Rank #1: 435: Studying How Stress Shapes Synapses in the Brain - Dr. Abby Polter
Dr. Abby Polter is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology at George Washington University. Outside of the lab, Abby enjoys spending her free time curled up with a great book, conducting complicated cooking experiments in the kitchen, and visiting the many wonderful museums where she lives in Washington D.C. Her research examines how synapses on neurons producing neurotransmitters like serotonin are affected by adversity or stress during development, how neurons that produce dopamine are differentially affected in males compared to females, and why individuals respond differently to stress. These research questions are relevant for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse disorders. Abby received her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Ohio Wesleyan University and her PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Before joining the faculty at George Washington University, Abby was a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University. Abby joined us for an interview to talk about some of her experiences in life and science.
Rank #2: 270: Studying the Sea through Shells, Skeletons, and Sediments - Dr. Abby Smith
Dr. Abby Smith is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago. She Received her B.A. Degree in Geology and Biology from Colby College, her M.S. Degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her PhD in Earth Science from the University of Waikato. Abby is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.
Rank #3: 291: How and Why We Judge the World: The Science of Morality Discussed - Dr. David Pizarro
Dr. David Pizarro is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Cornell University and Chief Science Officer at BeWorks which applies scientific thinking to marketing and operational challenges in business. He also hosts the Very Bad Wizards podcast that explores human morality. David received his B.S. From Pacific Union college and his M.S., M.Phil, and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Yale University. He completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Irvine before joining the faculty at Cornell University where he is today. David is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society in Behavioral and Brain Sciences and served as the Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at UNC, Chapel Hill and Duke University last spring. David is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #4: 308: Colliding Particles to Comprehend the Components of Matter - Dr. Jon Butterworth
Dr. Jon Butterworth is a Professor of Physics and Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. He received his B.A. in Physics and his Ph.D. in Particle Physics from the University of Oxford. Afterwards, Jon was hired by Pennsylvania State University to conduct postdoctoral research at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany before joining the faculty at UCL where he is today. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and recipient of their Chadwick Prize. He has also been awarded a Wolfson Research Merit Award from the Royal Society, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and a Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council Senior Research Fellowship. In addition, Jon is the author of the book Most Wanted Particle and author of a blog for The Guardian called Life and Physics. Jon is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #5: 510: Creating New Compounds to Treat Central Nervous System Disorders - Dr. Al Robichaud
Dr. Al Robichaud is Chief Scientific Officer at Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system disorders. The team at Sage Therapeutics is focused on delivering new medicines for people with central nervous system disorders, such as depression. The compounds they have developed modulate the activity of receptors in the brain that respond to specific neurotransmitters. Outside of science, Al has been an avid scuba diver for most of his life. He particularly enjoys exploring the ocean in the Caribbean with his family. Al received his B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He worked as a staff chemist at FMC Corporation for about two years before returning to school to earn his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Al next conducted research as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in organic chemistry at Colorado State University. Before joining the team at Sage Therapeutics, Al held positions at Merck Pharma, DuPont Merck Pharma, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck Research. In our interview, Al tells us more about his life and science.
Rank #6: 484: Discovering Drugs for Targeted Treatment in Brain Damage and Disease - Todd Zankel
Dr. Todd Zankel is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Mercaptor Discoveries, Inc., a biotech company focused on developing molecules to treat brain injury and degeneration. Todd studies chemistry and molecular biology to develop new drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system and brain. The molecules they are working on now help reduce side effects by making drugs only active in the parts of the body they are supposed to target. When he’s not working, Todd likes to read non-science books and take his dog for walks in the hills and woods near his house. Todd received his B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University. Afterwards, he accepted a position as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Plant Gene Expression Center in Berkeley, California as well as the Chemistry Department of ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. Todd then worked for BioMarin Pharmaceutical for about eight years. Before co-founding Mercaptor Discoveries, Todd co-founded Raptor Pharmaceuticals in 2006, acting as Chief Scientific Officer and head of discovery research until 2016 when the company was acquired. In our interview, Todd shared more about his life and science.
Rank #7: 271: Bringing a Structured Approach to Our Understanding of Degeneration in the Aging Brain - Dr. Greg Petsko
Dr. Greg Petsko is the Arthur J. Mahon Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience and Director of the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College, as well as the Tauber Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Emeritus, at Brandeis University. He received his PhD from the University of Oxford and worked at Wayne State University, MIT, and Brandeis University before joining the faculty at Cornell where he is today. He has received numerous awards and honors during his career, including the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry of the American Chemical Society and the Max Planck Prize. Greg is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is the Past-President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is President of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He has also written a column on science and society that is available as a book entitled Gregory Petsko in Genome Biology: the first 10 years. Greg is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #8: 280: Going with the Flow Studying Fluid Dynamics and Animal Locomotion - Dr. David Hu
David is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and PhD in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research at New York University and worked afterward as an Instructor of Mathematics there before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech. David and his fascinating research have been featured in the media nationally and internationally including appearances in Discover Magazine, New York Times, USA Today, Scientific American, The Guardian, BBC, NPR, National Geographic, Cosmo and many others. David is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #9: 483: Developing Novel Treatments for Neurological Disease Using Neural Networks and Brain Stimulation - Dr. Michael Fox
Dr. Michael Fox is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Harvard University Medical School and Director of the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation. In addition, Mike is Associate Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Co-Director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Deep Brain Stimulation Program, Assistant Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a practicing clinical neurologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In Mike’s research, he uses wiring diagrams of the human brain to try to make sense of brain problems and help patients. In the clinic, Mike treats patients with movement disorders like tremor and Parkinson’s disease using deep brain stimulation. He also uses noninvasive brain stimulation to treat people with psychiatric conditions like depression. When Mike isn’t doing research in his lab or working with patients in the clinic, he loves spending time with his wife and two daughters. They enjoy hiking and having fun outdoors together. He received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University, and he was awarded his MD and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis. Afterwards, Mike completed a medical internship at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Next, he completed his Neurology Residency and Movement Disorders Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before becoming a faculty member with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. Mike is the recipient of the inaugural Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. In our interview, Mike tells us more about his life and science.
Rank #10: 297: Studying Stress and its Connection with Chronic Pain - Dr. Jennifer Graham-Engeland
Dr. Jennifer Graham-Engeland is an Associate Professor in the Biobehavioral Health Department at The Pennsylvania State University. She graduated from Cornell University majoring in Psychology and English and went on to receive her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social and Health Psychology from Stony Brook University. Jennifer then conducted postdoctoral research at The Ohio State University before joining the faculty where she is today at Penn State. She has been awarded the American Psychosomatic Society Scholar Research Award as well as the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Scholars Award. Jennifer is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.
Rank #11: 397: Particle Physicist Leading the Charge in Imparting Scientific Knowledge to the Public - Dr. Jim Trefil
Dr. Jim Trefil is the Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. He received his PhD in Physics from Stanford University. Postdoc at CERN in Geneva and at MIT. Jim served on the faculty at the University of Illinois and the University of Virginia before joining the faculty at George Mason University where he is today. Jim is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Science Writing Award and Andrew W. Germant Award from the American Institute of Physics, as well as the Westinghouse and Subaru Awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has authored numerous books for scientists and general audiences alike, including very recently the book Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System with co-author Dr. Mike Summers. Jim has joined us today to talk about his experiences in life and science.
Rank #12: 366: Studying Signatures of Supermassive Black Holes - Dr. Tamara Bogdanović
Dr. Tamara Bogdanović is an Assistant Professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Physics, as well as a member of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics . She received her B.Sc. in Astrophysics from the University of Belgrade in Serbia and her Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University. Tamara conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Maryland, where she received a NASA sponsored Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship as well as an Astronomy Prize Theory Postdoctoral Fellowship. She has also been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, a Cottrell Scholar, and a Cullen-Peck Fellow in recognition of her research and teaching. Tamara is with us today to share stories from her life and science.
Rank #13: 275: Conducting Research on Old Stars that has Universal Appeal - Dr. Anna Frebel
Dr. Anna Frebel is the Silverman Family Career Development Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received her PhD from the Australian National University's Mt. Stromlo Observatory for which she was awarded the Charlene Heisler Prize for the best Australian astronomy PhD thesis of 2006. Afterward, Anna was awarded the McDonald Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas, Austin and went on to receive the Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics before joining the faculty at MIT. Anna and her research have been recognized with the Ludwig-Biermann Young Astronomer Award of the German Astronomical Society, the Annie Jump Cannon Award of the American Astronomical Society, and a National Science Foundation CAREER award. She was also named a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. Anna is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.
Rank #14: 233: Researching the Road to Recovery in Neural Repair After Stroke - Dr. Tom Carmichael
Dr. S. Thomas (Tom) Carmichael is a Neurologist, as well as Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Neurology Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a Member of the Brain Research Institute and Co-Director of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Center. Tom received his MD and PhD from Washington University School of Medicine. He completed a Neurology residency there, followed by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA. He then joined the faculty at UCLA where he remains today. Tom is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #15: 419: Progressing Towards an Understanding of the Genes Contributing to Cancer Malignancy - Dr. Erica Golemis
Dr. Erica Golemis is a Professor, Deputy Chief Science Officer, Co-Leader of the Molecular Therapeutics Program, and Director of the High Throughput Facility at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. In addition, Erica is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University School of Medicine, and the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine. When Erica finds free time, one thing she loves to do is read. She reads broadly and has been an avid reader since her early childhood. Erica also has fun attending theatre performances. There are multiple excellent theaters in her home city of Philadelphia, and she especially enjoys shows by British playwright Tom Stoppard. For most of her scientific career, Erica has been conducting cancer research. Her recent work investigates why some cancers are particularly malignant. She completed her undergraduate studies in biology and English at Bryn Mawr College and was awarded her PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Erica conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Molecular Biology and Harvard Medical School department of Genetics before joining the Fox Chase Cancer Center. In this interview, Erica speaks about her experiences in both life and science.
Rank #16: 506: Sage Scientist Developing New Drugs for Depression and Other Neurological Diseases - Dr. Jim Doherty
Dr. Jim Doherty is Chief Research Officer at Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system disorders. Jim and his colleagues are focused on developing new treatments for different brain disorders including psychiatric, neurodegenerative, and movement disorders. Outside of science, Jim enjoys traveling, seeing cool new sites, and exploring the history of different places with his wife and two kids. He also enjoys participating in a variety of team sports like golf, softball, and ultimate frisbee leagues. Jim received his B.A. in biology from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown University. Next, he conducted postdoctoral research at Emory University Medical School and subsequently served on the faculty at Emory for about two years. Prior to joining the team at Sage in 2014, Jim worked for about eleven years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. In our interview Jim shares more about his life and science.
Rank #17: 381: Studying Drug Transport Proteins for Use in Novel Therapies and Supporting Diversity in STEM - Dr. Imogen Coe
Dr. Imogen R. Coe is the founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University. She is also a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology and an affiliate scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital. In addition, she is a well-known advocate, speaker, and writer for equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM. She received her BSc in Cell Biology from the University of Exeter in the UK. She received her MSc and PhD in comparative molecular neuroendocrinology from the University of Victoria in Canada. Afterwards, Imogen conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California San Francisco and was later awarded an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta. She served on the faculty at York University before joining the faculty at Ryerson University. In addition, Imogen is the recipient of Ontario's Premier's Research Excellence Award (now known as the Early Researcher Award). Imogen is with us today to tell us about her journey through life and science.
Rank #18: 237: Science in Motion and How the Brain and Spinal Cord Control Movement - Dr. Reggie Edgerton
Dr. Reggie Edgerton is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Reggie received his Master's degree from the University of Iowa and his PhD in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University. Reggie's work has been featured by CNN, USA Today, The New York Times, the LA Times, Popular Mechanics, and other media outlets. He has also co-authored two books entitled The Biology of Physical Activity and An Atlas of the Lesser Bushbaby. Reggie is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #19: 317: Keeping Your Brain in the Game: Creating Interventions to Optimize Cognition - Dr. Adam Gazzaley
Dr. Adam Gazzaley is a Professor of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry and the Founding Director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at the University of California, San Francisco. Adam is also Co-Founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs, a company that is developing therapeutic video games. He received his M.D. And Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Adam then completed his Internship in Medicine and Clinical Residency in Neurology at the University of Pennyslvania, followed by postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience at UC, Berkeley before joining the faculty at UCSF where he is today. Adam is the recipient of the Pfizer/AFAR Innovations in Aging Award, the Ellison Foundation New Scholar Award in Aging, the Harold Brenner Pepinsky Early Career Award in Neurobehavioral Science, and the UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award. He is also an elected Member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Adam is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Rank #20: 387: Modifying Microbes for a Multitude of Applications From Healthcare to Biofuels - Dr. Cullen Buie
Dr. Cullen Buie is an Associate Professor and the Esther and Harold E. Egerton Career Development Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Afterwards, Cullen was awarded a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research at the University of California-Berkeley. Cullen joined the faculty at MIT in 2010. He has received many awards and honors in his career, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the DuPont Young Professor Award, and the NSF CAREER Award. Cullen was also named a Stanford Distinguished Alumni Scholar, and, in 2016, Cullen was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root. Cullen joins us to give us an inside look into his life and science.