Alexander Kamb has almost two decades of experience in the biotechnology sector (including founder of one company) and the biopharmaceutical industry. He specializes in genetics, structural biology, neuroscience and oncology. He has published widely in these areas with nine peer-reviewed papers in the Science and Nature journals, including the most highly cited scientific publication of 1994.
Dr. Kamb received his A.B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Caltech. His thesis work culminated in the molecular cloning and characterization of the first potassium channel gene (Shaker locus in D. melanogaster), one of the fundamental determinants of electrical excitability in the nervous system (Kamb et al., Cell 1987; Kamb et al., Neuron 1988). As a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF with Harold Varmus and Robert Stroud, Dr. Kamb invented an extremely rapid and broadly applicable method for cloning gene family members (Kamb et al., PNAS 1989). He used this method to identify human potassium channel genes as well as genes in model organisms which are involved in development (e.g., C. elegans Wnt). During his postdoctoral work he also solved crystal structures for the cancer drug target thymidylate synthase (Kamb et al., Biochemistry 1992a; Kamb et al., Biochemistry 1992b).
In 1992 he became the third employee at a startup company called Myriad Genetics, focused on identification and commercialization of human disease genes/diagnostics. During the next few years, he led the Myriad teams that cloned the major familial breast cancer genes, BRCA1 (Miki et al., Science 1994) and BRCA2 (Tavtigian et al., Nature Genetics 1996), and the major familial melanoma susceptibility and multiple tumor suppressor gene CDKN2 (Kamb et al., Science 1994). All these genes were commercialized by Myriad as proprietary diagnostic tests.
He founded a biotechnology company in 1996 (Arcaris), specializing in somatic cell genetics, which was sold in 2003, whereupon he joined Novartis as Global Head of Oncology. In 2006, Dr. Kamb joined Amgen to direct oncology research at their South San Francisco site. In 2007 he took over the leadership of the Neurosciences Therapeutic Area. In February 2010 he was promoted to Vice President, Research, Neuroscience. In 2010 he also established a new, independent group within Amgen Research called the Genome Analysis Unit, focused on cross-therapeutic-area strategic deployment of ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing technology. In 2011 he was promoted to Senior Vice President, and currently heads Amgen’s entire discovery research organization (~1000 FTEs).
EVELYNN M. HAMMONDS
Professor Hammonds is a member of the faculty at Harvard University. She was the first Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard (2005-2008). From 2008-2013 she served as Dean of Harvard College. She holds honorary degrees from Spelman College and Bates College. Professor Hammonds is also the director of the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard. Prof. Hammonds is the author of several articles about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, gender and science, and African American women and feminism. She holds undergraduate degrees in physics and electrical engineering from Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in physics from MIT and a PhD in the History of Science from Harvard. She is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
ROSINA M. BIERBAUM
Dr. Rosina Bierbaum is a Professor and Dean Emerita at the University of Michigan with appointments in both the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the School of Public Health. Her experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. She chairs the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, is an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, and a lead author of the recently completed U.S. National Climate Assessment. Rosina served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She was selected by the World Bank to co-direct its World Development Report 2010, which focused on climate change and development. She has lectured on every continent, and in more than 20 countries.
Rosina served as Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment from October 2001 – October 2011. In that decade, she facilitated the creation of a new undergraduate Program in the Environment; enhanced interdisciplinary teaching and research by recruiting thirty-two new faculty to the School, developed new Master’s tracks to link engineering, architecture and urban planning, and natural resources; tripled research activity; and expanded the mission of the School to include global change.
She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Ecological Society of America, received the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo Smith award for ‘extraordinary service to Geosciences, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Protection Award”. Bierbaum is also a board member for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the Climate Reality Project, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. She has a BA in English, a BS in Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology and Evolution.
GEORGE Q. DALEY
George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D. is the Samuel E. Lux IV Chair in Hematology/Oncology, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Daley received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University (1982), a Ph.D. in biology from MIT working with Nobelist David Baltimore (1989), and the M.D. from Harvard Medical School (1991), where he was only the twelfth individual in school history to receive the degree summa cum laude. Dr. Daley pursued clinical training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident (94-95), and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Brigham and Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. He is currently a staff physician in Hematology/Oncology at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, has served the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) as past-President (‘07-‘08) and Clerk (’12-15), and has anchored the special task forces that produced the ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research (2006), Clinical Translation (2008), and the latest Revisions and Updates (draft released June 26, 2015).
Dr. Daley has been elected to the US National Academy of Medicine (formerly called the Institute of Medicine), American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Association of Physicians, American Pediatric Societies, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Daley was an inaugural winner of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for highly innovative research and has received the Judson Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society for achievement in patient-oriented research, the E. Mead Johnson Award from the American Pediatric Society for contributions to stem cell research, and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize of the American Society for Hematology for advances in human induced pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Daley’s research exploits mouse and human disease models to identify mechanisms that underlie cancer and blood disorders.
JEFFREY M. FRIEDMAN
Dr. Jeffrey Friedman is a physician scientist studying the genetic mechanisms that regulate body weight. Dr. Friedman’s research on various aspects of obesity received national attention in late 1994, when it was announced that he and his colleagues had isolated the mouse ob gene and its human homologue. They subsequently found that injections of the encoded protein, leptin, decreases body weight of mice by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure. Current research is aimed at understanding the genetic basis of obesity in human and the mechanisms by which leptin transmits its weight-reducing signal. He is currently a Professor at the Rockefeller University, an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Director of the Starr Center for Human Genetics. Dr. Friedman’s affiliation with The Rockefeller University began in 1980, where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1986. He was appointed Assistant Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Rockefeller in 1986, promoted to Associate Investigator in 1991, and Investigator in 1997. Dr. Friedman received an MD. degree from Albany Medial College in 1977 and completed a medical residency at Albany Medical College in 1980. Dr. Friedman was appointed Professor at Rockefeller in 1995 after serving as Associate Professor and Head of Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the Institution since 1991 and in 1998 awarded the Marilyn M. Simpson Professorship. In 1995 he was appointed Director of the Starr Foundation Center for Human Genetics.
Dr. Friedman was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2001. His work was referred to in Time Magazine’s Best of Science Section in 1995 and 1996. He has also received Popular Science’s, Best of Science Award in 1995, the Alumnus of the Year Award, 1996, from Albany Medical College, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, 1996, the Jacobaeus Prize, University of Goteborg, 1997, the Steven C. Beering Award, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1999, the Janssen Award for Special Achievement in Gastroenterology, 1999, the Endocrinology Transatlantic Medal, Society for Endocrinology, United Kingdom, 2000, the Osborne Mendel Award, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 2000, the Rolf Luft Award, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, 2000, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for distinguished Achievement in Metabolic Research.
ROBERT A. LUE
Robert A. Lue is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, where he is responsible for fostering innovative teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and elevating its profile on campus. Rob earned his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard and has taught undergraduate courses since 1988, garnering recognition as one of Harvard’s foremost leaders in undergraduate education.
Rob has a longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research, and chaired the faculty committee that developed the first integrated science foundation in the country to serve multiple science majors as well as the needs of premedical students. In a previous stint as the dean of the Harvard Summer School of Arts and Sciences, Rob started the first summer study abroad programs to carry Harvard credit in fields ranging from the natural sciences to the arts and humanities. From 2004 to 2015, Rob served as the director of Life Sciences Education at Harvard, where he led a complete redesign of the introductory curriculum – creating some of the largest and most popular science courses on campus – that redefined how Harvard can more effectively foster new generations of scientists as well as science-literate citizens.
A national figure in life sciences education, Rob co-leads the National Academies Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching at Harvard and has co-authored several undergraduate biology textbooks. His scientific multimedia projects have received numerous awards for their scientific accuracy, educational utility, and vibrant 3-D portrayals of the cellular world. In 2012, Rob’s extensive work on using technology to enhance learning took a new direction when he became the faculty director of HarvardX, Harvard’s university-wide initiative that includes the edX partnership in online education with MIT. At HarvardX, Rob helps to shape Harvard’s engagement in online learning in a way that reinforces its commitment to teaching excellence and works to expand its reach and impact globally.
As the faculty director of the Harvard Ed Portal, Rob oversees the integration of undergraduate education with community outreach on Harvard’s Allston campus, bringing together Harvard and the Allston-Brighton community to share the excitement of learning. He also has a long history in pre-college education, and consequently founded and directs the Harvard Life Sciences Outreach program, which serves over fifty high schools across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.