Dr. Sharlene Santana is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington and Curator of Mammals at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. She completed her undergraduate training in biology at the University of the Andes in Venezuela, and she was awarded her Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Afterwards, Sharlene conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute for Society and Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2012. In our interview, Sharlene shares more about her life and research.
Dr. Steven Townsend is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Oakland University and his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Vanderbilt University. Prior to accepting his current appointment, Steve conducted postdoctoral research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Columbia University. Steve has received numerous awards and honors, including the Oakland University Alfred G. Wilson Founders Medal, the Ruth A. Lawrence Investigator Award for Research in Human Milk Science, Vanderbilt University’s Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Award for Research, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the American Chemical Society Young Investigators Award, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation’s Teacher-Scholar Award. In addition, he has been named a Vanderbilt University Dean’s Faculty Fellow and one of Chemical & Engineering News’s “Talented 12”. In our interview, Steve will share more about his life and science.
Dr. Kanaka Rajan is a computational neuroscientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University in India, her M.S. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Columbia University. Kanaka conducted postdoctoral research as a Biophysics Theory Fellow at Princeton University before accepting her current position. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Sloan-Swartz Theoretical Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brain and Behavior Foundation Young Investigator Award, Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Award from the James McDonnell Foundation, Sloan Research Fellowship in Neuroscience, and Friedman Brain Institute Research Scholars Award from the DiSabato Family Foundation. In our interview, Kanaka shares more about her life and research.
Dr. Shara Bailey is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Anthropology at New York University (NYU) and Associated Researcher in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from Temple University, and she was awarded her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University. Afterwards, Shara conducted postdoctoral research in the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at The George Washington University. She then worked as a Research Scientist at The Max Planck Institute Department of Human Evolution before joining the faculty at NYU. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including The Golden Dozen Teaching Award from New York University, a Goddard Junior Faculty Fellowship, a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, and others. In our interview, Shara shares more about her life and science.
Dr. Darryl Boyd is a Research Chemist in the Optical Sciences Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He is also the STEM Director at the Transformational Education Adventure Center in McLean, VA, as well as the STEM instructor for Roots Charter School in Washington, DC. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. Next, he attended Purdue University where he was awarded his M.S. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry and Electrochemistry. Afterwards, Dr. Boyd began working as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory, and he accepted a position as a Research Chemist there in 2014. Dr. Boyd has received many awards and honors throughout his career, including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a Jerome & Isabella Karle Research Fellow from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, and an Edison Patent Award from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. He was also named among the “Talented 12” of 2018 by the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News magazine and a 2019 Rising Researcher in Defense and Commercial Sensing by The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). In our interview, Dr. Boyd will share more about his life and research.
Dr. Lauren Ponisio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Oregon. She received her B.S. degree in biology with honors in ecology and evolution, as well as her M.S. degree in biology, from Stanford University. Lauren was awarded her Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral research at UC, Berkeley afterwards, and she served on the faculty University of California, Riverside before recently accepting her current position at the University of Oregon. Lauren received graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, as well as a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. She was also named among the Global Food Initiative’s “30 Under 30” in Food Systems in 2016. In our interview, Lauren shares more about her life and science.
Dr. Ayse Turak is Associate Professor and Associate Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University. Ayse received her B.Sc. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from Queens’s University and her PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she was a Canada Graduate Scholar. Afterwards, Ayse conducted research as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research and subsequently worked as a visiting professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey before joining the faculty at McMaster University. Ayse has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Early Researcher Award, the Petro-Canada Young Innovators Award, and a Leadership in Teaching and Learning Fellowship from McMaster University. In addition, she was recently nominated as a Full member at Sigma Xi, and she is the co-chair of the Canadian Chapter of the Society of Information Display. In our interview, Ayse shares more about her life and research.
Dr. Umesh “Umi” Venkatesan is an Institute Scientist and Director of the Brain Trauma and Behavior Laboratory at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI). Umi received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, he worked as a Research Assistant at Kessler Foundation Research Center for two years before enrolling in graduate school. Umi was awarded his PhD in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2017. During graduate school, he completed a pre-doctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Before joining the team at MRRI in 2019, Umi also completed postdoctoral training in Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation within the VA Boston Healthcare System. In our interview, Umi will tell us more about his life and science.
Dr. Joe Baio is an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington. Afterwards, Joe was awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research in the Department of Molecular Spectroscopy at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, in Mainz, Germany. He joined the faculty at Oregon State University in 2013. Joe was the recipient of the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship from the AVS 58th International Symposium, the PhD Student Award for Outstanding Research from the Society for biomaterials, and the STAR Award from the Society for Biomaterials. In our interview, Joe will share more about his life and research.
Dr. Ileana Soto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Rowan University. She received her BS in general sciences and her PhD in biology from the University of Puerto Rico. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University and The Jackson Laboratory before joining the faculty at Rowan University. Ileana was recently recognized for her work with the receipt of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In our interview, Ileana shares more about her life and research.