Biographical Sketches of Committee Members
Michael R. Ladisch, chair, NAE, is the Director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. He earned his B.S. from Drexel University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in chemical engineering. Dr. Ladisch’s research addresses fundamental topics in bioseparations (e.g., chromatography, electrochromatography), bionanotechnology (e.g., protein biochips, proteins at surfaces, biomimetics), and bioprocessing of renewable resources for value-added products. He has a broad background in bioscience and bioengineering. He previously chaired the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Bioprocess Engineering.
Ilhan Aksay is professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Princeton Materials Institute at Princeton University and a former director of the Advanced Materials Technology Center at the University of Washington. He is an expert on ceramic-matrix composites and has written extensively on the utilization of biomimetic techniques in materials processing. Dr. Aksay served on the NRC Committee on Synthetic Hierarchical Structures and the NRC Committee on Army Basic Research. He earned his B.S. in ceramic engineering with honors from the University of Washington and his M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Eric Baer is the Herbert Henry Dow Professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and director of the Center on Hierarchical Structures at Case Western Reserve University. He is a past director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Center for the Commercial Development of Space and Materials for Space Structures, and he has written extensively on molecularity, plastics, and polymer materials. Dr. Baer received an M.A. and D. Eng. in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and he was a member of the NRC Space Applications Board.
Robert R. Birge is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the W.M. Keck Center for Molecular Electronics at Syracuse University. He is also research director for the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering and research professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center. Dr. Birge has a B.S. in chemistry from Yale University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Wesleyan University. He has published articles on bio-optical materials, holographics, and protein-based computers and was one of the Time Magazine Digital Top 50 Cyber Elite in 1997.
Roger Brent is the Director of the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California, and an adjunct professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Genetics Institute/Wyeth Ayerst Research, chair of the scientific advisory boards for several smaller companies, and advisor to the Program in Bioinformatics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also advises a number of U.S. government agencies and is a member of the Functional Genomics Steering Committee for the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom. He has published more than 70 articles and has received 12 patents for genetics applications. Dr. Brent received his B.A. in computer science and mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University, where he also completed postdoctoral work and served on the faculty of the Department of Genetics.
Sheila H. Dewitt is the Director for Business Development at ArQule, Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts. She earned her B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Duke University. She has held technical and business development positions at several pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agricultural chemical companies including FMC Agricultural Chemical Group,
Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research, Diversomer Technologies, and Orchid BioSciences. Dr. DeWitt is a pioneer in combinatorial chemistry and automated synthesis and the recipient of the Michigan Leading Edge Technologies Award, the Pioneer in Laboratory Robotics Award, and the Association for Laboratory Automation Outstanding Service Award. She is the author of more than 35 publications and holds more than 30 patents.
Mauro Ferrari is professor of mechanical engineering, professor of internal medicine (oncology), and the director of the Biomedical Engineering Center at Ohio State University. He is former director of the Biomedical Microdevices Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and an expert in microfabrication of structures and devices, including biosensors. Dr. Ferrari has a Dottore in Matematica from the Universitá di Padova, Italy, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has conducted extensive research in biomicroelectromechanical systems (bio-MEMS) and nanostructures for biotechnical applications.
Christopher (Kit) C. Green is executive director for research and development and the chief technical officer-Asia Pacific for General Motors Corporation. Dr. Green received his Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the University of Colorado and an M.D. (honors) through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, M.D.-Ph.D. Program from Autonomous City University. For more than 15 years he was senior division analyst with the Office of Scientific and Weapons Intelligence of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed technical publications. Dr. Green is former chair of the NRC Committee on Science and Technology for Defense Conversion in the Year 2020 and the former chair of the NRC Board on Army Science and Technology.
Nile F. Hartman is senior vice president and the Chief Technology Officer of Photonic Sensor Systems, Inc. which develops prototype sensor systems for environmental, biomedical, and metrology applications. He is an expert in electro-optic sensing systems and has an extensive background in holography and semiconductor lasers. He is the author or coauthor of more than 50 publications and has been awarded seven patents. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America. Mr. Hartman received his B.S. in industrial technology, and he studied physics at Ohio State University.
Paul E. Laibinis is an associate professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1996 and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 1998 for research on the properties and tailorabilities of organic surfaces and thin films. He has published more than 75 professional articles and holds three patents for innovative coatings, surfaces, and microsensors. He is an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and the Materials Research Society. Dr. Laibinis received his S.B. in chemistry and S.B. in chemical engineering from MIT and his A.M. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University.
Verne L. (Larry) Lynn is an independent consultant to industry and the Department of Defense. Mr. Lynn retired from the U.S. government as the Director of the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), the principal DOD agency for research, development, and demonstration of concepts, devices, and systems for advanced military capabilities. He served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Technology and was the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Atlantic Aerospace Electronics Corporation. He is the author of more than 40 technical publications in the areas of military surveillance and weapons systems and has extensive knowledge in military research and development. He is a fellow of the IEEE, a past member of the Army Science Board, and a current member of the Defense Science Board.
M. Allen Northrup is the Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Cepheid, a developer of biotechnological analysis instrumentation in Sunnyvale, California. Before joining Cepheid, he was principal engineer in the Microtechnology Center at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he was involved in research and development of microinstrumentation for analytical biotechnology and actuator-based biomedical devices. Dr. Northrup was an adjunct professor of radiology at the University of California San Francisco Medical School and is currently a consulting professor of electrical engineering in the Center for Integrated Systems at Stanford University. Dr. Northrup received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of California at Davis. He has 15 years of instrumentation development experience in both academia and industry.
Thomas C. Ransohoff is the Vice President for Operations at TranXenoGen, Inc., in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He has managed operations for scale-up and production of biotechnology products and directed technical and commercial development of a range of separations technologies and products. In addition to process and product development, he has been responsible for technical management and industry and government investments in biotechnology research. He has an S.B. from MIT and an M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, both in chemical engineering. He has industry experience in the analysis of biopharmaceutical processes, bioseparations, and transgenics.
Daniel I.C. Wang, NAE, was the director of the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until 1998. He is currently Institute Professor of Chemical Engineering and professor of biochemical engineering at MIT. His expertise includes biocatalysis, biochemical separation and purification, bioreactors, biosensors, fermentation processes, and biotechnology. Before entering academia, Dr. Wang was a process engineer at the U.S. Army Biological Laboratory and was awarded the U.S. Army Commendation Medal. He has served on several NRC committees including the Committee on Biobased Industrial Products, the Committee on Bioprocess Engineering, and the Committee on Biotechnology. He is a former member of the NRC Board on Biology and the Board on Chemical Science and Technology. Dr. Wang received his B.S. in chemical engineering and his M.S. in biochemical engineering from MIT; he earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Janet Westpheling is an associate professor of genetics at the University of Georgia. Dr. Westpheling received her B.S. in microbiology from Purdue University and her Ph.D. in genetics from the John Innes Institute, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Her research interests involve the control of gene expression in Streptomyces, particularly carbon utilization and primary metabolism and the strategies used by bacteria to regulate genes involved in morphogenesis and secondary metabolism. Dr. Westpheling previously served on the NRC Committee on Biotechnology.
Kensall D. Wise, NAE, is the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan. He is also the director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems and a former member of the technical staff at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. Dr. Wise is an expert in integrated circuit process technology, solid-state sensors, MEMS, microsystems, and integrated electronics. He is a fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Wise received his B.S.E.E. (with highest distinction) from Purdue University and both his M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering, from Stanford University.