Ronald J. Daniels (Chair) is the 14th president of Johns Hopkins University. He holds appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Department of International Health. Before joining Johns Hopkins, he was provost and professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania and dean and James M. Tory Professor of Law of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.
Daniels is a law and economics scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of law, economics, development, and public policy in areas such as corporate and securities law, social and economic regulation, and the role of law and legal institutions in promoting third-world development. Over the past several years, he has written on, and advocated regarding, the challenges confronting the American biomedical research enterprise. Recently, in concert with several of his university presidential peers, he established the Coalition for Next Generation Life Science, which commits each of the participating universities to collect and disclose data publicly on the education, training, and placement of students and postdoctoral researchers in the life sciences.
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Daniels was also appointed to the Order of Canada in 2017 and received the Academic Leadership Award from the Carnegie Corporation in 2015.
Nancy C. Andrews was the dean of the Duke University School of Medicine and vice chancellor for academic affairs from 2007 to 2017. She is also Nanaline H. Duke Professor of Pediatrics and professor of pharmacology and cancer biology. Prior to joining Duke, Andrews was the George Richards Minot Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, senior associate in medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, and a distinguished physician of the Dana-Farber Cancer Inst-
itute. Andrews also served as director of the Harvard-MIT M.D.-Ph.D. Program and dean for basic sciences and graduate studies at Harvard Medical School.
She was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for 13 years and had continuous NIH funding for her research laboratory from 1993 to 2016. Her work focused on mammalian iron homeostasis and mouse models of human diseases. She has received numerous awards and prizes for research and mentoring. She served as the 2009 President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. Andrews was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She currently serves on the Council of the National Academy of Medicine and the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she chairs the Board of Directors of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Andrews received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, her Ph.D. in biology from MIT, and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
W. Travis Berggren joined the Salk Institute in 2007 as the founding director for the Stem Cell Research Core Facility. Berggren brought a wealth of knowledge and experience in stem cell biology to this position from the WiCell Research Institute, where he established and ran a core research program centered on mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of hES cells. There he worked closely with scientific director James A. Thomson and learned the “art” of hES culture from this leader in the field. Since 2010, he has taken on the additional role of senior director of scientific core facilities to provide institutional oversight for all shared scientific core resources at the institute. Berggren received a B.S. in chemistry at the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Sue Biggins studies the mechanisms that ensure accurate chromosome segregation and regulation of the cell cycle. Her lab achieved the first isolation of kinetochores and has been applying structural, biophysical, and biochemical techniques to elucidate the mechanisms of kinetochore-microtubule interactions and spindle checkpoint regulation. Her lab also works on the mechanisms that ensure chromatin composition and centromere identity. Biggins obtained her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University and did postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco, in Dr. Andrew Murray’s lab. She joined the faculty in the Division of Basic Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2000 where she is currently a full member and associate director, as well as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
John Boothroyd is the associate vice provost for graduate education at Stanford University. Boothroyd is also the Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Immunol-
ogy in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. He received his B.Sc. from McGill University and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Edinburgh University. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 1982, he worked for 3 years as a staff scientist at the Wellcome Laboratories in London, UK. In addition to his research, Boothroyd has served in an advisory role for several health-related foundations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as department chair and senior associate dean for research and training at the Stanford School of Medicine. In these various roles, Boothroyd has been heavily involved in rethinking graduate education and postdoctoral training with a focus on adapting such programs to optimally prepare a diverse population of trainees for a fast-changing job market.
David R. Burgess is a professor of biology at Boston College and a former president of SANCAS. His Cherokee great grandmother was a medicine woman, his father was a teacher and junior high school principal honored for serving minority students, and his mother was a homemaker. He was raised in New Mexico and Northern California. His current research, funded by NIH since 1977, is focused on cell division and on the science education pipeline for American Indians. He has received several awards including a Research Career Development Award from NIH and an E.E. Just Award from the American Society for Cell Biology, where he was recently elected to Council. He was recently elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Burgess has served on numerous national panels, both in basic science review and on study sections whose goal is to increase the diversity of scientists. He serves on the Minority Action Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology. He has presented several keynote addresses and lectures to scientific societies, universities, and other organizations on his research and on training disparities for minorities in the sciences. He served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute Advisory Council, the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering, and the Department of Energy’s Biological, Environmental Research Advisory Committee.
Kafui Dzirasa is assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University. Dzirasa is the first African American to complete a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Duke University. His research interests focus on understanding how changes in the brain produce neurological and mental illness, and his graduate work has led to several distinctions including the Somjen Award for Most Outstanding Dissertation Thesis, the Ruth K. Broad Biomedical Research Fellowship, the UNCF•Merck Graduate Science Research Fellowship, and the Wakeman Fellowship. In 2009, Dzirasa obtained an M.D. from the Duke University School of Medicine. He was subsequently appointed as an assistant professor
and house staff in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Duke University School of Medicine.
Dzirasa received a Meyerhoff Scholarship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). He has served on the Board of Directors of the Student National Medical Association, a national organization dedicated to the eradication of health care disparities. Through his service as Chapter President, Region IV Director, and National Internal Affairs Committee Chair, Dzirasa has participated in numerous programs geared toward exposing youth to science and technology, providing health education for underserved communities, and organizing clinics to screen for chronic diseases. In 2016, he was awarded the inaugural Duke Medical Alumni Emerging Leader Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Giovanna Guerrero-Medina is the executive director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, an international network of scientists, students, and educators committed to promoting scientific outreach, education, and careers among Latinos. She is also director of the Yale Ciencia Initiative at Yale University, where she studies the impact of scientific networks such as Ciencia Puerto Rico in improving access and participation in science and works to promote diversity through the Yale Provost Office. Under her leadership, CienciaPR has become one of the largest networked communities of Hispanic scientists in the world, has secured federal and foundation grants to support diversity in science education and career development, and in 2015 received recognition as a Bright Spot in science education by the White House. Guerrero-Medina serves as principal investigator of the NIH-funded Yale Ciencia Academy, a national program to provide graduate students with opportunities for professional development, outreach, and networking. She also leads “Seeds of Success,” an Amgen Foundation–supported program to promote the participation of Latina middle school girls in STEM. Guerrero-Medina has worked as head of science policy at the Van Andel Research Institute and as health science policy analyst at NIH. She has a B.A. in biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a 2005 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Judith Kimble is Vilas Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison and an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1971, worked for 2 years at the University of Copenhagen Medical School doing research and teaching histology, and then received her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1978. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, and moved to UW-Madison as an assistant
professor in 1983. Her position with HHMI began in 1994, and in 2001, she was awarded a Vilas Professorship, one of the highest honors at UW-Madison. Kimble was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2002. She has received numerous honors and awards and has served the biomedical research community in various capacities. She served as president of both the Genetics Society of America and the Society for Developmental Biology.
Kimble’s election to the Council of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 led to membership on the Committee for Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Policy (COSEMPUP) and further involvement in policy. Most recently, she organized a workshop at UW Madison “Rescuing Biomedical Research from Its Systemic Flaws: Strategies and Pathways Ahead,” including cross-campus discussions leading to the workshop that engaged biomedical researchers ranging from Ph.D. students and postdocs to deans and emeriti and from basic to clinical scientists.
Story Landis (NAM) was the director of the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) from 2003 to 2014. Landis received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. After postdoctoral work at Harvard University, she served on the faculty of its Department of Neurobiology. In 1985, she joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where she created the Department of Neurosciences, which, under her leadership, achieved an international reputation for excellence. Throughout her research career, Landis has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of nervous system development. She has garnered many honors, is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Arts and Sciences, AAAS, and the American Neurological Association, and in 2002 was elected president of the Society for Neuroscience. Landis joined NINDS in 1995 as scientific director and worked to re-engineer the Institute’s intramural research programs. During 1999-2000, she led the movement, together with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Scientific Director, to bring a sense of unity and common purpose to 200 neuroscience laboratories from 11 different NIH Institutes. Together with the directors of NIMH and National Institute on Aging, she co-chaired the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, a roadmap-like effort to support trans-NIH activities in the brain sciences. In 2007, Landis was named chair of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force.
Kenneth Maynard is head of Global Patient Safety Evaluation (GPSE) Compliance, Standards and Training and GPSE Business Partners Relations at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Formerly he was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. His doctorate in neurobiology is from University College, London. With more than 50 scientific publications, Maynard serves on four international journals’ editorial boards. He is a fellow
of the American Heart Association and chair of the Professional Development Committee and councilor for the Society of Neuroscience, serves on the Executive Committee of the International Dose-Response Society, and is a consultant to the NIH Director’s Program on Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training.
Gary S. McDowell is the executive director of The Future of Research, Inc. and a resident at the Manylabs open science skunkworks in San Francisco, where he works to support junior scientists advocating for changes to the scientific system. He has a B.A. and M.Sci. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in oncology, all from the University of Cambridge. Near the end of his Ph.D. study, he had a visiting scholarship at the University of Lille in France. McDowell has more than 4 years of postdoctoral experience in the United States, first at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and then at Tufts University. In 2015 he was part of the Future of Research team named Science Careers’ “People of the Year.” He is supported in his work for Future of Research by a grant from the Open Philanthropy project and in his residency at Manylabs by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He is a co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation award addressing diversity and retention of young scientists in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.
Jessica Polka is a visiting postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and a visiting scholar at the Whitehead Institute. Polka received her B.S. in biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She is director of ASAPbio, president of the board of directors of Future of Research, and a steering committee member of Rescuing Biomedical Research. She has served as co-chair of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)’s COMPASS (Committee for Postdocs and Students). Polka was a recipient of the Jane Coffin Childs Fellowship, the ASCB Beckman Coulter Distinguished Graduate Student Prize, a Genentech Graduate Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and the Morehead Scholarship.
Joan Y. Reede is the dean for diversity and community partnership and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Reede also holds appointments as associate professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, and she is an assistant in health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. Reede is responsible for the development and management of a comprehensive program that provides leadership, guidance, and support to promote the increased recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented minority, women, LGBT, and faculty with disabilities at HMS. This charge includes oversight of all diversity activities at HMS as they relate to faculty, trainees, students, and staff. Reede also serves as the director
of the Minority Faculty Development Program, faculty director of Community Outreach Programs at HMS, and program director of the Faculty of Diversity Program of the Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. Reede has created and developed more than 20 programs at HMS that aim to address pipeline and leadership issues for minorities and others who are interested in careers in medicine, academic and scientific research, and the health care professions.
Reede is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Herbert W. Nickens Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges and the Society of General Medicine in 2005; election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2009; the 2011 Diversity Award from the Association of University Professors; and an Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust Award in 2012. In 2013 she received an Exemplar STEM Award from the Urban Education Institute at North Carolina A&T University. Reede is a 2015 recipient of the Jacobi Medallion from the Mount Sinai Alumni Association and the Icahn School of Medicine.
Lana R. Skirboll is vice president of science policy at Sanofi, where she works on building academic relationships and policy issues of importance to innovation, including biosimilars, data sharing, public-private partnerships, and external innovation. She formerly served as director of science policy at NIH, where she was responsible for identifying policy issues relevant to the support and conduct of research and analyzing, recommending, and creating new policies that advance the interest of NIH. These included human subject protections, the privacy and confidentiality of research records, conflicts of interest, human embryo research, cloning and fetal tissue research, genetics, health and society, dual use research, gene therapy and nanotechnology, comparative effectiveness research, personalized medicine, among others.
Skirboll played a leadership role in NIH’s organizational strategic planning and evaluation, where, for example, she developed NIH’s efforts to measure and report on agency performance. She also worked with the NIH Director, Elias Zerhouni, to design and implement the “Roadmap for Medical Research.” She initiated the development of a new program on return on investment to explore NIH’s impact on local economies and national competitiveness. She was responsible for developing and coordinating the NIH Public-Private partnership program, which leveraged NIH investments by working with industry
Skirboll was trained in pharmacology and neuroscience. She completed her Ph.D. at Georgetown University Medical School, followed by postdoctoral work and research positions at Yale University, the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), and the National Institute of Mental Health. She is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Paula Stephan is a professor of economics at Georgia State University. Stephan is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is
an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. In 2012, Science Careers named Stephan as their first “Person of the Year” “for especially significant and sustained contribution to the welfare of early-career scientists” during the preceding 12 months. Stephan’s research interests focus on the careers of scientists and engineers and the process by which knowledge moves across institutional boundaries in the economy.
Stephan recently served on the National Research Council (NRC) Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the National Academy of Sciences committee on “The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited.” She served on the NIH National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council from 2005 to 2009 and on the NSF Advisory Committee of the Social, Behavioral and Economics Program, from 2001 to 2008. She was a member of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group that authored the report Frontier Research: The European Challenge. She has served on several NRC committees including the committee on Dimensions, Causes, and Implications of Recent Trends in the Careers of Life Scientists; Committee on Methods of Forecasting Demand and Supply of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers; and the Committee on Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States. Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
Stephan graduated from Grinnell College (Phi Beta Kappa) with a B.A. in economics and earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. She has been a visiting scholar at Katholeike Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (spring 2005); a Wertheim Fellow, Harvard University (February 2007); and an ICER fellow, Turin, Italy (fall 2009). Stephan has published numerous articles in journals such as The American Economic Review, Science, Nature, The Journal of Economic Literature, Economic Inquiry, The International Economic Review, and Social Studies of Science. She co-wrote with Sharon Levin Striking the Mother Lode in Science (Oxford University Press, 1992). Her book How Economics Shapes Science was published by Harvard University Press in 2012. It was translated into Korean in 2013 and is scheduled for release in Chinese later this year.
Maria Elena Zavala is a professor of biology at California State University, Northridge. Zavala holds an undergraduate degree from Pomona College and earned her Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to her interests in plant development, she is interested in educational equity issues, has worked to develop science curricula for K-12 teachers, has worked to improve teaching and learning in STEM, and has established and directed programs that seek to increase the number of minorities in the sciences.
Zavala’s accomplishments include serving as director of the MARC/RISE and Bridges to the Doctorate Program—Maximizing Access to Research Careers, a program designed to offer mentorship, financial support, and research experi-
ence to minority students. Zavala was the first female president of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Under her direction, SACNAS received the 2002 National Science Board Public Service Award for institutions increasing public understanding of science and engineering. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Plant Biologists. She is a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, awarded to her by President Clinton.
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