focus on microbial diversity and bacteria-animal symbioses, including transmission strategy and host-symbiont coevolution, and the origin and evolution of autotrophy. With emphasis on “chemosynthetic symbioses” between marine invertebrates and chemoautotrophic bacteria, she has participated in research cruises worldwide with deep-sea dives on the submersible Alvin. With expertise in the study of “unculturable” bacteria, her research has recently expanded to the characterization of the microbiome of humans and human model animals and their role in health and disease. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. She was a junior fellow at Harvard and currently is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Academy of Microbiology, and a member of the Cambridge Scientific Society. Dr. Cavanaugh is a visiting investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a member of the Marine Biological Laboratory Corporation, Committee on Courses, and Science Council, and an associate member of the Broad Institute.
Cameron Currie, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alberta, and his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Currie spent 3 years as a faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas before moving his group to Wisconsin. His training and research is highly interdisciplinary, spanning the fields of microbiology, genomics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. His lab studies the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of symbiotic associations, with a particular focus on the interactions that occur between insects and microbes. His research, including extensive work with the charismatic leaf-cutter ants, has potential applications in fields as diverse as bioenergy development and drug discovery. He has received several significant awards, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a Government of Canada National Sciences and Engineering Research Council Doctoral Dissertation Prize. In 11 years as a faculty member, Dr. Currie has published more than 80 papers and been awarded more than $6 million in extramural funds, including a 2010 NIH RC4 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award.
Jonathan Eisen, Ph.D., is a professor at the Genome Center at the University of California (UC), Davis, and holds appointments in the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences and Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine.
His research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). Most of his work involves the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing methods to characterize microbes and then the use and development of computational methods to analyze this type of data. In particular, his computational work has focused on integrating evolutionary