Kristala Jones Prather

Kristala L. Jones Prather teaches in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, the highest honor given for undergraduate teaching at MIT. Prather joined the faculty of MIT after four years in BioProcess Research and Development, working on projects in the areas of biocatalysis for small molecule transformations, high-yield production of plasmids as DNA vaccines, and mammalian cell line development for production of therapeutic proteins.

Prather’s current research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, with additional efforts in novel bioprocess design approaches. She has been the recipient of many awards, among them the Technology Review “TR35” Young Innovator Award (2007), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), and a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions (2012).

Kristala Jones Prather

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Co-Director of Microbiology Graduate Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Areas of Expertise: Metabolic Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Biochemical Engineering

Location: Cambridge, MA

Contact Information:

Phone: (617) 253-1950

Heard on Lecture on Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering

Added August 2015

Last Verified: August 2015

Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton

Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton is the R. Pete Vanderveen Chair in Therapeutic Discovery and Development and Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Neurology at the University of Southern California where she directs theNorris Foundation Laboratory for Neuroscience Research and the USC STAR Science Education Program. She is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of learning and memory, diseases and aging of the Brain and  the effects of drugs on the brain.

Dr. Brinton is the recipient of many prestigious awards for her teaching and research. She was named one of the “Best Minds in 2004” by U.S. News & World Report, Woman of the Year by the California State Senate, Educator of the Year by The Society for Neuroscience Science and the Outstanding Service Award by The Association of Trojan Leagues.

She is also helping future scientific minds through the USC Science Technology and Research program, known as STAR, which helps bring science education to inner city youth in Los Angeles. For her commitment to science education through the STAR program she received the 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal.

Upon joining USC in 1988, Dr. Brinton co-founded the biotechnology company, CoCensys and is the joint holder of several patents on therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological disease. She serves on the scientific advisory boards for the Alzheimer’s Drug Development Foundation, NIH/NIA Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, Alzforum and National Institute of Mental Health Scientific Board of Councilors.

Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Southern California

Areas of Expertise: Learning, Memory, Alzheimer’s, Aging of the Brain, Effects of Drugs and Steroids on the Brain, Neuropharmacology, the Biochemistry of Learning and Memory

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information:

Phone: (323) 442-1436


Audio from Keck Medicine of USC: