Jessica Polka serves as Executive Director of ASAPbio, a researcher-driven nonprofit organization working to promote innovation and transparency in life sciences publishing in areas such as preprinting and open peer review. Prior to this, she performed postdoctoral research in the department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School following a PhD in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from UCSF. Jessicais also a Plan S Ambassador, a research affiliate at MIT Libraries, a steering committee member of Rescuing Biomedical Research, and a member of ASCB’s public policy committee. Formerly, she was president of the board of the nonprofit Future of Research and a member of the NASEM Next Generation Researchers Initiative.
Kelly Ruggles: Podcasts and programming: my journey from wet lab to computational biology and the paranormal
Dr. Kelly Ruggles is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine where she focuses on understanding mechanisms of disease through the application of integrative and machine learning methods to multi-omics data (http://www.ruggleslab.org/). She received her PhD in Metabolic Biology from Columbia University and a BS in Biological Engineering from Cornell University but it wasn’t until her postdoctoral position that she gave up on wet-lab for pure computation. In addition to her research, Kelly has several education leadership roles, serving as the Director, Academic Programs for the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate Advisor for the Systems and Computational Biomedicine PhD program and Program Academic Advisor for the Biomedical Informatics MS program. Her most recent endeavor is as the co-host of the podcast Zero Percent Scared (http://www.zeropercentscared.com) where she engages in weekly debates about the scientific validity of paranormal phenomena.
Enrique Rojas: Scientific Bodhisattvas
I am an Assistant Professor of Biology at New York University studying physical biology of microbes. My degrees are in physics, but I studied plant and fungal cell mechanics during my Ph.D. Between my Ph.D. any my postdoc, I spent 6 months teaching college-level physics and chemistry at a medical school in Nepal. I did my postdoc in microbiology labs, studying how bacterial cells control proliferation. During my postdoc I spent one year doing field work related to microbial ecology in Bangladesh. Recently, I participated in a cultural exchange program which brought me to a monastery in the middle of nowhere in southern India to teach biology to Tibetan Buddhist Monks, and to learn about Buddhism and its connection to western science.
Victor Torres: From la Isla del Encanto to the Big Apple: The Story of a Puerto Rican Living a Scientific Dream
My scientific career has been devoted to the study of bacterial pathogenesis. I joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine in 2008 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Staphylococcus aureus biology and pathogenesis in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Skaar. As an independent investigator, I am interested in uncovering the molecular intricacies underlying how methicillin-sensitive and methicillin resistant-S. aureus strains (MSSA and MRSA) differentially regulates the expression and production of virulence factors, the contribution of these virulence factors to S. aureus pathogenesis, and the identification of host factors involved in S. aureus pathobiology. Most of the important discoveries of my lab have dealt with the identification of the receptors for the S. aureus bi-component leukocidins. The long-term objective of my research program is to apply the knowledge generated from our studies toward the rational design of new drugs that specifically target virulence factors as a mean to combat this important bacterium. In fact, many of the discoveries from my lab are licensed by Janssen Biotech Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, for the development of novel anti-S. aureus therapeutics.
Yasmine Belkaid: Lasting interactions: microbes, mentoring and more
Dr. Yasmine Belkaid obtained her Ph.D. in 1996 from the Pasteur Institute in France. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at NIAID on immune regulation during infection, she joined the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati. In 2005, she joined the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at NIAID and was appointed senior scientist in 2008. Dr Belkaid also holds an appointment at the University of Pennsylvania. Her laboratory has defined fundamental mechanisms that regulate tissue homeostasis and host immune responses and uncovered key roles for the microbiota and dietary factors in the maintenance of tissue immunity and protection to pathogens. She is currently the Director of the NIAID Microbiome program and the director of the NIH Center for Human Immunology and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the National Academy of Sciences.